Albeit Indian system of medicine has been practised since long however it has got recent prominence after some policy decisions made to make it more accessible to the people of India.
A two fold search strategy was adopted to obtain the literature; search through PUBMED and hand search through cross references. Of the 58 articles obtained through both the search approaches 13 articles were finally included in the review.
The studies reviewed assessed the utilization, preference, perception and characteristics of people adopting traditional and AYUSH systems of medicine in India. Utilization was observed in a particular geographical area (states) and by a specific group of people such as tribal and general population, medical practitioners and religious groups. Perception about AYUSH system was mixed with different segments of the society. Preference among the general population revolved around distrust or frustration with allopathic medicine, cost effectiveness, accessibility, non-availability of other options and less side effects of AYUSH medicines. Moreover people primarily adopted AYUSH systems of medicine based on their personal experiences and recommended the same to other people as well.
A mixed response was observed through this systematic review with regard to utilization, preference, perception and characteristics of people adopting traditional and AYUSH systems of medicine in India. A higher level of awareness and governmental patronization is required to make it available to the common man at the last corner of the society for the benefit of the former and the system as well.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: None declared.
 Samal J. Situational analysis and future directions of AYUSH: an assessment through 5-year plans of India. J Intercult Ethnopharmacol 2015;4:348–54.10.5455/jice.20151101093011Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Bhore Committee Report Government of India. Report of the HealthSurvey and Development Committee, vol. 2. Delhi: Manager of Publications, 1946.Search in Google Scholar
 Mudaliar Committee Report Government of India. Report of the Health Surveyand Planning Committee. New Delhi: Ministry of Health, 1961.Search in Google Scholar
 Srivastava Committee Report Government of India. Health series and medicaleducation: a programme for immediate action: a report of the group onmedical education and support manpower. New Delhi: Ministry of Health andFamily Planning, 1975.Search in Google Scholar
 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. National Health Policy 1983. New Delhi: MoHFW, 1983. Available at: http://www.communityhealth.in/~commun26/wiki/images/6/64/Nhp_1983.pdf.Search in Google Scholar
 Ministry of Health and family Welfare, Government of India. National HealthPolicy 2002. New Delhi: MoHFW, 2002. Available at: http://mohfw.nic.in/WriteReadData/l892s/18048892912105179110National%20Health%20policy-2002.pdf.Search in Google Scholar
 Samal J. A brief assessment of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy health system based on Five-year Plans of India. Int J Green Pharm 2016;10:S91–5.Search in Google Scholar
 Samal J. Role of AYUSH doctors in filling the gap of health workforce inequality in rural India with special reference to National Rural Health Mission: A situational analysis. Int J Adv AYUSH 2013;2:83.Search in Google Scholar
 Samal J. Role of AYUSH workforce, therapeutics, and principles in health care delivery with special reference to national rural health mission. AYU (Int Q J Res Ayurveda) 2015;36:5.10.4103/0974-8520.169010Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Rudra S, Kalra A, Kumar A, Joe W. Utilization of alternative systems of medicine as health care services in India: evidence on AYUSH care from NSS 2014. PLoS One 2017;12:e0176916.10.1371/journal.pone.0176916Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Koley M, Saha S, Arya JS, Choubey G, Ghosh A, Das KD, et al. Patients’ preference for integrating homeopathy (PPIH) within the standard therapy settings in West Bengal, India: the part 1 (PPIH-1) study. J Traditional Complement Med 2016;6:237–46.10.1016/j.jtcme.2015.03.001Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Rao KD, Stierman E, Bhatnagar A, Gupta G, Gaffar A. As good as physicians: patient perceptions of physicians and non-physician clinicians in rural primary health centers in India. Global Health: Sci Pract 2013;1:397–406.10.9745/GHSP-D-13-00085Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Albert S, Porter J. Is ‘mainstreaming AYUSH' the right policy for Meghalaya, northeast India? BMC Complement Altern Med 2015;15:288.10.1186/s12906-015-0818-xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Mallick S. Challenges of mainstreaming: ayurvedic practice in Delhi Government health institutions. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2016;7:57–61.10.1016/j.jaim.2015.10.001Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Chatterjee B, Biswas PC, Pancholi J. Health awareness and popularity of alternative medicines among people of Jamnagar town: A cross-sectional study. AYU (Int Q J Res Ayurveda) 2012;33:33.10.4103/0974-8520.100306Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Yadav RJ, Pandey A, Singh P. A study on acceptability of Indian system of medicine and homeopathy in India: results from the state of West Bengal.Indian. J Public Health 2007;51:47–9.Search in Google Scholar
 Goyal P, Midha T, Sharma RP, Martolia DS, Gupta A. Utilization of Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy (ISM&H): a cross-sectional study among school students of Kanpur city. Indian J Prev Soc Med 2011;42:327.Search in Google Scholar
 Yadav RJ, Singh P, Pandey A. Acceptability of Indigenous systems of medicine in state of Bihar. Indian J Prev Soc Med 2009;40:4.Search in Google Scholar
 Roy V, Gupta M, Ghosh RK. Perception, attitude and usage of complementary and alternative medicine among doctors and patients in a tertiary care hospital in India. Indian J Pharmacol 2015;47:137.10.4103/0253-7613.153418Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Yadav RJ, Pandey A, Mathur S, Yadav J. Utilization of Indian system of medicine and Homoeopathy in Uttar pradesh. Health Popul Perspect Issues 2012;35:193–201.Search in Google Scholar
 Yadav RJ, Yadav J, Siddique N, Pandey A. Knowledge and utilization of Indian system of Medicine in the state of Assam. Indian J Community Health 2015;27:223–9.Search in Google Scholar
 Priya R, Shweta AS. Status and role of AYUSH and Local Health Traditions under the National Rural Health Mission. New Delhi: National Health Systems Resource Centre, 2010.Search in Google Scholar
 Albert S, Nongrum M, Webb EL, Porter JD, Kharkongor GC. Medical pluralism among indigenous peoples in northeast India‐implications for health policy. Trop Med Int Health 2015;20:952–60.10.1111/tmi.12499Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Vaidya AD ‘Financing and delivery of health care services in India’. Background Papers Financing and Delivery of Health Care Services in India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, 2005:85–95.Search in Google Scholar
 Payyappallimana U. Role of traditional medicine in primary health care: an overview of perspectives and challenges World Health Report. Yokohama J Soc Sci 2006;14:57–78.Search in Google Scholar
 Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Mainstreaming of AYUSH under NRHM, Modified Operational Guidelines, (Updated on May 2011) Dept. of AYUSH, New Delhi, Government of India.Search in Google Scholar
 Blaauw D, Gilson L, Penn-Kekana L, Schneider H. Organisational relationships and the ‘software’ of health sector reform. South Africa: Centre for Health Policy. School of Public Health. University of Witwatersrand, 2003.Search in Google Scholar
 Ergler CR, Sakdapolrak P, Bohle H-G, Kearns RA. Entitlements to health care: whyis there a preference for private facilities among poorer residents ofChennai, India? Soc Sci Med 2011;72:327–37.10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.09.042Search in Google Scholar
 Sen G, Iyer A, George A. Systematic hierarchies and systemic failures: genderand health inequities in Koppal district. Econ Polit Wkly 2007;42:682–90.Search in Google Scholar
 Halstead SB, Walsh JA, Warren KS. Good health at low cost. New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 1985.Search in Google Scholar
 Palafox B. Further insights from China, Costa Rica, Kerala and Srilanka 25years later. In: D Balabanova, M McKee, A Mills, editors. Good health at low cost 25 years on what makes a successful health system? London: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2011:1–4.Search in Google Scholar
 Dehury RK, Chatterjee SC. Dissociated reality vis-a-vis integrative planning of AYUSH in maternal health program: a situational analysis in Jaleswar block of Balasore district of Odisha, India. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2016;7:124–31.10.1016/j.jaim.2015.11.003Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Singh B, Kumar M, Singh A. Evaluation of implementation status of national policy on Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy 2002: stakeholders’ perspective. Anc Sci Life 2013;33:103–8.10.4103/0257-7941.139048Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Kumar D, Bajaj S, Mehrotra R. Knowledge, attitude and practice of complementaryand alternative medicines for diabetes. Public Health 2006;120:705–11.10.1016/j.puhe.2006.04.010Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Gupta M, Shafiq N, Kumari S, Pandhi P. Patterns and perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among leukaemia patients visitinghaematology clinic of a north Indian tertiary care hospital. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2002;11:671–6.10.1002/pds.782Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Lewith GT, Hyland M, Gray SF. Attitudes to and use of complementary medicineamong physicians in the United Kingdom. Complement Ther Med 2001;9:167–72.10.1054/ctim.2001.0475Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Singh V, Raidoo DM, Harries CS. The prevalence, patterns of usage and people’sattitude towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among theIndian community in Chatsworth, South Africa. BMC Complement Altern Med 2004;4:3.10.1186/1472-6882-4-3Search in Google Scholar
 Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, Appel S, Wilkey S, Van Rompay M, et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990–1997: results of a follow-up national Survey. JAMA 1998;280:1569–75.10.1001/jama.280.18.1569Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Jump J, Yarbrough L, Kilpatrick S, Cable T. Physicians’ attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine-expanding medical horizons. A report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medical systems and practices in the United States (NIH Publication 94-066). Integr Med 1998;1:149–53.10.1016/S1096-2190(98)00038-9Search in Google Scholar
 Owen DK, Lewith G, Stephens CR. Can doctors respond to patients’ increasing interest in complementary and alternative medicine? BMJ 2001;322:154–8.10.1136/bmj.322.7279.154Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Khan MU, Jamshed SQ, Ahmad A, Bidin MA, Siddiqui MJ, Al-Shami AK. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among osteoarthritic patients: a review. Journal Clin Diagn Res: JCDR 2016;10:JE01.Search in Google Scholar
 Naraindas H. Of spineless babies and folic acid: evidence and efficacy in biomedicine and ayurvedic medicine. Soc Sci Med 2006;62:2658e2669.10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.11.043Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Sujatha V. What could ‘integrative’ medicine mean? Social Science Perspectives on Contemporary Ayurveda’. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2011;2:115e123.10.4103/0975-9476.85549Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Priya R. AYUSH and public health: democratic pluralism and the quality of health services. In: A Sujatha, editors. Medical pluralism in contemporary India. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan, 2012:112–220.Search in Google Scholar
 Josyula KL, Sheikh K, Nambiar D, Narayan VV, Sathyanarayana TN, Porter JD. “Getting the water-carrier to light the lamps”: discrepant role perceptions of traditional, complementary, and alternative medical practitioners in government health facilities in India. Soc Sci Med 2016 Oct 31;166:214–22.10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.08.038Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Dar AK, Salim Khan M, Lone AH, Haji A, Hassan W. Mainstreaming of AYUSH under NRHM in Jammu and Kashmir – a cross sectional observational study. JK Pract 2015;20:35e42.Search in Google Scholar
 Dehury RK, Pattnaik R. National Rural Health Mission: how Far AYUSH is mainstreamed in Odisha? Proceedings of the Global Public Health Conference 2014: Public Health A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Tamilnadu, India, 2014:47e56.Search in Google Scholar
 SEDEM (Society for Economic Development and Environmental Management), 2010. Assessment of AYUSH in Rajasthan after Mainstreaming. Delhi. http://ayush.gov.in/sites/default/files/0629039883S%20E%20D%20E%20M%20Report%20Delhi%20%2024.pdf. Accessed: 25 Jun 2017.Search in Google Scholar
 Chandra S. Status of Indian Medicine and Folk Healing – With a Focus on Integration of AYUSH Medical Systems in Health Care Delivery. Part II. New Delhi. Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, 2011.10.4103/0974-8520.110504Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Priya R, Shweta AS. Status and Role of AYUSH and Local Health Traditions under the National Rural Health Mission, Report of a Study. 2010. http://nhsrcindia.org/download.php?downloadname1/4pdf_files/resources_thematic/Public_Health_Planning/NHSRC_Contribution/103.pdf. Accessed: 27 Jun 2017.Search in Google Scholar
 Imran M. The prevalence and patterns of usage of Ayurveda, Unani and home remedies in younger adults of rural north India. Int J Green Pharm (IJGP) 2017;11:108–13.Search in Google Scholar
 World Health Organization. 2003. Factsheet 134. Traditional Medicine: Report by the Secretariat. Geneva: WHO. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs134/en. Accessed: 22 Jun 2017.Search in Google Scholar
 Bodeker G, Kronenberg F. A public health agenda for traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine. Am J Public Health 2002;92:1582–91.10.2105/AJPH.92.10.1582Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Chen YF, Chang JS. Complementary and alternative medicine use among patients attending a hospital dermatology clinic in Taiwan. Int J Dermatol 2003;42:616–21.10.1046/j.1365-4362.2003.01809.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed
 Bodeker G, Kronenberg F, Burford G. Policy and public health perspectives in traditional, complementary and alternative medicine: an overview. In: G Bodeker, G Burford, editors. Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine: policy and public health perspectives. London: Imperial College Press, 2007:9–40.Search in Google Scholar
 Datta-Mitra A, Jr AO. Ayurvedic medicine use and lead poisoning in a child: a continued concern in the United States. Clin Paediatr (Phila) 2015;54:690–2.10.1177/0009922814553397Search in Google Scholar PubMed
 Manohar PR. Toxicity of Ayurveda medicines and safety concerns: the need to revive the branch of toxicology in Ayurveda. Anc Sci Life 2014;34:1–2.10.4103/0257-7941.150761Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
 Samal J. Irrational use of herbal drugs: problem statement and ways ahead. Int J Health Sci Res 2014;4:161–4.Search in Google Scholar
 Samal J. Can the recent public notice by the ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy be helpful in combating the irrational use of herbal drugs? J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:732.10.4103/2249-4863.197286Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston