New Delhi: From sipping hot turmeric milk, kadha to performing yoga, and consuming ashwagandha and guduchi — the Narendra Modi government Tuesday released the official protocol of using ayurveda and yoga for Covid-19 prevention and treatment of patients with mild or no symptoms.
The Ministry of AYUSH has been promoting ayurveda since the beginning of the pandemic claiming that alternative medicines can help improve immunity against the novel coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also promoted the advice by the ministry in his address to the nation in April.
While last month, the health ministry issued guidelines for managing post-recovery symptoms of Covid-19, the AYUSH Ministry has now released the National Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19 patients.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted that the “upgradation of protocols” has been done in sync with the Indian Council of Medical Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) October 6, 2020
The protocol promotes use of ashwagandha, guduchi, pippali, Ayush 64 tablets in different doses, and yoga to prevent Covid, treat mild symptoms and for post-Covid self-care.
The ministry clarified that in addition to these medicines, general and dietary measures are to be followed, which include a long to-do list such as drinking turmeric milk, sipping kadha or decoction, applying medicated oils in nasal passage and performing steam inhalation with ajwain or eucalyptus oil.
Taking adequate sleep of 6 to 8 hours along with doing moderate physical exercises is also recommended apart from following physical distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene, and wearing masks.
Prevention to mild symptoms
For prevention or prophylactic care among high-risk population and primary contacts of Covid patients, the document advises dosage of ayurvedic herbs ashwagandha, guduchi ghana vati along with Chyawanaprash for 15 days or one month.
Among asymptomatic patients, the ministry advised guduchi ghana vati, guduchi along with pippali and Ayush 64 tablets for 15 days or as the physician advised to prevent disease progression to symptomatic and severe form, and to also improve recovery rate.
For mild Covid patients with fever, headache, tiredness, cough and other symptoms but no breathlessness, the same combination of guduchi, pippali and Ayush 64 tablets is recommended.
Ashwagandha is known as the “master” herb in ayurvedic medicine, while guduchi ghan vati is a tablet made from another herb called giloy or heart-leaved moonseed. Herb pippali, also known as long-pepper, is used for treatment of respiratory illness, and Ayush 64 is a patented anti-malarial medicine developed by the ministry of AYUSH.
The yoga protocol, according to the ministry, is given for prevention and after recovery from Covid.
The objectives of performing yoga, as stated in the protocol, is to improve respiratory and cardiac efficiency, reduce stress and anxiety and to enhance immunity.
It suggested a 45-minute yoga routine to prevent Covid, which includes both standing and sitting postures along with prone and supine lying asana and breathing exercise called pranayama. Supine means lying in a face-up position, while prone means lying face down.
The ministry’s protocol also suggested the time length of performing each asana and exercise.
For post-Covid care, a 30-minute yoga routine is suggested with the objective of improving pulmonary function and lung capacity apart from reducing stress, anxiety and clearance of airways in the respiratory tract.