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The COVID-19 pandemic has raged on for many months now. Despite many hopeful vaccine candidates, there are, as yet, no definite cure for the viral disease. Many experts have turned their attention to natural treatments, namely Ayurveda, in the hope that a cure may be found there. Many spas and wellness centres have also started offering therapies that can help fight this disease. One such wellness centre is the Yo1 health resort that offers a wide range of Ayurvedic solutions to help a person fight this deadly disease. In a major breakthrough, clinical trials conducted across three hospitals in India have shown that Ayurveda is effective in easing symptoms of the virus before allopathic medicines.
The Ayurvedic remedy used in these trials goes by the names "Immunofree" and "Reginmune". These are made by Corival Life Sciences and Biogetica respectively. The most common tests for COVID-19 like Procalcitonin, RT-PCR, C reactive protein, etc. exhibit 20-60 per cent improvement after the patients undergo nature-based treatments, as opposed to the more common medications. The three hospitals where Ayurvedic clinical trials are taking place in India are Government Medical Hospital, Srikakulam Andhra Pradesh; Parul Sevashram Hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat, and Lokmanya Hospital Pune, Maharashtra.
COVID-19 causes a range of symptoms, some minor like body ache, dry cough, headaches to more serious symptoms like shortness of breath, difficulty in speaking and organ failure. The Ayurvedic mode of treatment was able to alleviate such symptoms quickly and effectively. When compared with conventional treatments for COVID-19, Ayurvedic treatment has shown quicker improvement too. Around 86.66 per cent patients undergoing Ayurvedic treatment tested negative by the fifth day vs 60 per cent patients on conventional treatment. On the 10th day, all patients tested negative for the virus after Ayurvedic treatment.
Meanwhile, according to The AYUSH ministry, as many as 58 new COVID-19 trials involving Ayurveda intervention were registered from 1 March to 25 June in the Clinical Trial Registry of India, highlighting the emerging nationwide trend of evidence-based studies in Ayush disciplines. News reports in August this year had revealed that out of the 203 clinical trials registered in the CTRI, 61.5 per cent were from Ayush disciplines, the ministry said in a statement. A recent study published in the Journal of Research in Ayurvedic Sciences titled 'Ayurveda Research Studies on COVID-19 Registered in CTRI: A Critical Appraisal' throws more light on this growing "research culture" in Ayush disciplines.
These trials will provide useful information to the researchers, which will help them to strategize the next course of action and also help the general public in understanding the contribution of Ayurveda in combating COVID-19. Once completed, the results of these promising studies will expectedly be published at the earliest so that it will be useful for the policymakers from the Ayush systems of medicines to strategize effective solutions to benefit public health initiatives. Further, in these challenging times, they will provide information for the global scientific community about the outcomes of Ayurveda clinical trials being conducted on COVID-19 in India.
Earlier, in July, the US collaborated with India for clinical trials for Ayurveda formulations against COVID-19. Experts argued that these natural medicines have a remarkable record in treating various diseases and noted that it may help treat COVID-19 too. They stressed on the importance of clinical trials to "get rid of all the doubts" around its effectiveness. In fact, researchers from IIT-Delhi had also cited that Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic medicine, "can treat COVID-19." According to them, the plant contains withanone, which can "impact the COVID-19's enzyme responsible for replication, if used along with an active ingredient of propolis called Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE)."
(With inputs from Agencies)
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