November 16, 2014
Religion is not harmless. I strongly recommend that parents NOT teach it to their children.
Get out of your personal brainwashing and don't brainwash your children.
The other day, a Sydney woman lost FOUR SONS to the Islamic State. They are now helpless to get them back.
Similarly, if you teach your children religion, they could reject medical science in favour of mumbo-jumbo and quackery. These Christians allowed their child to DIE rather than get properly treated.
Religious teaching is harmless for 98 per cent of the population. Most people don't take religion seriously, or merely go through the motions to "fit in" with others.
But in 2 out of 100 cases, your chidren can take religion seriously. It can then KILL. Then don't complain if your children (or their children) die out of their religious stupidity.
Best remedy: DON'T indoctrinate your children in religious garbage. Teach them to THINK.
Sanjay Gadhalay has written this and I fully agree. This is what parents should teach:
Teach and learn this instead: The 6 core lessons of my Guru prof Indiresan. Which I am guided by in all I do …and share with all of you for your own adoption as deemed fit ::
1. Being Principled is everything. He taught me to examine my beliefs and values, and then to remain centered and never give upcoming on those examined principles.
2. To speak one’s mind without fear or favour. I was taught by example to articulate my views clearly and logically, uninfluenced by the possibility of adverse reactions from others.
3. Disagreement does not mean being disagreeable: Even when one has radically divergent views from others, one can articulate and debate with others and even disagree. However, it does not mean that we have to be offensive in our manners. Civil discourse is the mark of a civilized mind.
4. Catholicity of taste: He was a voracious reader and would devour books on almost any topic. All reading was to educate the mind and provide food for further thought.
5. Social Awareness: An engineer by background, he constantly sought solutions to the problems of society. He encouraged thinking about social problems and was tireless in his search for solutions to them.
6. Zest for life: Through his abundant energy, the multiple projects & causes he associated himself with, he taught me that life is for the living. He taught me to live it fully.
November 15, 2014
When I came to Australia in late 2000, I received an interview call from the Commonwealth Treasury (CT). They were about to send me the air ticket for an interview in Canberra. But by then my son had been given a scholarship by Melbourne Grammar School (supposedly one of the best private schools in Melbourne), so I decided to stick to Melbourne and declined the interview offer. I was to join, soon after, the Victorian Government's largest regulator, and later, the Victorian Treasury. In retrospect, this was a good decision.
I've had occasion to interact with the CT on a few matters. I won't go into details since doing so will breach the public service code of conduct. But from my vantage point as close observer of numerous economic debates and based on published papers and policies of the CT, I am able to write in support Judith Sloan's critique of the CT.
Let me detail Judith's concerns.
1) The CT does not focus on the prosperity of all Australians
To understand this point, we fist need to understand Amartya Sen's deplorable confusions. The disastrous Human Development Index adopted by the even more confused UNDP was his "contribution". Mixing up social and economic variables using subjective weights can never be justified. This is mumbo-jumbo; pure nonsense. The Victorian Treasury's vision is uni-dimensional: a prosperous future for all Victorians. Period. Per capita real GSP is the key measure in such an approach. People can buy wellbeing IF they have money. The government's job is to enable and support the ability of the people to earn money.
But from Judith's analysis, it appears that the CT uses a mushy way of thinking (perhaps in the Sen tradition?):
It is quite difficult to pinpoint the exact start of the decline. My feeling is that the adoption of the mushy, confusing and unhelpful wellbeing framework in the late 1990s marked the beginning of the Treasury's loss of prestige. "The wellbeing of the Australian people" remains one of the core elements of Treasury's strategic framework. Where, once upon a time, Treasury essentially focused on maximising per capita gross domestic product, there are now five elements of wellbeing, some contradicting each other. These elements are: opportunities, distribution, sustainability, the level and allocation of risk, and the complexity of choices. [Sanjeev: What do these terms mean!! ] The real problem with using five ill-defined criteria to judge policy is that without some explicit weighting of the five factors, virtually any decision can be justified. [Sanjeev: No, Judith, these non-economic terms are pure nonsense, in the same category as the meaningless term 'social justice'. Multiplying nonsense with 'weights' can never create sense.] Sure, a policy will reduce per capita incomes, but just look at the improvements to sustainability. It is heaven on earth for the Greens.
As economics professor Jonathan Pincus notes, "any decision made by Treasury can be justified by (the wellbeing framework) unless it can be shown to worsen wellbeing in all five dimensions". The framework relies on the subjective (and political) value judgments of Treasury officials to weight the five dimensions of wellbeing. Of itself, this politicises decision-making within Treasury. [Source: Treasury's fall from grace started with wellbeing, Judith Sloan, 13 November 2012, The Australian]
This serious muddle-headedness apparently started in around the mid-1990s (HDI was created in the early 1990s and soon became a joke among real economists). It is possible that had I joined the CT in 2000 I'd have been a misfit and left it, long ago.
2) The CT recruits Keynesians and lefties:
This is news for me: a shocking disclosure from Judith, today:
The Treasury has leaned left for some time. Potential graduate recruits, for example, have been asked for their views on the pricing of carbon dioxide emissions and the value of stimulus spending to deal with economic downturns. The “correct” answers have been pretty obvious. This bias and the perceived politicisation of the Treasury, more generally, have to be eliminated." [Source: John Fraser will face challenges to restore Treasury’s reputation, Judith Sloan, 15 November 2014, The Australian].
If what Judith is saying about Treasury recruits is true, this is a sure way to ruin any prospect of objective, sensible economic policy advice.
3) The CT's approach prevents it from looking objectively at data
Then there is this third critique – that the CT uses subjective, rosy glasses while looking at data:
Another example of Treasury's loss of status and respect is reflected by comparing the first edition of the Intergenerational Report released in 2003 and the one released in 2010. Originally commissioned by Peter Costello when he was treasurer to highlight the fiscal implications of the ageing of society, the first edition was a solid piece of work. The 2010 edition, which was brought forward by Wayne Swan, is a complete embarrassment.
It is an overly long, verbose document that spends most of its time praising the government for its current policy stance, even though the focus of the report is 40 years out. It even includes a ridiculous chapter on climate change and the environment, a topic that quite rightly was not included in the previous editions. What the reports also demonstrate is that Treasury is completely incapable of forecasting basic variables such as labour force participation, even a few years out. (This point could be applied more generally to the credibility of Treasury's modelling.)
If you read the first report, you would conclude that we will all be "rooned". The second one (2007) was a bit more upbeat about our prospects, but the last gave the impression that, because of the outstanding and far-sighted policies of this government, everything will be fine. [Source: Treasury's fall from grace started with wellbeing, Judith Sloan, 13 November 2012, The Australian]
EXAMPLES OF BAD POLICY ADVICE
I have been frequently disappointed with the macro-economic (and even micro-economic) policies advocated/ supported by the CT. Judith points out a few examples:
- The CT's approach to taxation of employee share options
- The CT's design/ advocacy of the mining tax
- The CT's approach to changes to the fringe benefits tax
- The CT's modelling of the impact of pricing carbon
- The CT's "contrived modelling of the impact of the government’s stimulus spending spree in response to the global financial crisis that, according to Treasury, “saved” 200,000 jobs. The Treasury also tried to argue that the countries that had boosted government spending the most were least affected by the GFC. It turned out that the Treasury had cherry-picked the countries for inclusion in its analysis. When a comprehensive list of countries was included, the relationship fell away."
In my view, the CT's advice has badly damaged Australia's prospects in the coming decades. The Rudd 'stimulus' was a disaster. Any attempt to justify it should rank in the category of NONSENSE/ quackery of the sort that Keynes spouted, e.g.
"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. [Keynes, “General” Theory (and other crap)]
[Indeed, combining Keynes and Sen would be the surest way to destroy any society’s future prospects, almost as certainly as using Marx’s ideas]
Stephen Anthony wrote last year about the shortage of brain power in the CT [Source: Treasury needs more brainpower and less of the touchy-feely, Stephen Anthony, AFR, 29 April 2013]. I don't think this is a brain power issue. Brain power (IQ) is of no use without the right way to think. That's why high IQ people throughout mankind's history (till around 1700) achieved nothing, while ordinary people with the right thinking since 1700 have achieved wonders.
The CT's problems seem to stem from a fundamental failure to understand economics. Let me I quote (genuine Nobel Prize winner) Ronald Coase and hope that the CT will pay heed to one of the greatest economists of all time:
Economics thus becomes a convenient instrument the state uses to manage the economy, rather than a tool the public turns to for enlightenment about how the economy operates. [Source: Ronald Coase, Saving Economics from Economists, Harvard Business Review, December 2012]
My advice to the CT, for whatever it is worth, is this:
1) Try to understand the process of the price system and how this process balances the self-interest and local information (including budget constraints) of all people on this planet, simultaneously.
2) Try to understand, therefore, how your interventions will invariably distort the price system and reward rent-seekers and frauds at the expense (very often) of hard-working savers and workers.
3) Finally, try to understand that governments necessarily play the game of politics, marginal seats and lobby groups. Their game, while essential to a liberal democracy, also imposes costs and damages society in many ways. Democracy is not costless. But we are not in this game. Our job is to limit the damage caused by government interventions, not exacerbate it.
November 13, 2014
[This is a placeholder blog post]
I'm compiling here evidence that demonstrates that homeopathy does not outperform placebos.
The best starting point is this comic.
An article in The Economist "Why homeopathy is nonsense".
the effects seen in placebo controlled trials of homoeopathy are compatible with the placebo hypothesis.
Watch the whole thing, below, but from 9:32 is best.
November 12, 2014
November 12, 2014
This article: "Dark and dairy: The sorry tale of the milch animals" is an eye-opener – that cattle bred for meat is far more likely to live a humane life than its milk-producing counterparts. Also see this: The Dairy Industry: Sanctioned Rape.
Things never add up in India. On the one hand we have a culture of "masculinity" with extreme barbarity against women – e.g. against the female child (mass killings of infants by the "Hindus" are rife), and massive levels of violence against women. On the other hand, we make claims to be "non-violent" and oppose "cow slaughter". We also claim that the cow is our "mother" (and therefore the bull our "father" and male calves our "brothers").
The article raises a fundamental question: Which is better? To kill an adult animal that has led a good life in the open painlessly for meat or to cut short that animal's life itself when very young, to prevent that animal from living?
The answer, I'm sure would be simple: FAR BETTER to be allowed to live a natural life and to be painlessly killed for meat when old, than to be prevented from living altogether.
These are the kinds of crimes against animals committed in India – which has one of the world's worst records regarding animal rights and protection.
1) Killing male calves: preventing them even from living a life.
Most male calves are either sent for slaughter or let loose to starve. he economic undesirability of male cattle is evident in the gender imbalance — 64.42 per cent female and 35.57 per cent male in cattle, and 85.18 per cent female and 14.8 per cent male in buffalo. The slaughter of male calves — whether intentional or incidental — is integral to milk production.
2) Preventing young calves from drinking THEIR OWN MOTHER'S milk
Calves, male and female, are separated or significantly restricted from accessing their mothers three to four days after birth. This separation is traumatic for both mother and calf, but leads to a 15-30 per cent increase in milk availability for humans. Following separation, calves are mainly fed on milk substitutes and are allowed only limited suckling. The mother’s milk is instead diverted for human consumption.
The above idol is purely mythical and this NEVER happens in India. No calf (including female) is allowed to drink its mother's milk. As usual, there is HUGE deception, chicanery and hypocrisy among the barbaric vegetarians.
We call the cow our "mother" but displace the cow's ACTUAL role of mother.
3) Forcing shut the mouths of starving male calves, who try to cry plaintively for their mother
Like human mothers, cows produce milk to nourish their babies. In the dairy industry, calves are stolen from their mothers immediately after they are born so that the milk meant for them can be consumed by humans. Their mothers cry out in vain, calling to their lost young ones. During PETA’s investigation of the Indian dairy industry, we found male calves whose mouths were tied shut with ropes so that they couldn’t cry out when they were hungry. These babies are then left to die a slow, agonising death in a corner. Once or twice a week, a haath gaadi wala comes by and picks up the dead bodies and sometimes dying calves and takes them to be skinned for calf leather.
4) Castrating bulls without anaesthesia, whipping, etc.
Some are used as draught animals where they are subject to castration without anaesthesia, nose-roping, whipping and hard labour [pulling massive weights] until they are old and weak. At that point, they are sent for slaughter or abandoned.
(Note the bull being forcibly laid on the ground with people sitting on top of it. The machine used is surely painful enough:
5) Abandoning to eat plastic and garbage
The following are abandoned to eat plastic/garbage:
- unproductive cows whether young or old
- old bulls that can't be used anymore
There is also HUGE environmental harm caused by the dairy industry, but I won't go into that here.
I won't go here into the brutal ways by which these animals are transported and slaughtered. ALL THESE ACTIONS WOULD BE CRIMINAL in any civilised society, but in India this is business as usual.
And these "holier-than-thou" vegetarians preach to the rest of the world about how "holy" is their "mother cow".
Forsooth! Have SOME shame.
Brutality against animals in India, animal rights, animal protection, PETA, RSPCA, cruelty to animals, dairy industry cruelty in India
November 11, 2014
This is a recent article in a peer reviewed journal. Download PDF by clicking its title (or from here).
1Dr Dinesh Kumar Jain*, 2Dr Rajkumar Arya
1Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Bundelkhand Medical College Sagar (MP), India.
2Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology ,Gajra Raja Medical College Gwalior (MP), India.
What is Ayurveda
Ayurveda is an irrational, unscientific therapeutic system and illogical, superstitious life style; represents Indian psyche and Indian culture including use of herbs, metals, diet, panchkarma, astrology, incantations, hymns, religion, rituals, amulets (totaka), mantra-tantra; concepts of supernatural force, spirits and rebirth to improve health and cure diseases by maintaining concentration of vata, pitta and kapha in the body. According to section (3) of Drugs and Cosmetics act1, 1940, Ayurvedic drugs include all medicines intended for internal or external use for or in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of [disease or disorder in human beings or animals and manufactured] exclusively in accordance with the formulae described in the authoritative books of Ayurveda, specified in the first schedule. These books are 57 in numbers. Important books are : Ayurveda Prakasha, Ayurveda Samgraha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Bharat Bhaishajay Ratnakara, Bhava Prakasha, Brihat Nighantu Ratnakara, Charaka Samhita, Chakra Datta, Nighantu Ratnakara, Rasa RajaSundara, Rasaratna Samuchaya, Rasa Tarangini, Sharangadhara Samhita, Siddha Yoga Samgraha, Sushruta Samhita, Basava Rajeeyam, Ayurvedic Formulary of India, Ayurveda Sara Sangraha, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. Whatever mentioned in these Ayurvedic books can be manufactured, marketed and used therapeutically without any scientific evaluation in India.
Main Principles Of Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, origin of diseases is due to the disturbance of equilibrium of vata (wind), pitta (bile), kapha (phlegm) in the body. Diseases being supposed to be caused by derangements of the humours. Removing or calming the excess humour, is the main objective of the treatment. Diseases are also divided in to asthenic and sthenic respectively caused by depletion or repletion of the humours and are treated with remedies having an opposite effect. The action of drugs may result either in an increase or excitation of the humours or in soothing them. In diseases these humours are either increased or decreased. In Ayurveda, plants, metals, climates, seasons, physical activities are divided in to two groups. They increase or decrease imaginary humours.
The remedies in Ayurveda are divided according to their action on humours, into those (1) which remove the collection of bad humours from the body by panchkarma namely emesis, catharsis, cranial catharsis, enema and blood letting (2) which calm down the excited action of humours without promoting their excretion or discharge. “Sitting on elephant and horse increases pitta and vata. Laborious work decreases kapha. Sleep reduces pitta. Vomiting reduces kapha. Cap and hat on the head reduce vata and Kapha. Dew increases vata and kapha. Darkness reduces pitta and kapha. Sleep reduces pitta. Oil massage reduces vata.
Emesis reduces kapha. Person is sensitive for kapha-dosh in beginning of night, for pitta-dosh in mid night and for vata-dosh in the end of night. Person is sensitive for cough-dosh during childhood, for pitta-dosh during young age and for vata-dosh in old age. Urine of goat reduces vata, pitta, kapha. Urine of cow decreases vata, pitta but increase kapha. Urine of elephant decreases vata but increases pitta and kapha. Urine of horse reduces kapha, pitta but increases vata. Strong sunrays reduce kapha and increase vata. Spring season intensifies kapha but garden, flowers and young females reduce kapha. Autumn season intensifies pitta. Early winter reduces pitta. Rains intensifies vata.
Various plants also reduce or increase these humours. BIJORA, HARAD, SONTH, PIPRAMUL reduce Kaph. CHIRAYATA, NEEM, PIPAR, KACHUR, SONTH, SATAVAR, GILDY KATERI reduce Kapha. PITTAPAPARA, NAGARMOTHA, GILOY, SONTH, CHIRAYATA mixture reduce Vata and Pitta. GILOY, ANDI, ATUSA reduce vata. CHOTI ILAYACHI, PHOOL PRIYANGOO, NAGAR-MOTHA, BER, PIPAL, CHANDAN, LONG, NAGKESAR MIXTURE reduce vata, pitta,"2 In this way plants are classified in to groups arbitrarily. This classification is not based on reasons, systems or logics.
This excess vata, pitta, kapha are expelled from the body by emesis, purgation, enema and impure excess blood by blood letting. Leech and venesection are used for blood letting. Blood letting is used in leprosy, swelling, tumors, eczema, eye diseases, syphilis, liver diseases, spleen diseases, weakness in organs, foul-smelling, sleeping disorders, fever, excess lacrimation, goitre, lymph node swelling around neck.
According to Ayurveda, excess use, misuse, & absence of use of sensory and motor activities in the body also contribute in origin of disease. Many plants are used in Ayurveda to induce emesis, purgation and enema to reduce excess accumulated humours in the body. Anger of God, spirits, sins of previous birth, and entry of spirit in the body also cause diseases and for their treatment, worships, prayers, rituals, amulets, charms are advised. Tantra and totaka are also advised in Ayurveda. "In treatment of epilepsy a string, used for hanging, is burnt and ash is taken with cold water"3 Suppression of the urges for urination, defecation, seminal discharge, flatus, vomiting, eructation, hunger, lacrimation, sleep and deep breathing after exercise are directly responsible for many diseases in Ayurveda. Atharvada is one of the basic source of origin of Ayurveda. The Atharveda deals mainly with witchcraft and magic spells by which enemies and demons could be destroyed. Application of medicines is also accompanied by charms, incantations and magic.
Representative Contents Of Ayurveda, Mentioned In Standard Books
Representative contents of Ayurveda are being given here to show what actually Ayurveda is ? These examples are not exceptions. Ayurveda is based completely on such type of directions. According to Ayurveda, the "source of knowledge of Ayurveda is Brahma. Daksa Prajapati the progenitor first obtained the science of life in its entirety as promulgated by Brahma, the great creator and from him, in turn, the Aswin twins the God Sakra (Indra) acquired it." It indicates knowledge of Ayurveda has been given by Brahma. This belief of devine origin hindered the progress of science because nobody could dare question against Ayurveda.
1. Ayurveda Directs An Illogical, Irrational Life Style.
Ayurveda says- "A woman during menstruation should avoid laughing, weeping, excess speaking, laborious work, use of oil, bath, daytime sleep, running etc. She should sit silently in a corner of room. She should not see her husband during menstruation. If menstruating woman will not take such precautions, her children will suffer with diseases".
2.Ayurveda also directs normal persons.
“Avoid to take sleep during day time. Do not see your image in water. Never enter in water nacked. Do not eat curd in the night. Never give freedom to women and never believe them. By doing excess sexual acts, cough, fever, respiratory problems, weakness, jaundice, tuberculosis etc originate.”
3. Ayurveda gives idiotic concepts about origin of metals.
Ayurveda tells, "After seeing beautiful ladies, Agnideva became excited, his semen fell on the earth and became gold. Copper was originated from semen of Kartikay. Silver was originated from the tears of left eye of Mahadeva. Lead was originated from semen of vasukinag. Continuous use of lead gives power like elephant, cures diseases, prolongs life and delays death. Mercury was originated from semen of shiva. Mercury destroys vata, pitta, kapha and cures all diseases".
4. Ayurvedic concept of fever is ridiculous.
According to this system, "fever was originated from breath of Mahadeva in anger when he was insulted by Prjapati. Anger increases pitta so those plants and activities should be advised which reduce pitta. In fever, worship of Mahadeva is advised. Fever produced by an evil spirit should be managed by torture and worship. Fever induced by stars should be
treated by charity, worship and chanting"5. "Wearing auspicious stones, herbs and certain poisons one secures immunity to attack of fever, according to Ayurveda. By worshiping Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Agni, Himalaya, Ganga, one conquers fever. By the repetition of prayers, performance of sacrifices and charities, by listening to the recitation of the vedas and by seeing holy people, one soon gets cured of fever"4
5. Causes and treatments of insanity described in Ayurveda is completely unscientific, illogical and represents lack of knowledge
"Possession by the gods, sages, Gandharvas, and the failure in the discharge of observances and vows in the life or previous one are the causes of insanity. The man who evinces superhuman power should be regarded as having the insanity, born of spirit possession. The gods etc. enter invisibly and suddenly in to the body of a man by their innate power. Burnt offering, wearing of magical herbs and talismans, customary rites and austerities, by propitating the gods, cows, brahmanas and the teachers as well as charms and medicines should be used. These patients can be managed by massage, vomiting, diarrhoea; application of heated iron, water, oil on the body surface; whip-lash in lonely house, bite by toothless snakes, terrorizing by lions and elephants and by insulting patients."5
6. Causes and treatment of tuberculosis and leprosy in Ayurveda also indicates inaccuracy of this system
"Suppression of wind expelled from anus, suppression of urination, fasting, jealous thoughts, excess food, absence of food, food taken at irregular time, lift heavy weight, speak loudly, swimming in large rivers, running with horse, rapid dance, excess attraction towards female are causes of tuberculosis. It is also mentioned in Ayurveda, if tuberculosis patients are suffering from diarrhoea or swelling in testes or swelling in abdomen, should not be treated. Tuberculosis patients should be managed by panchkaram"5 "Causes of leprosy are disrespect to brahmins and teachers, eating milk with fish, eating curd with milk, suppression of emesis and urination, exercise after heavy meals. Leprosy is cured by applying HARAD, KARANJ, SARSO, HALDI, BAVCHI, SENDHA NAMAK, and YAYVIANG after mixing and grinding in cow urine."5
7. Causes and treatment of diseases in children, as mentioned in Ayurveda, are 1. Children of those families suffer with diseases where fore-fathers, gods, brahmans, teachers, ascetics, and guests are not worshipped and welcome and in the families where food is taken in broken utensils of bronze. Mahadeva directed BALGRAH (A spirit) to create diseases in children of such families.
2. For treatment in diseases of children, use smokes of these substances after mixing & burning (SANP KE KANCHULI, LAHSUN, CHURANHAR, GHEE, NEEM KE PATTE, BILAV KI VISTHA, BAKARI KE ROAM, MEDASHINGI, VACH SAHAT], worship BALGRAH and use hymn and disenchant to cure diseases in children.
Management of delayed labour according to Ayurveda
(1) Give fumes of burning of slought of black snake around vagina. (2) Apply fumes of MANFAL around vagina. (3) Tie roots of KALIHARI around hand or feet. (4) Put dry head of dead cow in the house. (5) Tie roots of sugar-cane around waist of female. These all procedures are beneficial for quick delivery.
1. In Ayurveda, many plants are used without scientific basis in treatment of one disease, which is illogical and irrational. For example in one treatment “INDRAYAN, NAGARMOTHA, SONTH, DANTI, JANGI, HARAD, NISOTH, KACHUR, BAYVIANG, GOKHRU, CHITE KI CHHAL TEJBAL, JAMIKAND, VIGHARA, BHILAWE, MIRACH, PIPAL, AANWALA, DALCHINI are used in combination"
2. In the management of snake poisoning. Ayurveda says – "In the cases of snake-bite, patient should bite same snake for the treatment. Hymns and charms are more beneficial to patients of snake-bite than drug treatment. In cases of other poison, patients should be bitten by snake to antagonize effect of one poison by another poison. Blood letting is also a part of management of poisoning"
3. “In VAJIKARAN, a treatment to increase sexual power, (A) eat testes of goat. (B) eat eggs of crab, tortoise or crocodile and drink semen of goat, buffalo, or bull."
4. Highly poisonous plants are used in Ayurveda in toxic doses. “Ayurveda also advises to eat fruits of BHILAWAN, one or two daily, then increase gradually up to 70 fruits daily to cure leprosy and piles and to increase age up to 100 years. One thousand fruits of BHILAWAN can be taken in treatment"6 But what is the reality ? "Taken in larger doses, it produces blisters on the throat and severe gastrointestinal irritation followed in some cases by impending fear of death, dyspnoea, tachycardia, hypotension, cyanosis, dilated pupil, delirium, coma and death within 12 to 24 hours. More than 5 gram of BHILAWAN is
considered a toxic dose. It is considered that 144 grains of the juice of BHILAWAN to be fatal dose. There are many reported cases of death who had taken BHILAWAN fruits orally or apply locally"7 "Similary in Ayurveda, KUCHLA is advised in the treatment of many diseases"8 but it is fatal to humans.
5. One plant is used in many diseases in Ayurveda. One very typical aspect of Ayurveda is that each and every plant, has therapeutic utility. Some plants are being used in many diseases in Ayurveda irrespective of accuracy. “NEEM, Indian Lilac, (Azadi rachta Indica) is used in skin diseases, eczema, small pox, piles, ysentery, plague, fever, malaria, ysentery, leprosy, asthma, cholera, ysentery, muscular injury, abscess, worms infestation, ear infections, eye diseases, nasal bleeding, menstruation problems, paralysis, joint pain, scorpion bite, snake poison, opium poison, syphilis, night blindness, etc.”8
6. Ayurveda also "directs use of tantra-mantra"9. Following are typical examples. (1) In one treatment, tie around neck or waist, nose of Jackal, tongue of crow, umblicus of pig, bronze, mercury, snake poison, and bone of frog.
- Take stool of pigeon mix with water of boiled rice in the treatment of menorrhagia.
- In diseases of children, where fever, loss of appettite, loss of sleep, loss of desire of milk, complaint of weeping are symptoms. Following mantras are used :
- OHM NAMO NARAYANAY AMUKASYA VYADHI HUN HUN MUNCH MUNCH HWE FAT SWAHA.
- OHM NAMO NARAYANAY AMUKASHYA VYADHI CHURNAYA CHURNAYA HUN HUN SWAHA
Questions against efficacy of Ayurveda
There are many facts which raise questions against efficacy of Ayurveda -
1. Ayurveda has been originated from Brahm, which indicates philosophical origin. Ayurveda did not take origin by scientific study.
2. Use of hymns, incantations, astrology, religion, in treatment has been discarded today completely. These are primitive concepts, indicate lack of scientific knowledge.
3. The concept of vata, pitta, kapha is not proved by present knowledge of medical science. Principles of Ayurveda are irrational, illogical, unscientific and not based on clinical controlled study. Explanations of Ayurveda are not supported by knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, histology, clinical pharmacology and medicine. Natural urges should not be suppressed as rightly told by Ayurveda but these suppression are not responsible for origin of diseases as wrongly mentioned in Ayurveda. These wrong basic principles have been followed by Ayurveda in its whole literature.
4. Descriptions about (A) origin of metals (B) Causes and treatment of fever, tuberculosis, leprosy, (C) management of delayed labour and snake poisoning (D) Vajikaran, as mentioned in this article are very ridiculous. All Ayurvedic books contain such type of irrational and illogical basis. Such Ayurveda should be discarded for the welfare of human-beings and world.
5. Combination of herbs are used in Ayurveda without isolating and identifying active ingredients. Without knowing active ingredients, knowledge of absorbtion, metabolism, route of administration and knowledge of doses and relation between doses and toxicity is not possible. Dose related responses can not be measured. Therefore assessment of accurate therapeutic utility of Ayurvedic substance is not possible.
6. Different isomers of drug have different pharmacological actions and different therapeutic uses. But according to Ayurveda, single herb can be used in twenty or thirty diseases. It is against the rules of evolution. Evolution gives specificity to different organs of body having different affinity to different chemical molecules.
7. Regarding herbal remedies, "Following queries are raised"10 – (1) These preparations are difficult to standardize, nor can one be sure of their pharmacological activities (2) It is almost impossible to test for the presence of the ingredients mentioned in the herbal preparation (3) The heral combinations offered and dose recommended are not supported by any scientific data. (4) Tall claims are made about their efficacy without adequate scientific data. (5) Herbal remedies previously thought to be innocuous are known to be potentially toxic.
8. It is wrong to say that Ayurvedic substances have no adverse effects. “Canada, United Kingdom, and Singapur have banned the sale of Indian Ayurvedic medicines in their country claiming that they contain high levels of metals like lead and mercury and arsenic posing grave health risks”11,12,13. “Since 1978 more than 80 cases of lead poisoning associated with Ayurvedic medicine use have been reported world wide.”14 “Seventy Ayurvedic medicines manufactured in South Asia and sold in Boston, Massachusetts, stores in 2003, it is found that 20% contained lead, mercury and/or arsenic”15. “One-fifth of both US-manufactured and India- manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the internet contain detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.”16
9. “One well reputed pharmaceutical company in India had established research and development unit to get scientific support for herbal medicines. But after continuous work for eight years, research unit has been closed because beneficial results were not obtained.” It was a great disillusionment with the herbal medicines.
10. “In United States of America, herbal medicines have been regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1940. According to this act, herbal medicines are not evaluated by the FDA and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.”
11. In the absence of sufficient knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical pharmacology, drug action was based on mere speculation associated with the humoral or similar doctrines. In beginning, all over the world, this was the state of knowledge. In the 16th century, knowledge developed by Vesalius, Harvey, Morgagni and others led to the collapse of the humoral theory. "As the result of these additions to knowledge, based on observations and experiments, new concepts replaced the old speculative doctrines in Europe, while in India the old concepts persist even today as a "system" and instead of being replaced by the newer knowledge, are obstinately held firmly and now a vain attempt is being made to tag on to the old concept the new ones. Thus a medical "system" consisting of incompatibles and partly contradictory views is being advocated and maintained with the Government help for "patriotic" reasons, creating a sort of intellectual dishonesty among the students of the system and leading to confusion of the lay pubic and a great dissipation of the national resources"19. Ignorance and silence of medical personnel regarding this crucial concept indicate their cheating towards society and science. Promotion of this unscientific and useless Ayurveda indicates crime of pharmacologists and medicine specialists. It is very surprising that our academic bodies encourage and support the unscientific policy by establishment faculties for the study of such obsolete ideas.
12. “A ban on the cell of Ayurvedic and other herbal medicines will take effect across Europe from May 1st, 2011 following a European Union directive introduced as a response to growing concern over adverse effects of such alternative medicines. After the ban comes into effect only high quality, long established and scientifically safe herbal medicines will be sold over the counter.”
Study of efficacy is a part of pharmacovigilance
"Good pharmacovigilance practice refers to carefully planned and executed pharmacovigilance activities to minimize toxicity and maximize beneficial effects of drugs and biologicals".21 Unfortunately there is still a confusion on the work of pharmacovigilance. Pharmacologists think that pharmacovigilance is concerned only with the side effects and toxic effects. It is wrong. "Adverse drug reaction or an adverse reaction means a response to a medicine in the humans or animals, which is noxious and unintended, including lack of efficacy and which occurs at any dosage and can also result from an overdose, misuse or abuse of a medicine." Study of efficacy of a substance or a therapeutic system should be the first step of pharmacovigilance. Without sufficient scientific support of efficacy for a system of therapeutics, there should not be any discussion and study of toxic effects, otherwise it will be wastage of time, energy and money and it will create only confusion in medical science.
Duty of pharmacologists and medicine specialists
"Pharmacologists and other medicine specialists are talking of adverse reactions of Ayurvedic preparations in the pharmacovigilance". They never discuss efficacy of Ayurvedic substances. Without clear-cut evidence of efficacy, discussion of adverse effects of Ayurveda is giving wrong massage to Government and society that Ayurveda is efficacious therapeutic system. What we have discussed about contents of Ayurvedic books in this article, clearly indicates that Ayurveda is irrational, illogical, unscientific and useless. Therefore, it is our duty to explore and discuss efficacy of Ayurveda first. We have to protect the society from the dangers being caused by unscientific and useless therapeutic systems. Crores of rupees are being spent on Ayurvedic medical colleges, physicians of Ayurveda and manufacture of drugs. Due to use of ineffective drugs, tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria and other curable diseases are spreading dangerously. Ayurveda is also misguiding the public and society and increasing morbidity and mortality because it is interfering in application of modern medical science. Central Government has power to prohibit manufacture and distribution of drugs. According to chapter 4A, section 33 EED of Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940, if the central government is satisfied on the basis of any evidence or other material available before it that the use of any Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drug is likely to involve any risk to humans or animals or that any such drug does not have the therapeutic value claimed or purported to be claimed for it and that in the public interest, it is necessary or expedient so to do then that government may by notification in the official Gazette, prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of such drugs. Drugs and Cosmetics act 1940; also gives protection to those persons who provide evidence against useless therapeutics system to Government. According to section, 37 of this act, no suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for any thing, which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this act.