P. R. Krishna Kumar
Born(1951-09-23)23 September 1951
Died16 September 2020 (aged 68)
OccupationAyurveda expert[1]
Known forAVP Research Foundation
AwardsPadma Shri; Dhanvantari Puraskar
WebsiteArya Vaidya Pharmacy

P. R. Krishna Kumar (23 September 1951 – 16 September 2020) was an Indian Ayurveda expert[1] and managing director of The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Ltd. He founded the AVP Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation promoting research in the Ayurveda.[2] He was the chancellor of the Avinashilingam University,[3] and the chairman of CARe Keralam (Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance – Keralam), a resource centre involved in efforts to standardise Ayurvedic medicines.[4] The Government of India awarded him the fourth-highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2009, for his contributions to Ayurveda.[5]

Early life

Krishna Kumar was born on 23 September 1951 in a family of Ayurvedic practitioners in Shoranur, Palakkad district, in the south Indian state of Kerala, to Pankajam and Aryavaidyan P.V. Rama Varier, an ayurvedic physician and the founder of the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy.[6] His formal education in ayurveda was at the Shoranur Ayurveda College, in Shoranur, Palakkad.[7][8]


Kumar joined the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy after completing his education, and was involved in the study of Ayurveda through his work at the foundation.[6]

In 1977, he conceived and implemented a seven and a half year curriculum for Ayurvedic studies, first affiliated to the University of Madras and later to the Bharathiar University. The course introduced Ayurvedic studies along with components of spiritual practices, traditional martial arts, and was set in a gurukula-based living arrangement. The curriculum came to be known in academic circles as the "Coimbatore Experiment".[6] In the same year, he initiated the first ever clinical research to study the efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, in a joint study with the World Health Organization and the Indian Council of Medical Research.[8]

Kumar implemented projects for the Government of India's Department of Science and Technology and Department of Environment linked to ayurveda and traditional land use, including execution of the All India Coordinated Project on Ethnobiology of Tribals in the Western Ghats between 1985 and 1988.[6][9]

In 2003, Kumar founded the AVT Institute for Advanced Research', later renamed the AVP Research Foundation, to promote scientific research in ayurveda. The foundation initiated several research programs which included a study, funded jointly with the National Institutes of Health, and conducted by the University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of California Los Angeles, California, to ascertain the efficacy of ayurvedic medicines in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.[10][11] In the same year, the foundation also launched a clinical documentation program, called RUDRA, to promote practice-based evidence in Ayurveda.[12]

He founded the DIVYAM Academy as a centre for holistic value-based education for children.[6] He was also known to have contributed in conceptualizing and implementing the preparation of ayurvedic medicines in tablet form and conducted several free medical camps for the poor in rural areas.[13] The Government of India honoured him with the civilian award of the Padma Shri in 2009.[14] He was also chairman of the Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance (CARe) in Kerala.[8]

During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with Kumar to discuss the prospects of Ayurveda to manage COVID-19.[8]

Illness and Death

Kumar had a below knee amputation of his right leg due to a diabetic foot ulcer.[8]

After he contracted COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in India, Kumar was admitted for medical treatment at a private hospital in Coimbatore for over a week.[8] He died on 16 September 2020, seven days short of his 69th birthday.[15]


Kumar was also a recipient of an honorary doctoral degree from the Kuvempu University.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ayurveda expert P R Krishnakumar passes away". Deccan Herald. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Research conducted by Kovai scientists on rheumatic patients shortlisted for prestigious award". Times of India. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Krishnakumar assumes charge as Chancellor". Mathrubhumi. 23 November 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  4. ^ Staff Reporter (16 September 2020). "Ayurveda doyen P. R. Krishnakumar dies of COVID-19". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e U. Indulal (January 2011). "A true plural being". J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2 (1): 32–34. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.78189. PMC 3121251. PMID 21731385.
  7. ^ "Ayurveda honoured" (PDF). Merri News. 28 February 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Reporter?, Staff (16 September 2020). "Ayurveda doyen P. R. Krishnakumar dies of COVID-19". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 17 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Padmashree Dr. P. R. Krishna Kumar". ayurvedicpointcongress.com. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  10. ^ "U.S. study shows efficacy of Ayurveda medicines in rheumatoid arthritis cure". The Hindu. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  11. ^ Furst, Daniel E.; Venkatraman, Manorama M.; McGann, Mary; Manohar, P. Ram; Booth-LaForce, Cathryn; Sarin, Reshmi; Sekar, P. G.; Raveendran, K.G.; Mahapatra, Anita; Gopinath, Jidesh; Kumar, P. R. Krishna (1 June 2011). "Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled, Pilot Study Comparing Classic Ayurvedic Medicine, Methotrexate, and Their Combination in Rheumatoid Arthritis". Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 17 (Suppl 1): 185–192. doi:10.1097/RHU.0b013e31821c0310. ISSN 1076-1608. PMID 21617554. S2CID 14949859.
  12. ^ a b "Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Chairman Krishnakumar dies of COVID-19 in Coimbatore". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  13. ^ "An Honour for Ayurveda" (PDF). Indian Express. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Ayurveda a holistic science, not a tourism component" (PDF). The Hindu. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Doyen of Ayurveda – P R Krishnakumar is no more". @businessline. 17 September 2020.
  16. ^ Indulal, U. (2011). "A true plural being – A life profile of P. R. Krishna Kumar". Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2 (1): 32–34. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.78189. ISSN 0975-9476. PMC 3121251. PMID 21731385.