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Reporters Without Orders Ep 171: Ramdev and his ayurveda claims

A reporters’ podcast about what made news and what shouldn’t have.

WrittenBy:NL Team

In this episode, host Nidhi Suresh is joined by Sidharth Singh of Newslaundry.

On May 31, Ramdev claimed he had scientific evidence to prove the legitimacy of ayurveda in “curing” hypertension, cancer, arthritis, thyroid issues, liver sclerosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver. He gave a slew of interviews to TV news channels to further attack modern medicine over alleged abuses of the pharmaceutical industry. He also made unproven claims about ayurvedic solutions to longstanding medical conundrums.

In Sidharth’s report, he answers the question: what expertise does Ramdev actually possess? He spoke to many ayurvedic practitioners for the report and asked if Ramdev represented them or if he represented ayurveda. “Many said he doesn’t and made a distinction that he’s a yoga guru so why should he be speaking about ayurveda and that he’s not even qualified to be talking about yoga,” he recalled.

Ramdev has often claimed to possess cures for all sorts of diseases. Patanjali’s Divya Mukta Vati Extra Power, for instance, claims to cure hypertension and high blood pressure. Patanjali’s website even says the efficacy of the concoction has been proved by “successfully experimenting with millions of patients”.

Nidhi asks what exactly Sidharth found problematic with such claims? Sidharth says this claim of “successfully experimenting with millions of patients” isn't correct. He found that the sample size wasn’t a million, but barely 50 patients.

“The idea of ayurveda has power in India, I don’t think it's right to say that it is neglected," Sidharth argues. "Going ahead, we have to think about where exactly the general bar is now when it comes to scientific literacy. We have to know what kind of space we can give to traditional medicine?”

Tune in.



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Produced by Jude Weston, edited by Umrav Singh.

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