Kochi: Ayurveda, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, is emerging as an alternative medical treatment and will co-exist with modern medicine, Mauritius President Rajkeswar Purryag said here Thursday.
"There is no doubt that Ayurveda, which originated in India over 5000 years ago, is emerging as an alternative medical treatment and will exist side by side with modern medicine", said the President, who was the chief guest at the Global Ayurveda Festival which began here today.
Describing Kerala as the "cradle" of Ayurveda, he said "if Kerala has achieved developmental health indices that are by far comparable to the advanced economies of the world, it is because Ayurveda has played a significant part in delivering such health benefits".
"Ayurveda is deeply rooted in the social and cultural milieu of the people of Kerala. There are reasons to believe that some indigenous system of healing prevailed in Kerala even before the advent of Ayurvedic systems," he said.
Ayurveda in India is almost worth Rs 3,500 crore with over 8,500 licenced pharmacies and approximately 7,000 manufacturers. The total number of registered Ayurveda practitioners comes to around 4,28,000. This shows the importance of Ayurveda and its predominance in the overall health care system in India, he said.
The western countries have started embracing the virtues of Ayurveda, which is already being taught and practiced in many countries across the globe, he said.
Western integrated courses of medicine with elements of Ayurveda have also started.
In India, over 90 per cent of the population use some form of Ayurvedic medicine, while in Mauritius it has been practiced and used as far back as the latter half of the 19th century with the arrival of migrants from India. Because of the socio-economic conditions in the country, people had no access to modern medicine and had to rely essentially on homemade herbal traditional medicine, he said.
Dr B K Benware, Education Minister of Mauritius, was also present there.