Fancy dress?

Bioceramic clothes in vogue in Kerala, but experts sceptical

By Sara Abraham
Published: Sunday 15 June 2003

these days bioceramic health products are the rage in Kerala. The markets are flooded with bioceramic t-shirts, vests, briefs, shoes, sandals, necklaces, bed-sheets and facial masks that are supposed to emit far infrared rays. The propagators of these products claim that they can cure all sorts of ailments -- from backaches to cancer.

They continue to make a fast buck despite the Kerala High Court ruling on January 9, 2003, that no person is entitled to practice Indian systems of medicine in the state without requisite qualifications. Further, registration for the same is mandatory under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, or the Travancore Cochin Medical Practitioner's Act, 1953.

None of these products are sold with a proper licence from the State Drug Control Department. "Without a licence the products can be sold over the counter," says P Gopinathan, State Drug Controller. Apart from China, bioceramics were said to be invented by scientists for spacesuits at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the us. An esoteric combination of 26 ceramics and various mineral oxides is supposed to emit the far infrared rays, otherwise called the light of life.

"Bioceramics are used as implant devices, I am unaware of them emitting any infrared rays," said Harikrishna Verma from the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, state health secretary K Ramamoorthy said that if unethical practices are detected, action would be taken against those responsible.

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