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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 102-116

A review on preventive and therapeutic potential of selected Ayurveda medicinal plants in viral pandemics

1 Health & Family Welfare Vertical, NITI Aayog, New Delhi, India
2 Regional Ayurveda Research Institute, Nagpur, India
3 Ministry of Women & Child Development, New Delhi, India
4 Education Policy-1 Section, Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, India
5 Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi, India
6 Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases, New Delhi, India
7 G.S. Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital, Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shobhit Kumar
Health & Family Welfare Vertical, NITI Aayog, Sansad Marg 110001, New Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jras.jras_52_21

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BACKGROUND: Viral pandemics/epidemics are emerging as one of the biggest challenge for medical fraternity and health-care policy makers. This is high time to explore traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda, wherein measures such as Dincharya (daily regimen), Ritucharya (seasonal regimen), Sadvritta (good conduct/behavior), and Rasayana (rejuvenation measures) which are said to influence the homoeostatic mechanism of the host defense system along with interventions that may have a promising role in managing such diseases. OBJECTIVES: This review attempts to provide an informative analysis of the daily regimen, seasonal regimen, moral conduct, and interventions recommended in Ayurveda scriptures which can be helpful for the prevention and treatment of viral pandemics. METHODS: A narrative review was conducted and comprehensive search of Ayurveda classical texts, including Bhrihatrayi, Laghutrayi, Dhanwantari Nighantu, Raj Nighantu, Kaiyadev Nighantu, and texts related to Dravyaguna was done. Electronic databases such as PubMed, AYUSH Research Portal, DHARA, and Google Scholar were also searched for relevant literature, pertaining to Ayurveda prophylactic and therapeutic measures in viral pandemics from 2001 to 2020. RESULTS: Prophylactic and therapeutic measures, including daily and seasonal regimen, good conduct/behavior, rejuvenation measures, Dhoopana Karma (medicated fumigation), and medicinal herbs, explained in Ayurveda may be utilized during viral pandemics. Critical analysis of the available scientific evidence suggests potential of Ayurveda interventions in context of immunomodulatory and antiviral activities. CONCLUSION: Unique preventive dietary and lifestyle practices recommended by Ayurveda can play an important role in maintaining the health status and improving the disease resistance capacity. Evidence from preclinical/clinical studies indicates that several herbs used in Ayurveda exhibit immunomodulatory, antiviral properties. The preventive and therapeutic measures narrated in Ayurveda can contribute significantly towards the management of viral pandemics. Generation of more scientific evidence through quality research studies is needed to evaluate the role of Ayurveda approaches for management of viral diseases.

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