Does Ashwagandha help in recovery from Covid? Study in 3 UK cities
Traditional herb Ashwagandha will be administered to 2,000 randomly selected people in Leicester, Birmingham and London to find out whether this herb helps in faster recovery from Covid-19. UK's London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has entered into an agreement with the ministry of Ayush to conduct this study on Ashwagandha's impact on Covid recovery. There have been numerous researches on the medicinal properties of Ashwagandha but this is the first time the ministry has tied up with a foreign institution to investigate Ashwagandha's properties relating to Covid recovery.
While Ashwagandha is available in India in juice, tablet and powder format as well, the participants in the trial will be given Ashwagandha tablets. They will have to take 500 mg tablets twice daily. Participants will be monitored for a month on various aspects including quality of life, mental health, adverse effects if any etc.
"For three months, one group of 1,000 participants will be administered Ashwagandha (AG) tablets while the second group of 1,000 participants will be assigned a placebo, which is indistinguishable from AG in looks and taste. Both patients and the doctors will be unaware of the group's treatment in a double-blind trial," All India Institute of Ayurveda director Dr Tanuja Nesari said in the statement.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is commonly known as 'Indian winter cherry' and is known for its energy-boosting, stress-busting properties. It is an easily accessible, over-the-counter nutritional supplement in the UK and has a proven safety profile, a statement issued by the ministry said.
Recently, the minister of state for Ayush, Mahendrabhai Munjapara, informed the Rajya Sabha that the ministry is conducting wide research on the effectiveness of Ayush medicines to curb the Covid-19 outbreak. Scientific studies, as cited by the ministry, have found Ayush 64 useful in asymptomatic, mild and moderate Covid-19 infection as standalone and adjunct to standard care. AYUSH-64 is a an Ayurvedic formulation which was developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences for the management of Malaria. But it is a repurposed drug and the ministry recommended it for Covid-19 too.
(With PTI inputs)