An integrated therapy of modern medicine and ayurveda has benefited Covid-19 patientswith faster recovery in mild-moderate Covid-19 cases and preventing ICU admissions and deaths, according to a study by the Directorate of AYUSH-Gujarat.

The findings come at a time of heated discussion on the benefits of modern medicine over traditional medicines like ayurveda.

The study findings revealed that Covid-19 patients on combined therapy of allopathy and ayurveda, got RT-PCR negative results in average 7.85 days, as against 12.19 for those only on allopathic medicines. Also, the number of patients recovering within 0-3 days was 33 per cent in case of patients on both the therapies, as against none in the case of only allopathic treatment.

Formal study

Speaking to BusinessLine , Bhavna T Patel, Director AYUSH, Gujarat informed that a formal approval for conducting the study was given by the competent authority last May. The enrolment of subjects happened between June and October 2020. “Our committee of researchers and officers had designed the ayurvedic protocol to be administered to the subjects. It had to be given along with the allopathic medicines. Nowhere we claim that ayurvedic medicines alone cures Covid-19 completely. But yes, it is a fact that all those, who have taken ayurvedic medicines along with allopathic, get faster recovery. That was our primary objective.”

The research findings will be submitted to the AYUSH Ministry shortly and a paper based on the study will be published. “Then it will be open for any State to follow this protocol,” She said.

Ayush trial

The study was conducted at the 1,200-bed Covid-19 hospital at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital campus. Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms, were divided into two groups with one receiving regular allopathic treatment and the other given ayurvedic medicines in addition to the allopathic medicines.

“We followed a strict scientific process for the study, starting from identification of subjects, taking their consent, enrolment, tests before treatment, type of the ayurvedic substances for intervention, obtaining clearances from the institutional ethics committee (IEC) of Civil Hospital among others. We had designed our own protocol (see infobox for details) for ayurvedic intervention. The findings are promising,” said Falgun Patel, Principal investigator of the study.

‘No adverse reaction’

All these ingredients were tested to be free from poisonous substances, steroids or metallic substances. These medicines were administered for 28 days or negative RT-PCR, whichever was earlier. The study found that no patient reported an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR). Ayurveda-assisted Covid-19 treatment has helped overcome major symptoms much faster.

On cost of treatment, the cost of ayurvedic medicines was “miniscule” and not comparable with allopathic medicines, the study showed.