A New Practitioner's Response to JAMA 2008
As for JAMA report I think it is as misleading as it is true. The major problem with heavy metals is due to the fact that most Ayurvedic preparations are not prepared properly. My friend had gokshuradi guggulu analyzed here in Croatia and the levels of heavy metals were high above the allowed and this is not even a product that should contain any of those. As for real rasa shastra products it is almost impossible to get good quality ones. However, the ones that are prepared properly show no toxicity. This fact I know for sure because Vaidya Prakash had them tested through western pharmaceutical companies and according to western medical practices and standards. I am attaching one recent article in which you can see it stated from an authorities person talking form scientific perspective. I can also add, because you can not know that from the article, that some of the product mentioned in the article and used in treatment of migraine are ras shastra products like sushekar rasa being the main one.
The problem is, I agree with Prakash, that most people praise Ayurveda and talk about it and write books but almost no one does nothing to prove scientifically its efficacy. I am also attaching another paper on PRAK 20, a medication compounded by Prakash that has been scientifically tested just to give an example of how it should be done. There's also much more thorough research going on another Ayurvedic formulations and done by IPCA laboratories. These testing cost a fortune and of course without financial back up it is impossible to do them. Besides Prak 20 two another Ayurvedic ras shastra products will go on the market by IPCA meaning a great change in sense of pharmaceuticals companies looking at products containing heavy metals. And, that is just the beginning.
The subject, of course, it's much bigger and there are things I do not really agree with Vaidya Prakash. He thinks this is the only way Ayurveda will ever see the light of the day and get recognized. I have my doubts about it although think it is one of the thing that must be done in that direction.
And details, hmmm, there's many... I am certainly not talking about scholarly stuff. Clinical practice is of more interest to me. It is for example about difference between shankha bhasma and shankha vati, not is sense of one being powder and other being a pill. Application differs quite a lot and I wasn't aware of all the details. How to distinguish different causes of heartburn in pregnant women, how to prescribe proper dose of medication and the length of taking it. How much regular abhrak bhasma can you give and how much if it's shataputi abhrak bhasma. It is a huge difference and you don't want to make a mistake :-), which guggulu can be taken for how long, what's the difference between loha bhasma and mandoora bhasma because they are both iron, difference between pure ashvagandha and ashvagandhadi churna, when can kanchanara guggulu become dangerous when treating some kapha diseases like endometriosis, what's the exact difference etween formulas like hingwasthak churna and lavana bahaskar churna which are basically indicated for the same thing...etc, etc. I had my theories about some of those but answers that I was given proved big lack of knowledge.
Still, no surrender, if we're persistent enough we'll get the knowledge. At least I will. Maybe you know all these stuff but I certainly don't. And these are just some of the questions I discussed with one of my mentors. Hopefully, I'll go there again to ask some more. As for Vaidya Prakash he is absolutely of the opinion that we should not practice because of the lack of proper training. I agree and disagree with that one as well. It is just important that one knows it's limits and recognizes the scope of his practice. After all, he does the same. Considering the fact that he mostly gets really heavy cases like cancer, MS etc he refuses almost 50% of them and that is another quality lacking in most practitioners and a big school for me.