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Guidelines for Ayurveda Practitioners for COVID-19

In the wake of COVID 19, an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Till date, no medicine or therapy has demonstrated promising results in either preventing the disease or improving its prognosis to prevent this infection. The best ways of preventing COVID19 infection are breaking the chain, enhancing an individual's body immunity, identifying the infection early and timely medical care.

The Ministry of AYUSH is committed to help the nation with the large resource of time-tested traditional knowledge practiced in this continent for the benefit of mankind. The Ministry has published a series of measures to improve individual's natural defence system (immunity) in addition to the personal hygiene and social distancing measures.

Ayurveda and COVID 19 infection management.

Ayurveda documented epidemics/pandemics under the context of Janapadodhvamsa (conditions devastate the human settlements). Similarly, infectious diseases have been considered under Sankramika rogas. Pollution of air, water, climate and environment is responsible for the spread of diseases on such a large scale resulting in Janapadodhvamsa. Causes of vitiation of air, water, climate and place along with their characteristics have been enumerated in classics. Improper disposal of waste, distribution of polluted water, air pollution, indulgence in unhealthy and unwholesome activities, failure of judgment and misunderstanding of situation etc. also result in reasonable damage to the health of the society; ultimately leading to Janapadodhwamsa. Such conditions will manifest in symptoms like cough, breathlessness, fever etc . In Ayurveda, initial phases of the manifestation can be comparable to Agantuja Vata Kaphaja Jwara. Uncontrolled conditions, further vitiate other Doshaas and other Rasa, Rakta, Mamsadi dushyas thus entering into Sannipataja condition.

The “Protocol for Ayurveda Practitioners” is a guideline for the use of registered Ayurveda Practitioners only. There are four sections covering the whole spectrum of COVID 19 infection management. The guideline deals with the symptomatology in these three stages:

  • 1st stage – Swasa-Kasa symptoms with Jwara (COVID 19 positive or negative with mild symptoms)
  • 2nd stage – Vata-Kapha pradhan Jwara (Fever) (COVID 19 positive with specific symptoms at moderate level) 
  • 3rd Stage – Vata-KaphajaSannipatikaJwara(Fever)(COVID 19 positive with severe symptoms with respiratory distress etc. )

Segmentation of subjects - Target Groups and management principle

Target groupsTreatment
Target Group 1: Quarantine and Home isolation subjects without Corona positive test and health workers Preventive treatment 
Target Group 2: Subjects with Mild, Severe symptomatology , Co-morbid and Immuno-compromised conditionsSymptomatic treatment 
Target Group 3: Vulnerable Subjects (Pregnant &Lactating women, Children, Geriatric subjects)Integrated Care (Ayurveda management along with existing medicines under regular observation)
Target Group 4: Post treatment restorative healthcareTreatment for recovery and Rejuvenation 

All the standing instructions issued by Health authorities (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, World Health Organization and state and local health authorities) are to be adhered completely and Ayurveda Management may stand as 'ADD ON' to the present contemporary line of management.

The medicines recommended here are based on Essential Drugs List, Standard Treatment Guidelines, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Ministry of AYUSH Govt. of India along with considerations from other recommendations issued by various health authorities across India. The practicing Vaidya has to have his/her own discretion in selecting medicines based on the stage of the disease, symptom complex and availability of the drugs in their locality. Use of Mask, Hand Sanitization, Social/Physical distancing to break the chain healthy nutritious diet and measures of improving immunity and all other general health care measures are to be advised as per the guidelines issued by health authorities from time to time. 

 Quarantine and Home isolation subjects without Corona positive test and health workers 

Ayurveda's intensive information on preventive care drives through the vastness of Dinacharya (daily regime) and Ritucharya (Seasonal regime) to maintain healthy life. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining their immunity is highly emphasized across Ayurveda's classical scriptures. Further, Ayurveda emphasizes on PREVENTION first. In that direction Svasthahitadravyas (recipes for healthy) have been indicated in the form of Rasayana&Vajikarana. Ojus is considered as responsible for Vyadhikshamatva (immunity). It is achieved by two approaches viz., Vyadhi Bala Virodhitva & Vyadhyutpadaka Pratibandhakatva. Among them Vyadhibalavirodhitva is achieved by improving the immunity of an individual's body, while Vyadhyutpadaka Pratibandhakatva is created by using recipes which are specific in preventing disease.

Awareness about the mode of spread of this disease is highly recommended to prevent oneself from falling prey to the same. As per WHO advisory, people can get infected by COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets that are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Subjects with Mild, Severe Symptoms, Comorbid & Immuno-compromised conditions

Management of Mild Symptoms
Sore throat is one of the main features or the first clinical presentation of the COVID 19 infection among clinical features of the disease. It is followed by fever, myalgia, dry cough, dyspnea in mild state and severe dyspnea of Pneumonia in severe state, multi-organ failure followed by fibrosis of lungs and death. A small percentage of cases are asymptomatic and some uncommon clinical manifestations include loss of smell and taste (Rasa-Gandha Bodha Nipata).

Vulnerable Group (Pregnant & Lactating women, Children & Geriatric subjects)

Children, pregnant women, elderly people, malnourished people, and people who are ill or immune-compromised, are particularly vulnerable to any health disasters and they face relatively high risk of the disease burden associated with emergencies. These groups of population need special care in terms of prevention and management. The best way of prevention is boosting the immunity and here are some proven immune boosters or Rasayana drugs which can be prescribed to the vulnerable groups. Postpartum and lactating women may continue with feeding the baby, and a prophylactic dose may be given to breast fed children also.

These vulnerable groups, if they fall in suspected, quarantine or isolated cases with or without Covid 19 test positive mild or severe symptoms, the management is the same as described in Target Group 2. The guidliene provides some of the commonly prescribed Rasayana medicines in each category, however Physicians should confirm the absence of fever and other symptoms and the appetite is improved, if appetite is poor Deepana and Pachana drugs may be added.

Post treatment restorative healthcare

Along with the daily spikes in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths, a third, more hopeful number is also ticking upward: the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19. Public health experts have said covid19 is unique and complex. The growing number of recoveries comes with a growing number of questions about what it means to overcome COVID-19: about a patient's contagiousness, subsequent immunity to the disease, and long-term effects. Much about the aftermath of the illness remains unclear or unknown, and there is even uncertainty about the term "recover" in the coronavirus context.

According to the Ministry of Health's discharge policy for covid-19 cases, a patient is discharged only after two samples test negative within 24 hours and there's evidence of chest radiographic clearance and viral clearance in respiratory samples. Early evidence suggests that coronavirus victims may experience lingering health effects of COVID-19, even after testing negative. Medical experts in Hong Kong who have observed discharged COVID-19 patients report the patients had shortness of breath and may have lost some lung function, but the researchers were unsure how long those ailments would last.

To read the complete guideline,  Click Here.

Source : Ministry of AYUSH

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