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Ban on cutting of certain medicinal plants adversely impacts production of popular Ayurveda & Siddha drugs by Impcops

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A ban order of the government for not allowing to cut down certain medicinal plants and trees has ceased the production of some very popular Ayurveda and Siddha drugs at the manufacturing unit of the Indian Medical Practitioners Co-operative Pharmacy and Stores Ltd (Impcops) in Chennai.
The multi-state co-operative society of registered Siddha, Ayurveda and Unani practitioners operating near Adayar is currently facing a tough time because of the ban order and it is unable to manufacture and market classical as well as proprietary drugs developed by it, according to Dr. Ponsingh, secretary of the Society.
The major Ayurveda drugs which were previously available in the market as Impcops brands were Ashokarishtam, Ashoka Gritham and Ashoka Vati, a special product of Impcops. According to Dr. Ponsingh, the non-availability created by the ban order has hit the industry very much and there is no alternative solution for it. Ashoka bark is used for preparing ashokarishtam.
Speaking to Pharmabiz, he said, Ashokarishtam, an ayurvedic drug, is useful in gynecological diseases including heavy uterine bleeding, heavy menstrual periods, imbalanced female hormones, menopausal osteoporosis, ovarian cyst and uterine polyps. The drug is effective in all types of diseases related to female reproductive system. He said the drug manufactured by Impcops had very good demand all over Tamil Nadu. Presently, the company has stopped its production due to lack of the ingredient.

Elaborating on the situation currently faced by the Society, he said the new board of directors has written to the government for special permission to cut down ashoka tree for its bark for medicinal purpose. Moreover, the Society also planted some ashoka trees in its medicinal plantations, but that also requires government permission for material collection. In addition to ashokarishtam, Impcops was preparing Ashoka Ghritam from the same ingredient collected from ashoka tree. The drug is in herbal ghee form and is used for preparatory procedure for ‘panchakarma’ and also as medicine, used mainly in gynecology related diseases.

A tablet form of ashokarishtam, Ashoka Vati, was a special formulation of Impcops, it is also not in the shelf now.

Similarly Impcops was preparing a Siddha drug for piles, ‘Amayodu Bhasmam’, from tortoiseshell. ‘Sirungi bhasma’ or ‘Maankombu parpam’ was made from deer horns, production of which was also halted due to shortage of these ingredients. Sirungi bhasma is used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Even though the Society is unable to manufacture 15 kinds of classical Ayurveda and Siddha medicines, it will launch another 15 kinds of proprietary drugs in the market in next three months. Applications have been submitted for licences with the office of the SLA, he added.

Responding to the launching of new products, Dr. T. Thirunarayanan, secretary of Centre for Traditional Medicines & Research in Chennai, said the management of Impcops is inefficient in marketing their products and there is no need of this much number of drugs for a medical store or hospital. Currently, Impcops has 750 types of medicines.


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