Vardhan advocates AYUSH remedies, endorses medicinal properties to contain COVID

NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday defended the Ayurveda-based interventions in prevention and treatment of the COVID-19 disease and hailed its efficacy in boosting immunity.

The minister backed the role of Ayurvedic drugs after a query posed to him questioning the treatment which are being propagated with various claims while the efficacy of Ayurvedic immunity boosters for Covid-19 treatment is not fully established yet. The query was raised during Sunday Samvaad, a weekly webinar which Vardhan hosts every Sunday with his social media audience.

“Ayurveda has a holistic approach towards disease management wherein salutogenesis is a major approach towards treatment of a disease condition and its prevention,” he stated. Ayurveda interventions are prescribed after in-depth study of literature, scientific studies, including, in silico studies, experimental studies, and clinical studies, Vardhan added.

He also informed that the health ministry has conceptualised and promoted public advisories about the use of time-tested and evidence-based natural Ayush remedies for health promotion and immunity modulation of the people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Besides, Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Guduchi and Pippali combination and AYUSH 64 have a substantial number of studies which prove their immuno-modulatory, anti-viral, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. These interventions have also shown a good binding affinity with COVID-19 virus in in-silico studies,” Vardhan explained.

Furthermore, on the recommendations of the interdisciplinary task force set up by the government, scientific studies have also been initiated with the aforesaid remedies to assess their impact in the prophylaxis, secondary prevention and management of Covid-afflicted cases, Vardhan said.

Vardhan’s statements have come after he received sharp criticism from the Indian Medical Association against the release of Ayush-based National Clinical Management Protocol earlier this week for the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 cases based on Ayurveda and Yoga.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had severely criticised the minister for promoting “placebos” instead of evidence-based medicines.