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Integrated medicine system to alter the future of disease management

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Issues related to the development and management of the social sector related to health.


Source: The Hindu

Context: A new study highlighted that using yoga as an additional treatment can help patients suffering from migraine headaches and from syncope (sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure leading to fainting.)

  • In a unique collaboration, 19 departments at AIIMS – are collectively working to identify areas of need where allopaths find modern medicines wanting and feel that the addition of traditional medicine could provide relief to patients.

In India, the traditional medicine system (“TMS”) mainly comprises Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (“AYUSH”).


About Traditional Medicine:

According to World Health Organization, ‘traditional medicine’ refers to the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices on basis of theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures used in the maintenance of health.


Benefits of Traditional Medicine System:

  • Holistic vision towards healthcare that focuses on the prevention of diseases and promotion of health.
  • low side effects of TMS
  • Can fill in the gaps in the allopathic medicine system


Challenges to integration into the mainstream healthcare system

  • Unorganized: TMS suffers from standardization issues.
  • Poor resources
  • Poor acceptance
  • Safety concerns: Dishonest/negligent practices, cosmeticisation of TMS products, adverse reactions to TMS drugs, lack of safety supervision systems, substandard courses, poorly regulated markets
  • Lack of scientific basis and almost no R&D in TMS
  • Intellectual property protection


Government Initiatives:

  • Creation of Ministry of AYUSH
  • Enactment of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and National Commission for Homeopathy Act, 2020
  • Recognition of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (Gujarat) as an Institute of National Importance.
  • Developing standards in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Standards to augment TMS products.



  • Though yoga has been practised traditionally in India for centuries, the objective of the AIIMS initiative is to bring it under an official protocol to provide clinical services to treat various health conditions with an integrated medical system in place.
  • The scientific findings from the AIIMS research are expected to align with the Centre’s plan to roll out a “One Nation, One Health System” policy by 2030.


Insta Links:

Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit


Mains Link: UPSC 2019

How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies?