: 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91--94

“Surviving the storm through the shelter of Ayurveda” – International webinar on integrated approach to combat COVID-19 – A conference report

Tanuja Manoj Nesari1, Mahesh Vyas2, Meera K Bhojani2, Shivakumar S Harti3, Arun Kumar Mahapatra4, Aparna Dileep4, KP Karthik4,  
1 Department of Drayagunavijnana, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Samhita and Siddhanta, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Swasthavritta, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Kaumarabhritya, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
K P Karthik
Department of Kaumarabhritya, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi


COVID-19 has put forward a conundrum that needs to be addressed together by every system worldwide. Traditional medical systems need to be incorporated to the battle against COVID. The time-tested and experiential wisdom in these streams of knowledge are to be utilized.. All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, took one of the initial steps in this respect, bringing together the exponents of Ayurveda all over the world to contribute their ideas in understanding, preventing and managing COVID-19. The meeting was conducted on May 5, 2020, 3:00 p. m. and included representatives from the Ministry of AYUSH, the national institutes, research bodies, and international organizations of Ayurveda. The program had six sessions, which encompassed the current understanding of the disease, the clinical presentations, Ayurvedic analysis of the same, methods of salutogenesis, disease prevention and cure that can be implemented in this scenario, and considerations while applying the Ayurvedic wisdom to other parts of the world. The meeting was broadcasted live on Facebook as well as YouTube.

How to cite this article:
Nesari TM, Vyas M, Bhojani MK, Harti SS, Mahapatra AK, Dileep A, Karthik K P. “Surviving the storm through the shelter of Ayurveda” – International webinar on integrated approach to combat COVID-19 – A conference report.Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med 2021;2:91-94

How to cite this URL:
Nesari TM, Vyas M, Bhojani MK, Harti SS, Mahapatra AK, Dileep A, Karthik K P. “Surviving the storm through the shelter of Ayurveda” – International webinar on integrated approach to combat COVID-19 – A conference report. Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 May 26 ];2:91-94
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Full Text


With the pandemic COVID-19 tightening its grip over the world, a situation exists where the health-care systems all over the globe need to join hands. Both conventional and traditional systems need to recognize the potential, support, and promote mutually in combating this health crisis. To include Ayurveda in the arsenal to fight against the pandemic, concerted efforts and opinions from experts all over the world are essential. It is at this crossroad that the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), in association with the Ministry of AYUSH (MoA), has organized with an international webinar first of its kind in AYUSH Sector on “Integrated approach to combat COVID-19” titled “Surviving the storm through the shelter of Ayurveda” on May 5, 2020. It was broadcasted live on YouTube and Facebook. Experts from about 16 countries participated in this Webinar.

 Objectives of the Webinar

The main objective of this international webinar was as follows:

To discuss about International status and experience sharing with respect to COVID in their region, the Government's stand on COVID managementUnderstanding viewpoints of Ayurveda in the diagnosis and management of COVID;Discussing about collaborative research leads and integrative approach and possibilities of transdisciplinary researchTo think about what is going to be the new normal during COVID-19 pandemic.

 Proceeding and Deliberations

The webinar was conducted in six sessions. Dr. Mahesh Vyas, Dean, Ph.D. studies, AIIA, gave welcome address.

Prof. Dr. Tanuja Manoj Nesari, Director, AIIA, gave the opening remarks and moderated the session. She laid down the objectives of the webinar and commented that the present pandemic situation needs to be considered as Janapadodhvamsa[1] (pandemic/epidemic) and the corresponding interventions must be made. She also highlighted the role of Rasayana,[2] which comprises many immunomodulatory drugs, which are potential remedies for the existing health crisis.

This was followed by the address of Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission. He announced that the guidelines for practitioners, public and researchers by the task force shall soon be published on the MoA website. The ongoing and upcoming preclinical research to explore immunomodulatory drugs with antiviral properties was also alluded to.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, MoA, gave an inaugural talk and explained in brevity the challenges and responsibilities to be foreseen and emphasized on the mobile application by AYUSH, AYUSH Sanjivani, which would collect real-time data of the effect AYUSH intervention.

This was followed by expert talk by Shri Anurag Sharma, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Jhansi. He emphasized on the necessity of the medical systems working together to address complex health issues.

Presidential address was given by Honourable Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of State, MoA, Government of India. In his deliverance, he talked about AIIA for the public health initiative (AyuRaksha), it had undertaken to give immunity boosting kits to 80,000 police personnel of Delhi.

 International Perspective, Experience Sharing, Way Forward

Dr. Ishwar Morandi, from Milano, Italy, elucidated the status of the COVID-19 in Italy and pointed out the scope of Ayurveda in disease prevention and immunomodulation. He opined that the symptoms produced by the Virus were predominantly Ushna-Ruksha in their nature.

Dr. Madhav Singh Baghel, Ex-Director, IPGTRA, Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar, discussed that in COVID, the primary Dosha is Vata, and Kapha acquires significance as Sthanika Dosha. He further opined that Ama, Jvara, and Shvasa lines of treatment need to be adopted for effective management of COVID patients.

Dr. Mark Rosenberg, from The European Academy for Ayurveda, quoted that there is a growth of public awareness regarding Ayurvedic lifestyle in Germany.

Dr. Amit Bhargava, UK College of Medicine, UK, pointed out that there is a need of translating Ayurveda into a form that is culturally sensible and practicable. With reference to the pandemic, he opined that the focus of Ayurveda must be on the host and not the pathogen.

Dr. Jorge Louis Berra, Argentina, highlighted the potential of Ayurveda and yoga in public improving health during this pandemic.

Dr. Dilip Ghosh, Sydney, Australia, drew attention on attaining growing popularity and trust toward Ayurveda among consumers in Australia.

Dr. Shiho Oikawa Tokyo, Japan, explained that observing Dinacharya (daily regimen), doing an optimal amount of Vyayama (exercise), keeping an eye on the Biological clock were found to be substantially useful.

Dr. Ariana Vora J., Harvard Medical School, elucidated how telehealth services kept the traditional medical systems proactive and the consumers healthy.

Dr. Geetha Krishnan, AYUSH Expert, WHO Geneva, discussed about 4 ongoing National level trials on the concepts of immunomodulatory action[3] and other ongoing prospective multicentric studies on mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID patients in around 50–60 countries.

Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor (Ayurveda), MoA, in his address, quoted that the advisory published by the MoA has gained worldwide popularity and has been translated into 8 different languages. There are developing entrepreneurship relations between the MoA and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). These agreements rope AYUSH clusters in the schemes of the Ministry of MSME thus paving the way for the promotion of AYUSH sector.

 Physician's Perspective

Padmabhushan Vd. Devendra Triguna reminded the extraordinary service rendered by Ayurveda physicians during the 1978 epidemic-Japanese encephalitis, the 1994 Surat Plague, 2009 H1N1 pandemic and awaits the same in COVID crisis. He recommended that Government approved Dhoopana Samagri (medicated fumigation) should be practiced even in Red Zone, Rasayanas like Chyavanaprasha,[4] Brahma Rasayana,[5] Giloy[6] shall be made available to all, Distribution of AYUSH-64 tablet all over as a prophylactic measure.

Dr. S. H. Acharya, Professor, AIIA, by seeing the rationale in the paradigm shift of pathopharmacology from antimicrobe view to host-parasite relation (Beejakshetra Nyaya[7]), proposed his hypothetical view regarding the role of Panchakarma in the COVID management.

 Initiatives from National Institute and Other Organizations of Ministry of AYUSH

Prof. Anup Thakar, Director, IPGT and RA Jamnagar, explained the works done together by his institution and Government of Gujarat at four different levels, i.e., (1) awareness among public, (2) prophylactic medicine to all citizens, (3) preventive, and (4) curative measures. He also recalled all the universities of the state coming under one roof and supported AYUSH and helped in creating awareness among people.

Prof. Yamini Bhushan Tripathi, Dean Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS BHU, pointed out the necessity of conducting observational studies on Ahara (diet)-Nidra (sleep)-Brahmacharya (celibacy). He opined that prophylactic approach is not a culture of Ayurveda.

Prof. Sanjeev Sharma, Director, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, dealt the challenging health situation of state by following advisory guidelines, training staffs, initiating telemedicine, distributing prophylactic medicine among 2 lakh population and analyzing the obtained data.

Prof. K. S. Dhiman, DG, CCRAS, New Delhi, shared successful story of integrated pilot study conducted at Medanta AyurVAID center for Integrated Medicine in association with CCRAS. King George's Medical University, Lucknow, has also approved to carry out integrated trials among COVID patients. He also notified about the upcoming CTRI registered interventional clinical trial going to be conducted by the Council at containment zones of Delhi using Sudarshanghan Vati, Samshamani Vati, and Ashwagandhaghan Vati as prophylactic medicine.[8]

Dr. Jayant Deopujari, Chairperson, Board of Governors, CCIM, discussed how CCIM renovated education in both teaching and learning platforms, made educational apparatus for e-learning, gave extensive training to about 80,000 officials, improvised telemedicine, issued guidelines, and undertook many other initiatives during the pandemic.

Prof. K. N. Dwivedi, Department of Dravyagunavijnana, BHU, gave a brief explanation about the outcome of 6-day International seminar conducted in BHU in the management of COVID.

Prof. P. K. Goswami, Director, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy (NEIAH), Shillong, stated that the limited spread of disease in North-East India because of the laudable effort by competent students in circulating awareness among people even in the situation of poor communication technology.

Dr. J. L. N Sastry, CEO, NMPB, MoA, proposed 5-degree intervention among high-risk population, asymptomatic quarantined, patients with mild symptoms, patients with severe symptoms, and COVID-19 recovered patients.

 Initiatives by Ministry of AYUSH

Shri Pramod Kumar Pathak, Additional Secretary, MoA, quoted that when modern medicine could not find a clue, AYUSH issued an advisory and now AYUSH sector is considered in essential services. AYUSH system aims to strengthen our immunity rather than worry about the cure of the disease.

Dr. D. C. Katoch, Advisor, MoA, detailed the timeline of initiatives from March 28 onward. When AYUSH began by validation and standardization of immunity booster, within a week evidence-based trials began, by April 1, licenses were given to immunity-based medicine and sanitizers of Ayurveda and Siddha. Considering the importance of immunity boosting measures in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry has popularized formulation named “Ayush Kwath” (in Ayurveda) or “Ayush Joshanda” (in Unani) or “Ayush Kudineer” (in Siddha).[9]

Dr. A. Raghu, Joint Advisor, MoA, praised the efforts of many state governments such as Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, where immunity booster medicine was massively distributed, Government of Tamil Nadu, made the decoction available in modern hospitals.

The keynote speeches were followed by Panel discussion-question and answer session which was moderated by Dr. Rajagopala. S, Associate Professor, AIIA, where clarifications were given to various queries, raised by the delegates. The webinar witnessed 23 eminent speakers and panelists of International repute, with an audience of 4.9k playbacks at 376 peak concurrent in Official YouTube channel and 107,313 reach and 10,359 Engagements in official Facebook page.

 Outcome of International Webinar

After deliberation of the expert group, following can be summarized as outcome of this international webinar.

There is a definitive role of Rasayana, which comprises many immunomodulatory drugs, which are potential remedies for the existing health crisis and should be utilized for preventive, curative as well promotive health careSteps are being taken at national and international level for interdisciplinary and translational research to effectively combat COVID-19 crisisAyurvedic fraternity must review the pathogenesis of COVID-19 infections by using its own principlesAs COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of all medical institutions to shut down, Ayurveda Academia should adopt digital platforms-eLearning environment and each academic institute should develop Ayurveda eModules, so that education of Ayurveda student is not hampered during this pandemic.


The webinar represents an international forum of experts, from which new research directions and insights have emerged. The webinar focused on the therapeutic strategies for the prevention and cure of this pandemic.

Dr. Sujata Kadam, Dean, PG studies, AIIA, gave a formal vote of thanks to all the eminent panelists and delegates for participating the webinar. As the world grapples with COVID-19, there is huge hope and growing demand for Ayurveda's healing hands.

The webinar videos are available on AIIA Youtube channel (


The authors are pleased to acknowledge MoA for their support for the webinar.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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