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Major U.S. Research University Aims at Revolutionizing Holistic Medicine
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Thursday, 27 July 2017 19:50
Columbia, Missouri, July 2017—Ayurvedic medicine (pronounced “Ay-ur-VADE-ic”) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Originating in India more than 5,000 years ago, this holistic medicine system uses herbal compounds, special diets and other health care practices to augment conventional preventative and disease treatments. Now, Kattesh Katti, a researcher at the University of Missouri, has developed a non-toxic delivery method, using gold nanoparticles that may revolutionize Ayurveda. His technique for producing the nanoparticles recently was licensed by Dhanvantari Nano Ayushadi (DNA), a company based in Tamil Nadu, India.
Ayurveda uses combinations of chemicals derived from natural herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables in combination with various metals including gold, silver and copper. Together, the chemicals and metals are aimed at treating various disorders. Traditional medicine, such as Ayurveda, is used by 65–80 percent of the world’s population as their primary form of health care, the World Health Organization estimates.

“In the past, metals predominantly used in holistic medicine have been crushed and burned; caregivers grind the ash with herbs to produce an ingestible treatment,” said Katti, Curators Distinguished Professor of Radiology and Physics in the MU School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Science and senior research scientist at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). “However, the ways in which those metals are procured often involve mercury; other toxic means to extract the gold or other alloys can be deadly if ingested in the wrong amounts. The gold nanoparticle production methods use a green technology that effectively eliminates the toxicity associated with these treatments.”

Katti and his team helped develop green nanotechnologies to produce phytonano medicines—compounds that form the basis for India’s Ayurvedic medicine. Scientists mix gold salts with cinnamon and stir the mixture with water to synthesize the salts. These green therapies are less toxic to the body and could provide alternatives to current treatments for diseases including cancer, arthritis and diabetes, among others.

The technology is patent pending. The technology has been licensed by DNA, the Indian laboratory.
“We are excited to be the first company in the world to apply principles of green nanotechnology to validate Ayurvedic principles and bring nano-Ayurvedic products to market for the care and savings of human lives suffering from cancer and various diseases/disorders in the world,” a DNA representative said.

Research and product development using the green nanotechnology techniques developed in Katti’s lab will continue at the facility in India. Using Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) guidelines, DNA will continue to test formulations that could provide complementary therapies to chemotherapy, radiation and other traditional treatments, Katti said.

During the past five years, companies commercializing MU technologies have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and grants to advance their commercialization efforts. In 2016, the Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations reported that the University had received $14.9 million in revenue from more than 40 technology licenses. 
 
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