Use of Ashwagandha on Covid warriors: BHU to study

The Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) will study the use of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) as a test drug for prophylactic use among frontline health workers and Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) for supplementary therapy as a standard treatment of Corona patients with mild and moderate symptoms.

According to Professor Anand Chaudhary, head of the department of Rasa Shastra, of Ayurveda faculty IMS-BHU and centre coordinator for the project, “As a part of the project of ministry of AYUSH, Indian Council of Medical Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the university was assigned the task of conducting studies on Ashwagandha and Yashtimadhu.”

He said, “Ashwagandha will be tested for study in prophylactic use among frontline health workers of SSL Hospital of BHU and other healthcare workers, while Yashtimadhu will be tested as drug for adjunct therapy with the standard treatment of conventional medicine on Covid-19 patients under treatment in BHU with mild and moderate symptoms.”

Chaudhary said, “The ministry, ICMR and CSIR have selected Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited, Ahmedabad and Ardent Clinical Research Services, Pune, as contract research organization (CRO) and nodal agencies for the projects of prophylaxis and adjunct therapy, respectively, to take care of the projects sanctioned to the BHU and other medical institutions in Lucknow, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Gurugram, Jodhpur and Jaipur.”

The objectives of the projects are to explore the efficacy of ayurvedic interventions in Covid-19 patients on standards of conventional biomedical researches, he said, adding that each centre has formed joint teams of investigators from both allopathy and ayurvedic faculties.

Prof Chaudhary said the consignment of Ashwagandha and Yashtimadhu has been received by BHU while funds for further studies and data collection to be done in six weeks, are expected to be allocated within a week.

He said that the compiled data of these studies will be submitted for validation on contemporary scientific standards by global health agencies like WHO for the acceptance of Ayurveda as a system of medicine worldwide.

BHU, which is among 15 institutions of the country to contribute in this project, is providing level-3 facility at its hospitals for Covid-19 patients while it is also conducting laboratory testing for novel coronavirus infection of many east Uttar Pradesh districts.