Ayurveda > A History of Ayurveda
Milestones in the Development of Ayurveda and WHO Report on the growing demand for
Source: Department of Ayurveda, Govt of India
- Divine origin of Ayurveda from Lord Brahma - Dates back to
origin of human race
- 5000 BC - Mention of various references on Health, Diseases and
Medicinal Plants in Rig-veda and Atharv-veda
1000 BC - Origin of Attreya and Dhanwantari School of Ayurveda
600 BC - Documentation of Charaka Samhita
500 BC- Documentation of Sushruta Samhita
1100-1800AD - Advent of Muslim Rule and start of the Decline of Ayurveda
1800 AD - Resurrection of Ayurvedic system of Medicine under the rule of Peshwas
1827 - Classes in Ayurvedic medicine opened in Government Sanskrit College, Calcutta
1833 - Discontinuation of classes in Government Sanskrit College by British
1917 - Dr. Komar Commission (one-man commission) to make investigation in indigenous system of medicine
1920 - Indian National Congress Convention at Nagpur recommended acceptance of Ayurvedic system of medicine as India's National Health Care System
1921 - Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College in Delhi
1927 - Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya established Ayurveda college in B. H.U., Varanasi
1940 - Enforcement of Drugs and Cosmetics Act for Ayurvedic/Siddha/Unani medicines-
1943 - Bhora Committee or Health Survey and Development Committee recognised past services of indigenous medicines but failed to recommend for its further development.
1946 - Chopra Committee recommended systems of old and modern systems of medicines to evolve a common system of medicine.
1953 - Pharmaceutical Enquiry Committee headed by Dr. Bhatia, for intensive research in indigenous drugs of Ayurveda.
1955 - Recommendation of Dave Committee for uniform standards of Ayurveda education
1956-57 - Establishment of Institute of Post-Graduate Training and Research in Gujarat Ayurvedic University, Jamnagar, Gujarat.
1958 - Udupa Committee set up. It recommended that there is a need for integrated system of medicine and a training course in Siddha and Ayurveda.
1963-64 - Establishment of Post Graduate Institute of Ayurveda at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
1964 - Amendment of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 for Indian systems of medicines/drugs
1964-65 - Establishment of Central Board of Siddha and Ayurvedic Education
1969 - Setting up of an apex Research Body for Indian medicine & Homoeopathy, 'Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH)'
1970 - Establishment of Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian medicine, Ghaziabad, U.P.
1971 - Constitution of Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) under IMCC Act- 1970 for regulation of education and practice.
1972-73 - Establishment of National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan
1976 - Publication of Part-I of Ayurvedic formulary containing 444 preparations
1978 - Establishment of Central Council of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS)
1982 - Passing of Amended Drugs and Cosmetics Act regulating import/export of Indian Systems of Medicine
1983 - Setting up of Indian Medicine Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd. in Mohan, Almora Distt., Uttaranchal.
1986 - Silver Jubilee function of Jawaharlal Nehru Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants Garden and Harbarium, Pune. Inaugurated by Shri R. Venkataraman, Vice-president of India .
1986 - Second World Conference on Yoga & Ayurveda held at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
1988 - Foundation stone of Jawaharlal Nehru Anusandhan Bhawan, Institutional Area, Janakpuri, New Delhi by Honorable Vice President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma
1989 - Establishment of National Academy of Ayurveda (Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth)
1995 - Creation of separate Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy in Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
1996 - Introduction of Extra mural Research Programme for accredited organizations with central assistance
1997 - Implementation of Central Scheme in 33 organizations for development of agro-techniques of important medicinal plants
1998 - Maiden participation of Ayurveda along with other systems in India International Trade Fair
1998 - Implementation of Central Scheme in 32 laboratories for developing pharmacopoeial standards of Medicinal Plants/ ISM Formulations
1998 - Establishment of specialty clinic of Ayurveda in Central Govt. Hospital (Safdarjung Hospital) New Delhi
1998-1999 - Implementation of IEC( Information, Education & Communication) Scheme for NGOs for propagation and popularization of Ayurveda & other systems
1997 to 1999 - Participation in Mystique India ( Exhibition cum fair on Indian Traditions)
1999 - Introduction of Vanaspati Van Scheme for large scale cultivation of Medicinal Plants
2000 - Inauguration of Ayurveda conference at New York, USA by Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
2000 - Gazette Notification for constitution of Medicinal Plant Board under the Dept. of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy
2000 - Publication of 2nd volume of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia
2000 - Introduction 7 of Ayurvedic Medicines in RCH Programme
2000 - Constitution of Advisory group for research in Ayurveda
2000- Policy Decision on mainstreaming of Ayurveda in RCH programme as per National Population Policy
2000-2001- Implementation of Central Scheme of assistance for strengthening of State Drug Testing Laborites and Pharmacies.
2001 - Publication of 3rd volume of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia
2001 - Publication of English edition of 2nd volume of Ayurvedic Formulary of India
2001 - Maiden participation of ISM tableau on Republic Day
2001 - Exhibition and presentation of Ayurveda during World Health Assembly, Geneva
2001 - Presentation on evidence based support by Dept. of ISM&H before House of Lords, U.K. against Sir Walton Committee's Report on status and nomenclature of Ayurveda among Complementary and Alternative systems of Medicine
2001 - Participation of Dept. in "Made in India" exhibition organized by CII in South Africa
Statistics and Regulatory Situation for Ayurvedic Medicine
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
Traditional medicine is widely used in India, especially in
rural areas where 70% of the Indian Population lives.
There are 2860 hospitals, with a total of 45,720 beds,
providing traditional Indian systems of medicine and
homeopathy in India. In 1998, more than 75% of these beds
were occupied by patients receiving Ayurvedic treatment,
which is by far the most commonly practiced form of
traditional medicine in India. There are 22,100 dispensaries
of traditional medicine. There are 587,536 registered
traditional medicine practitioners and homeopaths, who are
both institutionally and non-institutionally qualified.
Ayurveda, unani, siddha, naturopathy, homeopathy, and yoga
are all recognized by the Government of India. The first
step in granting this recognition was the creation of the
Central Council of Indian Medicine Act of 1970. The main
mandates of the Central Council are as follows:
- To standardize training by prescribing minimum standards of
education in traditional medicine, although not all
traditional practitioners and homeopaths need to be
institutionally trained to practice;
- to advise the central Government in matters relating to
recognition / withdrawal of medical qualifications in
traditional medicine in India;
- to maintain the central register of Indian medicine, revise the register
from time to time, prescribe standards of professional conduct and etiquette,
and develop a code of ethics to be observed by practitioners of traditional
medicine in India.
- All traditional medicine practitioners and homeopaths must be registered
The Central Council of Homeopathy, constituted in 1973, has
the same mandates. The Indian Government created the
Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy in
March 1995. The primary areas of work for the Department are
education, standardization of medicines, enhancement of
availability of raw materials, research and development,
information dissemination, communication, and the
involvement of traditional medicine and homeopathy in
national health care. More than 4000 personnel work in these
The Indian Government seeks the active and positive use of
traditional medicine and homeopathy in national health
programs, family welfare programs, and primary health care.
Growing World Demand for Ayurvedic Medicine
Source: Department of Indian Systems of Medicine &
India has 16 Agroclimatic zones, 45000 different plant
species and 15000 medicinal plants The Indian Systems of
Medicine have identified 1500 medicinal plants, of which 500
species are mostly used in the preparation of drugs. The
medicinal plants contribute to cater 80% of the raw
materials used in the preparation of drugs. The
effectiveness of these drugs mainly depend upon the proper
use and sustained availability of genuine raw materials. The
domestic market of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy
is of the order of Rs.4000 crores (2000), which is expanding
day by day.
The Ayurveda drug market alone is of the order
of Rs. 3500 crores (2000). Besides this, there is also a
growing demand for natural products including items of
medicinal value/pharmaceuticals, food supplements and
cosmetics in both domestic and international markets.
Presently India's export from Medicinal and Herbal plants is
Rs. 446 crores (2000) only which would be raised to Rs.3000
crores annually by 2005. India, with its diversified
biodiversity has a tremendous potential and advantage in
this emerging area.
According to WHO report, over 80% of the world population
relies on traditional medicine largely plant based for their
primary healthcare needs. The EXIM bank of India, in its
report (1997) has reported the value of medicinal plants
related trade in India of the order of 5.5 billion US
dollars and is growing rapidly. According to WHO, the
international market of herbal products is estimated to be
US $ 62 billion which is poised to grow to US $ 5 trillion
by the year 2050. India's share in the global export market
of medicinal plants related trade is just 0.5%.