: 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 47--49

COVID-19 and ayurveda

Basavaraj R Tubaki 
 Department of Kayachikitsa, Shri BMK Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Deemed to be University), Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Basavaraj R Tubaki
Department of Kayachikitsa, Shri BMK Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Deemed to be University), Shahapur, Belagavi - 590 003, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Tubaki BR. COVID-19 and ayurveda.Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med 2021;2:47-49

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Tubaki BR. COVID-19 and ayurveda. Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 May 26 ];2:47-49
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The world has witnessed various epidemics and pandemics. These have affected millions of lives across different regions and time points in the past. In spite of advances in the field of medicine, health, and research, the newer pathogens keep challenging the human life and the health-care systems globally. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus responsible for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). These Corona viruses have large genetic diversity and have frequent recombination of genomes. The large human–animal interface activities can cause novel coronaviruses to develop and cause periodic seasonal spread.[1] Current data show that COVID-19 has around 243,260,214 confirmed cases and 4,941,039 deaths and 6,697,607,393 vaccine doses administered are reported to the WHO.[2] Data from India show 3,42,02,202 confirmed cases, 4,55,068 deaths and total vaccination doses administered are 1,02,94,01,119.[3] It is fast evolving as not only health crisis but also a major economic, social, and political catastrophe. Its short-term and long-term consequences on various fields are beyond comprehension due to its rapid unfolding of various crises and paralyzing all the domains. It has made the best health-care systems of the world helpless as there is no effective management and vaccination drive is in the ongoing stages. Sole attention of the globe in this current situation is to contain spread, minimize the death, and develop effective management strategies.

Ayurveda has information on epidemics/pandemics details of which are explained under Janapadodhwamsa, 3rd chapter of Vimanasthana, Charaka Samhita. The other relevant knowledge base is explained in the context of Bhutabhisanga/Sankramikaroga (infections), environmental detoxification during wars, Sannipataja jwara, Agantuja jwara, etc. It has laid down parameters of isolation, social distancing, good hygiene practices, and epidemic management strategies. COVID-19 presents with kasa or swasa symptoms in mild category, vata kapahaja jwara in moderate, and vata kaphaja sannipatika jwara in severe cases.

Ayurveda bodies, institutes, and governmental organizations have tried their best in understanding this novel disease and put efforts in prophylactic, therapeutic, supportive, and rehabilitative management of this disease. The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India,[4] proposed a “national clinical management protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19.” It advised various management approaches to Ayurveda physicians like gargling with medicaments like Triphala kashaya or Yasthimadu kashaya, Nasya with Anu tail or Shadbindu tail, steam inhalation with Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) or Pudina (Mentha spicata), yoga protocol for primary prevention and post COVID care, intake of Ayush kadha. Prophylactic measures advised for high risk individuals/front line workers included use of Aswagandha, samashamani vati, Chyavan prasha. In COVID-positive mild cases, Guduchi with Pippali and AYUSH-64 were advised. Post COVID care included Aswagandha, Chayavanprasha, and Rasayana churna (compound powder of Tinospora cordifolia, Emblica officinalis, and Tribulus terrestris). Ayurveda management guidelines for mucormycosis and to it's various manifestations have been suggested. Guidelines for Ayurveda practitioners include management guidelines of mild, moderate, and severe cases. Symptomatic management techniques, managements for possible scenarios like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, immune-compromised conditions, comorbidities management like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, renal diseases, etc., have been discussed. Home care guidelines for children include prophylactic and management measures. Prophylactic includes Nasya and Abhyanga. Management includes Shamshani vati, decoction of Tulasi, Dalchini, Shunthi, Haridra, Draksha, Jaggery (Ayush Bal Kwath), Ashwagandha root powder, Aravindasava, and other symptomatic measures.

The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, formed the Interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Task Force, which laid down the Guidelines for AYUSH Clinical Studies in COVID-19. It further laid guidelines for different study designs like prophylactic, treatment, and recovery trials, population-based prospective studies, interventional studies on asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 patients, stand-alone Ayurveda management protocols, and case record forms. Many studies are ongoing, and few have reported the beneficial role of Ayurveda. Many phytoconstituents of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), T. cordifolia (Guduchi), and Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) possess the potential to modulate several targets in immune pathways and have a protective role. Docking of spike protein, main protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the SARS-CoV-2 virus showed good affinity and can have a role in the termination of viral life cycle.[5] AYUSH-64 helped in recovery of influenza-like illness.[6] AYUSH-64 as an add-on to standard care in asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 showed improved clinical recovery and reduction in pro-inflammatory markers like interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.[7] Add-on Ayurveda treatments (Dashamula and Pathyadi decoctions along with Trikatu powder, Sanshamani tablet, AYUSH-64 tablet, and Yastimadhu Ghana tablet) reduced the duration of symptomatic phase of early stage of COVID-19.[8] Prophylactic intranasal application of Anu tail helped in reducing the viral load and severity in SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hamster model.[9] A case study[10] reported beneficial effects of Ayurveda managements in COVID-19 with hypoxia requiring supportive oxygen therapy and another study[11] reported beneficial effect of stand-alone Ayurveda management in high-risk COVID-19 patients with multiple comorbidities.

COVID-19 survivors can have many psychopathologies. A study[12] reported that survivors after 30 days of hospital treatment had mental health issues. Twenty-eight percent had PTSD, 31% depression, 42% anxiety, 20% obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and 40% had insomnia. Overall, 56% scored in the pathological range in at least one clinical dimension. Patients also have low physical functioning and impaired performance of activities of daily life.[13] Patients 3 months post illness[14] had general symptoms (49.6%) comprising fatigue (28.3%), sweating (23.6%), myalgia, arthralgia, etc. Other symptoms included respiratory symptoms (22.7%), cardiovascular-related symptoms (13%), psychosocial symptoms (22.7%), and alopecia (28.6%). Post SARS, 40% had chronic fatigue problem even 40 months after infection. In Middle East respiratory syndrome, fatigue was reported up to 18 months after acute infection.[15] There are evidences to support that Ayurveda had beneficial roles in previous epidemics like chikungunya and post chikungunya complications. Ayurveda clinicians and researchers have a major role in giving services and producing the evidences for the post COVID complication management.

The current pandemic exposed our understandings, level of preparedness, our ability of collective approach, and need for many more lessons to be learnt. We need global, holistic, integrated, customized approaches breaking the various barriers such as science, community, geography, economics, and politics. One of the ways forward is the health promotion through Ayurveda, which can play a greater role in addressing such an unprecedented global health crisis in near future. Ayurveda lays importance on health along with the disease. It gives importance to prevention along with the management. Preventive aspects are appropriate culturally, seasonally and as per prakurti. Health promotive applications like dinacharya (daily regimes), rutucharya (seasonal regimes), prakurti wise lifestyle modifications, achar rasayana (code of conducts), and rasayana (regenerative medicine) can have a long-standing effect on health promotion and disease prevention. These may play a role in disease prevention, improving the immunity, disease management, supportive and rehabilitative care in the current and forthcoming pandemic diseases.


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