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Ayush Ministry’s Unani medicine for self-care during Covid-19 Pandemic

Ingredients used in Unani medicines (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@moayush)

Given the situation in which the second surge of Covid-19 pandemic is increasing daily, there is need to boost one’s immunity system. The natural defence mechanism is necessary to maintain optimum health.

In view of this the Ministry of Ayush recently released an important document titled “Unani Medicine based Preventive Measures for self-care during COVID-19 Pandemic”. It comprehensively lists out self-care guidelines modified as per the available evidence for improving immunity.

Using mask of good quality is must (Pic: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

General Precautions

In the beginning itself, the document tells the reader to follow certain general measures. These include maintaining social distance, use of face mask, washing hands with sanitiser or/and soap and water regularly, and use of tissue paper while coughing or sneezing and its proper disposal in the trash.

Also read: Managing Covid-19 at home — Guidelines by the Government's Principal Scientific Adviser

Going further, it recommends avoiding contact with sick people, especially those suffering from flu like symptoms, touching eyes, nose and mouth, visiting overcrowded places like markets, malls, etc, avoiding journey or travelling as much as possible and avoid cold weather, use of cold water, bathing with cold water, ice or any cold substance.

Gargling is recommended for self-care during Covid-19 (Pic: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

While advising special care for vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant women and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus, the document states that patients affected by Covid-19 need to be isolated and the objects used by them, namely, clothes, utensils and other things, be kept separately.

Immunity Measures

Following measures are recommended by the document for building immunity among people.

  • Take Khamira Marwareed 5 gm or Take Tiryaqe Arba 3-5 gm (Diabetics may avoid).
  • Prepare AYUSH Joshanda (decoction) by boiling Raihan/Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) leaves 4 parts, Dar Chini/Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) stem bark 2 parts, Zanjabeel/Adrak (Zingiber officinale) rhizome 2 parts, Filfil Siyah/Kali Mirch (Piper nigrum) fruit 1 part in 250 ml water until it reduces to half. Add jaggery or lemon juice into decoction for taste and take sips in evening or as and when required.OR
  • Take decoction by boiling Behidana (Cydonia oblonga) 3 gm, Unnab (Zizyphus jujube) 5 in number. Sapistan (Cordia myxa) 9 in number in water. (Boil these in 250 ml water- boil it till it remains half- filter it — keep in a glass bottle and use it lukewarm). This decoction may be taken twice a day for 14 days.
  • Take Safoof Asgandh 5 gm (not recommended for children)

Apart from this, simple Unani procedures are listed to be followed for self-care as well as immunity enhancement. These are steam inhalation by adding Arq-e-Ajeeb 2-5 drops once daily; gargling with pulp of 10-20 gm Khayar shamber (Cassia fistula) boiled in 100 ml of water; and fumigation (Bakhoor) of the house/working place at frequent intervals with combination of Sandal (Santalum album) and Kafoor (Cinnamomum camphora).

Also read: AYUSH 64 found useful in treating mild to moderate Covid-19 infection

While claiming that the advisory does not claim to cure Covid-19, the document advises people strongly to immediately consult the physician if one develops any symptoms.

The listed suggestions are supported by Unani literature and scientific publications.