AYUSH Ministry warns Hepatologist of defamatory proceedings for 'denigrating' Ayurveda
New Delhi: A Kochi-based hepatologist (liver specialist) has recently been issued a notice by the AYUSH Ministry, warning the doctor of defamatory proceedings for allegedly "denigrating" Ayurveda in a YouTube video.
In an interview that went viral with a you-tube channel based in Kerala called 'Lucy', the doctor had talked about the research-based evidence of the harmful effects of some herbs and other natural medicines on the liver.
The doctor stated that the recently issued letter was in response to the video of his interview uploaded on 'Lucy'.
The doctor, who is a vocal critic of ayurvedic medicines, recently tweeted a letter sent by the Ministry of AYUSH ( Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) to apex medical bodies in the country, alleging that an interview given by the doctor is derogatory and misleading.
In his tweet where he posted the letter from the Ministry of AYUSH, he wrote, "Ministry of AYUSH, the watchdog of alternative systems of medicine in India WARNS me to SHUT UP and NOT talk about herbal drug toxicities and quack medical practices, "
The Ministry, in the letter, accuses the doctor of defaming the Ayurvedic System of Medicines with his 'unscientific' and 'hepatotoxic' (meaning harmful to liver) interviews and further reported that " the act of giving derogatory interview or publishing it is derogatory, malafide and uncalled for. dissemination of such misleading information in such a manner (is) tantamount to deliberately tarnishing the image of AYUSH systems and infringe the faith of people in this traditional use of medicine. "
The letter also threatened the doctor with defamatory proceedings if the interview was not removed and if it is broadcasted elsewhere.
After the video was uploaded on 21st June, 2021, the Ayurveda Medical Association of India had also sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, complaining against the Kochi based doctor alleging that he had tried to defame Ayurveda by calling it unscientific.
The general secretary of AMAI, Sadath Dinakar, had stated, "The video said that 34 of the 1,440 patients who had consulted the doctor are having liver-related diseases due to the consumption of Ayurvedic drugs. He even defamed companies with Good Manufacturing Practices certificate in the Ayurveda field by claiming that they promote quackery. "
At the time this complaint was sent by the AMAI, the doctor had told The Hindu, "I am yet to get any notice. I had not mentioned the name of the AYUSH Department in the video at all. I just pointed out that all the herbal medicines are not safe, a fact proved by various scientific studies."
The recent letter issued by the Ministry of AYUSH, which was tweeted by the doctor, was not addressed directly to him but to the National Medical Commission (NMC), and was further copied to Travancore Cochin Medical Councils, Director General Health Services, Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and Principal Secretary, Department of AYUSH, Government of Kerala.
Recently talking to The Print, the doctor told that he became aware of the letter only seven days after it was issued by the ministry.