Prevention is always better than cure. Now that lockdown restrictions are set to be relaxed except in containment zones, preventive actions make more sense against coronavirus.
Interestingly, states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and Delhi have already turned to Ayurveda and suggested separate sets of drugs for both preventive measures and treatment of positive cases following the advice of Ministry of AYUSH.
Though Odisha Government on Saturday decided to implement AYUSH system of medicines recommended by the Ministry and directed Collectors and all District Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Medical Officers to take necessary action, no specific protocol has been prescribed leaving practitioners confused.
Health experts say the State Government must constitute a high-level committee with members drawn from the field of ayurveda and decide on a package of drugs to be prescribed to treat patients and distributed across the State as ‘Ayur Kit’ to boost the immune system.
They claim ‘rasayana’ therapy will have direct relevance to the prophylaxis and management of SARS-COV-2 infection. The botanicals used in the therapy have been found to be effective in immuno-modulation and restoration of hemostasis.
“In Ayurveda, several rasayans are used in clinical practice for strengthening immunity. The Government should immediately decide on a protocol besides widely publicising what is available locally. The sooner, the better,” said Prof NC Dash, former Principal of Gopabandhu Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya.
Ayurveda has a combination of drugs with antiviral, antibacterial anti-microbial properties and can act as health immune response. Head of the Panchakarma department of Farrukhabad-based Anar Singh Ayurveda Medical College Prof Santanu Das points at encouraging outcomes in states where Covid patients are on ayurvedic drugs.
“Maha Sudarshan churna or Sudarshan ghana bati is a wonder drug that has properties to render the virus inactive inside the body by reducing virus load. Use of the drugs can help asymptomatic patients recover without any complications,” he said adding, combination drugs can be distributed as Ayur Kit through Anganwadi and ASHA workers.
While Delhi Government has allowed a set of nine ayurvedic drugs on Covid-19 asymptomatic patients, Haryana Government has suggested Guduchi Ghan Vati, Samshamani Vati, Agastya Haritaki, Sitopaladi Churan and Anu Tel as preventive for service providers including police personnel, sanitation workers and those working in old age homes and care centres.
Madhya Pradesh has already launched “Jeevan Amrit Yojana” to boost immune system of people to fight COVID-19. It has set a target to distribute 50 gram packets carrying ‘Trikatu churna and Anu taila’ to 1 crore families.
Dean of Gujarat Ayurveda University Prof Rabinarayan Acharya said evidence-based single rasayana drugs and compound formulations such as Chavyanparsah and Agastayharitaki can also be distributed as a preventive measure.
“People in Odisha should be made aware through campaigns or door-to-door visits by health workers,” he said.
Apart from masks, age-old traditional remedies like warm water, hot food, gargling with medicated water, steam inhalation and local applications will be helpful for symptomatic relief in mild cases, he added.