12/04/2008, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Ayuruvedic cures for AIDS patients

by Melani Manel Perera
The minister for traditional medicine illustrates for parliament the results of Ayurvedic cures. In addition to people infected with HIV, those sick with cancer, asthma, and kidney problems also see benefits from treatments applied according to a millennia-old tradition that is very widespread in the country.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka's indigenous medicine minister, Tissa Karaliyadda, has announced that three people sick with AIDS have had their immune systems restored through Ayurvedic treatment.

The news was released in parliament on December 3, on the occasion of the Committee Stage Debate during which the minister presented various areas of treatment in which Ayurvedic cures are bringing significant results (in the photo, the application of the Shirovasti, a treatment for facial paralysis and headache).

Ayurvedic treatments usually involve two phases: in the first, there is a purification of the body through a series of hygienic and restorative processes using the application of oils, herbs, and massages. The second phase acts on the illness or condition through natural medicines, food supplements, and rules of diet and behavior.

The case of the three people infected with HIV is part of a program launched by the Bandaranaike Memorial Research Institute, used on a total of five people.

Sri Lanka boasts a long tradition in the field of indigenous medicine. Since 1929, a public hospital has been operating on the island in which Ayurvedic treatments are applied, and there are many centers that use treatments inspired by Desheeya Chikitsa, a system of therapies combining the millennia-old traditions of India's Ayurveda and Sidddha with Unai, which comes from Arab culture.

In addition to the results obtained with patients affected by HIV, the minister told parliament that the traditional treatments also worked on people with kidney problems.

The minister put special emphasis on the increased severity of this problem in dry areas of the country where chemical fertilizers and insecticides have long been used. According to the minister's analysis,  high levels of fluoride in drinking water are aggravating the problem.

Tissa Karaliyadda told parliament that he has distributed 68,000 clay pots among the population in the district of Anuradhapura, for purifying the water. In the meantime, he has asked for a special water supply plant in Padaviya.

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