The Narendra Modi government has given its nod to start the clinical trial to study whether coronavirus pandemic can be treated using traditional Ayurvedic medicines. The Ayush Ministry will work with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) to study the effectiveness of three herbs -- ashwagandha, mulethi, guduchi -- and a patented herbal medicine Ayush 64 in treating Covid-19.
According to reports, the health workers and people working in high-risk zones will be tested with the combination of these Ayurvedic medicines. The ministry is planning to test this combination of traditional medicines on 50 lakh people. Commenting on this, CSIR DG Shekhar Mane said that India's traditional knowledge is very rich and they want to study if its effectiveness can be proven scientifically.
"Our objective is to try these formulations through Ayush perspective. Noting that our traditional knowledge is very rich, it has evolved over many years and can we approve or disapprove through modern sciences its use. If it turns out to be very effective against Covid-19, it will be an icing on the cake," Mane said.
He further added that "the (Ayush) ministry is also studying the impacts of Ayush-based prophylactic interventions in high-risk population and Ayush advocacies and Ayush measures for prevention of Covid-19."
UGC vice-chairman Dr Bhushan Patvardhan-led task force to conduct trials
The ministry has also set up a special task force under the leadership of UGC vice-chairman Dr Bhushan Patvardhan, who will undertake the mission to formulate and develop strategies. "The candidates chosen for trials are three popular ayurvedic herbs — ashwagandha, guduchi, mulethi and an ayurvedic anti-malaria medicine AYUSH-64. These drugs will be studied for their preventive properties against Covid-19 infections," the print had quoted a senior Ayush ministry official saying.
These herbal medicines will be administered on asymptomatic coronavirus patients in the form of tablets prepared from these herbs. "The candidates chosen for trials are three popular ayurvedic herbs — ashwagandha, guduchi, mulethi and an ayurvedic anti-malaria medicine AYUSH-64. These drugs will be studied for their preventive properties against Covid-19 infections," the ministry said in a statement.
Ashwagandha is a traditional Ayurvedic herb found in India. It can help reduce blood sugar levels. It is also claimed that it carries certain anti-cancer properties. It may also help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Certain reports also claim that Ashwagandha may reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Mulethi or Yashtimadhu
While Mulethi has long been used in India as a home remedy for sore throat, throat irritation, cough and bronchitis. However, it also has anti-ulcer properties and used to treat inflammation of stomach linings in Ayurved
More commonly known as 'geloy', Guduchi is traditionally used to treat ailments such as bronchitis and chronic cough. It is also used as an effective treatment for a number of illnesses such as fever, jaundice, skin diseases, constipation and tuberculosis. It may also help improve the overall immune system.