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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (PTI)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (PTI)

Covid-19: Health Min releases management protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga

The protocol lists dietary measures, yoga and Ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases

Union health Minister Harsh Vardhan today released the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for the management of Covid-19.

The protocol lists dietary measures, yoga and Ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.

It was released by Vardhan in the virtual presence of Shripad Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH.

"This protocol dealing with preventive and prophylactic measures is a significant step not only in management of COVID-19 but also in making traditional knowledge relevant to solving problems of the modern time," Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.

Addressing the gathering through video conference Shripad Naik said that Ministry of AYUSH had setup an Interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Task Force with a group of senior experts to formulate and develop strategies for this initiative.

He said that Ministry of AYUSH has undertaken many clinical, observational studies to understand the role of AYUSH intervention in mitigation and management of COVID 19. He also informed that the Ministry has also setup a Interdisciplinary Committee for Integration of Ayurveda and Yoga Interventions in the 'National Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19, which was chaired by Dr V M Katoch, former Director General ICMR and group of experts.

The AYUSH ministry, in the protocol document, pointed out that the current understanding indicates a good immune system is vital for prevention of coronavirus infection and to safeguard from disease progression.

The protocol suggests use of medicines such as Ashwagandha, Guduchi Ghana Vati or Chyawanaprasha as prophylactic care for high risk population and primary contacts of patients.

It recommends consumption of Guduchi Ghana Vati, Guduchi and Pippali or AYUSH 64 for asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients for prevention of disease progression to symptomatic and severe forms and to improve recovery rate.

Guduchi and Pippali, and AYUSH 64 tablets can be given to mild coronavirus infected patients, it said.

The protocol also mentions the dose of these medicines that is to be taken. The guidelines stated that in addition to these medicines, general and dietary measures have to be followed.

Individuals with moderate to severe coronavirus infection may make informed choice of treatment options and all severe cases will be referred, the protocol said.

Physicians have to decide useful formulations from the list or substitutable classical medicines based upon their clinical judgement, suitability, availability and regional preferences.

Dose may be adjusted based upon the patient's age, weight, and condition of the disease, the ministry said.

The document also listed Ashwagandha, Chyawanprasha or Rasayana Churna for post-COVID-19 management in order to prevent lung complications like fibrosis, fatigue and mental health.

Further, to improve respiratory and cardiac efficiency, to reduce stress and anxiety and enhance immunity, the ministry has listed Yoga Protocol for Primary Prevention of COVID- 19.

This is expected to contribute to the mainstreaming of Ayush solutions for the management of Covid-19, and will be immensely beneficial to the public since these solutions are easily accessible and will help to alleviate the hardships brought in by the pandemic.

As the pandemic continues across the globe, attempts are being made in many countries to integrate traditional interventions along with standard of care. The ministry's statement added that in India, experience from Covid-19 response activities as reported from different parts of the country have shown that Ayurveda and Yoga can play a pivotal role to augment the standard preventive measures for Covid-19. (The standard preventive measures are those provided in the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare).

Taking note of this potential of Ayurveda and Yoga, expert committees from the concerned National Institutes and Central Councils for Research Centres along with a few other noted research institutions have collaborated and developed a protocol for the management of Covid-19, the ministry said in a statement.

With inputs from agencies

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