IMA Rebuffs Health Ministry Claims of Virus Treatment



Harsh Vardhan wearing a suit and tie: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan


© Sharmita Kar | India.com News Desk
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan


New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday launched a strong objection against the Union Health Ministry saying that the ayurvedic treatments prescribed by AYUSH Ministry have little scientific evidence to be called medicines for COVID-19 infection. Earlier on Tuesday, the AYUSH ministry had dismissed claims that prolonged consumption of ‘kadha’, recommended as a preventive health measure for boosting immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, damages the liver, saying it is a “wrong notion” as the ingredients used for preparing it are used in cooking at home. The IMA stated that the Health Ministry provided “impressive names” of institutions to justify their prescription of ayurvedic medicines. However, “these are based on empirical evidence which means that the evidence is anecdotal and based on individual subjective experiences,” the letter read. The medical association sought evidence regarding the claims, asking how many ministers made the informed choice of getting this treatment and why the government had not made the data public. It further challenged Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to volunteer in a double-blind control study of the ayurvedic treatment and refrain from any kind of allopathic treatment.

Notably, the Ministry of AYUSH had in March issued some self-care guidelines as preventive health measures for boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health amidst the coronavirus outbreak. As part of the guidelines, among other things, it recommended drinking herbal tea or ‘kadha‘ (decoction) made from basil, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, and raisins once or twice a day.

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