Even as most people continue to scramble for masks and sanitizers to protect themselves from the COVID-19 infection, city’s homeopathic doctors claim that many have been demanding Arsenicum Album 30 from them, a homeopathic tincture that the AYUSH ministry claims can successfully prevent individuals from catching the infection.
“A lot of people have been texting and calling me asking whether taking Aresenicum Album is a sure shot preventive measure for the disease,” says Dr Naveen Airi, Senior Medical Officer at the Homeopathic College and Hospital in Chandigarh. The demand for this particular medicine comes after a widely circulated and controversial advisory from the AYUSH ministry was published on January 29.
Apart from general preventive measures of taking a balanced diet and inculcating hygienic practices, the advisory recommends one dose of Arsenic Album 30 for three days in a row on an empty stomach as a prophylactic medicine against coronavirus infections. Following the advisory, Telangana’s AYUSH department drew flak for distributing 11,500 doses of this medicine to 3,500 people in the state.
Excerpts from the advisory have also been circulated via WhatsApp, claiming that Homeopathy offers a cure for coronavirus even as modern medicine has been struggling to produce an effective cure. Since then, the AYUSH ministry has also produced a clarification that they never claimed Aresnicum Album 30 could treat the virus, but issued the advisory in a “general context”.
However, Dr Airi claims that the medicine does not even have prophylactic benefits. “In homeopathy, medicines are prescribed on the basis of particular medicines. Arsenicum is a medicine that does combat particular viral infections, but it can be recommended only if someone shows particular set of symptoms, it is not to be taken without the presence of these symptoms,” explains Dr Airi. The doctor adds that there is no particular treatment for coronavirus in homeopathy, just as there is no specific treatment for the virus developed in any other field of medicine. “It is just a general advisory given by the AYUSH ministry since the coronavirus epidemic has become such a cause for concern. The ministry wanted people to be aware of potential alternative medical treatments that could be helpful in decreasing the effect of the disease,” added Dr Airi.
Dr Varinder Gupta, who runs his private homeopathy clinic in the city, has also been receiving requests for a dose of Arsenicum Album 30. But unlike Dr Airi, Dr Gupta believes that the medicine could have prophylactic benefits against the COVID 19 virus.
“Homeopathic medicines are made on the basis of and to treat a particular group pf medicines, and this medicine can also be used as a preventive,” claims Dr. Gupta.
The doctor adds that the medicine will have no ill effects anyway, so there is no harm in trying it out as an additional preventive measure.
“I have also been giving the medicine to people who have been asking it from me. For free of course, because I do not want to profit off people’s paranoia,” adds the doctor.
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