P.K. Warrier popularised Ayurveda using modern methods keeping tradition intact
Aryavaidyan P.K. Warrier, who passed away on Saturday weeks after celebrating his birth centenary, has been the most respected name in Ayurveda across the world.
He popularised Ayurveda by adopting modern scientific methods without compromising the traditional values. At a time when the practitioners of modern medicine used to frown on all other medical genres, Dr. Warrier strutted like a king who was benevolent enough to rub shoulders with them.
He mounted the higher echelons of Ayurveda by constantly accommodating modernity. The success story of Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, which he headed for 68 years, was that of Dr. Warrier’s.
Kind and compassionate, Dr. Warrier gave his healing touch to all sections of people, from princes to paupers and from country heads to servants. Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former Mauritius President Kailash Purryag and a Spanish prince were among those who enjoyed Dr. Warrier’s soothing touch.
In India, his patients’ list will stretch up to Presidents and Prime Ministers.
Dr. Warrier established Kottakkal Ayurveda as a brand and made it popular the world over by representing everything that is authentic and pristine in Ayurveda and strengthening it through persistent research and experiments.
He upgraded and expanded Ayurveda by applying modern practices in clinical, pharmaceutical, research and educational spheres. He started a revolution in Ayurvedic drug manufacturing by applying industrial technology. He replaced the traditional firewood by introducing boiler-generated steam for preparation of medicine.
Dr. Warrier’s imprint is visible in Vaidya Sala’s factories at Kottakkal, Kanjikode and Nanjangud.
Dr. Warrier was instrumental in modernising the medical formulations as well. Thanks to his innovative zest, bitter liquid kashayas are now available in tablet form, greasy oils in gel form, viscous lehyas in granule form, and hyper-fine bhasmas in capsule form.
“We could endear Ayurveda to the new generation through these innovations,” Dr. Warrier was once quoted.
Standing in the forefront for setting up of the Centre for Medicinal Plants and Research (CMPR) at Kottakkal, Dr. Warrier initiated many collaborative projects with major agencies of scientific learning. It was President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who inaugurated the CMPR in 2003.
Top scientists such as M.S. Swaminathan, M.S. Valiathan and R.A. Mashelkar were among those who associated with the CMPR.
The five-volume treatise ‘Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species’ co-authored by Dr. Warrier remains testimony to his dedication for research and documentation.
Always smiling and endearing to his patients, Dr. Warrier successfully mixed love and medicine in his treatment. His patients adored him. Dr. Warrier insisted on simplicity for his patients as well. He built a wide network of friendship that cut across geographic, communal, caste and other societal boundaries. He was revered virtually by the whole world as the doyen of Ayurveda.
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