The following article covers a telephonic interview that we had on the 16th of July, 2020, with one of the most renowned ayurvedic doctors, Dr. Piyush Juneja, about how he is incorporating CBD (cannabidiol) into his ayurvedic practice and about the massive success of this plant-based medicine in the treatment of various debilitating illnesses.
Interviewer – “When did the use of CBD begin in India and can you brief us about its legality?”
Dr. Juneja – “Cannabis, also known as Vijaya in Ayurveda, has been used in ayurvedic formulations since time immemorial. In India it has been used synergistically in formulations with other medicinal herbs since many years. On the other hand, CBD, which is one out of a hundred and thirteen cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant and has massive therapeutic properties, has been a much recent discovery. The Government of India legalized the stand-alone practice of CBD only last year.”
“Since then, the therapeutic use of CBD as a medicine is allowed, but we are not supposed to encourage or promote the use of CBD an addiction or as a recreational drug as sometimes there can be a fine line between the two. Therefore, we carefully measure the risk of abuse and make sure it is only being used on a medical level. Also, we should not encourage anyone who is taking it without a medical prescription because technically it is illegal without a doctor’s prescription.”
Interviewer – “So, now that we know that CBD is legal in India, what are the kind of health-related issues for which you are prescribing CBD?
Dr. Juneja – “The use of CBD has shown good results in the treatment of migraines, issues related to the nervous system, insomnia and pain during cancer. We have also seen very good results when it comes to healing. It acts as a great catalyst in healing when it is prescribed in synergy with other healing medicines. One of the USP’s of CBD is that it comes to great use especially in the case of terminally ill patients. When terminally ill patients try and exhaust all other kinds of treatments and are still experiencing pain and suffering, CBD can be a game changer in calming the mind and soothing the pain.”
“If somebody has other addictions like smoking tobacco or marijuana, we start with a v low dose and accordingly phase out the addiction first. We start with a low dose especially in the case of first-time users.”
Interviewer – “Doctor, please tell us more about your record of using CBD in your Ayurveda practice and since when have you been using it? Also, how many patients have you prescribed it to so far?”
Dr. Juneja – “I am in the Ayurvedic practice since the last fifteen years, and I have used Vijaya (Cannabis) as an ingredient in many ayurvedic formulations. When it comes to stand-alone CBD, I have used it in my international practice since the last four to five years and have used it in India since only last year when it was legalized. Since the time when it got legalized in India, lots of international patients have come to India for its treatment because it is either illegal in their respective countries or the cost of treatment and living in India is much cheaper. I have prescribed CBD to more than thousand patients as part of their ayurvedic treatment and we have seen marvellous outcomes. I also feel the need to stress on the fact that it can have adverse side effects if not taken under the guidance of a medical practitioner.”
Interviewer – “How do you integrate CBD into your ayurvedic practice exactly, and what are the kind of medicines that you prescribe along with it?”
Dr. Juneja – “When we prescribe CBD to our patients, we provide other medicinal herbs along with it so that they work synergistically together and magnify the overall effectiveness of the treatment. If you ask about the kind of herbs that we prescribe, that depends on patient to patient as the herbs and medicines are very personalized in ayurvedic practices. Fundamentally, Ayurveda strives to create a balance of the body mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution. Therefore, we study the three doshas of a person, which correspond to the five elements of nature, and try and find the imbalance in them. Once we find this imbalance, we recommend the correct ayurvedic formulation which consists of a variety of herb medicines.”
“For example, in pain management I give local application oils such as Mahanarayan oil or sometimes a formulation based on an ayurvedic herb known as Guggulu, which has various health benefits. Ashwagandha works extremely well for insomnia and stress or anxiety.”
Interviewer – “What are the kind of challenges that we face in India, when it comes to the use of CBD?”
Dr. Juneja – “In India we face quite a few challenges when it comes to the use of CBD. First and foremost, its availability is quite low in India, but is picking up slowly and steadily. People also say that the cost of the CBD itself is quite high, but when we compare it to the high costs of other treatments CBD might still turn out to be relatively cheap. Also, the costs of CBD will soon be covered under medical insurance policies. Another point to be noted is that the awareness about these alternative treatments is quite low in India. There is a lot of misinformation and, as such, people simply don’t know about the benefits of CBD and other Cannabis related medicines. This is one of the biggest challenges in rolling out this plant medicine on a nation-wide scale, but hopefully this will change in the years to come.”
About Dr. Piyush Juneja
Dr. Piyush Juneja is India’s foremost experts in Ayurvedic and herbal medicine. Having done multiple courses around the world in alternative and natural medicine, Dr. Juneja has been practising and healing thousands of patients for over thirteen years. He is a member of the board of advisors for the Canadian Association of Ayurvedic practitioners, has presented many papers at various seminars and has published many articles in numerous journals. Doctor Piyush is an expert in the ancient treatment of cleansing known as ‘Panchkarma’ which cleans the toxins from the body’s tissues and opens the subtle channels which brings the life enhancing positive energy into oneself. He believes that the world is again starting to accept Ayurveda, as this is the oldest field of medicine and it treats all the diseases and ailments from the roots without any side effects. He is committed to promoting Ayurveda and his vision is to see each and every individual incorporating Ayurveda into their fast-changing lifestyle to bring long term stability.
Prakriti Analysis by Dr. Piyush Juneja
Prakriti is the constitution of the human body and is the key determinant of how one individual is different from the other. Air, ether, earth, water and fire are the five elements that make up the human body and it is the unique combination of these five elements that determines the balance of one’s doshas and subsequently one’s prakriti.
Dr. Piyush Juneja uses prakriti analysis as a diagnostic tool in his ayurvedic treatments. Based on his prakriti analysis of an individual, he finds out the imbalances in the body, and prescribes the correct ayurvedic treatment to harmonise the energies of an individual.
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