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Incorrect to call Ayurveda or Homeopathy a "substitute medicine" for Covid-19: top AYUSH official

By Jahanbee Gupta

It is incorrect to call Ayurveda or homeopathy a “substitute medicine” in the context of Covid-19, said a top government official, who heads the committee on research and development of AYUSH-based medicines.

Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, chairman of the interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Task Force on Covid-19, said: “Currently, we are in the evidence-based precision medicine era. As of now, there is no proven treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection or Covid-19 in any medical system.”

“Ayurveda can contribute to boost immunity and help in systemic and local prophylaxis. Yoga and meditation can improve respiratory function and mental health,” he said, adding that “simple home remedies such as hot medicinal kadha, steam inhalation, and spices licoriceurmeric, clove, cinnamon, licorice can also help in slowing the disease progression”.

The primary objective of Patwardhan’s task force is to demonstrate the value and scientific basis of AYUSH systems in the management of Covid-19. “We wish to strengthen interdisciplinary collaborative research culture among Indian scientists. We wish to establish a network of medical institutions where the strengths of modern medicine and AYUSH systems can be scientifically integrated for the benefit of people,” he said.

According to Patwardhan, the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has planned systematic clinical trials to study Ayurvedic medicines for prevention as well as adjunct treatment of Covid-19. “The task force has selected four Ayurvedic (herbs) — ashwagandha, yashtimadhu or liquorice, guduchi is also known as giloy, pippali is also known as long pepper (to study their efficacy in preventing COVID).”

“In short, the task force has adopted globally accepted scientific standards. It is hoped that the data from these studies will be publishable reputed scientific journals,” Patwardhan claimed.

Finally, the strength and effectiveness of traditional Indian medicines are being realised and more and more people are leaning towards herbal treatments rather than the chemical ones. It is a healthy revolution for people.

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