Tuesday, May 15, 2007


In the above photographs you can see Dr. Rangesh and his family. Dr. Rangesh reiterates that his wife is a pillar of support and his children inspire him. Read about him on this blog post. Enjoy and get inspired!

It was a warm late evening on 10th May, 2007, when Dr. Rangesh and I entered Café Coffee Day at Rajajinagar (opp. Shri Raghavendra Math, Dr. Rajkumar Road, Bangalore) for tête-à-tête over a cup of coffee. It was indeed a pleasure and honor to spend some time with Dr. Rangesh Parmesh MD. A down-to-earth scholarly and pious person, Dr. Rangesh is an MD in Ayurveda. He is now with The Himalaya Drug Co., Bangalore as a Senior Medical Advisor. Mr. Nikhil Shirali another senior manager at Himalaya describes Dr. Rangesh as a true Himalayan! In the past, Dr. Rangesh has served as a well acclaimed teacher of Ayurveda at two Govt. Ayurveda colleges - in Bangalore and Mysore. Dr. Rangesh has guided more than 20 research projects. He is an Ayurveda Consultant Physician in Switzerland and Germany too. He conducts regular seminars in Germany for physicians practicing western medicine. He has been a resource scientist of the company to address target audiences in public forums, physician associations, and pharmacists, sales executives in South East Asia, Latin America, Pacific, Middle East, China and Mongolia. He has been a Resource Person and Presenter of various Radio Talks and Television Serials on Medicinal Plants and Health related topics in Ayurveda for lay public. Presently he is also a ‘Radio Doctor’ at All India Radio, Bangalore. Our lovable doctor has many more feathers in his cap, and for me it was a great joy to share his insights on health and Ayurveda - over a cup of good coffee.

Interestingly, Dr. Rangesh does not drink coffee or tea! Dr. Rangesh drank a rasayana of hot water with lime at Café Coffee Day!

Sunil: Sipping coffee with you at Café Coffee Day! It is indeed a moment to treasure!

Dr. Rangesh: It is my pleasure!

Sunil: How did you get in to Ayurveda? Allopathy is usually the first choice of medical aspirants!

Dr. Rangesh: It is thanks to my father that I am in to Ayurveda. When I was very young, my father suffered from duodenal ulcer and was recommended for surgery. However, one Ayurved physician known to my father intervened and helped heal my father’s duodenal ulcers and avoid surgery. It was my father and this elderly doctor, who motivated me to take to Ayurveda.

Sunil: What is your philosophy of medical practice?

Dr. Rangesh: It is as you say practice – this means we are constantly contributing our learning to patients and at the same time self-learning takes place continuously. I follow Charaka’s principles of medical practice – 20% for the sake of the profession, 20% for friendship or relationship, 20% for wealth, 20% for fame, and 20% for ‘practicing the practice’ – it is a lifelong learning process. While I counsel and treat patients, I follow Charaka who has advised doctors to consider patients as children or disciples.

Patient counseling is very important and it ought to be a two-way traffic while communicating with patients. Patient counseling is important to ensure a patient gets confidence and knowledge of his health status; the doctor gets the right data on the signs and symptoms.

Sunil: So that is why, I guess, you were very happy with my blog post on the HCP (Health Counsel Provider) concept. And I express my thanks to you for the affectionate feedback.

(Dr. Rangesh after reading the post on the HCP concept had replied to me thus by e-mail:

Dear Mr. Chiplunkar,
FANTASTIC CONCEPT!!!! This is what I have endeavoured for >25 years of my Ayurveda practice in trying to help patients take informed decisions than selling or prescribing a medicine or a remedy. Although I did it for charity with a profound faith in the statement of Vagbhata - "naarthartham naapi kaamartham atha bhuta dayamprati" i.e this medical profession was neither for money nor for desire, but for the concern and care of the unwell.
I am simply moved by your tremendous vision of introducing the HCP concept, indeed a unique one and my dream as well for the rest of my life after my encumbrances are over.
With kind regards,Yours truly, Dr. Rangesh.)

Dr. Rangesh: Yes of course, moreover, patients are also ‘my teachers’ when I practice. You see each case is individual and unique, and we learn from each case. That is why we say doctors ‘practice’ and not do a job! Secondly, through patient counseling ‘lifestyle management’ is possible. Today, lifestyle management is the in-thing and WHO also talks about lifestyle management. However, Ayurveda has always believed in lifestyle management from time immemorial.

Sunil: Lifestyle disorders today include obesity, stress, hypertension, diabetes, and even infertility in women and men (due to stress)!

Dr. Rangesh: Ayurveda uses a multipronged approach including Ayurvedic drugs, and patient counseling for lifestyle disease management. Recently my talks at TCS were met with great success, when I addressed software engineers on lifestyle management (some listeners were even standing as the seats in the hall were full!) – the audience listened with rapt attention for over one hour! That is thanks to Ayurveda and its emphasis on holistic healing.

Sunil: Do you see the potential for the HCP concept as a call centre activity ie. as a KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing)?

Dr. Rangesh: Surely – like a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing). It is better to use internet telephony for communication while handling calls or the e-mail queries on health related matters.

Sunil: In fact in response to an article The Art of Health-Knowledge Creation, Evolution and Use by Dr. Steve Beller, on his web site, I had left a comment on the HCP concept on his web site. Dr. Beller was enthusiastic about the HCP concept and he has commented thus:

YES!!! HCPs are an essential element ... and they ought to be assisted with a new generation of knowledge tools!
In fact, for the past six months, we have been developing a very similar concept and are building a business plan to turn it into a reality. These prior posts give insights into our vision:
Informing and empowering the modern customer and Personal Health Applications I'm eager to go to your blog, Sunil, to learn more your concept and engage.
Steve Beller, PhD
So what I infer is that there is space for the HCP concept and it will require certain tools, software, and an organized knowledge database for taking the HCP idea from concept to reality.

Dr. Steve in his article ‘informing and empowering the modern consumer’ has hit the nail on the head and sets the ground for the HCP (Health Counsel Provider) concept.

Further, there is an interesting web development: http://wellness.wikispaces.com . This web site is hosted by Dr. Steve and I feel it can translate in to a KPO/BPO Health Counsel Provider center like a call center in its physical form. The revenue for the same can come from calling charges or sponsorships. Moreover, in the above web site Dr. Steve has done a lot of in – depth planning and given a structure or road map for such a health service.

Mayo clinic has also done a good deal of effort in empowerment of patients through their website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/ . There are a lot of health knowledge tools including ones on Alternative medicines and complementary therapies in this Mayo Clinic web site. I would even suggest a Mayo Clinic BPO for handling patient queries through trained HCPs (certified by Mayo Clinic)! The knowledge base on healthcare matters, put in to public domain, by the Mayo Clinic is truly enormous.

Moreover, nowadays, podcasts are redefining the potential for patient counseling and I have listened to podcasts by BBC and Mayo Clinic on health matters. They are impressive.

In fact, Google with its avowed objective to organize human knowledge has done superbly with its services such as the Google search engine, news-search engine, etc however they can make a ‘health search and patient empowerment engine’ too since health is a subject that shows high information search behavior.

Sunil (continues): Dr., now let’s discuss some thing on Rasayana or the Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy. In today’s lifestyle related diseases like stress and other pathological manifestations like diabetes, hypertension etc; they do require a lot of rejuvenative therapies don’t they?

Dr. Rangesh: Sure, the greatest contribution of Ayurveda in modern day dimensions is rasayana or rejuvenation (very intimately related to geriatrics) and vajeekarana (sexual rejuvenation or reproductive medicine).

Sunil: I was also wondering if it would not be a good idea to have a Rasayana dept. for convalescents and the aged in each and every hospital – whether allopathic or ayurvedic.

Dr. Rangesh: This will be the greatest happening in modern day times. In fact, with medical tourism in full swing in India, we can add the rasayana therapy touch and this will lend value to medical allopathic treatment plans.

Sunil: I feel one approach we could try would be to have a panel of Ayurvedic experts working to make presentations to hospital administrators to influence them to set up rasayana depts. in hospitals. For eg., if Manipal Hospital, Mallya Hospital, and Narayana Hrudayalaya have such rasayana depts., Ayurveda would get a great boost! This concept of rasayana in Allopathic hospitals would lend a USP (or Unique Selling Preposition) to the allopathic hospitals when they market their hospital abroad. Further, Ayurvedic companies can also step in by setting up sponsored rasayana depts. in hospitals so that the concept of Ayurveda itself gets strengthened and consequently the sales of Ayurvedic products.

Dr., I also see a lot of potential for the kashaya concept too.

Dr. Rangesh: Kashayas have a vital role for well-being, health protection and wellness. In fact, I personally recommend it as a substitute for even coffee and tea drinking. For the benefit of readers I would like to offer a kashaya recipe for regular drinking:

Kashaya recipe:
Rejuvenating Rasayana Drink

In a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil:
½ -cup whole milk
½ -cup water
1 ½ -teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ -tsf ground raisin
1 ¼ -tsf ground dates
½ tsf fresh grated ginger
¼ tsf Ashvagandha root# powder
¼ tsf Satavari root^ powder
Cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Strain into a teapot, pitcher, or directly into a cup. Add 5 – 10 drops of Saffron water* to the serving cups on the top.

*To make Saffron water, ½ teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 6 tablespoons hot water.
# The dried roots of Withania sominifera also known as Winter cherry roots
^ The dried roots of Asparagus racemosus also known as Wild Asparagus roots.

Category Drink
Servings 1 cup
Serving Size 207 ml / 7 fl. Oz.
Calories 102
Protein 3 g
Fat 2.8 g
Carbohydrates 15 g

This drink is not only a rejuvenating one but also an Adaptogenic tonic, which helps fight stress, fatigue, low immunity, common cold, and sleep disturbances.

Sunil: As a marketing person, I can’t help commenting that it would be purposeful to set up a dedicated KASHAYA TEAM of thought leaders like you and the objective of this team would be to make influential presentations to math leaders, and hoteliers like Adigas, and the Shanti Sagar network in Bangalore. The math leaders can recommend kashaya drinking in society while hoteliers can offer the kashaya drink in their hotels just as they sell coffee and tea drinks. In future posts I hope I will be able to present some concrete achievements on this front.

Dr. Rangesh: Sure I am also enthused by these marketing concepts and let us do some concrete work on the same.

Sunil: Dr. Rangesh, many thanks for this conversation and your co-operation. With all sincerity and respects I wish you well in your endeavors and your personal life.

Dr. Rangesh: My pleasure! And thanks Sunil – you are doing a good job in your blog. It is very innovative. Keep it up!
(Note: This blog is published at 7.50 PM IST on 15.5.2007)


Bhaskar Chats said...

Dear Sunil,
Your "Coffee with Dr.Rangesh" was equally rejuvenating for readers like me.In fact my understanding of your HCP concept was better and I endorse it for KPO/BPO. I appreciate your thoughts on 'informing and empowering the modern consumer'.I am tempted to read Dr.Steve Beller's book and dwell more on 'life style disease management'.When I am in Bangalore this June end on my vacation I look forward to say 'Cheers' with Kashaya and you.

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

Thnks for your kind words and interest Mr. Bhaskar, in fact, we can meet up and ask Dr. Rangesh to join too - it would be an interesting session. My no. is 9980800023