Ayurveda can be instrumental in fight against COVID; pharma leaders hail evidence-based trials

Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, while addressing the ‘Gratitude Week – A Tribute to Health Guardians’ by Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council highlighted that Ayurveda can play in improving health of people, including COVID-19 patients.

“The current treatment to cure people infected with COVID-19 are modern medicines that kill the virus, but in the process lowers our immunity as well. Ayurveda can help in boosting immunity so that even if one has been infected and has been cured, they do not get infected again. This will help in preventing a relapse. Ayurveda is not disease-specific in its approach and specific to individual needs – it postulates a philosophy of how to live life so that one can be healthy and prevent diseases. We are with IHW Council for the memorial for healthcare workers,” Shri Naik says.

Detailing the challenges of assessing traditional medicine such as Ayurveda in the way modern science works, Dr. Arun Gupta, Head Medical & Regulatory Affairs, Dabur Research & Development Centre, Dabur India says, “There are some fundamental differences between modern medicine and Ayurveda that makes placebo control difficult for Ayurvedic products. Also, Ayurveda is a regime, unlike medicine and therefore aspects like Anupana or the drug delivery system also play an important role in determining the efficacy of the product.”

Contrary to popular belief that modern medicine and Ayurveda do not see eye to eye, pharmaceutical leaders attending the ‘Gratitude Week’ have expressed interest in harnessing the potential of AYUSH to address nutritional deficiencies in India.

“India lacks nutrition and we must look into how AYUSH can be utilised to address this. Having quality products will also enable us to help Africa to tackle such problems there,” says Dr Gurpreet Sandhu, President, Council for Healthcare & Pharma.

Aniruddha Rajurkar, Chief Executive Officer, Shield Healthcare says, “Nutraceuticals have an important role to play and we should explore the potential of AYUSH. However, we must back our findings with evidence and data.”

Dr. Bhawna Sirohi, Director – Medical Oncology, Max Cancer Institute says, “I congratulate Ayurvedic practitioners’ efforts to try to generate evidence for Ayurvedic products. In the current environment, many of the patients are suffering from stress of COVID – stress can cause vasal spasms and I agree Yoga, Pranayam and meditation can have a calming effect on our mind.”