There have been multiple advisories from the AYUSH Ministry on COVID-19. Its long list of recommendations include Unani concoctions Sharbat Unnab and Tiryaq Arba, and the homeopathic medicine Arsenicum Album 30 for post-exposure prophylaxis for doctors and caregivers.
In the absence of a scientifically proven cure or preventive for novel coronavirus infection, should one use alternative medicine?
This is what the World Health Organization has to say: “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.”
Doctors are discouraging use of drugs recommended by practitioners of alternative medicine because a drug has to be developed keeping in mind its safety and efficacy.
For hydroxychloroquine pushed by the Health Ministry, the efficacy is still being investigated — but its safety has been documented through years. No such data are available for any of the traditional ‘remedies’ on social media.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is new — and its nature is still being studied by scientists.
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