COVID-19; Scope of Ayurveda to make Swastha Bharat.

Introduction

Can playing violent video games force young adults to take weapons in their hands ? No, of course not . That’s the world. This means thinking something positive does not leads to result until we take some positive steps helping the outcome in our mind. Yes, I am talking about the positive result but that’s for attaining swastha bharat. How to attain it ? Thinking cannot lead to swastha bharat so start applying DINCHARYA and many more concept of ayurveda and see the result.
“We need to present our technology to the world in the language in which they understand. Why cannot our herbal medicines take over the world market” ; said SHRI NARENDRA MODI.
Now, coming to the topic “What is ayurveda and how it can lead to swastha bharat” in this crisis of COVID-19.
Ayurveda: It is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of alternative medicine. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment along with mineral or metallic supplements and yogic breath. It is the science of life and longevity.
Aim of Ayurveda: Swasthasya Swathya Rakshanam aturasya Vikar Prashamanam. (C.Su.30/26)
The purpose of ayurveda is to protect health of the healthy and eliminate disorders in the diseased.
Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words: Ayu which means life and Veda which means the knowledge of. To know about life is Ayurveda. However, to fully comprehend the vast s cope of Ayurveda let us first define “Ayu” or life. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, “ayu” is comprised of four essential parts. The combination of mind, body, senses and the soul.
“Sharirendriya satva atma samyogo dhari jeevitam
Nitygashchanu-bandhshch paryayaer ayu ruchchayte”
(C.Su.1/42)
So, we come to know that the purpose of Ayurveda is to healthy (swastha).
“Sama dosha sama agnischa sama dhatu mala kriyaaha|
Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate”
–(Sushruta Samhita)
Health means equilibrium state of doshas (Vata,pitta,kapha),agni (digestive fire),dhatus(tissues),and malas (waste). The sensory and motor organs (indriyas), mana (mind) and atma must also be in a pleasant state.
Not only this but “Ayurveda is also said as a sister philosophy to Yoga”
Yoga is a group of physical , mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India.
Yoga sutras of Patanjali : YOGAS CHITTA VRITTI NIRODHAH !
“Yoga is the calming down the fluctuation/ patterns of consciousness”.
Ayurveda mainly deals with the concept of Dincharya, Ritucharya, Rasayana, and cycle of activities (vihrar) to be done. What aahara we take place a vital role in the occurrence of disease. If we take proper ahara consisting of shad rasa (madhur, amla, lavana, tikta, katu, kashaya ) then it results in uttam bala of an individual and person becomes healthy but when we start ignoring the concept of aahara (shad rasa), there originates a no. of diseases which may lead to detoriation of doshas, dhatu, agni & bala of an individual and they are called “ROGA”.
ROGASTU DOSHA VAISHAMYAM!!
People of ancient times were following the concept of ritucharya, dinacharya, etc and were living a good life. But as time passed, the dietary as well as the living style of people changed rise to no. of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Today’s world is fighting with one of the communicable and infectious diseases i.e. COVID-19.

What is COVID-19 ?

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV 2 virus.This name has been given by the WHO on February 11,2020. It started in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and has since spread worldwide.COVID-19 is an acronym that stands for Corona Virus Disease of 2019.
Origin: On December 31,2019, a strange new pneumonia of unknown cause was reported to the Chinese WHO country office. A cluster of these cases originally appeared in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of china. These infections were found to be caused by a new corona virus which was given the name “2019 novel corona virus” (2019-nCoV).
It was later renamed “Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2” or SARS-CoV-2 by the International committee on taxonomy of virus on February 11,2020. It was named SARS-CoV-2 because the virus is a genetic cousin of the corona virus which caused the SARS outbreak in 2002 (SARS-CoV). Mutation and adaptation of corona viruses (CoVs) and their hosts, including human beings, for thousands of years.
Zoonosis contributes to the majority of emerging disease in the last 30 years, many of them originated from wild life animals. The story of SARS is just one of such examples that spectacularly demonstrated
the seamless evolution of a bat virus in to a human pathogen responsible for one of the most severe global pandemic outbreaks in modern history of mankind “COVID-19”, On March 11, the WHO officially declared the COVID-19 outbreaks a pandemic due to the global spread and seventy of disease.
Symptoms of COVID-19: COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms.
Common symptoms : 1. Fever 2.Tiredness 3. Dry cough
Some people may experience; aches, pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea.
The incubation period has to be said that within 1 to 14 days and the symptoms may develop on an average 5th day. Globally many research has been done or undergoing regarding the treatment but no evidence has been generated in combating COVID-19.

Prevention:

  • STAY HOME SAVE LIVES.STAY HOMEKEEP A SAFE DISTANCE.WASH HANDS OFTENCOVER YOUR COUGH
  • SICK? CALL THE HELPLINE.

To prevent the spreaded of COVID-19;

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.If you have a fever, coughs, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call in advance.
  • Avoiding unneeded visits to medical facilities allows healthcare system to operate more effectively, therefore protecting you and others.

Prophylaxis: Currently, no antiviral medication is recommended to treat COVID-19, and no cure is available for COVID-19. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections such as COVID-19. Treatment is directed at relieving symptoms and may include :

  • Pain relievers
  • Cough syrup or medication
  • Rest
  • Fluid intake

Coping and support : Its common to feel fearful and anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic during this time, we should take care of ourself and manage our stress.

We should eat healthy meals.

We should get enough sleep.

We should do exercise or yoga.

We should go for walk.

Try relaxation exercises such as deep breathing , stretching and meditation.
Crisis like outbreak of corona virus provides an opportunity to revisit the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda for prevention of diseases through improved immunity and combine it with Western science for a holistic healthy living. “This is the right time. When there’s a high consciousness in society about healthy living and prevention.” This is a good time for us to go back to our roots and see what strengths are there and combine it with efficacy and western science.


Pandemic Corona Virus In Ayurveda :

Outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics of highly communicable diseases have afflicted mankind since the beginning of human history and were very well known to the ancient Ayurvedic scholars.
In ayurvedic texts, written 5000 years ago there is a reference for infectious and epidemic diseases & outbreaks. Acharya Charaka has beautifully explained the concept of epidemics as JANAPADODHVANSA in Viman sthana, chapter no. 3 (Janapadodhwmsaniyam vimanam). Janapadodhvansa literally means destruction or annihilation of communities or settlements. ACHARYA SUSHRUTA recovered these under infectious diseases AUPASARGIK ROGA in chapter no. 6 of nidana sthana. Not, only this, Acharya Sushruta also refer to the concept of JANAPADODHVANSHA while discussing RITUCHARYA (Seasonal regimen) under the title MARAKA in Sutra sthana.
Not only, this but ACHARYA VAGBHATTA in his book ASTANGA SANGRAHA described the concept of Janopadodhwamsa under the chapter entitled “VIRUDHANNA VIJNANIYAM” in sutra sthana,.
What does Janapadodhwamsa mean? The term janapaddodhwamsa consists of 2 words – Janapado means “Community” or gathering places of men , merchants, and craftsmen and Udhwamsa means “destruction”. As a whole, janapadodhwamsa means “Destruction of human settelements or communities by means of natural and man-made calamaties including epidemics.”
Modes of transmission: According to ayurveda, all pandemics including COVID-19 spread via one of the following four factors.

  1. Vikruta Vayu (Atmosphere)
  2. Vikruta Udaka (Water)
  3. Vikruta Desha (Land)
  4. Vikruta Kaala (Season)


More specifically, pandemics and outbreaks were observed to be transmitted by any of the following modes:

  • Prasanagat (Physically close interaction)
  • Gatra samsparshat (Physical contact with diseased individual)
  • Nishwasa (via inhalation of infected respiratory droplets)
  • Sahabhganat (sharing food)
  • Malya (via handkerchief and towels)
  • Asana (sitting close together)
  • Vastra (sharing the same clothing)


Reason behind the itiation of Jala, Desh, Kala, & Vayu:

Lord Atreya said that the root cause of vitiation of these four factor is ADHARM (Unrighteousness).Sins of the present life or the misdeeds of the past life are also the root of vitiation of all these four factors and the source of this is PRAJNAPARADHA (Intellectual error). This means that when the head of city or country govern the people irresponsibly then the community deviate from their duties as well as propagate some unrighteousness or sinful act. This causes seasons to get impaired in those places. There is no rain occurs, the air does not blow properly and herbs loose their true properties and suffer detoriation. As a consequences, the people suffers from the infectious contact or ingestion of polluted food and water leading to disease.

Prophylaxis according to ayurveda:

  • Sarve Abhyanga (full body external friction type oil massage) with Dhavantaram taila,
  • Dashmooladi taila or karpooradi taila with added lavana.
  • Ruksha sweda (dry heat), nadi swedaPinda sweda
  • Vamana (using Madanphala decoction + yashtimadhu +vacha+salt.)

COVID-19 and seasonal variation:

COVID-19 primarly affects the respiratory system and its outbreak is initiated in vasant ritu specially in India. According to ayurveda in vasant ritu , the kapha dosha is predominant. Hence, seasonal regimen including diet and lifestyle along with panchakarma which balance vitiated kapha dosha would be beneficial.
Not only this , but when we will talk about the causative factor for CORONA VIRUS then Ritucharya (seasonal regimen) comes forward.
Acharya charak, Sushruta, Vagbhatta had explained the ahara and vihara as per particular season. If we follow it we live a healthy life but when we start diverting from this concept, diseases attack us. In our mind arises a question will leaving the regimens of one season at the end and starting the regimens of one season at the end and starting the regimens for the next vitiate the harmony (doshas) of body ?
Yes, if we directly leave the regimen of the former and start following the regimens of latter season then it will lead to dis balance of doshas and will give a way to disease. But here comes the concept of “RITU SANDHI”. Ritu sandhi means discounting the regimens of the former seasons from the last 7 days and take 7 days from the latter to continue the regimens of that particular season. This will result in maintaining the balance of doshas and will prevent you from being affected by any kind of disease.

Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measures for self care during COVID-19 crisis :

In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in this times.
Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in mainting healthy and happy life. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge base on preventive care, derives from the concept, of Dincharya (daily regimens) and Ritucharya (seasonal regimens) to maintain healthy life. It is a plant based science.
Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special refrence to respiratory health.
Recommended measures:

General measures:
A. Drink warm water throughout the day: ACHARYA VAGBHATTA in ASTANG HRIDAYA chapter no. 5 verse no. 17 said that Ushn jala should be taken in the cases of vata and kapha disorders, acute fever, cough, running nose. So, in this crisis it is necessary for us to take ushna jala throughout the day.
B. Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama, Medication for at least 30 minutes.
C. Haldi (turmeric), Jeera (cumin), Dhaniya (coriander) and Lahsun (garlic) is recommended during cooking.

Ayurvedic immunity promoting measures:
A. Take Chyawanprash 10gm (1tsf) in the morning. Diabetics should take sugar free Chywanprash.
B. Drink herbal tea\ decoction( kadha ) made from Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini ( cinnamon ), Kali mirch ( Black pepper ), Shunthi ( Dry ginger ), and Munakka ( raisin ) – once or twice a day.
C. Golden milk – Half tea spoon haldi (turmeric) powder in 150ml hot milk once or twice a day.

Simple ayurvedic procedures:
A. Pratimarsha nasya by sesame oil/ coconut oil or by ghee.
URDHWAJATRU VIKARESHU VISHESHAN NASYAM ISHYATE.
(A.Hr. Su. 20/1)
Nasya is indicated in all diseases related to head i.e. cough, rhinitis, and it is indicated in kapha vikara & acute fever. Though these all are symptoms of COVID-19. So, nasya is recommended by AYUSH MINISTRY.
B. Oil pulling therapy: Take 1 table spoon sesame oil or coconut oil in mouth. Do not drink. Swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minute and spit it off followed by warm water rinsing. This can be done once or twice a day.

During dry cough/ sore throat

Steam inhalation with fresh pudina (mint) leaves or Ajwain can be practiced once in a day.

Lavang powder mixed with natural sugar/honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in case of cough or throat irritation.
Scientific reasons for their use:

1.TulsiFresh tulsi leaves are regarded as an adaptogen or anti stress agent. It purifies the blood. It protect us from cough and cold.
2.TurmericRaw turmeric is often used with hot milk, which is believed to keep the respiratory system healthy. It has anti oxidant properties. It builds up good health and boosts up metabolism
3.DhaniyaIt contains dietary fibres and are also a good source of anti oxidants. It also helps in increasing metabolism.
4.LahsunIt is used as anti microbial and anti diarrheal agent. It has inhibitory effect of infectious bronchitis virus.
5.SleepWhen we sleep, our body produces essential immune proteins called cytokoines, which act as infection fighting antibodies necessary to keep the body healthy.
6.AbhyangaIt calms down the nervous system, reduces stress and supports immunity. Nasya boosts our immunity.
7.YogasInverted yoga poses increases the circulation of the lymph and drains the germs from our body.
8.ChaywanprashEating a table spoon of chyawanprash daily enhances immunity and it may help prevent the spread of the virus.

Role of Rasayana in COVID-19:

Ayurveda is the ancient system of medicine in the world. As already stated , Ayurveda has two aims i.e. , prevention and promotion of health and secondly cure from disease. RASAYANA may be employed for fulfulling both of them.
The word Rasayana refers to nutrition and its transportation in the body. Rasayana is not just a drug therapy but it is a specialized procedure practicised in the form of rejuvanative species, dietary regimens and special health promoting conduct and behavior. Scientific studies have proven the efficacious role of Rasayana remedies in the management of chronic life style related diseases. It possess STRONG ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY & ANTAGONISTIC ACTIONS ON THE OXIDATIVE STESSORS. Rasayana is the preventive therapy described in Ayurveda which is helpful to maintain health, retard ageing process and promote immune system to FIGHT INFECTION.
Rationale behind selected treatments :
Ayurveda emphasizes prevention than cure. Charaka quoted “Vyadhikshmatva” (immunity) as the factor responsible for prevention of any disease.
Vyadhikshamatva is two fold viz-

1.Vyadhi virodhitva (Anti viral activity)
2.Vyadhiutpadaka pratibandhakatvam (immunomodulation)

ANTI VIRALS
These plants also possess antiviral propertie

  • Neem (Azadirachta indica L.), 1- 2gms of Panchanimbadi Churna twice daily
  • TULSI (Ocimum sanctum) – Tea or Fresh Juice to be consumed with honey
  • KIRATATIKTA (Swertia chirayita) – 1- 2gms twice daily with honey
  • KALAMEGHA (Andrographis paniculata) – 250 mg extract cap / tab 2 twice
  • BHUMYAMALAKI (Phyllanthus niruri) – 250 mg extract cap/tab twice a day

OTHER GENERAL MEASURES FOR THE CONTROL OF COVID-19:
1.General hygiene& sanitation measures are to be continued.
2.Isolation & Quarantine of elderly people who are vulnerable.
3.Stress management is very essential among the subjects under isolation / quarantine. For this 5 min Yoga module (twice daily) & usage of stressbusters like Asvagandh ,Brahmi ,Mandukaparni, ,Sankhapushpi etc., are useful.
4.Fumigation – Dhupana (fumigation) of the house every evening with antimicrobials such as Neem leaf, Sarshapa (Brassica campestris L), Loban (gum bezamin/benzoin – Styrax bezoin Dryand), Guggulu
(Commiphora mukul (Stocks) Hook), Karpura (Cinnamomum camphora (L) J.Presl.) etc. (Kashyapa Samhita)

Conclusion

Nature is sending us a message with corona virus pandemic and the ongoing crisis. Leading scientist said the COVID-19 outbreak was a clear warning shot, given that for more deadly diseases existed in wildlife, and that today’s civilization was “playing with fire”. They said it was almost always human behaviour that caused diseases to spill over in to humans.
Since many more wildlife diseases existed so to prevent that we will have to stop playing with nature and along with it we should use ayurvedic regimens to build up our immunity and prevent us from being trapped in certain network of diseases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, recently highlighted the benefits of Ayurveda and urged people to “have a look” at AYUSH Ministry protocol to stay fit, saying “Good health is the harbinger of happiness.”
So, we should practice ayurvedic regimens to make SWASTHA BHARAT and to get out of this pandemic crisis.

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