Ayurveda and Yoga plan for Covid-19
The (COVID-19) outbreak is one of the greatest medical challenges. When treating this disease, we need to consider the complexities of the comorbidities.
Approximately 80% of Covid-19 cases have mild-to-moderate URTI symptoms for the first seven days, and then the patient recovers. Close to 15% of patients will develop dyspnoea requiring hospital admission around day 6 to 8. Unfortunately, 5% of patients will be admitted to ICU and require ventilators; ARDS in these patients can often be followed by hypotensive shock, multi-organ failure and eventually death.
Ayurveda and Yoga response to Covid-19
Traditional Medicine systems such as Ayurveda and Yoga are always challenged to treat modern-day diseases. An interesting Complementary and Alternative Medicine research paper has provided a strategy for Ayurvedic treatment.
They have considered the various stages of the disease and how to use effective treatment for the varying stages.
As prevention is better than cure, Ayurveda promotes a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and appropriate lifestyle advice to prevent disease by helping regulate the immune system. Other traditional disinfection strategies utilised in Ayurvedic practice include fumigation of homes with garlic peel, turmeric, carom seeds and loban powder as described by Bhatwalker et al. 2019.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research recommends Ayurveda and Yoga medicines to treat Covid-19
Rastogi et al. (2020) have proposed a pragmatic Ayurvedic strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes mass prophylaxis through rasayanas which have predominant effects on the respiratory tract; these include Brahma Rasayana and Chyavanprasha. They further categorise treatment according to the disease stage;
Quarantined Group Rastogi and his Complementary and Alternative Medicine researchers suggested herbal prophylaxis for this group such as Sanjeevanivati, Chitrakadivati and combination of Tinosporacordifolia, Zingiber officinale and Curcuma longa. Sanjivanivati is widely used against communicable diseases, chronic fever, cough, cold, respiratory tract infections and other viral infections. Other recommended broad-spectrum antivirals and protease inhibitors that van be utilised include Tinosporacordifolia, Zingiber officinale, Curcuma longa, Ocimum sanctum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Adhatodavasica, Andrographis paniculata, Swertiachirata, Moringa oleifera, Triphala and Trikatu.
• Mild COVID-19 symptoms
Ayurveda and Yoga medicines that Rastogi’s team suggested for this category are formulations like Lakshmi Vilas Rasa, Pippalirasayana, Sanjeevanivati, Chitrakadivati, Go jihvaadi Kashaya, Vyaghriharitaki, KantakaariAvaleha, Dashamulkwath, Sitopaladi, Talishadi, and Yashtimadhu. These drugs are to be used in conjunction with allopathic treatment.
• Moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms
Rastogi recommended the following Ayurveda and Yoga formulations for moderate to severe Covid-19 patients such as Pippalirasayana, Laghu Vasant Malati, Sanjeevanivati, Tribhuvan keerti rasa, Brihata Vata Chintamni rasa, Mrityunjaya rasa, and Siddha makardhvaja rasa.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Strategy
Professor Rastogi and his team have advocated the contribution that Ayurveda and Yoga can make both for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. As the Complementary and Alternative Medicine research paper stated, ‘This will provide an important opportunity for learning and generating credible evidence. It is pertinent to reiterate that participation of Ayurveda in addressing the COVID-19 challenge in India should not remain limited and seen as the extension of healthcare services and support to bio-medical system’.