Traditional herbal medicine systems
Native Americans medicinally used about 2,500 of the approximately 20,000 plant species that are native to North America. With great accuracy, the plants they chose to use for medicine were in those families of plants that modern phytochemical studies show contain the most bioactive compounds. Some researchers trained in both western and traditional Chinese medicine have attempted to deconstruct ancient medical texts in the light of modern science. One idea is that the yin-yang balance, at least with regard to herbs, corresponds to the pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant balance. This interpretation is supported by several investigations of the ORAC ratings of various yin and yang herbs. In India, Ayurvedic medicine has quite complex formulas with 30 or more ingredients, including a sizable number of ingredients that have undergone "alchemical processing", chosen to balance "Vata", "Pitta" or "Kapha. ". In Ladakh, Lahul-Spiti and Tibet, the Tibetan Medical System is prevalent, which is also called as 'Amichi Medical System'. Over 337 species of medicinal plants has been documented by C.P. Kala those are used by Amchis - the practitioners of this medical system. In Tamil Nadu, Tamils have their own medicinal system now popularly called the Siddha medicinal system. The Siddha system is entirely in the Tamil language. It contains roughly 300,000 verses covering diverse aspects of medicine such as anatomy, sex ("kokokam" is the sexual treatise of par excellence), herbal, mineral and metallic compositions to cure many diseases that are relevant even to-day. Ayurved
is in Sanskrit, but Sanskrit was not generally used as a mother tongue and hence its medines are mostly taken from Siddha and other local traditions. Ayurveda (Sanskrit: ; Ayurveda, "the knowledge for long life in Vedas"; /?a?.?r?ve?d?/) or ayurvedic medicine is a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India, in Rigved, the oldest known text in written form, where Chyavana rishi, son of Bhrigu rishi is mentioned for whome the herbal preparation Chyawanprash was first prepared, 10,000 years ago in Ashram of Chyavana rishi on Dhosi Hill in the Vedic state of Brahmavarta in India. The Susruta Sa?hita and the Charaka Sa?hita, encyclopedias of medicine compiled from various sources from the mid-first millennium BCE to about 500 CE, are among the foundational and formally compiled works of Ayurveda. Over the following centuries, ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments. Current practices derived (or reportedly derived) from Ayurvedic medicine are regarded as part of complementary and alternative medicine. Safety concerns have been raised about Ayurveda, with two U.S. studies finding about 20 percent of Ayurvedic Indian-manufactured patent medicines contained toxic levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Other concerns include the use of herbs containing toxic compounds and the lack of quality control in Ayurvedic facilities.