The Ayurvedic Department is to launch a project to legally grow Kansa on a large scale and import Opium from India to be used in producing medicinal drugs, Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today.
He said he hoped the Maha Sangha would not oppose this plan because Kansa and Opium would be used only for the production of medicinal drugs under strict supervision.
The minister said this when participating at a BMICH ceremony to launch the latest Ayurvedic products by the well-known company 'Prana Jeewa', which manufactures and exports Ayurvedic drugs. He said the new trend among people worldwide was to turn to herbal medicine which had little or no side effects.
“In 2016, the global indigenous drugs market was worth US$54 billion but it will triple in the next three years. Though Western medicine has dominated many parts of the world, the herbal or indigenous medicine play a big role in treating disease in highly advanced countries like India, China and Korea,” the minister said.
He said in Kerala some 80% of the people turn to indigenous or Ayurvedic medicine while during the Anuradhapura era, the population population was healthy and diagnosis and treatment were solely based on traditional medicinal system.
The minister said the latest method of treatment in the world is gene therapy with the treatment being done targeting the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of a patient and the US has achieved much progress in this field with some 95% of western medicinal drugs being manufactured using herbal products.
He commended the initiative taken by Prana Jeewa Products Chairman Dr. Sujeewa Withange for taking the Sri Lanka indigenous products to the global market.
The minister said patents for a large number of our herbal plants have been obtained by foreign companies without any benefit to Sri Lanka and therefore, a mechanism must be put in place to protect our traditional medicinal products and herbal plants.
He said an international Ayurvedic Conerence torganized by the Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry will be held in Sri Lanka in November and it would address many pressing issues and problems facing the Ayurvedic medical system of the country.
Ven Ittapane Dhammalankara Nayaka Thera and Dr. Danister De Silva also spoke. (Sandun A Jayasekera)