Dr. Kiran Lal is a reputed Ayurveda expert of international acclaim. He presently works as an Ayurveda consultant at Kaldenbroeck Home of Health and Happiness. He specializes in designing Ayurveda training programs and has worked in several countries. Dr. Kran Lal is also the international coordinator for world Ayurveda Congress (WAC). He is devoted to working for the cause and growth of Ayurveda in India and Abroad. He knows five languages and has several publications to his credit. He is also a member of the association of ayurvedic professionals of north america (AAPNA). Read Dr. Lal’s interview with Nirogstreet.
Please tell us about your educational background and professional qualifications.
I have done my B.A.M.S. from Government Ayurvedic College, Trivandrum. It comes under the University of Kerala. I studied there from 1993 to 1999.
Why did you choose Ayurvedic practices?
After passing 10+2, medical aspirants usually vie for studying western medicine. It was the case for me too. But i didn’t get the rank i was aiming for and hence i revisited my ambitions to save the months that would be spent preparing for competitions and decided to choose Ayurveda. Kerala has its entrance exam for admissions in medical courses. When i began studying B.A.M.S. It turned out to be too interesting. The college atmosphere and faculties were highly inspiring. This made me almost fall in love with Ayurveda.
What is your experience when it comes to treating patients? Do they trust the treatment?
In Kerala, there is one Ayurveda unit in each Panchayat. So, in total there are about 1,000 Ayurveda units. So, people have exposure and awareness of Ayurveda treatment and hence they primarily come to it for cure. They trust the treatment. Now, 10% these patients are those who have experienced treatments from incompetent doctors. so those patients are a bit sceptic.
secondly, 20% of the patients that come to Ayurveda are indirect ones. They have first visited other pathies. All these patients are old and generally in the age group of 45-60.
Kerala has a tradition and culture of Ayurveda for a long time. How did this state manage to have such a rich inheritance of Ayurveda?
See, health parameters in Kerala are high. The health standards set by the government and the institutions are high too. So, the public health penetration has been really good in this state. biodiversity is also another factor that has helped the growth of Ayurveda in Kerala. Naturally, availability of so many herbs meant that people used them as home remedies and it has remained a kind of tradition counting back to 50 and 100 years. These aspects make Ayurveda a more familiar and popular medicine system in Kerala.
Any challenge that you face as a practitioner?
There are challenges indeed. Lack of updation and technology-based diagnostic tools are two major challenges. I also feel that commercial exploitation of nature by companies for herbal extracts is also a challenge for Ayurveda. Then there are ethical issues related to the products and how they are manufactured.
What do you think of ayurveda’s future and its role in integrated medicine?
Integration is important. Inter-disciplinary monitoring, development of infrastructure, complementary use of science, etc. Are some of the steps that should be taken. Medanta is a perfect example of such synergy in bridging the gap by bringing western medicine and Ayurveda together.
Do you think Nirogstreet is making a difference by connecting Ayurveda community and bringing value through technology platforms?
I am yet to discover Nirogstreet in details due to my busy schedule. But i am sure tech advancement is necessary and if Nirogstreet can play the role of the front end for Ayurveda doctors, it is definitely much required and most welcome.
Tell us about the upcoming International Ayush Conclave 2018 in Kerala, Dr. Lal.
The conclave will be held from may 17 to 21 (2018) at marine drive ground in Kochi. It is a four-day event organized by the kerala government. It will showcase the various resolutions, scientific developments, and growth achieved in Ayurveda in Kerala. This is a first-ever event of its kind in the state. International Ayush conclave 2018 will highlight the strength of Kerala Ayurveda. The event is also aimed at creating an awareness toward making Kerala the prime center for health and wellness tourism. National Health Mission (NAM) Kerala will run the conclave as official government representative.
What are your hobbies in your free time?
I like to travel. Networking with other people, sharing knowledge, tapping traditional wisdom, and working for ngos are some of my keen interests.
What message would you like to convey to the people on Wellbeing?
I’d say that this country has witnessed a lot of knowledge. Ayurveda is an ancient health science full of medical and wellness wisdom. Nonetheless, in modern times, we are a small plant when it comes to Ayurveda. We have to become a huge tree. People should adopt Ayurveda everywhere and gain health and wellbeing like never before.