Coronavirus treatment: WHO allows herbal treatment trials; will alternate therapies combat COVID-19?

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The world over, several trials are being conducted to study the efficacy and feasibility rates of herbal and alternative treatments. Ayurveda, for one, has been talked about a lot in the past month.

While the Union Ministry has recommended the use of certain Ayurvedic herbs and kadhas (and rasalas) to prevent illness and aid recovery, private groups are also working on developing herbal cures and remedies.

Herbal teas and concoctions, derived from Siddha medicine are also being actively prescribed in Tamil Nadu, with officials promising of their effectiveness since ages.

Perhaps the most interesting trial right now is being carried out by IIT Delhi’s DAILAB and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), who, in a study found that a herbal drug, ashwagandha can prove to be a crucial player in negating the effects of the virus in the human body, and further, can also be used to develop vaccines. Touting its natural biochemical makeup, researchers suggest that ashwagandha properties can be used to target illness-causing enzymes and split proteins, Mpro (Main protease), which are responsible for viral replication and spread.

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