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COVID-19 Pandemic: The Ayurvedic Perspective.

Authors:
  • Ayurvedshala

Abstract

Evidence on COVID-19 should be adopted by the AYUSH fraternity. These can include, but is not limited to, Animal-human interface and food safety, clinical care, critical preparedness, readiness and response, health services, resources planning, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement epidemiological protocols, travels, points of entry and mass gatherings, vulnerable populations, and fragile settings. Invariably a serious effort is needed in present time to prevent such pandemics in the near future. Meanwhile there are a lot of expectations from the world community from India to handle this critical situation by using its indigenous medical system Ayurveda. It’s high time to show the strength of Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems to combat this disastrous condition.
EDITORIAL IJATM.2020;2(2):1-2.
International Journal of Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine
COVID-19 Pandemic: The Ayurvedic Perspective.
Dr. Gunjan Garg1
1Chief-in Editor. International Journal of Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine, Jaipur, India.
The mankind is facing an unprecedented pandemic of
Novel CoronaVirus Disease (COVID-19). In the 21st
century alone, the coronavirus outbreak has emerged
thrice - as COVID-19, MERS, SARS-CoV - from animal
reservoirs to cause global concerns. Corona virus chiefly
circulates among animals primarily pigs, camels, bats, and
cats.
The transmission of COVID-19 virus is directly through
respiratory droplet/saliva and indirectly by contact with
contaminated objects. Comorbid conditions in general and
respiratory diseases like Asthma/COPD as well as old age
appear to be the risk factors at the individual level
including Women and children
No specific drug or vaccination against the virus is
available at present and intense research is going on to
find a vaccine against the disease across the globe.
Although some drugs have been used empirically, the
present emphasis is more on prevention of the spread of
the infection. Home isolation for the suspected cases,
quarantine of the positive cases, social isolation, and
self-imposed curfew are some adopted strategies, showing
promising results. Most common symptoms as per WHO
are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Less common
symptoms are aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea,
conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on
the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes. Serious
symptoms includes difficulty in breathing or shortness of
breath, chest pain, loss of speech, or movement. Most of
the infected people are found to develop mild to moderate
symptoms and recover without medical interventions.
In Ayurvedic literature, the communicable diseases are
mentioned under Janapadoddhvamsa (~communicable
diseases affecting an entire country or the whole world)
impairment of Vayu (~air), Udaka (~water), Desha
(~land) and Kala
(~season) and are more lethal in their
consecutively increasing order. Adharma
(~unrighteousness) is the root cause of vitiation of all
factors and is led by Pragyapradha (~intellectual error).
Sansargaja (~diseases transmitted directly through close
contact or droplet infection) and Upsragaja (~diseases
transmitted indirectly through contaminated surfaces), are
also mentioned in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic management of
these infectious diseases can be preventive and curative.
Changes in weather and environment can be predicted
with geoecological and climatology advanced
technologies. Adequate arrangements and planning can be
made before starting epidemics, which are most likely to
occur in that specific weather, to minimize the morbidity
and quick identification of various vectors that could
worsen the impact or facilitate the spread of infections. In
newly emerging COVID-19, where there is limited
scientific knowledge, a vigilant observation can help
prepare plan and management in future outbreaks.
Further, early detection may help for rapid
implementation of effective measures, which are the key
to reduce the risk of disastrous spread.
Enhancement of immunity plays an important role in
maintaining optimum health and preventing such
communicable diseases. Ayurveda’s insights of
preventive care are based on the concepts of
Dinacharya
(~daily regimes) and Ritucharya
IJATM I VOL 2 I ISSUE 2 I JUNE 2020
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Gunjan Garg. COVID-19 Pandemic: The Ayurvedic Perspective.
(~seasonal regimes). These help in maintaining health,
immunity and longevity. Panchakarma
(~bio-purification) and Rasayana (~immunomodulators)
can be planned for people in the risk-prone areas to
improve immunity and minimize the risk of infection. It is
noted that certain viral infections occur in a specific
period of the year when either the weather is favorable for
viral potency or there are potent vectors to primarily
infect individuals with low immunity.
The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India has issued
an Ayurvedic immunity-boosting advisory for self-care
during COVID- 19 crisis. Ayurvedic immunity promoting
medicine like Chyavanprash
, turmeric powder with milk,
herbal tea/decoction
(~Kadha/Kwath
) made from
Basil(Tulsi
), Cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger and
procedures like Gandusha (~oil pulling), application of
Sneha (cow’s ghee) within nostrils and daily practice of
Yogasana
,Pranayama, and meditation have been
advised.
Above advisory and guidelines mostly focuses on
immunomodulation and symptomatic treatment of the
diseases. Further investigation into the treatment
protocols based on Dosha Prakopa Awastha
(~aggravation or accumulation of toxins) and Prakriti
(~constitution) may play a vital role in the management
of COVID-19.
Sodhana and Rasayana
therapy is well advocated for
Janapadoddhvams
a in Ayurveda. Self-taught
Partimarsha Nasya
(~errhine therapy),
Shiro-Padaabhyanga
(self oil massage of head and soles
of feet), Gandusha
(~ oil pulling),
and Shirodhara
through automated machines are some of the options that
can be explored for the benefit of patients under isolation
or quarantine.
As most of the countries are busy tackling the peak of
COVID-19, the long term adverse effects of lockdown
and information overload on mental and physical health
must not be ignored. Use of Medhya and Balya Rasayana
therapy for the prevention of recurrence in recovered
patients and Sodhana and Rasayana therapy as a
rehabilitation can be explored to help restore the original
state. Invariably, Ayurveda advises proper Ahara (~diet)
and Nidra (~sleep) to maintain the state of health.
Complement with the advisory of Nidra
(~sleep) and
Achara Rasayana (~behavioural therapy of Ayurveda)
can be further prospective for managing Post-COVID non
communicable syndromes.
To generate threads of evidence, the Ministry of AYUSH
conveyed that scientists, researchers, clinicians of any
recognized Indian system of medicines can conduct
research on COVID-19 through Ayurveda. To enhance
the Ayurveda treatment in more precise way some
retrospective studies based on Prakriti
(~individual
constitution), Ahara
(diet), Vihara
(~lifestyle), and Agni
(~digestive power) can be conducted to rule out the
variation in morbidity and recovery rate in COVID
positive patients. These research can incorporate
generation of evidence towards prophylactic measures,
interventions during quarantine, asymptomatic and
symptomatic cases of COVID- 19, public health research,
survey, lab-based research, etc.
Evidence on COVID-19 should be adopted by the
AYUSH fraternity. These can include, but is not limited
to, Animal-human interface and food safety, clinical care,
critical preparedness, readiness and response, health
services, resources planning, infection prevention and
control, risk communication and community engagement
epidemiological protocols, travels, points of entry and
mass gatherings, vulnerable populations, and fragile
settings. Invariably a serious effort is needed in present
time to prevent such pandemics in the near future.
Meanwhile there are a lot of expectations from the world
community from India to handle this critical situation by
using its indigenous medical system Ayurveda. It’s high
time to show the strength of Ayurveda and other AYUSH
systems to combat this disastrous condition.
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