Studies underway on AYUSH interventions for COVID-19

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 7 launched three AYUSH based studies to drive healthcare and medical intervention to tackle the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

May 7, 2020

The Ministry of AYUSH is studying the impacts of AYUSH based prophylactic interventions in high-risk populations while preparing AYUSH advocacies and AYUSH measures for COVID-19

The Ministry of AYUSH has set up an Interdisciplinary AYUSH R&D Task Force with a group of experts from diverse medical fields to develop strategies for the pandemic intervention

The Ministry of AYUSH has developed Ayush Sanjivani mobile app, for generating data related to a target population of 5 million people which will be of critical help in tackling the pandemic

To drive activities around AYUSH, the Government has budgeted over US$285 million for FY 2020-21 to modernise AYUSH formulations while building new institutions to expand capacity

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 7 launched three AYUSH based studies to drive healthcare and medical intervention to tackle the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Among its many initiatives, the Government of India has sought to address the COVID-19 pandemic through clinical studies (prophylactic and add-on interventions) of AYUSH formulations and practices. The Ministry is currently studying the impacts of AYUSH based prophylactic interventions in high-risk populations while preparing AYUSH advocacies and AYUSH measures for COVID-19. The Ministry of AYUSH has set up an Interdisciplinary Ayush R&D Task Force with a group of experts to formulate and develop strategies for this initiative.

The three studies will focus on: 

Clinical research on Ayurveda interventions as prophylaxis and as an add-on to standard care to COVID 19: Collaborative clinical studies as a joint initiative of Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Science & Technology through the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) with technical support of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The Ayush R&D Task Force has formulated and designed clinical research protocols for prophylactic studies and add-on interventions in COVID-19 positive cases through a thorough review and consultative process of experts from organisations across the country for studying four different interventions viz. Ashwagandha, Yashtimadhu, Guduchi +Pippali and a polyherbal formulation (AYUSH-64)

  • Ashwagandha for the Prophylaxis Against SARS-COV-2 in subjects with increased risk during the COVID 19 Pandemic: A comparison with Hydroxychloroquine in the health care providers and
  • Effectiveness of Ayurvedic Formulation as an adjunct to ‘Standard of Care’ for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized, Open-Label, Parallel Efficacy, Active Control, Multi-Centre Exploratory Drug Trial.

Population-based interventional studies on the impact of AYUSH based prophylactic interventions: The Ministry of AYUSH is initiating population-based studies to study the impact of Ayurvedic Interventions in the prevention of COVID-19 infection in high-risk populations. The core objectives consist of an assessment of the preventive potential of AYUSH interventions for COVID 19 and also to assess the improvement in the quality of life in high-risk populations. The study will be carried out through four research councils under the Ministry of AYUSH and National Institutes in 25 states across the country and several State Governments covering approximately 500,000 people.

The outcome of the study is expected to help in understanding the preventive potential of AYUSH interventions during pandemics like COVID 19 through scientific evidence.

Ayush Sanjivani application-based study for impact assessment of acceptance and usage of AYUSH advisories in the prevention of COVID 19: The Ministry of AYUSH has developed Ayush Sanjivani mobile app, for generating data related to a target population of 5 million people. The key outcomes include data on the acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population as well as its impact in the prevention of COVID 19.

Since 2014, the Government of India has been proactively promoting India’s rich heritage of traditional healthcare and medicines, which owing to its growing global demand has helped the nation strengthen ties with foreign nations. The Government has sought to standardize the formulations of these drugs and publish related pharmacopeias to boost confidence in traditional medicines and healthcare practices globally. By breathing a new lease of life into AYUSH, India has attracted numerous key international partnerships across R&D, capacity building, trade, and investment. To drive future activities around AYUSH, the Government of India has budgeted over US$285 million for FY 2020-21 to modernise AYUSH formulations while building new institutions to expand capacity.