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You endorse ‘germ-killing’ paint but attack Ayurveda as pseudoscience: Patanjali CEO slams IMA

Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna says IMA officials lack understanding of ayurvedic medicines and that Patanjali would be 'happy to extend relevant training facilities to them'.

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New Delhi: Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna has hit out at the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for endorsing “health-friendly” wall paints and LED bulbs while targeting Ayurveda for lacking scientific evidence.

“They have been continuously targeting us and called ayurvedic therapies pseudoscientific. However, I want to question their basis for endorsing wall paint that claims to kill 99 per cent bacteria, reduce viral transmission, and increase immunity. The paint also claimed to reduce the possibility of respiratory infections and skin sensitisation. Isn’t that pseudoscience?” Balkrishna told ThePrint.

He claimed that IMA officials lack understanding of ayurvedic medicines and research, and said Patanjali would be “happy to extend relevant training facilities to them”.

IMA, a lobby of 3.5 lakh doctors practicing modern medicine, had in February demanded an explanation by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for promoting Coronil, a product initially endorsed by Patanjali as a cure for Covid-19.

Addressing Patanjali’s attack on brand endorsements by IMA, the lobby’s national president Dr J.A. Jayalal told ThePrint, “IMA is not endorsing any product, rather we only promote new technologies or new inventions in science.”

Jayalal also said that IMA is a 92-year-old organisation and Balkrishna isn’t someone to whom the medical body would want to take certification from.

Also read: ‘Voice of doctors’ or ‘den of politics’? Why some doctors swear by IMA, others don’t care

IMA-Patanjali tussle

The tussle between Patanjali and the IMA had intensified last month when Balkrishna threw an open challenge to the medical body for an open discussion on the “science behind Coronil”. In the same month, Coronil tablets were upgraded as “supportive” treatment for Covid-19 by the Narendra Modi government.

IMA had accepted the challenge.

“We have studies published in several journals supporting Coronil. Can they show us some science behind their brand endorsements?” Balkrishna asked.

Not only wall paint, he also called out IMA’s certification of anti-microbial LED bulbs which claim to kill 85 per cent germs.

“IMA, as claimed by them, is an institution that follows science. A scientific institution like IMA must have adopted some international standards and criteria for certifying and authenticating such products,” the Patanjali CEO added.

He went on to urge that the doctors’ lobby “must reveal those scientific parameters, name of members of the committee that take such decisions and amount of money they charge for such endorsements”.

For each and every brand promotion, the IMA should reveal scientific basis or studies published in journals or research papers, he said. “We would request IMA to put forward all those documents in public.”

He claimed that the lobby, for some deals, has charged as high as Rs 30 to Rs 50 lakh as endorsement fee. “In the past, the association had received flak for endorsing fruit juices, soaps, oats, and water purifiers and charging fees in crores. The matter was reviewed by the Medical Council of India,” he said, while quoting news reports.

‘IMA members are in thousands, not lakhs’

Balkrishna also targeted the number of members in IMA, that is pegged to be around 3.5 lakh.

“The organisation claims to have 3.5 lakh members. But their following on social media channels are in thousands…Modern medicine doctors, according to IMA, are more sophisticated and educated. Aren’t they on social media channels or they don’t follow them there? Their members, I suspect, are in thousands and not in lakhs,” he said.

“The doctors who really want to serve are busy serving patients. They don’t have time to do politics, collaborate against therapy, and target others.”

Nothing against Coronil or Ayurveda, we stick to science: IMA

According to Dr Jayalal, the IMA has nothing against Patanjali’s Coronil and Ayurveda.

“In fact, IMA supports Ayurveda. However, we reacted when Coronil was promoted as a cure for Covid-19. In this pandemic, one should refrain from saying that the drug is a Covid-19 ‘cure’ when it is only tested on 49 people. We raised our voice because the claim lacked scientific basis,” he said.

Addressing Patanjali’s attack on brand endorsements by IMA, he also said, “These are not brand endorsements, only associations. The claims about promotion fees are unfounded as we are open and anyone can scrutinise our funding. We only get funding from membership fees and some scientific academic programmes.”

On Balkrishna’s allegation about the number of IMA members, Jayalal said, “IMA has around 3.46 lakh members. It’s a 92-year-old organisation and Acharya is not someone to whom we would want to prove our identity. Every leader of IMA works on a purely voluntary basis, sparing our time and energy for the welfare of the community and fraternity.”

(Edited by Myithili Hazarika)

Also read: China, Russia & North Korea hackers target AIIMS, SII, Patanjali for Covid data — report


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  1. It is interesting that with Covid cases spiralling out of control the, “alternative medicine ” wallahs have suddenly gone underground. They seem to have found “Western” medicine and vaccinations quite acceptable.

  2. People forget that the creation of the first anti-malarial drug quinine was based on Peruvian traditional medicine. Indeed a multitude of allopathic drugs produced draw from traditional medicine, whether Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine or others. If you go to the NIH in the United States, the top allopathic medical institute globally, you will find tests being compounded on so many herbs drawn from Ayurveda, including Aswagandha and others and TCM. Both allopathy and Ayurveda have their place, and share the principle of alleviating disease. Likewise both are scarred by the motive of super profits with rigorous research (whether allopathic science or Ayurvedic Science). It is repugnant indeed if the IMA is sold out to such interests.

  3. I sincerely request IMA team and Dr. Jayalal to clarify on their statement “We do not do brand endorsements ….”. If this is the case, why to they allow brands to use IMA certified or approved etc., IMA is quick to retort on anything related to Ayurveda or any natural method and have selective amnesia about these endorsements. Why not clarify that they do not endorse brands. I bought a Paint last year which claimed they are approved by IMA.

    Another sincere request is to read comments for this article. Atleast IMA would know the mood of the people. Dont tell us you are busy

    • Mr Babu: You suggestion to IMA:

      “.. read comments for this article. Atleast IMA would know the mood of the people ..”

      Why should the mood of the people be a factor in a scientific decision Mr Babu ? Science is not advanced by a show of hands but by rigorous research, reproducible results, publication and peer review of results and explanations of cause and effect – to name a few methods. But then, science in India is gradually being replaced by Hindutva inspired pseudoscience. Remember the Indian Science Congress and its NaMo Gravitational waves, ancient Indian spacecraft that were capable of interplanetary travel, Kauravas being the product of Vedic stem cell research, cow excreting gold and so on ? See Ref:

      Much of what AYUSH deals with is unproven nonsense and is for the poor. Even the very BJP and Hindutva ideologues who publicly praise AYUSH and ancient India’s prowess in medicine nonetheless seek the more scientifically proven and reliable treatments that Western medicine provides. They dump AYUSH.

      As French writer and novelist Anatole France (1844-1924) said:

      If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

  4. Doctors’ profession as well as their associations are mostly so corrupted by commercial considerations that common people today have more faith in Ayurvedic & other natural food based medicines than these western medicines touted loud for their ‘scientific research’. Each passing day, we lose faith in their system seeing their corrupt business oriented approaches to health care – be it foolishly determining & declaring ‘mean/median’ values as standard for blood pressure or suddenly tweaking blood sugar levels to 140mg/dcl from 100 just to spread their net to a larger section of the population & enhance business for medicines & practitioners. Their views on blood cholesterol were so absurd for over decades until they themselves realized the body itself produces 3000mg /day & addition by way of external foods is too meager to cause any significant change. Now, they have also come out with a key finding that cholesterol has an important role in facilitating absorption of vital nutrients into body & it would be detrimental to add a chemical in the body to curb its generation. Western medicine system has only been trying to use science as a shield to run their racket for international pharma businesses. Their stooges in India may follow them religiously but can’t fool awakened people any longer.

    • KS: Ayurvedic “medicines” of the kind touted by billionaire Baba Ramdev are also made for profit and commercial considerations are never far away. Indeed, the nexus between this quack Ramdev and the BJP shows that Ramdev as important a crony capitalist as an Ambani or Adani. Ramdev is as profit driven as any other regular pharmaceutical company.

      Ramdev’s products are placebos at best and poisons at worst. In any other country, Ramdev would have gone to prison for misleading the public by marketing untested chemicals as drugs. Indeed, none of Ramdev’s products undergo Phase 3 clinical trials or other rigorous experimental procedures such as peer reviews, publications in reputed Pharmaceutical journals etc.. And those who buy his rubbish are generally the poor who cannot afford costlier Western medicines. Sadly, the BJP government is held hostage by these charlatans and will not act in the interests of public health.

      So go take your sip of Baba Ramdev’s gomutra and get high. And perhaps also get yourself certified by taking the Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Exam. People like you and crooks like Ramdev are the missing links that will take India to the 5 Trillion dollar economy.

  5. This Government has provided fantastic support to Ayurveda by establishing AYUSH etc. The Community of Ayurveda Practitioners, Doctors and Producers to establish a regime of testing and provenance of Ayurvedic remedies and help the Indian multitude, who are ill served/ duped by Drugs/Pharma Industrial complex.

  6. IMA itself is a pseudo company for pharma giants and in truely they have no knowledge of human body which is aligned with nature. 92 year old co dictating ways to thousands of year old knowledge system is appalling.

  7. I was extremely short of breath and constantly tired due to my Emphysema, I was introduced to VineHealth Center and their COPD Herbal Protocol. I started on the COPD Treatment last year, my symptoms gradually diminished including my shortness of breath.. Reach the m at vinehealth center. c om. I am Emphysema free!

      • No such product.but, the curtent ima president jayalal publicly announced his intention to promote evangelical christianity in the covid era.

        So, it is the ima that is high.

  8. IMA only promotes new science and new technology, not old well founded ancient science that is the basis of the very foundation of modern science itself. Its a very wrong attitude. IMA was founded 92years ago while we were still under british rule. This obviously has its roots there with the british mindset, that says everything western is right. The fact is the modern british associations were formed with ancient Indian medical sciences as the foundation, which obviosuly they will never reveal, but that is the fact.
    Even now, lot of studies show the westerners are doing in medical sciences are based off ancient medicines. There are plenty, but a couple of examples would be use of turmeric, you are now getting turmeric pills in the west, ghee is another example, now it is promoted to consume ghee in the west. One more examlle is the pink salt, which used to be used in every household in the past, british changed our habits to use white sea salt, now they themselves are saying pink salt is the best.
    Instead of outright opposing it, IMA should be work with ayurvedic sciences, not against it.

    • Please check which British (or any other so called Western body of repute) says that Pink salt is the best. It is a marketing gimmick by producers of pink salt (mainly produced in Pakistan). The composition of this salt is minutely different from sea salt and does not confer any health benefits.

  9. Whether a 92-year old organization or a 9200-old year organization, an organization of 3.5 wealthy crooks and white-coat cold-blooded murders doesn’t add any credence to the existence of IMA.

    • Mr Navin Sinha: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali, a multi-billion dollar, tax dodging outfit selling gomutra, cowdung and questionable chemical compounds to gullible Indians like yourself is not 9200 years old – it is barely 15 years old. Patanjali was started in 2006. Indeed, the reputable Ayurvedic houses of Kerala distance themselves from this charlatan, crony capitalist and BJP financier.

      So please answer when your intoxication from gomutra champagne has worn off . And when you have come to your senses.

    • Mr Gopinathan Ramachandran Pillai: Should the government also scrap the Indian Armed Forces and replace them by the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal etc.?

  10. People confuse IMA for MCI. IMA (Indian Medical Association) is a private lobby group for allopathic medicine. MCI (Medical Council of India) is a medical regulatory body of GOI. So chill guys. IMA is just a group sponsored by big fat pharmaceutical companies for fun and frolic in the name of sponsored programs its a known fact.

  11. When Amit Shah had Covid, he ran to an allopathy hospital only.

    Baba Ramdev is part of the crony capitalism mafia that is a beneficiary and funder of the government.

    Promoting gomtra and gobar, and making a laughing stock of India, while making money out of the gullible and ignorant Hindu population, is what they are up to.

  12. This quack who is making millions of dollars selling cures for disease based on plant use. He should be in jail. No one does not believe that some plants help the human body but know none of them cure a disease. The science this quack provides is not really science but belief. Ayurvedic is more of a religion than science!

  13. The IMA requires Ayurveda to justify its medicine according to allopathic principles. Therein lies the problem. As a thought experiment consider reversing this. For example, imagine in approving a new antibiotic or any other allopathic medicine, you now need to explain in terms of Ayurvedic principles and method. So far example does the new allopathic antibiotic increase Pitta Dosha or lower Vata Dosha etc. Impossible right. In this regard, therefore, every medicine, whether produced by allopathy or Ayurveda must be justified on the basis of rigour of their OWN PRINCIPLES, and not in terms of the requirements of another.

  14. It’s the lobby of allopathic medicine manufacturers who want to downgrade oue ancient medicinal system which is frequently to environment and its users. It is a known fact that the twxt written thousands of years back are not changed or discarded for want of clarity.

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