By Sfoorti Mishra
New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday advised everyone in his 7-point appeal to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH to help build immunity against the coronavirus pandemic. This, the experts say, has infused a new life into the ancient medical practice which originated in India, but is underestimated by many.
Speaking to IANS, J. Hareendran Nair, a member of the task force constituted by the Kerala government to fight Covid-19 through Ayurveda, said, “The PM’s endorsement came as the clincher. Our system is ready with a protocol for both curative and preventive care for coronavirus”.
He said 18 Ayurveda colleges are ready in the state. “We will in the next three days start our work at the grassroots,” said Nair.
“We do treat viral infections with our own medicines and his statement is a decisive factor.”
Dr Pratap Chauhan of Jiva Ayurveda told IANS that the PM’s call for following guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Ayush to boost immunity is very significant. His 7-point plan sends a positive message to the public and will certainly boost the popularity of Ayurvedic practices, he added.
“Our Ayush Mantralaya has constituted a task force, the process is underway. We will certainly come out with positive results by collaborating with modern medicinal practices. The government has the intention to work as per the modern medical protocol,” said Dr Chauhan.
“All state governments are pushing for Ayurveda. Some studies of Ayurveda that were conducted during Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic could not get recognition. Those studies will also be revived. However, these will have to be validated by authorities,” said Dr Chauhan.
The task force constituted by the Ayush Ministry includes doctors of ICMR and modern medicines also. “The protocol for the treatment will be laid down through modern medicines and medical research body so that proper documentation of the research and intervention can be done, he said.
Vaidya Sandeep Madaan of Aastha Ayurveda Clinic told IANS: “Ayurveda is very popular globally. As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, he has always supported Ayurveda, but this time his call to adopt Ayurveda to boost immunity amid a pandemic is extremely crucial. This will take Ayurvedic practice to the next level and will enhance its popularity. Pharmaceutical companies may also invest in the field of Ayurveda in the coming days.”
Madaan said that PM’s call has brought new responsibility for authentic Ayurveda practitioners. “With his call comes a big responsibility. Companies should install quality plants and manufacture good quality medicines. Many quacks make substandard products. This should be avoided,” he said.
“States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already started giving Ayurvedic medicines to the people to boost their immunity. Ayurveda is a plant-based life science that propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining healthy and happy living. The practice advocates preventive care, derived from the concepts of ‘dinacharya’ (daily routine) and ‘ritucharya’ (seasonal regimes) to maintain a healthy life,” said Madan.
The previous guidelines issued earlier by the Ayush Ministry stirred a debate among followers and non-followers of Ayurveda. Madaan said, “I want to ask those who criticize Ayurveda: does any medical practice have a cure for COVID-19? Most developed countries too are struggling to find a drug for it, so what is the big thing if Ayurveda does not have it as yet? Even China, where this pandemic originated, has stressed using their traditional medicines for COVID-19. Therefore, there is no harm in taking these precautionary measures advised by the Ministry of Ayush.”
However the Ayush Ministry said that the advisory issued by it does not claim to be treatment for COVID-19.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])