Can alternative medicine systems like Ayurveda be tapped to fight Covid-19?

Prime News, National (New Delhi), April 19:- Even though the Covid-19 vaccination is in full swing, the pandemic continues to affect a huge population, severely affecting the country’s economic and social fabric. There are many who recommend tapping Ayurveda, India’s ancient alternative medical system.

A report in Hindustan Times last December draws attention to the praise lavished for Ayurveda by the Delhi Government Health Minister Satyendar Jain in his tweet. “Congratulations to Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan for successfully catering to 2000 Covid patients with pure Ayurvedic treatment. It is the 1st Indian Ayurvedic hospital that has treated Covid patients from ages 1 month-106 years. I applaud the team and staff.”

Case-control study

The patients at the Sansthan were treated with a mix of three herbs, haldi milk, and amla churan for Vitamin D, called Nagaradhi Kwath. A case-control study of 1,000 patients was done wherein half received the ingredients while the other half didn’t.

Talking about this study, Prof. Vidula Gujjarwar, Director Principal of the Sansthan said: “We are yet to analyze the results of the study but there was an improvement in the condition of the patients. We are not saying that these herbs cure Covid-19, but it helps in relieving the symptoms.”

The Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has brought out a National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of Covid-19. Stating that the pandemic had created a global health crisis, it says “Ayurveda and Yoga can certainly play a pivotal role to augment preventive measures provided in the guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (M0HFW). The current understanding of Covid-19 indicates that good immune status is vital to prevention and to safeguard from disease progression.”

The document in its general and physical measures states that besides physical distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene, wearing a mask, gargling with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt should be done. Further water boiled with Triphala (dried fruits of Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Terminala bellerica) or Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) also can be used for gargling.

It goes on to suggest the nasal application of medicated or plain oil (sesame or coconut) or application of cow’s ghee once or twice a day, especially before going out and after coming back to home.

Also advisable is steam inhalation with Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) or Pudina (Mentha spicata) or Eucalyptus oil once a day.

Other suggestions include six to eight hours of sleep and moderate physical exercises and yoga protocol. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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