The second wave of Covid 19 is spiralling into the most grim peak it ever did. In February, it seemed like India had gotten Covid-19 under control, with daily cases falling nearly 90% from the peak of the first wave last year. Now, the country is experiencing the world’s worst outbreak, with new cases surging past 400,000 per day and breaking the record for the highest single-day figure globally. On the ground, these numbers translate to heart-wrenching tragedy. Photos show grieving families dressed in full protective suits at mass cremations, performing last rites surrounded by dozens of other burning funeral pyres. Hospitals have run out of basic medical supplies, with many patients dying due to oxygen shortages. Family members are driving from clinic to clinic, frantically searching for open ICU beds for their loved ones.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, the demand for Ayurvedic products in India and across the globe has skyrocketed. The Ayurvedic industry has grown by 50-90 per cent in this period. The central government’s AYUSH ministry has also contributed to the same.
With the second wave of Covid-19 raging at present, natural immunity-boosting products are being sold in huge numbers.
Responding to the need for fresh guidelines amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Ayush has released revised guidelines for Ayurveda practitioners for COVID-19 patients in home isolation and Ayurveda preventive measures for self-care. The ministry said the main focus of the guidelines is on self-care and home management of COVID-19, as the vast majority of COVID-affected families in the country are forced to negotiate the pandemic out of hospitals.
The Ministry of Ayush recommends the following self-care guidelines modified as per the available evidence for improving immunity.
I General Measures
1. Drink lukewarm water frequently.
2. Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander), Saunth (Dry ginger) and Lahsun (Garlic) are recommended in cooking.
3. Consumption of fresh Amla fruit (Indian gooseberry) or Amla products.
4. Gargling with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt.
5. Food should be freshly prepared, and easily digestible.
6. Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by the Ministry of Ayush National Clinical Management
Protocol for COVID-19 prophylaxis.
7. Take adequate sleep (7-8 hours) and avoid day time sleep.
II Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures
1. Consume Chyavanprash 20 gm in divided doses on empty stomach with lukewarm water.
2. Golden Milk- Half teaspoon Haldi (turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk -once or twice a day.
3. Take Guduchi GhanVati 500 mg/ Ashwagandha tablet 500 mg twice daily
after meals with lukewarm water.
4. Drink herbal tea/decoction (Kadha) made from 3 gm powder comprising Tulasi (Basil)-4 part, Dalchini (Cinnamon)-2 part, Shunthi (Dry Ginger)-2
Kalimirch (Black pepper)-1 part, mixed in 150ml hot boiled water once or twice a day. Add Gud(Jaggery)/Munakka (Raisin)/Choti Elaichi
(Cardamom) to improve taste and flavor.
Note: Vasa (Malabar nut), Yashtimadhu (Liquorice root), Guduchi (Giloy), may be added as
per the Constitution (Prakriti) of individual/ Seasonal changes/ Geographical variation in
consultation with Ayurveda Physicians.
III Simple Ayurvedic Procedures
1. Nasal application – Apply Sesame oil / Coconut oil/ Cow Ghee or Anu Taila Oil pulling therapy- Take 1 table spoon sesame oil or coconut oil in the mouth. Do not drink, swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off followed by warm water rinse. This can be done once or twice a day.
IV During dry cough /sore throat
1. Steam inhalation with plain water OR fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves OR Ajwain (Caraway seeds) OR Karpur (Camphor) can be practiced once in a day.
2. Lavang (Clove)/Mulethi (Liquorice) powder mixed with natural sugar/honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in case of cough or throat irritation.
* These measures generally treat normal dry cough and sore throat. However, it is
best to consult qualified physicians if these symptoms persist.
The above measures can be followed to the extent possible as per an individual’s convenience.
Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining healthy and happy living. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge base on preventive care derives from the concepts of “Dinacharya” – daily regimes and “Ritucharya” – seasonal regimes to maintain healthy life. It is a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda’s classical scriptures.
•(Dr Jupitora Dutta, Post Graduate Trainee, Govt. Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Guwahati)