The Hindu
Monday, April 10, 2006

Popularising Ayurrveda in his own way

“I saw most Americans were health conscious and seriously concerned about obesity, unhealthy food habits and side effects of western medicine. The time for introducing traditional Indian medicine was yet to come because the U.S. administration was then caught in a scandal related to alternative medicine,” founder and managing director of Sami Labs Ltd. Muhammed Majeed tells K.Satyamurty

Chances are more of “natural products,” which are ingredients in cosmetics and Skincare products of international labels, having their origin in Bangalore. Any formulations based on plants on plants and herbs, some based on research in to traditional medical knowledge and modern technical procedures, have come out of Sami Labs Ltd. at Peenya.

Dr. Majeed is even more proud of what his firm has made possible; more then 10,000 farmers, many in and around Salem in Tamil Nadu, now cultivate medicinal plants and earn a good living. The end results of their labour fill the shop shelves in many cities in the West
Dr. Majeed’s efforts to popularise Ayurveda as a recognized system of healing in its own right have now found support in many countries. His personal philosophy is simple; any research can meet its objective only when the researcher succeed in turning the existing knowledge in to a new, more practical and more beneficial solution. This was what he says promoted him “come out with a new line of healthcare products extracted from potent herbs” The journey to achieve this was quite long and difficult, After a degree in Pharmacy young Majeed from Kollam in Kerala arrived in the United States in 1975 and combined his job in a pharmacy with studies that ended with a Masters in Science. He worked for an international pharmaceutical giant while continuing his studies.

Meanwhile, he received his Ph.D. in pharmacy, and while waiting for the situation to change, he started his first enterprise, Sabinsa Corporation. “More then anything I am happy at the change in attitudes to words Ayurveda among Americans. They started by recognisinge it as alternative medicine, by 2000 as complementary medicine and now as integrated medicine,” Dr.Majeed says. The widespread use of formulations based on natural products began first as nutritional supplements and, along with medication, have now found their way in to cosmetics. In a few years from now, most cosmetics and skincare products are likely to be based on plant extracts, he says. Skin lightening creams for reducing winkles and medications to deal with serious, skin problems such as psoriasis are among the products of Sami Labs which he established here in 1998. An export oriented manufacturing unit is at Kunigal.

Dr. Majeed is excited about the curative properties in traditional plants such as turmeric. Research is now on to discover its anti-cancer powers.