Maintaining ecological balance can get rid of many diseases: Experts

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Nature and health go hand-in-hand and maintaining the ecological balance can help get rid of many diseases and also prevent recurrence of pandemics, experts in Ayurveda said at the Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF) here on Sunday.


Environmental activist Dr Vandana Shiva was of the view that life on the planet was “a democracy working in harmony” and destroying diversity leads to creation of chronic diseases, a government release said.


She was speaking at a plenary session on ‘Paryavaran Ayurveda’ ( Ecology in Ayurveda) held as part of the fifth Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF 2023) at Greenfield International Stadium at nearby Karyavattom.

The central theme of the five-day conclave, which began on December 1, is “Emerging Challenges in Healthcare and a Resurgent Ayurveda.”

Addressing the gathering of delegates from 70 nations, Shiva, known for spearheading campaigns for preserving traditional agricultural practices, said that preserving biodiversity was crucial to sustaining food production, which is also critical for a healthy life.


“It’s an entire ecosystem. Destruction of nature has a serious health impact. When we destroy diversity we are creating chronic diseases.


“Western science discovered this only very recently while Ayurveda knew it pretty long back,” she is quoted as having said in the release.


The western science’s approach of mechanistic reduction and separation of parts from the whole was at the core of the problems faced by Earth’s ecosystem, she further said.


Shiva called for a conscious shift to the holistic approach envisioned by knowledge systems like Ayurveda.


She also advocated resisting the temptation to validate Ayurveda by parameters of the western science “which breaks down the whole into separate parts as opposed to looking at things in an interconnected whole”.


“For this we must really hold firm. Reduction is passe. Ayurveda is the future,” she asserted, according to a government release.


Dr B R Ramakrishna, Vice-chancellor of Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhan in Bengaluru, was of the opinion that if ecological balance was taken care of, most of the diseases, including the recurrence of pandemics, could be prevented.


This fundamental idea has been reinforced by classic texts of Ayurveda, he said according to the release.


Another speaker — Ajayan Sadanandan, President CIMH, The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore Ltd) — referring to ‘Vriksha Ayurveda’ said this branch of knowledge have detailed descriptions on the benefits of planting and nurturing various trees which can significantly reduce atmospheric pollution.


Dr Jayan Damodaran, Dean of the Faculty of Ayurveda, Kerala University of Health Sciences, was of the view that the concept of ‘One Health’ links humans, animals and environment and can help address the full spectrum of disease control from prevention to detection, preparedness, response and management and contribute to global health security.


Deep Narayan Pandey, retired Chief Conservator of Forests in Rajasthan, said the ideal of refraining from inflicting harm to nature was a philosophy of life ancient India had propounded.


The neglect of this cardinal principle is the root cause for grim problems confronting the ecosystem now, he said according to the release.


The conclave, a biennial event, is organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Ayush, the Government of India, the Government of Kerala and various Ayurveda associations, the release said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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