Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday released a protocol for the clinical management of COVID-19, that lists dietarymeasures,yoga andAyurvedicherbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.
"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.
"Unfortunately, Ayurveda did not receive much attention after independence until Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up this cause with the importance it deserves," he said while stressing that Ayurveda had a significant impact in the foundations of modern medicine.
The AYUSH ministry, in the protocol document, pointed out thatthe 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 asAshwagandha,Guduchi Ghana Vati orChyawanaprashaasprophylactic care for high risk population and primary contacts of patients.
It recommendsconsumption ofGuduchi Ghana Vati,Guduchi and Pippali or AYUSH 64for asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients forpreventionof disease progression to symptomatic andsevereforms and to improve recovery rate.
Guduchi and Pippali, andAYUSH 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 upontheir clinical judgement, suitability, availability and regional preferences.
Dose may be adjusted based upon the patient's age, weight, and condition of thedisease, the ministry said.
The document also listedAshwagandha,Chyawanprasha orRasayana Churna for post-COVID-19 management in order to prevent lung complications like fibrosis, fatigue and mental health.
Further, toimprove respiratory and cardiacefficiency, toreduce stress andanxiety andenhanceimmunity, the ministry has listedYoga Protocol for Primary Prevention of COVID- 19.
The document also mentionsYoga Protocol for Post COVID-19 care (including care for COVID-19 patients) in order toimprove pulmonary function and lungcapacity, reduce stress andanxiety and improve muco-ciliary clearance.
"This protocol and its annexure are approved by the Chairman, Interdisciplinary Committee for inclusion of Ayurveda and Yoga in the management of mild COVID-19 and approved by the empowered committee of the Interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Taskforce on COVID-19, both constituted by the Ministry ofAYUSH," the document said.
Effective management to address this infection is still evolving and attempts are being made to integrate traditional interventions along with standard of care, the preamble read.
"Ayurveda and Yoga can certainly play a pivotal role to augment preventive measures provided in the guidelinesby the Ministryof Health.The current understanding of COVID-19 indicates that good immune status is vital to prevention and to safeguard from disease progression," it said.
The ministry also recommended gargling with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt, nasal instillation/application of medicated oil (Anu taila or Shadbindu taila), plain oil or cow's ghee once or twice a day, especially before going out and after coming back home, steam inhalation with Ajwain, Pudina or Eucalyptus oil once a day, moderate physical exercises and following Yoga protocol as general measures.
Dietarymeasures include use ofwarm water or boiled with herbs like ginger, coriander,basil or cumin seeds etc., for drinking purpose, drinking golden milk (half tea spoon turmericpowder in 150 ml hot milk) once at night (avoid in case of indigestion) and takingAyush Kadha or Kwath (hot infusion or decoction) once a day.
Vardhan expressed satisfaction with the inclusion of easily available and common Ayurvedic herbs and formulations like Guduchi, Ashwagandha, AYUSH-64 in treating mild and asymptomatic COVID cases, the statement said.
Three aspects -- knowledge from Ayurveda classics and experience from clinicalpractices, empirical evidences and biologicalplausibility and emerging trends of ongoing clinicalstudies -- were considered while preparing this protocol, the ministry said.
This consensus document is developed by expert committees from All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Delhi, Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurved (IPGTRA), Jamnagar, and National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), other national research organizations, the ministry said.
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