Explained: Doctors are fighting Ayurveda, but what about other alternative medical systems?

Doctors have been up in arms over Ayurveda and yoga practitioner Ramdev, who claimed that “allopathy” or Western evidence-based medicine, was unnecessary. All that one needed, proclaimed Ramdev, was to breathe deeply and maybe follow an Ayurvedic routine. The Indian Medical Association sent him a legal notice, accusing him of “sedition”. IMA Uttarakhand also sent Ramdev a defamation suit, demanding an apology or compensation of Rs 1,000 crore.

This row is not unexpected; doctors have been fighting a number of traditional medical systems, claiming that they often do more harm than good. This is despite the fact that the government has instituted the Ministry of AYUSH to promote traditional medicine; it recognises seven systems – Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy, Homoeopathy and Sowa Rigpa.

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