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Abstract

The world has witnessed several epidemics and pandemics, but before sometimes the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel one, has challenged the health care system all over the world. As anticipated, new variants of coronavirus have been emerging and conventional medical system fails to suggest a definite treatment yet providing prophylactic management along with critical care as needed to save many lives. The effects are being made to find out the agents that act against the virus or immunizing people against it, which got decoyed by the appearance of more variants. The way out here is to enhance the host defense mechanism, which is kept aside since long. Ayurveda from its very beginning has given importance to the host and proposed many measures which can improve the host defense mechanism, to lead a healthy life ahead. This review is emphasized on such measures which can be adopted in combating Covid-19 pandemic, and it include Dinacarya (daily regimen) which is explained in terms of ahara and vihara modifications, along with application of satvavjaya chikitsa in management of stress among covid HEB JRIM patients. Literature related to Covid-19 pandemic were collected from published works through a search on online research portals, ayurvedic compendium and latest guidelines and regulations that are published. Obtained results were analyzed based on its pertinence and effectiveness in current scenario. As the disease is undergoing different genetic transformations, measures which make the host system capable of combating the different variants will be an operational one and even among them measures like Dinacarya etc. found to be a good choice.
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Journal of Research in Indian Medicine
An Official Publication of Bureau for Health & Education Status Upliftment
(Constitutionally Entitled As Health-Education, Bureau)
Role of Ayurveda based Diet & Lifestyle in Prevention & Management of
Covid -19
Running title: Role of Ayurveda based diet and lifestyle in Covid-19
1.Kamini Dhiman1, 2.Divyamol M D2*
1 Associate Professor, Department of Striroga evam Prasuti Tantra, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New
Delhi
2* Post Graduate Scholar, Department of Striroga evam Prasuti Tantra, All India Institute of Ayurveda,
New Delhi.
Corresponding Author:
Divyamol M D2*, Post Graduate Scholar, Dept. of Striroga evam Prasuti tantra, All India institute of
Ayurveda, Mathura Road, Sarita vihar, New Delhi,110076
Email Id: serviceheb@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
The world has witnessed several epidemics and pandemics, but before sometimes the severe acute
respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel one, has challenged the health care
system all over the world. As anticipated, new variants of coronavirus have been emerging and
conventional medical system fails to suggest a definite treatment yet providing prophylactic
management along with critical care as needed to save many lives. The effects are being made to find
out the agents that act against the virus or immunizing people against it, which got decoyed by the
appearance of more variants. The way out here is to enhance the host defense mechanism, which is
kept aside since long. Ayurveda from its very beginning has given importance to the host and
proposed many measures which can improve the host defense mechanism, to lead a healthy life ahead.
This review is emphasized on such measures which can be adopted in combating Covid-19 pandemic,
and it include Dinacarya (daily regimen) which is explained in terms of ahara and vihara
modifications, along with application of satvavjaya chikitsa in management of stress among covid
HEB
JRIM
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patients. Literature related to Covid-19 pandemic were collected from published works through a
search on online research portals, ayurvedic compendium and latest guidelines and regulations that
are published. Obtained results were analyzed based on its pertinence and effectiveness in current
scenario. As the disease is undergoing different genetic transformations, measures which make the
host system capable of combating the different variants will be an operational one and even among
them measures like Dinacarya etc. found to be a good choice.
KEYWORDS
Covid-19, Ayurveda, Diet, Lifestyle, Prevention, Management
Access this Article Online
Website:http://heb-nic.in/jrim
Received on 27/04/2022
Accepted on 03/06/2022 © HEB All rights reserved
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INTRODUCTION
Covid-19 pandemic is again tightening its grip around the world. It is one of the biggest pandemic
threat the world has ever witnessed. Despite of the scientific and medical advances that we have
achieved yet, along with the so-called economical security, this novel coronavirus has been
challenging the entire system for more than 2 years. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-
2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the pandemic is a newfangled coronavirus that was first
identified in Wuhan, Hubei province of central China around December 12, 2019. [1] SARS-CoV-2 is
the seventh coronavirus to date that is known to infect humans. [1] However, studies proposing the
possibilities of further emergence of different variants, has come into spotlight since the time of first
outbreak, considering its frequent cross-species infections and occasional spillover events. Although
quite a few such variants are detected, most recently, on 26 November 2021, WHO designated a
variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus
Evolution (TAG-VE). As of 19 December, over 273 million cases and over 5.3 million deaths have
been reported globally. [2] Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection
with Omicron as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. [2] Widely used
testing method like PCR test etc. are being used now also. WHO opines that, Corticosteroids and IL6
Receptor Blockers will still be effective for managing patients with severe Covid-19. Other
countermeasures which were using to combat covid -19 initially, are to be checked for effectiveness
in the new variants. [2] Recommended actions for prevention of current situation includes nothing novel
but the previously suggested methods like maintaining social distance, wearing of a well-fitting mask,
frequently washing hands, using sanitizers etc.
A multidisciplinary approach also involving the traditional systems of medicines in the management
and prevention of Covid -19 pandemic has become popular and accepted globally since the
uncontrollable spread of cases. Among all of which, Ayurveda science has played an outstanding role
by the concept host-defense-modulation to cure the infection as well as to prevent it. The references
regarding epidemics and pandemics are widely available through the literatures of Ayurveda where
Acaryas have mentioned nidana (cause), purvarupa (preclinical symptoms) rupa (clinical symptoms)
and cikitsa (treatment) of such manifestations under the headings janapadodhwamsa and aupasargika
rogas. Janapadodhwamsa literally means destruction or devastation of communities or settlements
due to common causes through factors like vayu (air) udaka (water) desa (land) and kala (season). [3]
Susruta Samhita mentioned about the aupasargika rogas (communicable diseases) which transmit
from one person to the other through different modes. [4] Methods for prevention and management of
such conditions are mentioned there as medical management with Panchakarma (elimination therapy)
and Rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy) [5] as well as non-medical management like following
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sadvritta (good conduct), brahmcarya (celibacy) etc. which possibly could improve the psychic health
of the patient.
However, in short, whatever is the strength that Ayurveda science possess to contest Covid-19
pandemic, its ultimate utilization is in hands of vaidyas (clinicians). This article makes an effort to
consolidate all possible ways and means structured from Ayurveda sastra that would help in managing
and preventing the pandemic. Structure of the concept essentially focuses on ahara (Diet) and vihara
(lifestyle) modification of people, as those are the least considered but with great potential to cause
change.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION
Literature related to newly emerged Covid-19 pandemic and its up-to-date details were collected from
recent research articles by searching via online scientific sites viz. PubMed, Google scholar, Medline plus
using different keywords. Ayurvedic diet and regimens applicable in Covid-19 diseases were also searched
in different Ayurvedic compendia, documented treatments modalities on it with recent research
publications and latest guidelines and regulations published by different government authorities. The
obtained descriptions were analyzed to fathom relevance and applied aspect of it.
REVIEW AND DISCUSSION
1. Harmony of the world and emerging covid-19
Harmony of the world has been salvaged well for decades by the balanced state of health of the organisms
living on it, enough resources, proper management of systems designated for development and consensus
among people. From primeval time, the world has witnessed several unexpected changes, which ultimately
led to the harm of both animate and inanimate things. Most recently, all have come into effect of such a
situation where the center of focus was a pandemic called Novel Coronavirus Disease. This one, now have
become popular even among the illiterate population as it is being transmitted in all parts of the world
irrespective of age, gender etc. The exact origin and transmission of this disease to human beings are still
a mystery. It shows a wide range of distinct symptoms and extensively range from Respiratory system to even
Central Nervous system. Most of the people recovers from the condition without any treatment. But in
patients with associated comorbidities, this virus is more likely to produce serious illness. Currently, there
are no standardized guidelines for its prevention, no such suggestions have come into front line except that
from Ayurveda.
2. Evidence of promising contributions from Ayurveda as an ancient science
Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine has its origin somewhere in South Asian region before many
decades. Its origin is purely holistic and yet shows an exemplary result in elixir of pathosis even now.
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Treatises of Ayurveda medicine have a structure in which it encloses all possible expressions of illness
which may develop even in future and is a never-ending ocean of knowledge which offers extensive tools
in disease management based on their insight. Health is defined in Ayurveda science as an optimal state
of one’s wellness and an accordingly balanced state of body humors, metabolic process, formed bodily
tissues, senses, mind and self-knowledge. Any variation from this state will result in ill health. The great
expounders of Ayurveda like acharya charaka and vagbhata have detailed the communicable and
epidemic diseases in samhitas as aupasargika roga [4] and janapadodhwamsa [6] respectively. Not merely
this, but also mentioned the part of specific infectious agents in the development and advancement of
Sankramak roga (Infectious disease). In fact, these diseases are not only transmitted from person to
person, but also from animal to person and animal to animal. Suśruta saṃhita has described epidemic
fevers presenting with cluster of symptoms like cough, breathing difficulty, vomiting and headache, which
resembles fevers causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Dalhaṇa, the commentator
additionally refers to symptoms like anosmia (gandhaana), which are of interest in understanding
COVID-19. He also points to the nasal passages as the point of contact with the causative agent of the
disease. [7] Many more references are also available from other treatises of Ayurveda, which are not
included in this article.
3. Potential tools from Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a science that contains a knowledge system with Tattva (principles) translating
to Sastra (theoretical constructs) and Sastra translating to Vyavahara (practical applications). Thus, the
whole system is designed to translate knowledge into action that is of benefit to society -
lokanugrahapravṛttaḥ śastravadaḥ. [8] For sustaining life and maintaining momentum of health, acaryas
have advised to follow proper ahara (diet) and vihara (lifestyle) through which one can regain verdure
and endure quality of life. It is said that one’s body is product of food and food is harbinger of happiness
and suffering, [9] same as the disease also. Diseases are the byproduct of unwholesome food taken by one.
Which says, diet is one of the key tools which leads to the healthy or unhealthy state of a person. By
modulating the diet, one may reverse the act of pathogenesis involved in the disease process. Human
bodies consist of a few biological systems that conduct specific functions necessary for everyday living.
This system is being affected by both internal and external environment. Consequently, change should be
made from both the aspects. Here comes the importance of lifestyle modifications. As diet modifies the
internal environment of the body system, lifestyle contributes more to the external environment
adaptations.
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4.1 Diet based on Dravya Guṇa Sastra (Science of Material and Properties) in Covid- 19 patients
Dravya Guṇa Sastra is a main tool of Ayurveda from which we can grab the fundamentals of diet. Ahara is
a dravya (material or substance), and it is made up of five elements or panchamahabhutas,[10] and has
Rasa (taste), Guṇa (quality), Vīrya (potency) and Vipaka (metabolism) based on which it exhibits their
actions or karma. Rasa is the taste, and which is a sensory experience. There are pradhana guṇas (Primary
qualities) and anubandha guṇas (Secondary qualities) for each rasa and which is further augmented by
Guṇa, Vīrya and Vipaka. First among all is madura rasa (sweet taste) and is said to be nourishing and
rejuvenating. In covid patients although it is a kapha-vata pradhana samprapti in the beginning it become
pittavata pradhana in later stage. So, in those cases can use madura rasa pradhana ahara. Tikta rasa
(bitter taste) is very much useful in jwara avastha (fever) and including this in the diet in a minimum
quantity may ease the splitting up of Samprapti (pathogenesis). Kaṭu rasa (pungent taste) cures throat
ailments and disintegrates obstructions, open up metabolic pathways and pacifies kapha. These can
collectively be used in different stages of treatment of Covid-19. For example, Haridra (turmeric) has
been widely used during the pandemic, is a tikta-kaṭu rasa drug. Likewise, many single or combinations
of dravyas are out there, that we can make use of. Kasaya rasa (astringent taste) [11] is contraindicated
during the initial stage of jwara avastha. When coming to the concept of vīrya, ushna (hot)vīrya is
vatakapha śamana and is useful in jwara avastha also. Due to this, use of lukewarm water for drinking in
Covid patients has been found effective. Diet which are cold in potency is better to be avoided. Guṇa
theory is a colossal one and it works on the tatva that guna can defend or counteract a roga avastha, when
the chikitsa is done using the gunas which are exactly opposite to state of that specific roga. In covid
patients during the initial stages may use Laghu, Uṣṇa, Viśada and Drava guṇa ahara and for rest of the
stages one should choose wisely. There are some restricted gunas, to use in fever include guru (heavy)
guna and vishtambhi bhojana (foods causing constipation) [12] to be avoided. Finally transformed rasa
after its interaction with jaṭharagni is known as vipaka, in which kaṭu vipaka shows its potential action in
Covid-19 disease as it has the capacity to increase digestive fire, pacify kaphaja diseases and thereby an
important hold on pranavaha srotas (respiratory system). We can make permutations and combinations
of these factors discerningly.
4.2 Diet and Agni
Although the word agni contain a broad spectrum, here it corelates with jatharagni (digestive fire). It is
an invariable agent in the process of paka (digestion) of foods through which process ultimate nourishment
of dhatus (bodily tissues) take place. So, whatever is the state of agni in a diseased person, samagni
avastha (normal state) is required for the proper assimilation and digestion of ingested food at the proper
time. Bringing a person’s agni to that, is the critical point. After assessing the amavastha in the patient,
different methods can be adopted to correct disordered agni like ushna jala pana (drinking hot water),
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panchakola paniya or mrdu langhana. [13]
4.3 Interrelationship between Manasika bhava and ahara is a complex one and has an important effect
on psychological dispositions of individuals. Different types of food that affects psyche like satva
(calmness of mind), rajas (aggressiveness of mind) and tamas (inertia of mind) are to be filtered properly
and diet should be prepared accordingly. During this pandemic, diet with satva guṇa pradhana should be
given because it is considered as the hitahara (wholesome food) and pathya ahara (compatible food)
where the patient has less satva bala (less tolerant to stressful situations). Acaryas have mentioned krodha
(anger), [6] a manasika bhava that should be avoided in the jwara avastha.
4.4 Personalized diet based on Prakruti (constitution) is gaining a sumptuous popularity now a days.
Vata prakruti (persons having vata constitution) individuals are having more affinity towards madura,
amla and lavaṇa rasa. Pitta prakruti (persons having pitta constitution) individuals are fonder of madura,
tikta and kasaya rasa. Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes are more used by Kapha prakruti (persons
having kapha constitution) persons. So, diet should be prepared in accordance with the prakruti as well as
the suitability of the rogi (patient).
4.5 Satmya (wholesome) towards ahara consumption is diverse according to persons and yet a condition
deserves the most care. Incompatible food and food practices are prone to cause biochemical toxins in the
body. When we advise diet in Covid patients, wholesomeness to the patient is also to be considered. Fact
is that whatever ahara is giving to the patient, if it is satmya, will bring a desired change.
5. Lifestyle modifications; A scope or not?
Lifestyle of a person is an aggregate of his physical activities coordinated with psychological functioning
and exhibited in the form of living pattern, habits, behavior etc. When we think of modifying it, we need to
set some parameters. Regimen is of two-fold, one which is in the definite frame of time (niyatakala) and
not (aniyatakala). The niyatakala kriya can again be divided into daily (dainamdina) and periodical
regimen (arttava). This can be attained by following things based on Dinacarya (Daily regimen), Sadvritta
(Ideal routines) and acara rasayana (Code of conduct). This work elaborates on Dinacarya or Daily
regimen here specifically based on vihara modification.
5.1 Dinacarya
Ayurveda teaches how to perform a daily routine and an annual routine to compensate with external
environment to remain healthy.[14] All human beings are in control of a 24-hour internal clock called as the
circadian rhythm which help to adapt the changes that are happening in and around in terms of physical,
mental, and behavioral changes.[15] Dinacarya is a scientific way of correcting one’s body rhythm thereby
promoting health and longevity. Following a sketched plan won’t be always possible, even though some
modifications as per situation provide ease for practical conduct.
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Waking up from bed at brahma muhurta (early morning) which brings an active phase in the metabolism
of body by expelling the harmful toxins. It should be followed by cleansing of mouth and teeth, then by
drinking of water in empty stomach which is a stimulus to the digestive functions and elimination of bowels.
Exercise is placed next to this as it increases the blood circulation in the body and promotes appetite and
digestion. For that chankramana [14](daily walking) is practical to conduct as the covid patient sometimes
feel extremely hard to perform other exercises. These can be followed by a healthy individual to prevent
covid pandemic. For a diseased one, some modifications according to condition is needed. The eyes, nose,
and mouth are the main portals of entry of droplets carrying the SARS-COV-2. [16] We can use aṇutaila for
nasya (nasal application). Warm liquids and oils are used as gargles (gandusha) or mouth rinses (kavala)
to cleanse the mouth and throat thoroughly. and for oral health gargling of haridra saindava jala
(medicated water prepared with turmeric and rock salt). Dhoomapana [14](herbal smoking) is also found
very effective as it stimulates the respiratory center present in brain stem which may triggers the normal
physiological function of respiratory system. Dis-infective action of the dhumpana dravyas like haridra,
etc cleanses the respiratory tract, oral cavity and pharynx. Fumigation of homes, shelters and living place
by Ayurvedic herbs such as garlic (Allium sativum) peel, turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder, Carom or
Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) seeds and Loban (resin of Styrax benzoin and Boswellia species) may also
be a useful strategy for disinfection. [17] Cleanliness is very important to maintain, both body and the mind
by snana and following acara rasayana respectively. Some restrictions are also advocated by acaryas
which should be followed and vomited as per condition. In navajwara (starting stage of fever) day sleep,
bathing, oil massage, sexual indulgence, exposure to wind and exercise are to be avoided.[11]
6. Stress management in Covid patients is of great concern. Ayurveda holds satvavajaya cikitsa (non-
drug psychotherapies) for maintenance of good mental health and to prevent mental disorders through
Jnana (dissemination of spiritual knowledge), Vijnana (promotion of scriptural knowledge), Dhairya
(~fortitude and courage), Smriti (~promotion of memory) and Samadhi (eternal knowledge). Jnana
represents the spiritual knowledge and may corelate with religious knowledge of one’s in current scenario.
Holding strong on to this belief through prayers etc. will bring a hope in them to combat stressful conditions.
As a result, the patient learns inner skills to manage his/her concerns. [18] Vijnana is the knowledge of
scriptures which takes the person towards real wisdom. We may corelate this with the real knowledge
regarding covid pandemic which is a condition where a lot of myths are rolling around. Its goal is to educate
the person so that they can better comprehend the nature of the problem and the condition, as well as to
assist them in improving their coping abilities. [18] Dhairya is calming down the hyperexcited state of mind
in the face of unpleasant events and internal conflicts. It aims to preserve mental equilibrium and to improve
impulse control and coping skills (such as calm, acceptance, compassion, or tolerance)[18] which we can
attain by practicing the meditation techniques in covid patients. Smriti is the process of memorizing the
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past events, which is said to be essential for mitigation of disease condition. It aids the patient in recalling
positive memories while simultaneously assisting him/her in neglecting all negative, stressful, and
traumatic recollections.[18] In the qualities of a good patient also, Vagbhata acarya has used the term
Jnapaka, which means the one with good memory. This may corelate with the sharpness of mind in timely
intake of medicines and following the advises. Samadhi is the stage where no Vikara (~disease) or Dukha
(~sorrow). This is attained by building capacity in patients to pursue things in a balanced way whether it is
good or bad. All of these can be attained by practicing meditation and pranayama techniques in covid
patients. These strategies will assist the patient in becoming more actively involved in life circumstances
in a healthy way, allowing him to reach a better balance in his life and may find useful for stress
management in covid patients.
CONCLUSION
Ayurveda is sovereign among all traditional systems of medicine, which gives its tenor for maintaining
healthy state of individuals by preventing and healing illness. Causes of disease are very versatile but has
two principal components- ahara (diet) and vihara (lifestyle). Covid-19 being the pandemic of no
treatments, due to their large genetic diversity and frequent recombination of their genomes, successful
perpetuation of health through proper practice of food habits and lifestyle will play a hopeful part.
Depression during Covid- 19 is a big issue which could modify using satvavjaya chikitsa mentioned in
Ayurveda. We can extend the wings of Ayurveda for a great privilege in this pandemic period, but
adaptations according to the situation should be made judicious.
SOURCE OF SUPPORT
Nil
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Nil
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Nil
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Background Ayurvedic clinical profiling of COVID-19 is a pre-requisite to develop standalone and integrative treatment approaches. At present, Ayurvedic clinicians do not have access to COVID-19 patients in clinical settings. In these circumstances, a preliminary clinical profiling of COVID-19 based on review of modern medical and classical Ayurvedic literature with inputs from Allopathic clinicians treating COVID-19 patients assumes significance. Objectives This paper aims to develop an Ayurvedic clinical profile of COVID-19 by literature review supported by analysis of clinical data of a cohort of COVID-19 patients. Methods The typical Clinical Presentation of COVID-19 was categorized based on a cluster of symptoms with reference to “Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)” released by the US CDC. As the clinical presentation is found to vary widely, research papers reporting clinical symptoms of patient samples from different parts of the world were also reviewed to identify outliers and atypical presentations. Case Records of fourteen COVID-19 patients treated at Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon were analyzed to compare symptomatology with data obtained from published literature. Further, a careful correlation was done with the data collected from selected Ayurvedic classical texts and expert views of clinical practitioners to arrive at a preliminary Ayurvedic clinical profile of COVID-19. Results COVID-19 can be provisionally understood from the Ayurvedic perspective as vātakapha dominant sannipātajvara of āgantu origin with pittānubandha. The asymptomatic, presymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe and critical stages of COVID-19 with varying clinical presentations have been analysed on the basis of nidāna, doṣa, dūṣya, nidānapañcaka and ṣaṭkriyākāla to present a preliminary clinical profile of the disease. Conclusions In this paper, we have demonstrated that a preliminary clinical profiling of COVID-19 from the Ayurvedic perspective is possible through literature review supported by discussions with Allopathic clinicians as well as examination of patient case records. The provisional diagnosis proposed can be further developed with continued review of literature, wider cooperation and teamwork with Allopathic physicians and access to clinical data as well as direct clinical assessment of COVID-19 patients.
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Environmental disinfection greatly reduces the occurrence of nosocomial or healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) which are the major healthcare problems worldwide. In India, Ayurvedic traditional fumigation with natural plant products is used to disinfect environment. In the present study, environmental disinfection efficiency of traditional fumigation practice has been evaluated by using natural plant products such as garlic (Allium sativum) peel, turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder, Carom (Trachyspermum ammi) seeds (Ajwain) and Loban (resin of Styrax benzoin and Boswellia species). The efficiency of traditional fumigation using these natural products to disinfect air and surface was evaluated. The effect of traditional fumigation on the microbiological quality of air was revealed by active air sampling. In addition, the ability of the traditional fumigation using garlic peel to disinfect inanimate surface was evaluated using three strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Glass slide was artificially contaminated with the bacteria and fumigated whereas non-fumigated slide served as control. The control and fumigated slides were analyzed for surviving bacteria and subjected to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Traditional fumigation performed separately with three grams of garlic peel, turmeric, carom seeds and loban powder reduced the average air borne bacterial colony forming units (cfu)/m3 compared to non-fumigated control. The SEM analysis showed reduced number of bacteria in garlic peel fumigated surface samples. The results of the study strongly suggested that the traditional Ayurvedic fumigation with natural plant products is effective in reducing air-borne bacteria and in disinfecting inanimate surfaces. The traditional fumigation with herbal products has huge potential to address the problem of nosocomial infections. Keywords: Ayurvedic fumigation, Environmental disinfection, MRSA, Garlic
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