People of are turning to Indian medicine Siddha and Ayurveda to counter swine flu and the battle against the virus got a boost with Dr K. Balasubramaniam, an organic chemist and pharmacologist, and Prof N. Raaman, director of the Centre for Herbal Sciences, University of Madras, taking the ayurvedic medicine for A(H1N1) influenza that they invented in 2009 to the national level. The tablet, Ayursem, is a combination of 32 different herbs and has been tested on more than 20,000 people since 2009. “The tablet is effective against swine flu and has no side effects. A dosage of two tablets, twice a day for five days in adults is sufficient to fight the disease,” says Prof Raaman. The two inventors are in talks with the Central government and the NRHM to bring the herbal drug, priced at Rs 16 per tablet, out in the open market as a preventive medicine for swine flu. “The last time, we provided the medicine free of cost to patients from across Tamil Nadu. Two prominent district collectors with A(H1N1) also were treated with this regimen. We are now offering it to the government at a subsidised rate,” said Dr K. Balakrishnan. Practitioners of traditional medicine swear by the immunity enhancing anti-oxidants present in herbal drugs, which can be used both as a preventive as well as therapeutic measures. Traditional Tamil medicines such as Nilavembu Kashayam, Brahmanandha Bhairavam and Amukkura Choornam, have been approved by the state government as effective treatment for viral fever. “We are now receiving many patients with respiratory symptoms of cough, cold and breathing difficulties. In the case of A(H1N1), diagnosing and confirming the disease at least three days. However, the allopathy drug of choice, Tamiflu, is most effective only when taken in the first 48 hours of infection,” says Dr B. Muthukumar, siddha representative of the Central Council of Indian Medicine. “Polyherbal siddha medicines like Thaalisaathi choornam and Amukkura (ashwagantha) choornam are not only antiviral in nature, but also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to bring down fever and body pain,” adds Dr Muthukumar. The patient only needs to take it for 10 to 15 days. However, there is no known cure for any viral disease in Indian medicine or in allopathy, he stresses. All viral diseases are self limiting and any treatment is to ease the symptoms and make the immune system stronger to fight the infection. “The problem with allopathy drugs is that they cannot safely be used as protective measures and tend to develop resistance in the patient. The sideeffects and contra-indications are many,” says Dr K. Balasubramaniam.
Source : Deccan Chronicle