What role is Ayurveda playing in curing COVID-19, as the emphasis has mostly been on preventive treatment?
As the number of cases were less on the initial days of pandemic, more focus was given in the preventive aspect rather than the curative aspect. Later as the number of cases began to hike, the Ayurvedic treatment for the A and B category patients were started.
The protocol starts with continuous screening and timely diagnosis. The treatment part will be effective only if the apt medicine is given at the different stages. The medications that is being used are Vilwadi Tablet, Gorochanadi Tablet, Rasayana Therapy etc.
What is your impression regarding the tall claims being made by different companies that are selling alternative medicines (including Ayurvedic) to cure COVID-19?
The claims of curing COVID-19 by any company can be subjected for scientific scrutiny. If the study report including the in-vitro, in-vivo and later pilot studies are successful the concerned department can decide whether it can be approved or not.
While the popularity of Ayurveda products is soaring high due to COVID-19, how can one ensure the scientific knowledge of the ingredients used in these products?
In Ayurvedic pharmacopeia of India (API), there are certain scientific standards explained for new drug or already existing classical formulation. For a new formulation, the scientific parameters for the quality check include- 6-month stability test, toxicology analysis, pilot study etc. Only after these parameters being fulfilled, the sanction is being given to any formulation. For a classical formulation, the QC (Quality Check) and QA (Quality Analysis) parameters are explained while preparing the medicines.
How can we set benchmark of Ayurvedic medicines /products for treatment purposes in the future?
Current benchmarks that are being used can be explained in 3 parts:
- A- Selection of raw material- The raw materials that are used for the preparation of Ayurvedic formulation undergo physical and organoleptic testing before the process.
- B-Manufacturing of medicine- While manufacturing a medicine, the standard protocol for each formulation has to be followed. The QC & QA departments do the checking in different stages to make sure there is no deviation in the process or breach in the quality parameters.
- C-Usage of medicine/treatment- As per the rules, the drugs which are registered under the medicines are not allowed to advertise. In addition, the treatments for certain diseases like obesity, baldness etc. are not allowed to advertise under magic remedy act.
Rather than a new set of benchmarks, the necessity is to make sure the rules are being followed.
- As there is distribution of herbs around India, it is not easy buy raw materials from certain points. If there is a centralized committee to identify the quality raw materials, it will be helpful for the manufactures to procure them.
Dr Manbeena Chawla