Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik has expressed confidence that COVID-19 can be treated with Ayurveda, adding that in the absence of scientific validation the ancient Indian medicinal stream has only been used as a preventive measure during the current crisis.
He also reasserted his controversial claim that Prince Charles was cured of COVID-19 with Ayurvedic treatment and added that the heir to the British crown is denying it because Ayurveda is not accepted in the West.
Mr Naik had earlier said that a Bengaluru-based practitioner had treated Prince Charles.
Prince Charles has denied it because he might be having some problems in admitting it. His country does not recognize Ayurveda, Mr Naik said in an interview to news agency PTI.
It was obvious for him to refuse. I am hundred and one percent sure that he got cured because of Ayurveda, the minister said. He did not say if there was a specific Ayurvedic medicine that purportedly cured Prince Charles or if he benefitted from a holistic Ayurvedic approach.
Mr Naik said that once scientific validation of some formulas in Ayurveda is done, the country would be ready to treat COVID-19 patients with it.
When other systems like allopathy have failed, we have a solution to treat COVID-19 through Ayurveda, he said.
The minister also alleged that a lobby was hindering the usage of Ayurveda as an effective medicine to treat novel coronavirus in the country.
He said his ministry has been following up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Ayurveda has a solution for coronavirus, which is not offered by other streams.
We have been asked for scientific validation for the Ayurvedic formula. But we must understand that scientific validation of Ayurveda has been done thousands of years back.
It is a stream of medicine that has been passed on from one generation to other.
He did not say how the validation would have been done thousands of years ago for a disease that is known to have come into existence only last year.
There is no known cure for COVID-19, which is caused by a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV2 that was first observed in China's Wuhan province in late 2019.
Scientists and pharma companies all over the world are working fervently to create the first vaccine or first cure for the disease.
The Central government will have to notify the Ayurvedas formula to treat coronavirus. We have put up our claim before the PM after which he has acted and a task force has been formed, he said.
Mr Naik said that coronavirus attacks the immune system.
"If you boost the immunity system, then the virus cannot attack you. It also affects your respiratory system. We have a solution to improve respiratory system."
Strictly speaking, the coronavirus SARS-CoV2 does not attack the immune system but attacks the respiratory system, leading to the disease. However, most of the damage in COVID-19 disease is caused by the immune system, which unleashes a massive defence to stop the virus from spreading. In the process, millions of immune system cells attack the virus and infected lung tissues but end up wreaking havoc on the entire lung.
This leads to shortness of breath, dry cough and other complications, leading to in some cases death.
The minister added that there is 60 to 70 per cent control on spread of coronavirus in India due to home remedies prescribed in Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani.
"Lakhs of people are currently taking advantage of it, he said. But he provided no details of where the people are benefitting from the Ayurveda cure or if any hospitals are running regulated programmes in this regard. India is the only example where this virus has been controlled. We have already issued advisory to the people on does and dont's," he said.