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Ancient Ayurvedic Classics Narrate Medical Condition Similar To COVID-19 Infection

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 50 million deaths worldwide. The pandemic of the twentieth century (Spanish flu) changed the approach to medical management of microbial disease. The present-day medical management is based on the germ theory of disease i.e. the external agents were responsible for the occurrence of disease. The microbial disease can't occur without the microbial agent but they are the one cause of the disease.

Trisatacharya ancient Ayurveda scholar explained that the disease is the result of causative factors that may act in four ways i.e. immediate cause (Sannikrusta - सन्निकृष्ट), delayed cause (Viprakrusta - विप्रकुष्ट), primary (Pradhanik) and supportive (vyabhichari). The interaction of these factors and the body humour and body tissues decides whether disease would occur or not.

It needs to be clarified that the mere presence of microbes in the body is not the disease but the interaction of body tissues and the specific changes that occur due to the interaction is a disease and Ayurveda narrates that the management of the disease is meant to correct the pathologic process and not a mere change in body humours.

This is applicable to the COVID -19 or even the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The virus doesn't have any metabolic process in itself as they are only neuclo-protein covered with a membrane and lack mitochondria and other organelles that are found in bacteria and other organisms that have all characteristics of a living being. The virus uses host resources for its replication and produces disease in animals, plants and humans.

Ayurvedic classic Bhavaprakash has narrated different pyrexial illness that is caused by microbes and involve the specific body tissue or produce characteristics changes due to arraignment of body humours. They are named Sannipat Jwara.

These types of fever have finite outcomes i.e. on the seventh, tenth or twelve-day either disease gets cured or the patient dies. The outcome depends on the host defence mechanism if morbid material gets metabolised & detoxicated i.e. Dosha Packa occurs the disease gets cured else fatality happens. It is difficult to say at the early stage of disease and the host defence is good recovery occurs.

The disease named Yamya Sannipat Jwara narrated in Bhavprakasha has a striking resemblance with COVID-19 viral respiratory disease. The classics narrate that the vital organs of the body have changes of acute inflammation due to involvement of Rakta (blood) that is comparable with the occlusive changes (hyper-viscosity that can be identified by elevation of coagulation markers like D-dimer and specific inflammatory markers like interleukin). The classic describes the morbid condition that occurs due to vitiation of all the three body humours i.e. Doshas the Vata is depleted and pitta is maximally provoked with the minimal provocation of Kapha.

These changes make the further involvement of Rakta (blood) and produce coagulation changes in the vital organs of the body. This amalgamation of body tissues and body humours leads to Dahan changes (pathological change that leads to destruction inflammation due to coagulation changes within the vascular structure. The vital body organs like heart, liver, spleen, intestine and lungs. There may be suppuration followed by inflammation and may end up in fatality. (हीनप्रवृद्धमध्यैस्तु वातपित्तकफैश्च यः। तेन रोगास्त एवोक्ता यथादोषबलाश्रयाः॥४७४॥ हृदयं दह्यते चास्य यकृत्प्लीहान्त्रफुफ्फुसाः। पच्यन्तेऽत्यर्थमूर्द्ध्वाधः पूयशोवितनिर्गमः॥४७५॥ शीर्णदन्तश्च मृत्युश्च तत्राप्येतद्विशेषतः। भिषग्भिः सन्निपातोऽय याम्यो नाम्ना प्रकीर्त्तितः॥४७६॥)

The disease has three stages:

In the first stage of the disease, the patient develops symptoms, in the premonitory period of the disease there is a high possibility of spreading infectivity. The symptoms gradually increase, pyrexia, coughing, soreness of the throat, respiratory symptoms develop. In this stage of the disease typical treatment is observing fasting and medicine that have properties to improve metabolic fire (Agni). Therapeutic fasting of mealtime or day with treated water (Shadang Paniya - prepared by six medicaments) improve metabolism, host defence, it helps in reducing the time for identification of microbe antigen identity and also reduces the time for the production of specific immunoglobulins. The non-specific immunity act to detoxify microbial infectivity. The leaking capillaries make white cells (leucocytes), there is increased blood flow to the affected organ, the other component of white cells invades the tissues and produce characteristic redness.

In the second stage of the disease, the fever is high, the patient has developed the majority of characteristic symptoms. The diseased organ become hard like lever it is often referred to as hepatisation. In this stage, the cytokine storm usually occurs this decides whether the infectivity reduces or fatality occurs. In this stage medicament that detoxifies the body i.e. Paachana in nature needs to be employed.

The third stage of the disease is the stage of resolution the host defence successfully combat microbial invasion, detoxifies tissues, the resolution starts, leaking capillaries gradually stops oozing, phagocytic activity occurs and pus if any is formed. This morbid material needs to be eliminated from the body. If this doesn't occur there may be possible complications or fatalities.

Ayurveda uses different medicaments for the management. The medicated water made up of six herbs popularly known as Shadngpaniya detoxifies the body, reduces infectivity, controls the inflammatory process, potentiate digestion, regulates bowel & urinary functions, regulates temperature, and produces soothing effects. If this is not available one may use the water of ginger & tulsi (holy basil) that too has similar actions.

Sudarshana phanta is also used for the management of pyrexia the chief medicine of the polyherbal compound is Kiratikta (chirita). The experimental studies carried on this herb proved its antimicrobial actions, it has antipyretic properties, anti-inflammatory actions. The other medicaments have synergic action and are considered important medicine.

Diet regulations are necessary for pyrexia ancient Ayurveda scholar Chakradutta opined that five-night fasting is advised in the gastrointestinal, eye, common cold, coryza, inflammation and pyrexia. Complete therapeutic fasting may be carried under physician observation that may have a positive response in healing.

In the case of outdoor patients or in house care complete fasting may not be possible and a balance of intake and excretion needs to be observed. Proper bowel movements and urinary output ought to be maintained which may be done by medicated water, and taking medicated soups - Yavagu (made up of rice). Medicated Yavagu (with ginger/chitraka/pipplimula) improves digestion, increases appetite, regulates bowel movements and urinary output, nourishes the body, restricts inflammation & infectivity, and improves host defence mechanism.

All forms of exertion, watching TV, playing video games, stress, excessive thoughts ought to be observed and celibacy ought to be observed during the illness. One may chant some mantra or meditate to reduce stress. Mental stress or worry or negative thoughts have a negative impact on recovery.


This is article is based on the literary approach and reference has been given herewith. You may consult an Ayurveda physician or the nearest Ayurveda hospital for information.