By Dr Sandeep Bekal and Dr Janardhana V Hebbar
Disclaimer: This is a theoretical article about how far can Ayurveda be useful in preventing or treating the symptoms of CoronaVirus. We are not claiming to prevent it or cure it. Do not follow any advice given in this article (or any part of this website) without consulting your doctor.
We have not cured or prevented any patients of Coronavirus with below treatment, neither do we claim that below mentioned treatments cure it or prevent it.
Consider it as a mere conceptual article without any value.
Do not try any home remedies or treatments discussed below.
1. If you are running short of hand sanitizer, just use soap and water to wash your hands. It is equally effective to kill the virus.
2. Suppose you get infected, your children, parents, grand parents will also get infected.
death rate of corona is 8% for people above 70 and 22% for people above 80 years.
If you think that the young ones do not get affected, you do not mind losing your parents and grand parents. Good luck with that. But do not kill parents and grand parents of your neighbors, co-workers, friends and other family members.
Keep yourself and your excessive thoughts quarantined. Please follow the government directive.
3. Possible remedies –
Use more spices in diet – turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom,
Chew Tulsi leaves, herbal tea of Tulsi, Licorice, neem, turmeric, long pepper, ginger is a good preventive remedy.
Ginger, turmeric and Tulsi (Holy Basil) – Use these to prepare herbal tea. Have it once or twice a day. To prepare herbal tea, Powder of equal amounts of these is taken in 1 tablespoon quantity. Add 2 cups of water, boil and reduce to half a cup. Filter.
2-3 people can drink this.
4. Apply a thin layer of ghee to the inner side of nostrils. Use eye drops, oil pulling etc explained in the below paragraphs.
Useful Preventive Herbal Tea Combinations
Three herb rule
I asked many Ayurveda practitioners the below question:
If you were to pick only three herbs for preparing a Kashaya for corona prevention, what those three herbs would be?
Dr JV Hebbar – Tulsi, Guduchi and ginger.
Holy Basil is a potent anti viral,
Guduchi is a potent immunity booster.
Ginger takes care of fever and also respiratory system.
So, I am hoping that it will covers most of the prone organs and systems.
Gita, Australia –
Neem, turmeric and amalaki OR
Neem turmeric and trikatu (ginger, black pepper and long pepper)
Neem is good for fever, boosts immunity.
Turmeric takes care of allergy and also immunity. In case of allergic cough and sneezing, unrelated to Covid, this can be useful.
Trikatu promotes digestion strength, good for respiratoy and black pepper is good for Agantuja fevers – fever due to external factors such as insect bite, poisoning, microbes etc.
If someone uses Neem, turmeric and trikatu, I think it will be good to prepare decoction of neem and turmeric in 3:1 ratio herbs and then add Trikatu as prakshepa over it and consume.
I propose this formula. Correct me if I am wrong.
10 grams Neem +
3 grams Turmeric +
2 cups of water, boil and reduce to half a cup. Filter.
To this, add 1-2 grams of Trikatu and serve.
Dr Padmavati, Bangalore – Tulsi, Neem and Guduchi –
This doubles the fight against the virus + Tulsi is both anti viral and strengthens respiratory system.
Ossi Viljakainen (Omkarnath), Finland –
Tulsi, Guduchi, haridra, ginger. In the first phase.
If its too much troublesome, the dry powder of all can be made into a mix and served with honey or hot water.
Later kantakari, Tulsi, Guduchi.
Kantakari is very good for chest congestion, dry cough and throat itching, soar throat, voice disturbances etc. So, a very good combination, here again.
Dr Anil Yadav –
Amalaki as good source of vitamin -C and immune booster.
My choice is ,
Guduchi + Tulasi + Haridra + Kiratikt ( chirayata) + neem + Shunthi ( dry ginzer) + jaggery
and make a decoction.
and drink a empty stomach twice a day.
life span 24 hr.
we can use upto 48 hrs. by refrigerator.
other choice is
giloy ghan vati + tulasi vati. 1 tb twice or thrice a day( 1 gm daily)
and gargle with haridra and salt daily morning and night.
u can use also fitkari(alum) for gargle.
Dr Hiral Vyas – Vasa, turmeric, long pepper.
I advise fresh kashayam(To make at home) to my patients using fresh vasa leaves, ajwain, Ginger, salt, lemon, turmeric and black pepper. This gives instant relief in cold cough fever breathing difficulties….have seen quick results with this in n number of cases so far
Comments – Thank you for putting your trust on Vasa. When it comes to antipyretic bitter herbs, I just concentrate on neem, turmeric and guduchi but Vasa is also a very good Jwarahara – anti-fever herb and is also useful in relieving difficulty in breathing.
Turmeric and long pepper both are useful in preventing fever and respiration disorders.
Honorable mentions –
Kalamegha – Andrographis paniculata – It is a good antipyretic, no doubt. But it is more related to fever- rakta vikaras, liver and skin issues and less related to respiratory issues. It has immunity promoting effect as well. So, can be used, no problems.
Yashtimadhu – Licorice
Dr Achyuth Bharadhwaj –
Anupana – co-drink plays a major role in further acting as a catalyst for these drugs.
In my opinion, honey would seem ideal. Because of it’s Kapha hara, sukshma marganusari – penetrates deep channels and it is a yoga vahi (catalyst) – improving the effectiveness if the drugs multi-fold.
Honey is essential Anupana here. Corona is more related to Kapha Dosha. Honey also improves the taste of the combination, especially when we are using so much bitter herbs.
Just we need to make sure that Honey is not added directly to the hot herbal tea. At least we should wait for it to become lukewarm.
I usuually do a simple one from my grandfather, as soon as I feel any minor symptoms
boil water with clove, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, Himalayan black salt( helps in relieving the congestion) , black pepper and before drinking I add honey and fresh lemon juice. It has already helped me.
Dr Gururaja MB, Shimoga –
Neem, Guduchi, Aranya jeeraka (Centratherum anthelminticum), Holy basil, ginger, turmeric, Eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus would open up the respiratory tract.
Aranya jeeraka is one of the ingredients of grany’s recipe of olden days….
It is antibacterial as well as anti viral …
One of the potent tikta rasa dravya and immunomodulator….
In olden days grandma use to prepare a decoction made out of kalamegha , saptaparna, and aranya jeeraka with little bit of jaggery , it was the preventive measure in those days for any seasonal viral or bacterial infections ….
And it was highly bitter but quiet effective
Ayurvedic Medicines For Corona Prevention
Rasayana – anti aging medicines working on respiratory tract:
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Amalaki ( Embelica officinalis)
Yasti madhu ( Glycyrrhiza glabra) – Licorice
Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)
Bala – Sida cordifolia
There are many more herbo-mineral preparations that are useful.
Most of the spices spices
Avaleha – herbal jam
Churna – herbal powders
Arishta – Fermented liquids
Kashaya – herbal teas/ decoctions
Nimbamritadi Panchatikta kashaya
Kashaya Panchatikta kashaya
Tablet options –
What is CoronaVirus?
It is a large family of viruses causing illness from the common cold to more severe diseases like the
MERS-CoV – middle east respiratory syndrome AND
Severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV.
Novel corona virus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. This is transmitted from animals to man.
Three important symptoms are –
Chest pain, breathing difficulty
Recently many Covid 19 positive patients are complaining about loss of taste (anorexia) and lack of smell (anosmia). These two symptoms stay longer in the patients, even after fever and other symptoms have subsided.
Headache, bodyache, finger joints, joint pains especially associated with fever
Shortness of breath
Symptoms In severe cases
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Generally more than 80% of the infected lot develop only mild form of the disease.
A little above 10% develop severe form.
Ayurveda – Epidemic Diseases
Concept of Epidemic Diseases in Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic scholars and exponents of antiquity like Sushruta and Charaka recorded communicable and epidemic diseases in their works as aupasargika roga and janapadodhvansa respectively.
The concept of janapadodhwamsa mentioned in Ayurveda refers to the situation where there is wide spread damage to environment as well as life forms. Janapadodhvansa literally means destruction or annihilation of communities or settlements. Epidemics and outbreaks of highly communicable diseases have blighted mankind since time immemorial.
Charaka Samhita’s reference about highly communicable diseases, prevention tips Charaka Samhita, Vimana Sthana 3rd Chapter.
Thought provoking questions by Agnivesha
How do all individuals having different physical constitution etc., suffer from the same diseases, due to the same set of causative factors? •common factors which often get adversely affected, resulting in simultaneous outbreak of diseases having similar symptoms that destroy communities. The common factors which affect mass population are vayu (air), udaka (water), desha (land) and kala (season).
Modes of transmission:
Sushruta Samhita Nidana Sthana 5th Chapter
Prasanagat – close interaction
Gatra samsparshat – physical contact with the diseases individual
Nishwasa – through inhalation, droplet infection
Sahabhojanat – close contact such as sharing food
Sahashayya – sleeping together
Asana – using same sitting arrangement
Vastra – using same cloth
Using the same cosmetics
Malya – wipes and hand kerchief
Understanding Corona Through Ayurveda
Samprapthi ghatakas – Pathology blocks
Dosa – In severe cases, all the three Doshas are vitiated, with specific aggravation of Kapha Dosha.
Dooshya – Rasa Dhatu – nutritious fluid formed after digestion – Usually in all fevers, Rasa dhatu is directly involved.
Agni – manda – low digestion strength
Ama – Sama – Symptoms of Ama – altered digestion and metabosim are evident.
Srotas – Pranavaha srotas – respiratory tract, Rasavaha Srotas – Rasa channels
Sroto dusti prakara – atipravritti and sangha – Excessive flow, blockage
Avasta – atyayika avasta – Requires immediate care
Site of origin – Udhbava sthana – Agantuja – external factor – a virus, Amashaya – Stomach – usually the site of origin of fever.
Spread area – Sanchara sthana – urdhwa shareera – upper part of the body
Symptoms exhibited area – Vyakta – urdhwa shareera – upper part of the body, where Kapha is naturally dominant.
Treatment for communicable diseases:
Panchakarma – five elimination therapies (viz., emesis, purgation, enema- niruha and anuvasana types and errhines) are considered the best.
Rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation treatment with anti ageing, immune boosting medicines)
Truthfulness, compassion for living beings, charity, sacrifices, worship of God, observance of right conduct, tranquility, prophylactic protection of oneself and seeking one’s own good, residing in a wholesome country,service to those observing brahmacharya (celibacy) and following it.
Discussion of religious scriptures, constant association with the righteous, the well disposed and those who are approved by the elders- all this with a view to protecting life has been termed ‘medicine’ to those who are not destined to die in that critical time.
Possible Principles of Corona Management with Ayurveda
Principles of management of Corona:
For the conditions affecting pranavaha srotas one has to adopt Shwasa chikitsa – the treatment recommended for Breathlessness and related disorders.
Principles of management of shwasa
Main emphasis is on Vata Kapha
With an emphasis on pitta sthana.
External massage with karpooradi thaila or Lavana Taila – sesame oil mixed with rock salt
Followed by nadi sweda (sweating treatment through pipes)
Prastar (exposing to hot materials and inducing sweating) and
Sankara sweda (bag of heated herbs used for sweating)
This treatment helps to open up clogged passages of respiratory tract.
This also enables the easy movement of vata Dosha in respiratory tract.
Treatment based on the condition of the patient and Dosha
Durbala – with less strength – improving strength and immunity
Balawan – good strength – Panchakarma detoxification procedure, as the patient strength is good and he can tolerate strong procedures
Kaphadhika – kapha is increased – Vamana Panchakarma
Vatadhika – vata is more – Basti – Enema treatment
Kaphadhika and balawan – Panchakarma and rasayana prayoga (rejuvenating medicines)
Durbala and vatadhika – Weak and Vata aggravated condition – tarpana – nourishing treatment
Management of dry cough:
Dry cough is a common manifestation and therefore it has to be managed with snehana (supplementation of oleaginous material). It is treated with
Gritha – rasna dashamooli gritha, vasa gritha, kantakari gritha, vidaryadi gritha etc..
Basti – Enema treatment – As relevant – mostly anuvasana Basti – oil or fat enema
Ksheera – medicated herbal milk – Eg: Garlic milk or Long pepper milk
Yoosha – soups added with trikatu (ginger, pepper, long pepper)
Fat rich diet mixed with spices
Administer foods like barley, kodo millet, finger millet, oats
You slightly spice up the dishes that you consume, especially with trikatu – ginger, pepper and long pepper.
Dhoomapana – herbal smoking:
When the Doshas are aggravated in minute quantity in respiratory tract, then they may produce a discomfort with mild wheeze (with a block in the air way there is a typical musical sound that is produced) heard.
In such instance herbal smoking is very useful in reliving the block and congestion in the respiratory tract.
This is from Ashtanga Hrudaya Jwara Chikitsa – treatment for fevers –
Aparajita dhooma – to win over all Agantu factors – external causes for fever like germs, viruses etc.
पुरध्यामवचासर्जनिम्बार्कागुरुदारुभिः ॥ १६३ ॥
धूपो ज्वरेषु सर्वेषु कार्योऽयमपराजितः ।
puradhyāmavacāsarjanimbārkāgurudārubhiḥ || 163 ||
dhūpo jvareṣu sarveṣu kāryo’yam aparājitaḥ |
Pura (guggulu), Dhyama, Vaca (Acorus calamus), Sarja, Neem, Arka (Calotropis), Agarwood, Devadaru may be used for fumigation in all types of fevers. This is known as Aparajita Dhupa.
Just get as many of them as possible, dry it and burn in open air and take the fumes to all parts of home.
Method of herbal smoking:
Turmeric, castor leaves
Laksha ( Laccifer lacca)
Devadaru ( Cedrus deodara)
Do it yourself –
Take turmeric and neem powder – 1 tablespoon. Mix it with a teaspoon of ghee. Burn it on hot pan and expose yourself to the fumes coming out of it.
The above are purified appropriately and then powdered and made into a wick with ghee or oil and then dhoomapana is done.
Simple combination for herbal smoking:
If only a few ingredients are available then use them accordingly. •Simple and effectively we can use turmeric and along with cinnamon, cardamom and clove. •Powder the above and mix them well and then smear them on a thin cotton cloth dip it in a little of sesame oil or ghee then use It for dhoomapana.
Swedana – sweating treatment:
Local fomentation through various means when there is a cold nose and chest congestion.
Fomentation can be in the form of dhara (pouring warm or hot liquids or oil).
Using kanji( fermented gruel), dhanyamla (fermented liquid), takra for dhara is ideal.
Oil such as karpooradi thaila, chinchadi tahila, marichadi thaila etc is helpful.
Bags of some monocots, dicots and legumes can be used for fomentation.
Eg : sesame, horse gram, black gram, wheat etc they can be used dry or wet immersing them in amla dravya (kanji, dhanyamla, buttermilk)
Pachana and Agni deepana – treatment to improve digestion:
Shivakshara pachana choorna
Madana phala yoga along with licorice, rock salt, in the form of herbal paste (lehya) for easy administration or it may be used in the form kashaya or phanta (hot infusion)
Note – if vamana is done in the absence of kapha dosa then it may lead to problems.
Management of fever:
The type of fever considered here is Agantuja jwara – fever due to external causes, in this case, virus.
Here the emphasis is on vata dosha
Gritha kalpana such as the
Kalyanka gritha are used.
Medicines used in pranavaha srotas
Taleesadi choorna, Sitopaladi choorna – Both are very useful against cough, cold and breathing problems
Karpooradi choorna – improves digestion and respiratory health
Shatyadi choorna – improves breathing
Dhanawantara vati, Vayu gulika – general supplement for all things related to immunity, digestion, respiration and metabolism
Shwasa kasa chintamani rasa – Herbo-mineral preparation, requires doctor’s prescription to take, useful in asthma, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath.
Elakanadi kashaya – Herbal decoction used in chronic bronchitis, asthma
Balajeerakadi kashaya – useful in cough, cold, asthma.
Dahamoolakatutrayadi kashaya – healthy combination of 10 roots (Dashamoola), Trikatu and Vasa (Adhadota vasica) – useful in fever, weak digestion and respiratory diseases
Dashamoolarista – useful in inflammation, joint pain, fever and respiratory diseases
Kanakasava – good broncho-dilator. Improves breathing
Vasakasava, Pushkaramoolasava – Reduces cough, improves breathing, relieves chest pain, discomfort
Tamboolavalehya – Made of betel nut
dashamoola hareetaki – eases breathing
Gomutra hareetaki – useful in fever associated with cold, cough
Breathing difficulty and chest congestion are the main symptoms / complications of of Coronavirus.
So, patients who have history of Asthma, bronchitis, chronic Upper / lower respiratory tract infection, for them, It is best to take the below medicines for 4 – 6 weeks as precaution.
Kanakasava – Adult dose – 15 ml, mixed with 15 ml water 2 times a day after food.
Bharngyadi kashaya – Adult dose – 15 ml, mixed with 15 ml water 2 times a day after food.
Pushkaramoolasva – Adult dose – 15 ml, mixed with 15 ml water 2 times a day after food.
Shrungyadi choorna – half teaspoon 2 times a day after food
Shwasahara leham – 1 -2 teaspoon 2 times a day after food.
Kantakari avaleha – 1 -2 teaspoon 2 times a day after food.
Vasavaleha – 1 -2 teaspoon 2 times a day after food.
Dashamoola katutrayadi kashaya – Adult dose – 15 ml, mixed with 15 ml water 2 times a day after food.
Disclaimer: There is no guarantee / clinical proof that these would work. Use after consulting your healthcare practitioner.
Fever medicines –
Langhana (fasting or light diet) initially
Followed by anti-fever medicines
Amritottara kashaya – very useful in fever
Drakshadi kashaya – useful in fever with very high body temperature.
Sudarshana ghana vati
Tribhuvan keerti rasa
Godanti bhasma etc…
Headache – steam inhalation with marmani lepa
Diarrhea with fever – Ananda bhairava rasa
Body ache – mild sweating treatment
lakshmi vilasa rasas,
kanchanara guggulu – especially when Kapha is high
Ayurvedic Prevention Remedies For Corona
Common methods to prevent infection spread
Regular hand wash –
Covering the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with arm
Avoiding contact with those showing symptoms of coughing or sneezing.
Social distancing. Stand at least 1.5 meters away from any other suspected person.
Precaution for roots of entry
The root of entry are suitable for the virus are the exposed areas.
These areas have to be secured and there is primary reference for this in Ayurveda in terms of dinacharya- healthy daily regimen
Precaution for roots of entry
Vamana – kapha kala – spring season
Anjana – eye collyrium
Nasya – nasal medication administration
Dhooma – medicated smoke
kavala gandoosha – oil pulling or gargle
Karna poorana – for the ear
Abhyanga – oil massage regularly
Dhoopana – Fumigation for the environment
Vamana – kapha kala
This being the vasanta rithu and the time when the kapha dosa accumulates.
As the kapha accumulated in excess can always predispose to the diseases of respiratory tract and precisely the COVID – 19 has an affinity to respiratory tract.
Therefore if kapha is in excess one has to eliminate the kapha dosha as per the eligibility of the patient.
Anjana – eye
The eye salve is very useful.
You may use the eye drops as mentioned in ayurveda – souveeranjan.
Market available eye drops also may be used alternatively.
Nasya – nasal medication
Anuthaila nasya is mentioned for regular use but one may use this as per the requirement. •One or two times a day at least.
Dhooma – medicated smoke
Medicated smoke inhaled through mouth and exhaled through mouth is the method mentioned in Ayurveda.
Kavala – gandoosha – oil pulling or gargle
•This is a method of mouth rinse or gargle with appropriate material like decoction, oil, ghee etc.
Karna poorana – for the ear
Application of appropriate oil to the ears.
Vacha lashunadi thaila
Dhoopana – Fumigation
Aparajitha (Clitorea ternatea) dhoopa is a very good treatment for disinfecting the environment. Or,
Collect a handful of below items in an iron or steel pan. Put it on fire. Expose all parts of your home to the fumes coming out of it.
Garlic skin, onion skin, mustard, rock salt, neem leaves, white dammar, Shallaki, Vacha, Guggulu, Sarja, Raala (Ral), Agarwood (Agaru), Cedarwood (Devadaru) (Courtesy – Dr Ajayan Sadanandan).
Abhyanga – oil massage regularly
Doing oil massage regularly is a very important maneuver which is to be done with slight modification.
Hebbar’s preventive Medicine Choices
Dr Hebbar’s personal choice of prevention medicines
4 Tulsi leaves per day
Nimbamritadi panchakatikta kashaya
fever – anti viral / immunity bosoter – Guduchyadi kashaya / Amrutottara kashaya
For prevention against respiratory symptoms:
Dashamoolarishta / Dashamoola katutraya kashaya, Shwasahara Leham, Chyawanprash.