Interview with Dr. Sarita Shrestha
Born in Pulchocwk, Lalitpur in Ashadh 2013 B.S., Dr. Sarita Shrestha, is a renowned name in Ayurveda. She has been involved in many organizations. She is the chair person of Devi Ma Kunja Hospital and SAMATA (Society of Awareness, Mutuality and Transformation). She is a visiting faculty of Mt. Madonna Institute, a College of Ayurveda, in California, USA. She is a life member of ADAN (Ayurveda Doctor Association, Nepal) and also WIST (Women in science and Technology). She is the .rst lady to complete M.D (Ayurveda) in Nepal. Some time ago, this interview team of Ayur – Info [AI] had a chance to meet her; the theme is presented here upon.
AI: Mam, .frstly, could you let us know about your academic background and career?
Dr. Shrestha: Well, I’m from a middle class family, the eldest among .ve brothers and sisters. I completed my schooling from Madan Smarak High School and I.Sc from Tri- Chandra College. After completing the Intermediate course in Ayurveda , I started government service in Pharping. Pharping was the milestone in my life,
where I practiced everything freely that I had acquired during my studies. Then Dr. Rishi Ram Koirala and I went to Gwaliyar University to study B.A.M.S. in the scholarship of WHO Colombo Plan. I returned to Nepal and worked in Ayurveda
Campus for 3 years. In 2050 B.S., I went to BHU for M.D. Then I resumed teaching in Campus in 2053 B.S. but then after sometime resigned from the government service.
AI: How did you get inspiration to enter the .eld of Ayurveda?
Dr.Shrestha: At .rst, I didn’t have much idea about Ayurveda. Being a middle class family member, I was searching for scholarship. I entered this .eld all of a sudden. Now, I’m really proud to be in this stage in my life.
AI: Mam, how do you analyse the condition of Ayurveda in National and interrnational level?
Dr. Shrestha: In the West it is booming. And even in the communist country like Russia and in Muslim countries, it is rising. But only a part of Ayurveda is used. You can practice as a lifestyle counselor, dietician, practice Poorva Karma, Panchakarma and herbal medicines. Holistic concept of Ayurveda is not used. We do not have legal permission to practice as a doctor there. We don’t have authority to have diagnosis declaration. Actually, Nadivigyan and Panchakarma are the glamour of Ayurveda. Fifty years back the concept of antibiotics was booming in the West but now they are coming back to nature. In Nepal, practice of antibiotics is tremendous, we are .fty years back. We should use the media to compensate this gap. One of the main obstacles in the development of Ayurveda
in Nepal is lack of unity in the concerned parties. We should be concerned much about our system. Another major problem in this .eld has been the lack of capability and insight to develop this .field among the top authorities.
AI: Since you are an MD (Ay) in gynecology, what do you see as the major gynecological problems among Nepalese Women?
Dr. Shrestha: Well, uterine prolapse, uterine erosion, white discharge and dysmenorrhoea are among the major ones. I have seen thousands of cases of uterine prolapse and am much concerned about uterine prolapse and infertility among Nepalese women. I frequently get involved in health camps in rural areas and have treated many cases of inferlity. In a sense, I have got .fty-one sons and daughters till now!
AI: What about the gynecological problems in the USA?
Dr.Shrestha: Menopausal syndrome, breast cancer and cervical cancer are the common ones. We have effective treatment in cervical cancer. Use of jasmine oil is very effective in the second and the third stage of cervical cancer.
AI: Mam, what is the peculiarity of Ayurveda in gynecological cases?
Dr. Shrestha: Our principle has a peculiar line of treatment. Kativasti (seize bath), Pichchu are special. Uttarvasti is very effective. I have used this in 10 patients; 2 females after microsurgery (tuboplasty) have become pregnant after Uttarvasti. However, it may be risky and we should be very careful. Patients can go to neurogenic shock.
AI: What do you think is better, whether to practice solely Ayurveda or Integrated form of Ayurveda and Allopathy?
Dr.Shrestha: Integration may be good. Also, I feel, in the urban areas, we should focus on Ayurvedic medicines but while we are in villages, where the sophisticated health facilities are not available, we should prescribe both for immediate relief and treatment of disease.
AI: Mam, would you tell us about your future plans?
Dr.Shrestha: I have thought of establishing a hospital in Bhaktapur with the holistic concept, under the umbrella of Ayurveda, may be of .ffifty beds. The hospital is already running with five beds. Also I want to take Ayurveda to the people of rural areas.
AI: How do you analyze the future of Ayurveda?
Dr.Shrestha: This is the most favorable time for Ayurveda. We just need to recognize the time and have proper vision. The theory of antibiotics is losing its grounds, and people are realizing this. People are heading back to the Mother Nature. Specially talking, the ultimate source of antibiotic is herbal medicine. We have Devdaru which is effective against 9 microorganisms. Similarly, Chutro (Barberis Aristata) and Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum), etc are very important antibiotics. To cut short, the future of Ayurveda is very good.
AI: At last any message to students?
Dr.Shrestha: You need to have a very deep knowledge and understanding of Ayurveda.At last, all the best to all of you students of Ayurveda Campus. And thanks to Ayur-Info.
[The interview was fecilitated by Aseem, Chandra,
Cyrus and Surya.]