Ayurveda for COVID-19: What you need to know about the AYUSH Ministry’s protocol for treating patients and disease prevention

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Ayurveda for COVID-19: What you need to know about the AYUSH Ministry’s protocol for treating patients and disease prevention
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Considering the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is anything but over, there’s a continuous need to take precautions and preventive measures.

Keeping this in mind, the Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) has released the “National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19”.

The document was released by Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who announced that the recommendations were created in sync with those by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

In its preamble, the document clarified that all its recommendations for the general population, high-risk populations and COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms were created with the help of experts from India’s most reputed Ayurveda institutes.

This list of institutes includes the All India Institute of Ayurveda, Delhi, and the National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur.

General guidelines for all

At the very outset, this new protocol underlines the crucial need to follow physical distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and wearing masks – as all national and international organisations, like the World Health Organisation, have been recommending since the beginning of the pandemic.

The following are some other recommendations for the general public, which can help boost the immune system and keep infections (including COVID-19) at bay:

  • Gargling once or twice daily with either a pinch of turmeric and salt mixed in warm water or water boiled with Triphala or Yashtimadhu.
  • Steam inhalation with carom seeds (ajwain), mint leaves or eucalyptus oil mixed in water once daily.
  • Nasal application of medicated oils, plain oils like sesame or coconut or cow’s ghee is recommended once or twice daily, especially before stepping out or after coming back home.
  • Getting adequate sleep for six to eight hours and moderate physical exercise is recommended for all. Following the AYUSH Ministry’s previously released yoga recommendations is advisable.
  • Following a fresh and balanced diet, drinking the popular herbal concoction called kadha and turmeric milk daily and use of ginger, coriander seeds, basil leaves and cumin seeds in your diet is recommended.

Prophylactic care for high-risk and primary contacts

The next set of recommendations is for people who have comorbidities, increased age or other issues that put them at risk of getting severe COVID-19 and primary contacts of positive COVID-19 patients:

  • 500mg extract or 1-3g powder of Ashwagandha twice daily with warm water for 15 days to one month, or as directed by Ayurveda physician
  • 500mg extract or 1-3g powder of Guduchi Ghana Vati or Tinospora cordifolia twice daily with warm water for 15 days to one month, or as directed by Ayurveda physician
  • 10g of Chyawanprasha with warm water or milk once a day

Guidelines of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

The protocol recommends that those who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms should follow the general measures given above and the following too in order to prevent the progression of the infection to symptomatic or severe forms and to speed up recovery:

  • 500mg extract or 1-3g powder of Guduchi twice daily with warm water for 15 days to one month, or as directed by Ayurveda physician.
  • 375mg of Guduchi and Pippali extract twice daily with warm water for 15 days, or as directed by Ayurveda physician.
  • 500mg dose of AYUSH 64 twice daily with warm water for 15 days, or as directed by Ayurveda physician.

Recommendations for patients with mild COVID-19

Those who have mild COVID-19 symptoms like fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat or nasal congestion may follow the following recommendations as long as there is no evidence of breathlessness or hypoxia:

  • 375mg of Guduchi and Pippali extract twice daily with warm water for 15 days, or as directed by Ayurveda physician.
  • 500mg of AYUSH 65 twice daily with warm water for 15 days, or as directed by Ayurveda physician.

Post-COVID management protocols

The document also suggests the adoption of the following for the prevention of post-COVID-19 lung complications like fibrosis, fatigue or mental health issues. These should be done in addition to general treatment protocols:

  • 500mg extract or 1-3g powder of Ashwagandha twice daily with warm water for 15 days to one month, or as directed by Ayurveda physician
  • 10g of Chyawanprasha with warm water or milk once a day
  • 3g of Rasayana Churna powder twice daily with honey for one month, or as directed by Ayurveda physician

For more information, read our article on AYUSH Ministry advice on how to boost immunity.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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