Ayush transformation: Blending tradition and science for holistic health in Kashmir

Pampore: Ayurvedic medicines, traditional Indian remedies known for their holistic approach encompassing mind, body, and spirit, have gained popularity. While some report benefits, experts emphasize consulting healthcare professionals for personalized advice, recognizing the treatment’s effectiveness can vary based on individual health conditions.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, Dr Altaf Hussain Shah, the Incharge Medical Officer of the Ayush unit at District Hospital Pulwama, said that Ayush was previously known as the Indian System of Medicines (ISM). Recently, its name has been changed to Ayush, with Ayush standing for Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH). This department encompasses all five systems.
“The tradition of Unani and Ayurvedic practices in Kashmir is deeply rooted, and these traditional methods have been effectively providing treatment. There was a setback during British India when the Britishers introduced a wrong narrative, but gradually, over the past few decades, there has been a resurgence. Apart from that, in terms of efficacy, these medicines have proven to be highly effective. It is assumed that these medicines are brought to the market through scientific parameters, undergo research, and are subjected to clinical trials before being introduced,” he said.
Dr Altaf emphasized the meticulous attention given to ensuring that these medicines do not cause any adverse reactions or drug-induced side effects. While acknowledging the positive effects of these medications, he said it is important to note that, like any other medicines, they may have minor side effects to some extent. “It is strongly advised against self-medication, and individuals are encouraged to consult the concerned medical officer or a registered doctor associated with the Ayurveda, Unani, or Ayush department. Seeking guidance from these professionals ensures the appropriate and informed use of these medicines,” he said.
Ayush has shown a positive response not only in medical camps but also through our network of centres in the Jammu Kashmir Union Territory, Dr Shah said, “We have Ayush centres in our district hospitals, such as in district hospital Pulwama, and Ayush units in several Sub-District Hospitals (SDHs). Additionally, Ayush doctors are present in every Primary Health Center (PHC), reflecting the widespread integration of Ayush practices in the healthcare system.”
He expressed the appeal for people to inquire about receiving Ayush treatment and supplies directly from Ayush centres. “It has been observed in many places that doctors in the allopathic department express concerns. In contrast, our dispensaries have Ayush doctors who follow the complete Ayush methodology for treatment. Additionally, free and quality medicines are provided at these centres,” he said. He encouraged people to demand Ayush treatment as it has shown effectiveness in various cases.
“I urge people not to approach those who falsely claim to be Hakeems, Vaid, Peers, or Moulvis and promote or provide Unani medicines through deceptive practices such as charms or spells. Instead, consult the concerned medical officers in Ayush units, dispensaries, or Primary Health Centres. Seek treatment from registered Unani or Ayurvedic doctors with valid registrations from the Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure authentic and effective healthcare,” the Ayush officer said.

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