India’s top ayurvedic doctor, who once treated Apple big boss Steve Jobs, has sought the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop a wonder drug for Covid-19. In a letter dated April 19, 2020, to Modi, Balendu Prakash, an ayurvedic practitioner who lives in Dehradun, said he had actually developed the drug that could push immunity levels to great heights and protect people from the deadly Coronavirus.
Prakash, 61, said he was in a position to develop the wonder drug because of his vast experience in treating patients suffering from a host of deadly diseases like blood cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pancreatitis, nutritional anaemia and migraine.
“I seek your help, and I seek support from the Ayush Ministry to ensure this drug reaches every nook and corner of India, ” Prakash wrote in his letter, a copy of which is with this reporter.
It was not immediately known if the Prime Minister’ s Office (PMO) had responded to Prakash’ s request.
Prakash told this reporter that his wonder drug is a combination of a multiple of ayurvedic concoctions which include Lakshmi Vilas Ras, Mahadev Kahwa, Sanjeevani Siddh Yog Sangrah Booti, Sitopaladi Siddh Yog Sangrah Churna and Zandu Senxcure (the last name sounding more of an allopathic drug). “The government should help open clinics across India so that this drug can be made available to millions across India. These have all been clinically tested and I am confident of these drugs guaranteeing positive results,” said Prakash.
But there is a problem. Prakash says he would need a huge marketing initiative in delivering the drugs to millions across India by setting up special clinics, something which only the government can ensure. Secondly, there have been occasions when ayurvedic drugs have come under the government scanner for using prohibited materials.
Still, Prakash — considered the topmost ayurvedic doctor (read Vaidya) in India, is confident his drugs will do wonders to the millions. He said he even wrote to Rajesh Kotecha, secretary in the Ayush ministry, about his long clinical experiences in successfully treating Allergic, Viral and Infective Rhinitis by using what he claimed was his brand of rasaushadhis with certain dietary advice.
“A herbo-mineral formulation developed by me has established significant therapeutic effect in the treatment of Acute and Persistent Allergic Rhinitis in comparison to Levocetirizine (an allopathic drug). The product has also depicted anti-histamine and immuno-modulatory properties in in vitro studies. The product is commercially available in the market as Zandu Snez Cure. I strongly believe that rasaushadhis could be used in the COVID-19 affected population in the active or quarantine phase, ” he wrote in his letter.
Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni has thrown his weight behind Prakash, asking the BJP leadership in New Delhi to sympathetically look into the demands of the seasoned ayurvedic practitioner.
There has been increased global interest in traditional medicine across the world. In the West, there are renewed efforts to monitor and regulate traditional herbal medicine. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, remains the most ancient yet living traditions. Although India has been successful in promoting its therapies with more research and science-based approach, many — especially those belonging to the allopathic camp — say it still needs more extensive research. Increased side effects, lack of curative treatment for several chronic diseases, high cost of new drugs, microbial resistance and emerging, diseases are some reasons for renewed public interest in Ayurvedic alternative medicines.
Interestingly, the Goa government has started an integrated treatment for COVID-19 patients and those under quarantine by using both allopathy and ayurveda. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said Goa was the first State to use allopathy and ayurveda in treatment of COVID-19 patients and to boost the immunity of those in quarantine. “This has been done in consultation with the team of doctors treating COVID-19 cases in Goa. In association with the AYUSH ministry, a mobile app for the purpose has also been launched, ” he said.
Sawant said he was confident Ayurvedic drugs will boost immunity. “The patients and those under quarantine will be given guidance on how to use ayurveda to boost their immunity,” he said.
Ever since Coronavirus has struck India, ayurvedic experts have been stressing on the need to explain ancient ayurvedic principles of cooking in a modern context so that the novel Coronavirus crisis is slightly easy to get by. “Recent findings indicate that Amyloid toxins are responsible for type-2 diabetes followed by heart problems, kidney problems, liver issues and Alzheimer’s. Ayurveda has described them as Ama 5000 years ago,” Dr Smita Naram, founder and CMD of Ayushakti, was quoted by a news portal.
“During this pandemic, building immunity is the key.” Dr Naram, who is known for her deep knowledge of ancient wisdom, said it is imperative for people to maintain a balance of doshas. The three doshas of Vatta, Pitta and Kapha must be balanced, she said.
On doshas and eating in accordance to it, Dr Smita Naram said, “Symptoms of high pitta are often headache, acid burning or skin issues, anger and sharp mind. To balance pitta, drink a warm herbal tea concoction with cumin, coriander and fennel powder (1 teaspoon each) and a tablespoon of ghee. Have this in the morning. Avoid sour, fermented and spicy food if you have high pitta.”
“Symptoms of excess vata include wavering mind, fear, depression, difficulty in sleeping, stiffness, pain and gas. Home remedy at night includes drinking a concoction in the night. It is made by adding one teaspoon of castor oil with warm water, ginger and coriander. Excess kapha symptoms are weight gain, slow decision making, rigid mind and frequently getting mucus in the respiratory system,” she told the portal.
“One must keep digestion and metabolism active. The symptoms of ama toxins in your body include white coating on the tongue, heavy stool stink in the toilet, weight gain, lethargy after food and a confused mind,” she said while explaining the principles of ayurveda.
Only the Ayush Ministry has the capacity and power to push a billion plus nation to consume ayurvedic drugs across.