Its one of those acronyms that seems just right, the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.... Putting all the alternative medical strategies together, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has created a Department of AYUSH located in Ghaziabad, and they are responsible for standards as well as the laws that govern the sale, advertisement and testing of the medications.

They also have a wide range of publications. Having just seen the review of The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India: Part II. (Formulations) in Current Science (Bangalore), we thought that this should be covered here, particularly since there seemed to be Part I as well, and probably similar Pharmacopoeias for the other alternate medicine traditions... This led us to the remarkable website of the Hungarian Ayurveda Medical Foundation where one can download the entire Part I of the Pharmacopoeia (over 3000 digitized pages!) along with a wealth of information relating to Ayurveda. Much of which, we are sad to note, cannot be as easily accessed from sites within India... Magyar Ayurveda Gyógyászati Alapítvány rocks!

Alternate medicinal formulations are dismissed in some circles as being unscientific (which they often are) while they are as enthusiastically embraced in others... The need for reproducible standards is widely recognised, in particular by the medical community. This book therefore is an important move by the Ministry of Health. As D B Anantha Narayana says in his review of the book, "given the challenges of analytical science and the need for such quality specifications, the publication of this API is a step in the right direction, and is commendable. Though this book is primarily of regulatory nature, it also provides a lot of information."

In the Current Science Review List, Rs 500.