The Weekend Leader - Tamil medicine Siddha fights COVID-19

Tamil medicine Siddha fights COVID-19


Vol 11 | Issue 29

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the country, with no vaccine in sight, the Tamil Nadu government has turned to the traditional Siddha medicine to treat COVID cases.

The government is using Siddha to treat asymptomatic COVID cases by providing patients with immunity boosting diet such as herbal tea, greens and millet-based recipes.

The results are encouraging. “In the last 10 to 15 days, at least 100 patients who were at the Jawahar College Covid Care Centre have recovered with Siddha interventions,” The Hindu reported, quoting an official.

On Wednesday, the government inaugurated another Siddha based COVID Care Centre, a 224-bedded facility at Dr Ambedkar Government Arts and Science College, located in Vyasarpadi, North Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu government has taken the lead in tapping the vast resources of the traditional Tamil systems of medicine to provide relief to hundreds of COVID patients.

In addition to Siddha, the state is also deploying the knowledge of Ayurveda, homeopathy and naturopathy in treating COVID cases. Patients are being administered common rural practices of the state such as salt water gargling and steam inhalation.

“We will surely expand the use of Indian medicine in the coming days. This system has shown results in Kerala too,’’ the state health secretary Dr J. Radhakrishnan told The New Indian Express, adding that this system could work hand-in-hand with the allopathy treatment.

The State minister for Tamil Language and Culture K Pandiarajan reacted strongly to charges that the state was adopting unscientific medical practice endangering lives.

"There is a 100 per cent success rate,” the minister told NDTV. “We are not endangering lives. Siddha is a trump card for us. We are blending Siddha, Yoga and Ayurveda. There is no empirical verification but there is enough history. People have faith. We are documenting many cases now.

"Siddha doesn't have the last mile - ventilator or oxygen support. Then allopathy takes over for such cases. That's only less than 3 per cent of total cases," Pandiarajan told NDTV.

The state government had earlier constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Director of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy to explore the feasibility of using Indian medicine in treating COVID cases.

The government has been distributing immunity building Siddha formulations such as nilavembu and kabasura kudineer, prepared by the Chennai based National Institute of Siddha, to frontline warriors, including doctors, fighting the coronavirus.

PMK leader Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, the former union health minister, in whose tenure the National Institute of Siddha was established in 2005, has also strongly recommended the use of siddha medicine for treating COVID 19. - TWL Bureau

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