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Chemistry Laboratory

International Institute of Ayurveda (CHEMISTRY R&D)

The I.I.A (Chem R&D) is a unit of the registered NGO, Arya Vaidyan Rama Varier Educational Foundation of Ayurveda (AVREFA)(distinct from the sub-unit, I.I.A (Publication) of the same NGO). The multifaceted activities of AVREFA, viz Educational, Rural Development, Primary Health care, Publication etc are elaborated elsewhere. The R&D wing of AVREFA commenced functioning in early 1980 in the AVP- Nursing Home-cum-Dhanwantari Temple campus with Departments cum-labs for physiology & chemistry and dept-cum-field station(Agro-botanical sciences)

After successful completion of two DST Projects (a) Epilepsy vis Ayurvedic remedies and b)on Shankhupushpi, effect on CNS) the physiology department had to be discontinued out of ethical constraints related to animal testing.

I.I.A(Agro Botany) executed creditably a DOE (Dept.of environments)funded, All India Coordinated Project on Ethno biology of Tribals of Western Ghats(1985-88) and was thereafter relocated in the spacious land adjoining AVP- Factory, Kanjikode(Kerala) to establish a full-fledged modern Med-plant Garden and to implement a DST project (Med-plant entrepreneurship Training) and also to initiate participation in a prestigious International RET plants-conservation‚Äö DANIDA project. Subsequently this dept. got merged with the independent NGO, CIMH stationed in the aforesaid med plant garden.

I.I.A(Chem. R&D) functioned from 1982-2002 at a full fledged lab in AVP Nursing Home campus till the lab was shifted to the present building at AVP-H.O. Annexe in 2003. Thanks to the whole-hearted support and encouragement from its Executive Chairman(& present MD of AVP group Institutions), Shri.P.R.Krishnakumar, this tiny twig of the mighty AVP tree, could take up & implement a succession of Projects adhering to the motto- to strive, to seek, to find and never to yield. Its modest activities, achievements, aspirations are outlined below.

I. PRESENT LOCATION:

AVP-HO-Annexe, ground floor, Olympus, Coimbatore-45

II. RECOGNITIONS :

a. first as a recognized R&D center by DST (1982-85) b. as SIRO(Scientific & Industrial Research Organization) by DSIR (S&T Ministry, G.O.I) 2000-2009 c. as a Centre for Ph.D(Chemistry) ,Part-time Scheme by Bharathiar University, Coimbatore ( from 1984 to date) d. as an Accredited Institution by AYUSH (Health Ministry (G.O.I) up to 2007 (after which, AYUSH discontinued the accreditation policy/practice

III. AREAS OF INTEREST

a) Standardization of Ayurvedic Single Drugs and finished medicines (b) Utilization of renewable bio-resources for value added products c) Utilization of agro-wastes (& wastes from Ayurvedic Industry) d) Indian Essential oils(& fixed oils)- new or less studied uses in their own right & as bioresources e) Marker/Reference Compounds from Indian M&A plants(as a National Mission) to ensure affordable availability Nationwide f) Medicinal Plants cultivation, conservation, sustainable utilisation , sorting out confused identities of several Ayurvedic plants of reputed efficacy.

IV. PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED

a. 1982-1985 ASAMAM (DST) Analysis & Standardization of Ayurvedic Medicines by Analytical Methods.
b. 1987-1991 - USRR (DST) Utilisation of Selected Renewable Resources for flavour/perfumery /Pharma products
c. 1991: Short term Project collaboration with and supported by Padmabhushan Dr.Sukh Dev(FNA),(S.N.Bose National Professor, I.I.T
Delhi) for extracts of 100 selected Ayurvedic Plants
d. 1994-1998 069-Xechem-I.I.A supported by Xechem International N.J.,USA for supply of 200 selected med-plant extracts (per year) ,under MOU
e. 2000-2002 096-S.B-I.I.A Supported by Spices Board (Commerce Ministry,(by MOU) for Utilisation of waste, gum from turmeric Oleoresin Industry- UNDP)
f. 2002-continuing: Q.S.- Profiles/Protocols: Working out IN-HOUSE Quality parameters for ALL raw-drugs & finished medicines of AVP, a contract project(under MOU) for parent company AVP :Data for more than 350 single drugs and about 80 finished medicines of diverse categories,completed
g. Jan-March 2003: (Adhoc)AVT(N.P)-I.I.A: Recovery of residual curcumin in spoilt,gummy wastes(AVT Nat.Pdts,Aluva)
h. 1982-continuing : Spare-time/Part-time R&D efforts on Indian Essential oils(& fixed) Oils carried out all along as side-work in spare-man-hours of different projects: Several new ( or less studied) Chemo-types of academic as well as applied interest discovered/investigated. A few less-known fixed oils (especially from medicinal seeds,also studied. E.g. Ocimum sanctum, 2 clear chemo types affording Eugenol & Methyl eugenol -rich essential oils respectively(irrespective of leaf colour), established.
O.basilicum DhVG-6,G-7,GP-97,GP-04, O.gratissimum(PBKM), DhanRosa etc; ajwain,jeera seeds etc

V. LABORATORY:

The R&D Lab has essential modern Instruments-GC, UV-VIS and IR Spectrophotometers, commercial as well as all-glass (IIA-designed) TLC Units, Refractometer,Polarimeter, pH meter, Viscometer, glass as well as lab-scaled-up S.S.Clevengers, lab-scaled-up SS counter-current extractors, hydrogenator, Electric Bunsen( for ashing) Precision Electronic & Electric Balances besides assorted standard & specialized glass ware/hardware, adequate for Research up to Ph.D.level(See II c)

VI. LIBRARY:

The modest Library of I.I.A (R&D) accommodates the first(50 years) DECENNIAL INDEXES of Chemical Abstracts(1907-1956) besides Standard & Reference books in chemistry Botany,Med-Plants, Ayurvedic classics(translations). About 15 journals including chemistry, Med plants, Botany, Ayurveda, Pharma-Sciences, Fragrant/Fixed oils are subscribed/exchanged & back volumes preserved for reference.

VII. ARBORETUM/HERBARIA:

Limited land space in the new premises has limited earlier maintained Arboretum of M&A plants of I.I.A to a Selected limited number(~ 50 only) of M&A plants: Well-prepared Herbaria of all live M&A plants handled at I.I.A are preserved ( besides museum specimens of dry drugs(IV d,e,f)

VIII. Helping Hand in National HRD in Chemical Sciences:

As a humble squirrel ( in Ramayana) effort to meet the serious concerns expressed by eminent Scientists Prof CNR Rao,Dr.APJA Kalam,.Prof.Rmamoorthy(DST) on the declining trend of younger generation opting for Higher Education in PURE Sciences, the I.I.A is helping & encouraging B.Sc & M.Sc among its staff to complete Higher Degrees by Open University and helping & training them carry out well-designed short Research Projects, to inspire interest in the subject.

IX. Selected examples of modest contributions/achievements:

a. Know how for preservative for Kashayam supplied to AVP(1982)
b. A new inexpensive precipitation reagent in qualitative analysis for Na(+)-(1990) successfully used at I.I.A all along)
c. A Key-intermediate for L- Methyl Dopa(anti B.Pdrug) based am Clocimum( a Eugenol-rich Indian Essential oil) Project USRR
d. An improved route to the same intermediate based on an agro waste, fallen dry clove leaves)-M.Sc Project under VIII
e. An efficient, faster, alternative technique to regular column chromatography under Proj.096-SB-I.I.A IV e), acronym: FCCC(Fast Conical Column Chromatography)
f. Recovery of Turmeric oil from gummy wastes of oleoresin industry & Turmerone(s) there from & conversion of latter to products of potential perfumery/ Pharma use (096-SB-I.I.A)
g. Dhanrosa a cheaper source of geraniol for scenting detergents/soaps
h. Dh-VG6,G-7,as potential good sources of CHIRAL(-)-LINALOOL
i. Residual curcumin from spoilt gummy wastes ( Ad Hoc,AVT Nat Products Aluva)
j. Preparation of selected Marker compounds based on Indian M&A Plants eg. carvacrol & derivatives, eugenol & derivatives
k. IN-HOUSE Quality Standard Parameters worked out for parent Organization AVP (2002-07) ~ 350 single Drugs & ~ 75 finished Medicines,(to meet & maintain GMP)
l. Recovery of value-added products from several Ayurvedic wastes: examples Medicated fats from discarded Kalkans, fatty(& fragrant) oils from seed drugs, coloring matters from waste(discarded) drugs etc.

X. FUTURE VISION:

Focusing ardent and dedicated efforts in prioritized
areas and aspiring to attain the status of a National Centre of Excellence in one or more areas of interest Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards Perfection