India and Thailand join hands to promote traditional medicine

India and Thailand have many things in common. Historically, Thailand has been part of the larger Bharat Varsha. The country still bears leftover marks of the Vedic culture in the fields of arts, language, festivals, and medicine. Thai traditional medicine is diverse and intricate and bears a high resemblance to the treatment philosophy and medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. 

With the resurgence of traditional medicine worldwide, it was natural for the two countries to work together on its growth and promotion. Last Tuesday, an MoU was signed between the National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur, and the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department of Thailand for academic collaboration in Ayurveda and Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM).

The memorandum of understanding was inked at the 10th India-Thailand Joint Commission meeting held in Delhi to promote research and exchange of information between the two countries on traditional medicine in a mutually beneficial manner. Research will be carried out on technological advancements, regulatory mechanisms, best practices, guidelines, and courses of study. 

Thai Traditional Medicine, like Ayurveda, is a method of healing and boosting vitality using herbs as food and medicine. As per TTM, the human body is made up of the four elements of earth, water, air, and fire, of which earth forms the base, and the variations of the other elements viz. water, air, and fire, result in different physical conditions, much like the Kapha, Vata and Pitta doshas in Ayurveda.

Another similarity is the importance given to spiritual healing during the treatment process. TTM acknowledges that a healthy spirit is crucial for a person to remain physically well. Presently there are around 17,000 TTM practitioners in Thailand. The country’s Ministry of Public Health has taken important steps toward the development, promotion, and protection of TTM.

India and Thailand are strict rivals when it comes to medical tourism, and yet they share an inextricable bond when it comes to traditional medicine. The agreement between the two countries will serve to strengthen and diversify the application of traditional medicine globally, and them supplementing the different aspects of modern treatment and health care. 

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