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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai July 08 , 2020
The Ayurveda wing at the Sir Sundarlal Hospital (SSLH) at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi is gearing up to kick off a research study on prophylactic action of Ayurveda drug, Ashwagandha capsule, against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID) in the wake of positive reports of drug actions on patients with mild and moderate conditions of COVID from various institutions in the country.

The hospital is taking up the research as a project of the Union Ministry of Ayush and the drug identified for testing and study is a capsule of Ashwagandha, said Dr Anand Kumar Chaudhary, professor and head at the department of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishjya Kalpana at SSLH.

“As part of the research, the administration of the drug will be on healthcare workers and we will study whether or not the patient gains any clinical benefit , and whether they suffer any adverse effect from the medicines”, he told Pharmabiz.

Dr Chaudhary further said the hospital has been assigned by the Ayush ministry to study the effect of ‘Yashtimadhu’ (Glycyrrhiza glabra), a herbal drug used for treating conditions like digestive conditions, cough, infection, sore throat and others, on COVID patients as an adjunct therapy. However patients are administered allopathic medicines.

While speaking to Pharmabiz, the professor said Ayurvedic interventions are working well against coronavirus in patients of mild and moderate conditions, and reports substantiating the claims have been received from Chaudhary Brhmaprakash Charak Ayurved Sansthan, New Delhi, Pt. Khushilal Sharma Ayurvedic College, Bhopal and from the Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences at Etawah. It is unfortunate that some states in south India and West Bengal are not permitting ayurvedic interventions on COVID patients. However, there is one report from Prashanti Ayurvedic Centre Main Hospital in Bengaluru that they treated a COVID patient, said Dr Chaudhary.

To a question the professor pointed out that even in allopathy there is no perfect medicine to treat COVID-19, and the modern system is also undergoing research on how to address the coronavirus disease. According to him all state governments must permit the Ayurveda practitioners to treat COVID patients and study the effect of the treatments and how the medicines work on the patients. This will be effective in the form of a trial study as in the case of allopathic drugs. He said the modern medicines are tested medicines but they have a claim period of less than 100 years, whereas, Ayurveda has more than 1,000 years of experiments. Then the governments must allow the ayurvedic practitioners to treat COVID patients, he added.

The Ayurveda hospital, SSLH, at BHU was established in 1922 and it is a 250 beds facility now. It has 16 OPDs of different specializations and 50 consultants and 75 junior doctors to work every day. The average number of patients visiting the OPDs is 700.

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