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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Enhancing Medicinal Plant Resources

In the earlier post I have mentioned about a Brain storming session recently held on the Status of Medicinal Plants at Tamil Nadu Forest Training Academy. (19th June2015). The Decision makers and almost all senior officials of TN Forest Department, Industry representatives, Forest Academy, College, Research institutes and few farmer Association office bearers took part.
Most forest officers were of the view that conservation is the priority and no harvesting should be allowed. Some even felt that No data is available on the inventory of species available in Tamil Nadu forest. Researchers were for prioritizing identification of Genetic variability.  Many expressed that the entire herbal trade is non transparent and traders and industry plunder nations wealth. 
Cultivators expressed the views that Seeds, Technology and appropriate marketing mechanism is not there.
Industries were saying they find no shortage of any crude drug and added it is wrong to say  that there is no transparency as most companies go by open tender process, some with forward contracts with gatherers and growers. The need for storage godowns  was also expressed. The general perception was, Medicinal plant sector is unorganized and with no institutional mechanism in place for Certification and provision of authentic herbal raw material
On my part I raised the following on behalf  CTMR
1.       My concern on the absence of The Commissioner of Indian medicine who is responsible for procurement of medicine for all 1800 GH/PHC/ ISM Hospitals and Colleges – The largest user of Medicinal plants in the meeting and the absence of State Medicinal plant board representative and the horticultural Dept who promotes home gardens and sanctions subsidy for plant growers.
2.       The Revival of the now neglected Medicinal Plants Development Areas created in 2000-2002 across the state and non –utilization of the Resource created.
3.       Proper monitoring of The  AYUSH Cluster which was funded by Ministry of AYUSH with the mandate to act as a herbal crude drug bank and common facility for testing and manufacture by smaller units. This is yet to take off.
4.       The possibility of providing saplings for Home herbal garden by the Forest extension centres/ forest nurseries and 56 research units functioning in the state – Integrating with Organic terrace garden project of Horticulture Dept.
5.       Promotion of 20 important medicinal Trees (50 nos each species)in the campus of all educational institutes particularly 550 engineering colleges- Higher Education secretary to send a guideline through Anna University to the colleges and Director of College education. Similarly Sipcot INDUSTRIAL PARKS and others could grow as Avenue and hedge tress. Forest Extension centres to  encourage Village Forest Committees to grow and sell saplings for the Institutes. This will not only augument medicinal plant resource but improve livelihood of Marginalized forest dependant communities.
6.       Forest Dept to encourage NABARD to fund for Rural Godowns which could act as grading and storage centers for gathers and growers and certified clean authentic material will be made available to ISM Industry at affordable cost and farmers will be saved from distress selling due to lack of storage space.

I hope ‘ Amma’ Home Herbal Garden kit will be available at the earliest with 7 most important medicinal plants useful as home remedy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In search of Safe Herbal Medicine - Organic ginger trip

Two stake holders have raised the issue on the quality of raw materials used in the manufacture of Siddha and Ayurvedic medicines. One drug manufacturer with GMP facility used to talk about his concern on the quality of dry ginger – Chukku he receives for drug manufacture in the last decade – most of them from imported source with very little pungency, aroma and more of fibre. A retired Indian Administrative services officer used to raise the question on using herbal ingredients which are grown with hybrid planting material, heavily treated with chemical fungicides, pesticides and fertilizers- She used to ask, are these things safe to human and will they have the same benefits and safety profile as mentioned in traditional texts of Ayurveda and Siddha?  These questions were always haunting me. So I decided to be on a trial of some of the key raw materials. Dry Ginger – Chukku being a key ingredient in most Siddha, Ayurveda formulations, even the one like Sowbagya suntee, which is used by lactating mothers. So it become a natural choice. After a detailed literature search on sourcing pattern, cultivation areas in south India were identified, and we decided to travel to the region personally and interact with Agricultural university, Spices research Departments both in Tamilnadu and Kerala, Horticultural departments in cultivation areas, NGO’s involved in capacity building, farmers both growing organically and otherwise. The area covered included Coimbatore districts, western slope villages of Nilgiris, Wayanad district – Sultan bathery, Kalpeta, Gundalpet area of Karnataka and Satyamangalam region of Erode district.

The key outcome of the studies is as under

  • TNAU Spices department feels the area under cultivation is very meager in TN either organic or otherwise. No specific package of practices has been developed for ginger- organic cultivation, the practices recommended by the spices board is disseminated among farmers but no documentation of pest , disease and their management is done, though solutions are suggested to farmers. The same view is echoed by the State horticulture department in Coimbatore district.
  • The Technical officer in Spices research centre of KAU feels though some farmers claim they grow organically, 98% use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides etc but feels. organic cultivation is feasible and he showed few cultivation sites. The same sentiment was echoed by the Associate director of Research, Spice research centre, KAU. But there was variation in cost estimate and yield. They feel Rio  de janero and Rajat are superior in terms of yield both for table use and dry ginger process.
  • There is a NGO which promotes organic farming (MSSRF) and they took us to few farmers who are cultivating native Maran variety very successfully near Kalpeta for processing it into dry ginger. The farmer also grows Varatha variety for table/cooking use 
  •  Satyamangalam organic farmers looks like using multiple natural products like VAM, Azo, Phosphobacterium, Trichoderma, Panchakavya, Amirthakaraisal, Moor karaisal etc which may not be feasible by all
  • On observation and measuring – Maran Variety scores over others in terms of yield, dry ginger output low fibre content, better oleoresin content. 360 bags of 60 kg each per acre.
  • Sandy loom or alluvial soil is best suited. A bund of one meter breadth is made and mother seeds are planted at 30 cm gap between two. Most of the cultivation is rain fed as the area receives rainfall for 6 months during the crop season. Feb is the month of sowing. Harvesting is completed by Dec
  • Harvesting at 240 days from the appearance of first tiller from mother rhizome provides better quality yield.
  • Excepting some rotting during water stagnation not many pest or disease affect the crop which requires intervention. But still farmers use pesticides and fertilizers as routine

To conclude Organic cultivation of ginger is possible as input cost is lesser and output is more or less equal and definitely not less than conventional crop and organic cultivation various rhizomes used in Siddha and Ayurveda is possible and a systemic effort to promote them is necessary among farmers, ayurvedic industry and end users.

Incidentally the study trip was adventurous as we traveled across Anaikatty, Silent valley, Wyanad and Mudhumalai tiger reserve, Muthanga wild life sanctuary, Bandhipur wild life sanctuary and Sathyamangalam tiger reserve. On the day of our visit there was a tiger attack on a woman, who died very close to the estates we were traveling. But we were asked to vacate the area  immediately by our senior forest officer friend on telephone and advised as not to travel after sun set. Timely warning.

I must acknowledge the following persons.  Kerala Director of IMPCOPS Dr. Arunbaby helped a lot in networking in his area. I must say the Associate director of Research Dr.Rajasekar of Kerala Agriculuture university and Mr.Rajamony Technical officer went out of the way to interact with us at their homes till late in the night.Mr. Vargeese of MSSRF - Kalpetta took us to farmers for on site interaction. Ramanji of Green Kovai, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam helped with logistics. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Paget’s disease and Siddha Management

It is long time since this blog is updated, as the microblog social network is simpler to express things in few lines. But this time decided to write this blog as it is felt the message is important and needs to be conveyed. Also normally clinical issues are not discussed in this blog unless they are really path breaking. Yesterday afternoon, a seventy year old male patient called up on telephone and informed that at last he is relieved of the ordeal of daily dressing of his wound in the right thigh with pus/ fluid discharge. He also said ‘The discharge stopped and wound healed almost before a week but I want to be doubly sure that discharge does not reoccur so that I can confidently convey to you’. Amazing  it is almost three years I have been suffering seeing one doctor after other including Ayurveda physician, for the condition I was diagnosed as Paget’s disease, I never thought that these simple herbal medicines suggested by you will work’. But I thought it otherwise as the medicines and herbs prescribed to him are all well researched and have enough evidence.
For the common reader who reads this blog, let me explain what this condition is. Paget's disease of bone is a chronic disorder that can result in enlarged and misshapen bones. Paget's is caused by the excessive breakdown and formation of bone, followed by disorganized bone remodeling. This causes affected bone to weaken, resulting in pain, misshapen bones, fractures, and arthritis in the joints near the affected bones. Often Paget's disease is localized to only a few bones in the body. Paget's disease typically is localized, unlike osteoporosis which usually affects all the bones in the body.
In Allopathy/Biomedicine there is no cure for Paget's disease, medications bisphosphonates and calcitonin can help control the disorder and lessen pain and other symptoms. Medications are often successful in controlling the disorder, especially when started before complications begin. Paget's disease is rare in people less than 55 years of age. Men are more commonly affected than women.
In this patient it has occurred in the femur the thigh bone. He has developed infection and was having a non healing deep fistula type wound with discharge mostly with pus. His movements are restricted and with very little physical activity, infection and stress has developed borderline diabetes.

The drugs suggested were the following. Cissus quadrangularis – Pirandai as food supplement for bone repair, Skimmed milk, Ragi and millets particularly the ones rich in calcium as breakfast food. Decoction of Rubia cordifolia – Manjista and Mahavallathy legiyum for its efficacy in controlling neogrowth and local application of a medicated wick with datura oil. A blend of Turmeric and Indian Gooseberry to control diabetes was also given. The results were obvious by the end of two months. Discharge of pus stopped after 20 days, the serous discharge after two month, with formation of granulation tissue and wound completely healed in 70 days. The patient is now able to walk atleast 500 mts without pain or instability with a support of a walking stick. He is suggested for a X-ray of the femur to confirm the bone shape. The Expense incurred for this is only 0.01% of the money he has incurred in the last three years. It is not just about the cost effectiveness but also the safety and efficacy of these plant drugs in a chronic disease.
CTMR attempts to share its clinical experience for the benefit of the humanity.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Traditional Medicine - Some questions

Recently i addressed students from USA doing their Semester in India Programme. The raised some questions on traditional medicine. I am sure many would have the same questions. So I thought will post the reply here also.

1.What advantages do you see in the philosophies of ayurveda versus the philosophies of biomedicine? 

Ans:Traditional Medicine is based on the priniciples of living in Harmony with nature  and holistic whereas Bio-medicine approach is  more compartmentalized approach with specialist for every body system. TM believes in ' Strong body with good immunity  will take care and fight against invasive mocrobes, carcinogens etc while Bio-medicine aims at killing the invading organism.

2. Do you believe ayurvedic and western medicine institutions should be kept separate?

 No, the ideal model would be a integrative approach where Ayurvedic Physicians and Western  Medicine Physicians sit together, discuss  and provide best possible care to the patient including promotive health, cleansing therapy and rejuvenation.

3. Do you see traditional medicine as superior to other types of medical care? Why or why not?

No system can be claimed to be superior to other. They have to coexist and where ever one system is beneficial in disease prevention and care that system should be adopted. Each system could be complimentary to one another

4. Are there illnesses today that are different from previous generations?

Yes in India. Infectious disease burden and epidemics like Swine flu, Avian flu, dengue, drug resistant tuberculosis goes increasing in one hand and Non communicable diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes is also growing even among rural population due to sedentary lifestyle and occupational hazards for people working in Information Technology  sector is also increasing.

5. Is the "modern person" today in balance?

Certainly not. In spite of enviornment awareness, Modern person lives under continous stress and competition and live in a condition of Global warming, polluted enviornment.

6. Is traditional medicine specifically useful in Indian society, or is it useful anywhere in the modern world?

Nature and Five elements, Trinity of Life, Six tastes are common to the whole world. There may be some variation in climate, pollution level, food habits, stress level etc, That variations could be factored in TM and herbs of tropics may very from temperate zone . But clear application for western herbs is possible based on the Taste and enviornment. Even within India there is a diversity in food culture etc but principles are same.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chronic Kidney Disease and Herbs

‘Did you take any Ayurveda or Siddha Medicine? That is the reason why you have developed this kidney disease. They contain heavy metals which damage your kidney.’ - There is a trend among some physicians of bio-medicine to blame Siddha medicine for renal disease. Some research findings published from the west go a step further and say - Indian traditional herbal medicines contain aristolochic acid which leads to renal failure.  Many scared patients ask the Ayurveda/ Siddha Physicians ‘Is that true?’
Before answering the question let me explain what is this Chronic Kidney Disease.
Chronic kidney disease means that for some time a person’s kidneys  have not been working the way they should- filtering blood  and remove waste products and extra fluid and flush them from the body as urine. If they don’t work properly, wastes build up in the blood and make the person sick. This does not occur overnight but happens in a phased manner for many years as a result of damage the kidneys. The tiny filters called nephrons are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But if the damage continues, more and more nephrons shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter the blood well enough to keep the person healthy.
 The most common causes of this damage are:
·         High blood pressure.
·         High blood sugar (diabetes).
·         Urinary tract infection
·         Polycystic kidney disease
·         Birth anomaly
·         A narrowed or blocked artery that carries blood to the kidneys.
·         Long-term use of medicines that can damage the kidneys. Examples include Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.
The condition manifest as reduced urinary output, collection of fluid in the tissues- more prominent in the face and legs, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, headache, loss of appetite and weight loss and disturbed sleep.
Elevated Urea level and creatinine are the lab findings.
Now answering the question – Some Indian Medicine drugs which contain  mercury if not properly processed and if  administered more frequently even for simple conditions and in doses beyond the safe dose recommended in the classical texts of Siddha can cause this condition like any other drug of Bio- medicine. But the majority cases are due to the killer diseases of Diabetes and Hypertension.  Plants containing aristolichic acid are rarely used in any of the formulated Siddha products sold by manufacturers. The uses of these plants are negligible in Siddha and Ayurveda unlike Chinese herbal medicine. It is easier for western researchers to club the Chinese and Indian herbal products under the ‘Asian Herbal medicine’ grouping.
There are things one can do to slow or stop the damage to your kidneys. Taking medicines and making some lifestyle changes can help you manage your disease and feel better.
The Siddha herbal formulations used in treating diabetes invariably contain herbs that protect the liver and Kidney and prevent accumulation of waste to be removed by kidney. Low sodium salt, proper intake of pulses and choice of vegetables and fruits can help. It must be ensured none of the following is taken in excess – Sodium, Pottasium and Calcium. Indhuppu is  better than the sodium salt.
Phyllanthus amarus, Orthosiphon stamineus and Musa paradisiaca are the top three herbs that can improve the renal function and prevent elevation of Serum creatinine and Blood urea. 
The first one is to be taken as a cold processed extract, the second as a decoction- Herbal tea and third as a food supplement. It is futile if the primary cause is not properly addressed. These herbs can still be used even when the patient is on dialysis so that the frequency could be drastically reduced.

The best way is to go for regular health check up and follow a systemic life to prevent the Non communicable Diseases of Diabetes and Hypertension and if already affected follow a healthy lifestyle and regimen and ensure they do not go beyond control. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Food allergies

I recommend different food ingredients to be used by patients suffering from various ailments as many of the food ingredients contain phytochemicals which can effectively help overcome the disease. This is also in line with the thinking ‘Food is your medicine’.  

One of the recipes I suggest is the soup of the leaves of Moringa and moringa leaves made into ‘keerai’ along with mung dal and coconut grating. This is very helpful in correcting Iron deficiency anemia and also osteoarthrosis.  Moringa leaves are highly nutritious and are rich in fiber, vitamins and trace elements, Manganese, Magnesium, Lysine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Thiamin, Potassium, Iron, Protein and Niacin.  Moringa also contains all 8 essential amino acids and is rich in flavonoids, including Quercetin, Kaempferol, Beta-Sitosterol and Zeatin. Other interesting aspect why I promote it is because of the reason that it can also thrive in tough climates and poor soil and can be readily grown even outside your compound wall.

But yesterday when I was recording the medical history including dietary habits, known allergy etc, of a patient on first visit to our centre (65 year old lady) she said twenty years ago she developed urticarial rashes all over the body after consuming moringai keerai. I doubled checked on her is that rashes because she came into contact with the leaf-eating caterpillars that are normally seen during monsoon. She distinctly remembered that there was no caterpillers in the trees and the leaves were not plucked by her and there was no exposure. After long gap she tried again she again developed the allergic reaction.

I discussed it Vd.S.Suman Ali, the medicinal plant expert and President of CTMR, prompt came the answer that the allergy may be due to presence of sulfur compounds though in traces. The patient confirmed she is allergic to sulfur. So what we think is insipid and safe could cause an allergy to someone. I write this to inform ‘One man’s elixir could be other man’s poison’.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

CTMR – Annual Report- 2012-13

CTMR – Annual Report- 2012-13
Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research (CTMR), is a ‘Voluntary organization’ operational since 2000. The key objectives of CTMR are Mainstreaming Traditional medicine in the area of public health, Creation of awareness, Capacity building by way of training, Developing cost effective treatment protocols based traditional medicine  and promotion of research in traditional medicine including cultivation and conservation of Medicinal plants. The NGO works closely with different Government departments, other institutions and organizations for the above cause.
1.  Public Health Initiatives:

1.1    Primary Health Care :
Almost 80% of the population in the semi-urban areas and 60% of the rural population depend on private health care providers- both qualified as well as unqualified in spite of improvement in Public health delivery infrastructure. Marginalized communities like fishermen, dalits and tribal, who are daily wage earners still find it difficult to utilize the Govt. services due to reasons like loss of wage on the days of hospital visits, distance to the nearest health facility and the timing of the outpatient clinics. There is very limited awareness about disease prevention and treatment through AYUSH systems. CTMR felt it necessary to provide the AYUSH services at the doorstep of such marginalized communities, create awareness about healthy lifestyle, food as envisaged in Traditional Medical systems and reduce health expense burden of these communities. CTMR runs two Primary Health Care Centres (Chinnandikuppam in Kanchipuram district and Kanavaaipudur in Salem District) and a Mobile clinic (Velankaadu in Kanchipuram district). About 10,000 people are benefitted by these intervention, where medical services and medicines are provided free of cost to the beneficiaries. A uniform treatment protocol is developed and followed. The drug list for the centers is based on the ‘Essential drug list’ of Dept. of AYUSH which essentially contains safe plant medicines and they are procured from GMP approved units.  40% of the residents of these adopted villages now solely dependent on AYUSH services, while 40% utilize these services for primary health needs and avail services of other medical facilities for Lab investigations and medical emergencies. 20% have reservations in using traditional medicines. Medical Records are maintained for all registered users. Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation and AMR Charitable trusts provide partial support for these activities.

1.2    Public Awareness on Healthy Living:

Health Education is of primary importance particularly in prevention and management of Non Communicable Diseases – Lifestyle Disorders. CTMR use a three pronged strategy for health education. Since young student population is attracted to unhealthy processed food due to strong enticing advertisement both in print and visual media, CTMR conducts regular interactive programme in both govt. and private schools and colleges and also conducts health exhibitions including medicinal plants, minor millets, health food and healthy lifestyle. These sessions also cover the ill effects of lack of physical activities, smoking and consumption of alcohol. CTMR volunteers along with Ekam foundation organized awareness programme for health workers and anganwadi workers on ‘Managing common ailments with locally available medicinal plants’ in almost 10 districts of Tamil Nadu during the ‘Joy of Giving Week’. CTMR also conducts interactive sessions for public on diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer along with various residents associations and Community Based Organizations. The Third approach is by a serial of Talk shows on health in Doordarshan – Pothigai sponsored by Ministry of Health and Family welfare. (About 50 shows during the current year) and write-ups in both English and Tamil dailies and magazine including one published from Srilanka.

2.      Documenting Traditional Knowledge.

2.1    Local Health Traditions

Traditional Health Practitioners still put to use the knowledge acquired from their 
forefathers and treat patients with locally available plant resources. This knowledge also helps conservation of the medicinal plant resources. As the continuation of the project of ‘Documentation and Validation of Local Health traditions’ supported by Dept. of AYUSH, further interactions were held with the healers individually and as groups and the peer validation of the practices were carried out in six districts of Tamil Nadu namely, Vellore, Thiruvanamalai, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Namakkal Preliminary interactions have also been initiated with healers of Villupuram, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts. The use of plants and practices mentioned by the healers were further validated with classical Siddha texts and recent research publications. This compilation is ready for finalization.

2.2    Digitalization of Siddha Palm Manuscripts

During the previous year 160 bundles consisting of 257 works of Siddha Palm Manuscripts collected from individual healers were digitalized with Grant-in- Aid from Dept. of AYUSH and the digital copy along with the catalogue was submitted to Dept. of AYUSH and Siddha Central Research Institute.  The work of collection of Palm manuscripts and digitalization was further continued and currently 367 works are digitalized. This will be a continuous process and requires financial support.

3.  Capacity building

3.1    Training

One day training was conducted for the traditional healers of Salem and Dharmapuri district at Kolathur in Mettur Taluk (August 2012). Management and treatment of common ailments, differential diagnosis in Jaundice, Mother and child health care were covered. 80 healers from this district took part. This was followed by field visit for identification of Medicinal plants.

The Objective of conserving the palm manuscripts is to enable passing on the traditional knowledge to the next generation. Very few people have the expertise to decipher the writings in Palm manuscripts particularly the ones in poetic form. CTMR has conducted training to Siddha physicians, students of plant sciences and Tamil literature to read and interpret the palm manuscripts. Training in groups was conducted at Madras Christian College (Feb 2013) and for individuals at CTMR.

3.2    Workshops

One day interactive session was held for the tribal medicinal plant collectors and growers from Dindigul and Thiruvanamalai districts affiliated to Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems along with Tamil Nadu Siddha Ayurveda Unani Drug manufacturers Association in Apl 2012. The Sustainable collection practices, Good Post harvest handling practices were explained to them.

One day workshop on medicinal plants was conducted in association with Healers association of Kolli hills for the traditional healers at Kolli hills in Namakkal district in May 2012. Healers from Namakkal, Thirupur, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts took part

One day workshop was conducted in May 2012 on the ‘Beauty of Siddha Formulations’ in which a large number of practicing Siddha doctors, Post graduate Scholars and Traditional healers participated. The synergy of the ingredients in the formulation to enhance efficacy, safety profile and the ability to enhance the bio-availability was dealt in great details.

One day workshop on identification, propagation and utilization of medicinal plants was conducted for the students of Community College of Agriculture at Sukkankolai farm of the CIKS. 50 students took part in the workshop.

4.  International Training and interactions.

4.1    International Conference;
Dr.T.Thirunarayanan was invited to present a keynote address on Siddha Medicine in the Second international conference of Tibetan Medicine held in Dharmshala in the august presence of H.H.Dalai Lama. There was also a Joint meeting on ‘Impact in Traditional pharmaceutics on UN ban on the use of Mercury’

4.2    Training on Siddha for foreigners
A three days training was conducted in association with Siddha Applied Science Institute at Penang, Malaysia on the ‘Management of lifestyle disorders and common ailments with plant drugs based on the principles of Siddha Medicine in Sept 2012.Forty  participants from Russia, USA, Canada, France, U.K and Switzerland took active part and the trainees continue the learning online.

4.3    A two days interactive session on the ‘Commonalities between Siddha and Tibetan Medicine’ was organized by CTMR along with Mee-See- Khan at Chennai in March 2013. Eighteen Tibetan doctors and 14 Siddha Physicians took part in the interaction. This helped the participants appreciate the common features of the two traditional medical systems and paved way for joint research in the future.

5.  Medicinal Plants

5.1    Institutional Gardens  and Home herbal garden

During the current Year, School herbal garden has been established in five city schools.  Herbal garden has also been initiated in Institute of Child Health Egmore and 100 households were trained in establishment of home herbal garden.

Continuous technical support is rendered to Green kovai- a unit of AIM For Sewa. Technical inputs provided for farmers group affiliated to CIKS and Murugappa Chetty Research Centre.

A survey of the Medicinal Plant Flora of National Institute of Siddha was carried out by Vd.S.Usman Ali along with volunteers of Siddha Maruthuva Mandram, Kalpakkam in Nov 2012 and report presented to the Director.

6.  Research

6.1 A study was carried out on the ‘Role of traditional food with minor millets on Obesity, Hypertension and Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus’ by Dr.T.Thirunarayanan

6.2 A study on the propagation and survival of select medicinal plants by stem cuttings is initiated for three important medicinal plants.

6.3 Three Research Scholars were guided on the ethno botanical studies and Urban garden studies with reference to medicinal plants by Vd.S.Usman Ali.

6.4 Authentic samples of medicinal plant materials were provided to numerous research scholars for carrying out pharmacognostical, phytochemical and toxicological studies. Results are published in their research reports.

6.5 Two students were provided support for studies on Siddha Palm Manuscripts as part of their Ph.D programme by Vidwan N.Srinivasan.

7.  Publications

Two books, ‘Introduction to Siddha Medicine’ in English and ‘Training manual for traditional healers’ were published during the current year. A small booklet on ‘Home Herbal Garden’ was published in association with ‘reStore garden’ a NGO. Manuscripts for two other books are in the pre-press stage. Three research papers of CTMR staff were published in peer reviewed international journals

8.  Advocacy

CTMR has been continuously interacting with Government Departments on the various regulations which have an impact on improving the quality standards of medical services through Traditional Medicine. The organization has enabled the revision of ‘Poisonous drug list, Essential Drug List and the Siddha Dossier of the Dept. of AYUSH. CTMR office bearers  have also participated in stake holders meeting organized by different Govt. Depart on Safe guarding Intellectual Property of Traditional knowledge and promotion of Traditional health food and minor millets. CTMR has also been instrumental in pushing for opening of Urban Siddha Health Centers by Local Govt. Chennai corporation in fact in its current year budget has announced opening of 25 AYUSH centers in Chennai. CTMR has also been advising ISM drug manufacturers on continuous quality improvement.

9.    Resource Management

All units (Office and two Health Centres) are operating from ‘Rent free accommodation’ provided by donors. The fund for procurement of medicine, medical records and dispensing material are provided by AMR trust and TIIC. Local Health Tradition documentation is partially supported by Dept. of AYUSH.  Excepting three junior staff all others render service voluntarily. Most activities are carried out with support from Partner NGOs and deficit of Rs 5, 00,000 is met by office bearers.

CTMR is thankful to the following Govt. Department and other organizations for their continuous support
·         Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India. New Delhi
·         Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation, Chennai particularly its Chairman. Mr Md.Nasimuddin ,I.A.S. Mr. A.Mohan , Deputy Gen. Manager & Mrs.S.Sashikala.
·         Mr.P.Arulmudi Chairman, AMR Charitable Trust, Chennai
·         Dr.R.Vijayakumar I.A.S Addl. Chief Secretary –Planning Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Smt.Sheela Rani Chunkath. I.A.S Addl Chief Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu Mr.V.Prabakaran-I.F.S, Chief Conservator of Forest. Tamil Nadu for constant support and guidance for various projects.
·         Dr.K.Manikavasagam- Director, National Institute of Siddha
·         Siddha Applied Science Institute. Malaysia and its founder SriPranaji.
·         Principal, Head of the Dept. of Plant Biology and Biotechnology Madras Christian College, Chennai and Prof.D.Narasimhan 
·         Mr.R.T.Vijayaraghavan Charted Accountant
·         Siddha Physicians– Dr.R.Sudha, Dr.V.Tamilalagan, Dr.T.R.Siddique Ali,
Dr. G.Padmavathy and Dr. R.B.Ramamoorthy.

CTMR Personnel
Vd.S.Usman Ali
Research  &  Local Health Tradition
Vidwan. N.Srinivasan
Public Health &  Training
Health awareness & Publication
Dr.S.Rajkumar *
Digitalization of Palm Manuscript
Dr. S.Sangeetha
Public Health Initiative
Primary Health Care
Medicinal Plants –Garden initiative
Photodocumentation & Palm Manuscript Conservation

Dr.S.Rajkumar *  resigned during the course of the year.
Be part of our mission.
Contact us:
Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research,
 4A,4th Cross Street, Mahalakshmi Nagar.
Chennai- 600088.
Ph: 044-22533399