Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on 11 October backed the role of Ayurvedic remedies in prevention and treatment of the COVID disease and hailed their immunity boosting properties.
Addressing the fifth episode of his weekly Sunday Samvaad, Vardhan was asked by a person why Ayurvedic treatment was being advertised with various claims when the efficacy of Ayurvedic immunity boosters isn’t fully established for COVID treatment yet.
The health minister addressed the query by saying, “Ayurveda has a holistic approach towards disease management wherein salutogenesis is a major approach towards treatment of a disease condition and its prevention.” Therefore, for prophylactic care against COVID, Ayurveda interventions are prescribed after in-depth study of literature, scientific studies, including, in silico studies, experimental studies, and clinical studies, he said.
He added that the 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 pandemic.
The interventions advocated for COVID like guduchi, ashwagandha, guduchi and peepli combination and Ayush 64 have a substantial number of studies which prove their immunomodulatory antiviral, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, Vardhan explained.
These interventions have also shown a good binding affinity with COVID virus in in silico studies, he added. 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.
His remarks come in the backdrop of questions being raised against the release of Ayush-based National Clinical Management Protocol earlier this week for the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate COVID cases based on alternative therapies.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had questioned the minister on whether the proponents of this claim and his ministry were prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective double-blind control study in prevention and treatment of COVID.
His statement today came as an apparent response to remarks made by the largest body of private practitioners in the field of allopathy that had said that science demanded reproducibility of a claim elsewhere in non-conflict situations, and double blind control studies.