All in the name of Ayurveda

All in the name of Ayurveda

Unapproved drugs being sold by all and sundry

All in the name of Ayurveda

When Bhavani Bhatt bought an ‘Ayurvedic Face Pack’ from three women in the streets of Malleswaram, she had no idea that she would be left with burn marks all over her face the next day.

The pack had promised her “complete relief” from the pimples that plagued her, but she ended up with an adverse reaction.

Bhatt is among the many who have fallen prey to such products and medicines sold in the name of ‘Ayurveda’. With no law to check their sale, an increasing number of people are getting duped.

Vijay Kumar Gogi, director of Ayush—the State government department which regulates Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems of medicine—pointed out that even a stationery shopkeeper could sell ayurvedic medicines.

“This is a lacuna in the system. There is no law or norms that govern the sale of ayurvedic medicines. Hence, anyone is allowed to sell these products,” he said.

Gogi added that it was because of this lack of a law that nothing could be done so far, though the problem was evident.

“Complete cure for diabetes, skin allergies, headache, arthritis, piles, digestive problems, hair fall and more,” read familiar banners on tents in every area claiming to be ayurvedic centres. Vans parked on the roadside and shady corners act as makeshift clinics. These unhygienic outlets are aimed at attracting unsuspecting people.

Number of patients

An example of one such unit raising various concerns is located opposite Savitha Theatre near the Mantri Square Mall. Although located adjacent to a bar, leaning on a pile of garbage right in the centre of the pavement, it receives a number of people throughout the day.

The sellers also have many a scheme under their belt to attract customers.

“Their medicines are priced very low to attract people, especially from the lower economic background. They claim to prescribe ayurvedic medicines taking their stars and astrology into consideration. In the name of medicines, no one knows whether medication or illicit drugs are distributed in these tents,” remarked an ayurvedic doctor.

Dr C A Kishore, president, Indian Ayurveda Foundation, said that with such products being sold on roads, there would be no standardisation or assurance of quality.

“It is important for people to be educated about these happenings. The government must set parameters to assess the qualification of these people who sell things in the name of Ayurveda,” he added.