A thermal screening device checks passengers arriving in India from China, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, at Delhi international airport | PTI Photo
File photo of a thermal screening device checking passengers arriving in India from China, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, at Delhi international airport | PTI Photo
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Bengaluru: The Ministry of AYUSH Wednesday issued an advisory for the “prevention” of infection from the novel strain of coronavirus using homoeopathy, and “symptomatic management” using Unani medicines.

In its advisory, which met with instant criticism on social media, the ministry recommended a course of Arsenicum album30, used in homeopathy to treat influenza-like illness. The prescription came after the 64th meeting of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy Tuesday.

The advisory also recommended Unani preventive treatments such as drinking shadang paniya, consuming samshamani, agastya harityaki, and other Unani drugs.

It also gives a dietary recommendation of “easily digestible, light and soft diets”, apart from personal hygiene tips that are generally issued by health experts across the board to prevent air-borne infection.

The novel coronavirus strain has no known cure or preventive vaccine yet, according to health experts around the world. Further, there is no evidence that the prescribed diet or medicines work.

The strain was discovered just over a month ago and was confirmed earlier in January. It has so far killed over a hundred people and spread to 15 countries. The virus can spread through air even before its common cold-like symptoms can manifest in an individual, and can escalate to fatality in some cases.

The Ministry of AYUSH — which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy — has come under repeated criticism for propounding pseudoscientific medicine as alternative medicine.

Also read: China is perfectly prepared to fight coronavirus

Arsenicum album and homoeopathy

Arsenicum album is a highly diluted solution of arsenic trioxide which effectively contains little to no arsenic after dilution. It is used by practising homoeopaths to treat various symptoms — not diseases — such as digestive disorders and common cold, as well as arsenic poisoning.

As a homoeopathic prescription, it is considered generally safe since the resultant contains almost no arsenic at all, but “improperly used” homoeopathic preparations in treatment have resulted in cases of arsenic poisoning in India.

Arsenic is highly toxic to humans and in controlled doses is used intravenously to treat cancer of the white blood cells. Mild arsenic poisoning through ingestion has symptoms identical to coronavirus — diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, runny nose and headaches. Arsenicum album treatments, like other homoeopathic treatments, are not considered scientifically and medically sound or effective.

Homoeopathy as a system was created by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796 under the premise that similar symptoms (not diseases) can be cured with similar remedies. It involves repeatedly diluting a substance with water and sugar until not even a single molecule of the original substance is present in the final solution.

Due to the dangers posed by not obtaining the desired treatment for an affliction, homoeopathy is declared a pseudoscience and isn’t allowed any form of government funding in multiple countries such as Australia, Switzerland, England, and France. It is banned in Spain. The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, and the Commission on Pseudoscience and Research Fraud of Russian Academy of Sciences have both concluded that it is ineffective and poses significant harm.

Also read: Coronavirus poses new threat to global economy which was just beginning to stabilise

Unani medicines

Unani is an Arabic system of medicine, originating in ancient Greece, based on the Greek system of four fluids or humours in the body — phlegm, blood, yellow bile and black bile. It has heavy Indian and Chinese influences in its practice.

The system believes that each person’s body is composed of a unique combination of these four humours and treatments for diagnosis follow the patterns of Izalae Sabab (elimination of cause), Tadeele Akhlat (normalisation of humours) and Tadeele Aza (normalisation of tissues/organs).

There are several Indian universities devoted to Unani medicine, which provide graduation as well as postgraduation degrees.

However, practitioners of Unani are not authorised to practise medicine in India unless they are also trained as qualified physicians. Practising Unani medicine and similar forms of rural alternative medicine in India was banned under the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners’ Act of 1953.

The Supreme Court as well as the Indian Medical Association have declared Unani to be ‘quackery’.

In 2018, the Supreme Court said “unqualified, untrained quacks are posing a great risk to the entire society and playing with the lives of people without having the requisite training and education in the science from approved institutions”.

Many Unani treatments are also considered to be poisonous and are not recommended by the World Health Organization.

AYUSH criticism on social media

On Wednesday, several social media users criticised the government move to propagate “unscientific” homoeopathy and Unani medicines.

Some users also mocked the advisory in light of reports that China is building hospitals in Wuhan, where the coronavirus cases originated, in a matter of a few days to provide extra beds to control the situation.


Also read: Coronavirus spread pushes drugmakers to hunt for ways to stop pathogen eluding travel curbs


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65 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Modi govt advises homoeopathy

    its not modi government its
    Government of India
    modi is just a party leader of BJP

    change your title how to dare you to write these lines

  2. The Indian government is not doing anything . However, there is a big issue of corono virus . It will be soon spread in the air too . We have to be carefull. Be healthy

  3. Exactly 100 years (1920) ago thousands of people were saved by homoeo medicines across west from America to England and Europe from the outbreak of the killer virus which caused Spanish Flu and killed people in lakhs. You can check / cross check these facts in the volumes of history of medicine laid to rest in libraries of the medical schools. Not only Spanish Flu , pandemics of influenza , diphtheria , cholera , plague , dengue etc were treated effectively with utmost success by homoeo physicians in the western world. Among the patients those who visited homoeo doctors and took medicines given by them were all saved and those who were attended by the so called mainstream Allopathic doctors and hospitals died in massive numbers. hence it is high time we realise the fallacy of the ‘English’ medicine and the truth content of Homoeopathic system of medicine and save the prospective victims of Corona / wuhan virus. PS : off late (in the past 10-12 years) patients suffering from the viral infections – Swine Flu , Dengue and Chikun Gunya were brought back to life by homoeo medicines with great ease and elan. Wish all the anti homoeo ‘rationalists’ , pseudo intellectuals , rabble rousers and pied pipers of the pharma industry and market keep their mouths shut.

    • That one has to go back 100 + years to find a so-called,”success story” is in itself a telling comment on the discipline. And by the way it was 1918, not 1920. The pandemic stopped by 1920.
      Finally, homoeopathy is actually German in origin, so the standard, “East vs West” argument won’t fly.

  4. Fellow Indian youths, please comment in a more sensible and educated manner. If you do not know something, please do not criticize it without attempting to know it first. In fact, every individual ought to learn the Unani, Ayurveda, homeopathy and naturopathy way of life and understand their own bodies and the prominent elements in their bodies. Then, their would not be any need of Allopathy and medical insurances required!

    By the way, it would be advisable to continue taking to herbs and natural ways of boosting the bodies immunity. I will start Arsenic Album for my family as precaution.

  5. If some one think allopathy is the only option for any disease then he is living with a myth.. Allopathy treats symptoms and not the disease specially chronic illnesses..
    the only cure for chronic disorders is Ayurveda.

    For Acute issues and immediate relief , definitely allopathy is the choice of treatment anytime and anywhere…

    Coming to the corona virus, no one knows what may work effectively against this lethal virus.. it may be garlic or it may be a good decoction of polyherbal formulation.. or homeopathy. Nothing wrong in trying after all its all scientific.. and who so ever says it’s not scientific kindly explain me how do you define some thing scientific.

  6. If allopathy can’t give a solution in this condition… Why denying in other pathy’s treatment…. Let them stay or die with Corona virus if they can’t believed in these treatments.. But please don’t criticise in this crucial situation… If any of their near n dear ones suffer they will run after homoeopathic remedies..n others… Shame on u guys

  7. Those who are telling that homeopathy is a pseudoscience and telling that homeopathy medicines are placebos, can you dare to take these medicines for one month daily …

  8. Yes really…Modi govt is trying what ever they can to reduce the Indias reputation…With Babas,Cows now with homeopathy…
    With this attitude India never going to be a super power..

    • The nature itself has provided many medicinal plants, chemicals to control diseases .Ayurveda had proved the same since ancestral days. Cow extracts are also one of the medicinal values. The person who uses the same can realise the value. Homeopathic medicine is also prepared from extracts of medicinal plants .Allopathy is also prepared from plants extracts. But the preparation of medicine is different in all the above systems.

  9. Yeah those who are commenting that there is no evidence these homeopathy medicines wont work…its right into there face when I say they dont have any evidence that they work…
    Its really embarrsing when so many yound Indians still believe in babas,magic amd homeopathy while other countries are laughing at us…
    Modern medicine never shamelessly claimed that they cure even before testing them….

  10. Who says Homoeopathy is a pseudo science?? If u think it doesnt act then y do u say that it can harm you?? Arent you making illogical sentence?? In nature where there is action there is reaction.. If Homoeopathic medicines can harm you then it can cure u too. I have seen many patients getting cured by homoeopathy in the stage of disease where allopathy said its a no hope case. Many surgical cases have been solve using Homoeopathic medicines. Homoeopathic tablets and globules contains medicines in dilute form its not a placebo..

  11. Every method,be it Allopathy ,Homeopathy,Ayurveda,unnani.All medicine r a creation of nature.Now we have to learn to respect n use them like gentlemen ,rather than pinpointing at each other.These r our hope an hope we all understand what nature has in abundance for human mankind in good n bad times.

  12. Homeopathy can cure viral infections depending on symptoms we select drug & potency & repetition of drug if patient is critically ill needs IV fluids oxygen& nursing care

  13. Patient should take Homeopathic prescription from Homeopathic Doctor only not by self Prescription from Homeopathic pharmacy , otherwise it’s intoxication ,not only Homeopathy prescription, whatever pathy it’s patients Right

  14. Babas, sadhus , mantras, totkas donot prevent infection.

    why was India’s IMR so high in last century when antibiotics started preventing mortality and morbidity.

    Its plain simple witchcraft

  15. As a doctor practicing medicine from nearly 15 years, I can say that the journalist doesn’t know basics of it. Symptomatic treatment aims at reliving symptoms. It doesn’t aim at removing the cause.

    It many cases such as poisoning, if an exact antidote isn’t available, medical science advises symptomatic treatment.

    Unless exact cure is available, symptomatic treatment is there best possible thing one can do.

    The advisory of AYUSH no where claims that given recommendations are got talent of Corona virus. The recommendations clearly are to treat the symptoms.

    Making an issue out of it is playing with lives of people, as people wouldn’t do even this much which will further endanger them. I wish journalistic standards weren’t so low in India.

    (*Typos corrected)

  16. Homoeopathy can definitely be tried.those talking against are foolish and without having knowledge of the science behind homoeopathy. Try it prophylatic as well as symptomatically. It is successful in controlling epidemies.

  17. Dam sure we can say homeopathy is free from side effects n it cures not only disease but also brings diseased person to normal healthy living.
    Check out the records we have given preventive to swine flu also.
    Who are opposing this ans to yourself first ,whether allopathic treatment never did hazards to lives?
    We are treating so many cases spoiled by allopaths.

  18. As Far As Immediate Cure is Concerned Then Homoeopathy And Unani Should Not Be Applied on Suffering Patients Because it Takes Time Which May Be Fatal for Infected Patients….So Currently The Wise Decision May Be The Application of Alleopathic Medicines So That No Immediate Loss of Lives Happens Because Historically Alleopathic Medicines are Considered Best For Immediate Life Saving Medical Methods….Also Chinese Too Can Apply Their Ancient Wisdom To Overcome Such Infections….Hope Infected Patients Get Proper Attention and Remain Safe.

    • Homeopathy treatment does not take time , homeopathy heals the mental state of the patient thereby improving his vital force which infact strengthens the body

  19. And we call allopathy scientific, based on the lab results which turn otherwise when some other experiment calls out different results.
    Every observation is based on observers capability, instrumentation and methods used. Even in morden science no law is perpetual, a new finding could challenge the well established law. In that way every thing is puesdo, isn’t it?

  20. To comment that something is wrong, one has to do research and publish in qualified journals. Else, its just another criticism from a fanatic! So, those who comment without proving that these medications do not work — which is not possible to prove, if one knows how these methodologies are used, is waste of time. You can never prove a medicine does not work, even many allopathic medicines do not work for many patients with same ailments. Just that someone came up with some statistics on a sample and it crosses a percentage which they define. Never criticise something without really trying! Be a gentleman

  21. I dont know about how others are taking this advisory but one thing for sure that somethong that we dont undwrstand does not mean it does not work. Outside world never considered homoeopathic as medicine but millions of people are getting cured every year using this medicine. If it does not cure you it wont harm you either than why not gove it a try.

    • Hey there brother, homeopathy is a completely different branch of medince . It’s not pseudoscience , many cases havy been solved which involved changes at the cell level to treat the patient . Also as the methodology is different , the evaluation scheme should be different also . If you want to see cases , you can check out HHF mumbai .

  22. Dear fellow human beings, please hear, there is no vaccine and sure treatment for corona virus, deaths are upcoming, why don’t you allow the alternative therapies for the patients, please as we called to be human beings allow them.

  23. Dear so-called civilized person, please hear, there are so many examples in the history that after condemned many truths and facts by pitiful ignorence and innocent minds , which latter proved to be great valuable in NATURE,as in the greate person GALILEO.HOMEOPATHY IS GOD GIFTED ONE.How pity, that is, one side it is commenting as homeopathy is a placebo therapy and on the other side its using gives harmful affects.Please before we get the proper knowledge and wisdom about homeopathy asYOU named as to be SCIENTIFIC,, till then we should have accept it’s good results in the NATURE.Dont try to ruin it.Thank you.

    • I am one of the true example for homeo. For the past twenty five years I am taking only homeo for all types of problems,let it be cold, fever, stress ,migrain, stomache problem ,uterus problem , common headache ,typhoid etc etc.First there is no side effects.People.should not talk wrong about anything without knowing about it.For fever either me or my kids never taken not even a single paracetamol

  24. Medicine Pyrogenium cured me & saved my life from getting further septic fevers owing to surgical procedure. If you don’t believe homeopathy because you never got cured by it anytime in your life. But those who got cured can easily take homeopathy because they know how much helpful homeopathy can be to cure incurable diseases that allopathy could not do.

  25. I have tested on myself that homeopathy acts brilliantly if right medicine in right dose can be administered to the patient. For curing Coronavirus one can also select homeopathy medicine Pyrogenium 200, if Arsenic fails. I used to have septic fevers every alternate weeks after surgery and not taking antibiotics was not giving me a permanent solution since the fever attack resumed once antibiotic was stopped. This is the power of homeopathy that cured and saved my life which strong antibiotics failed.

  26. Will you stop spreading hatred towards the Modi government?Homoeopathy is a proven Science. You have no right to ridicule it

      • Homeopathy is a pseudoscience if you believe what is written on the Wikipedia.
        People with half knowledge of the subject claim to be experts and defame a brilliant methodology of treatment.
        If you think homeopathy doesn’t work , it’s because you haven’t seen their papers .
        Its because they don’t have that much time.
        It started 7-8 years back and slowly slowly the whole system is becoming technologically advanced (case recording by cameras , audio recording , special tests etc ; in India) . Also HHF is the most famous homeopathic forum for doctors , go check it out

        • “Belief” is something, proponents of homoeopathy work a lot with. In medicine the question is not about what one believes in, but about what can be scientifically proven. Homoeopathy fails miserably in this. Despite addition of technology gimmicry, study after study of the homeopathic papers come to the same conclusion- most of these papers have methodological issues. The ones that don’t, show that homoeopathy is little better than placebo and should not be used for serious diseases. This is precisely why many countries are beginning to either severely regulate or ban homoeopathy. And by the way, you might want to check INH (The Homoeopathy Information Network) to get a dose of reality. You are of course free to, “believe ” in homoeopathy. There are people who still believe that the Earth is flat.

    • Hahaha….. I believe we r the most scientific country in the world…..ha ha ha …..while rest of the world which doesn’t practice em are in dark ages….. Lol…..

  27. I wish I could ridicule The Print and all these unaware and half cooked trolls who it is publishing; but doing so would be as good as giving undue mileage to all you guys! So, get in sync and line before it’s too late for you all! I still stopped to suggest something good to you or else your articles are not worth a dime and nobody should pay heed to them. Kind Regards….a ‘nationalist’ Indian.

  28. I feel better to avoid travels.It is better to take pepper coffee alternate days.Avoid visiting theatres,Maals,and especially,drinking water.Daily cleaning the floor with with detail or any protective liquid.Avoid kissing each others.and better to check up throat if we feel discomfort.Swab test is better for throat.And use nasal drops at once if you sneeze
    Wash your hands every now and then.

  29. Homoeopathy is not pseudoscience, it based on nature’s law of cure, similia similibus curenter. Gov adviced it for preventing corona virus infection, there is no need to built hospital for prevention, yes is absolutely needed for treating patient who r already infected. pharma lobby made homoeopathy pseudoscience in west. When exact symptoms of patient matches with homoeopathic medicines symptoms there is always cure happens, in curable diseases. Vaccine work on same principle, as homoeopathy. dont be blind follower of western country, those people having doubts on Homoeopathic medicine best way to test it, by taking treatment from good qualified Homoeopath. Yes homoeopathy works even no material dose in medicine, potentisation is the process to prepare homoeo. Med. ……..Symptoms (not disease) what it means, how u diagnose the case ,by means of symptoms , investigation r later part, symptoms r primary n reliable way to diagnose any case, ask any good physician symptoms, importance of symptom in any case.

    • This is a gem, “dont be blind follower of western country”. Homoeopathy originated in the West (Samuel Hahnemann was a German), so, by your own admission, we shouldn’t follow it. Homoeopathy is a pseudo-science mixed liberally with mumbo-jumbo (like the ones above). The sooner we understand it and discard it, the better it is for all of us.

  30. At present government has openly declared as Allopathy has No vaccine, no definite cure for Coronovirus. People should understand the fact and come out of getting admitted in posh hospital by spending lakhs will save their life. When no cure for virus, what a doctor can do? Monitor, repeated regular fever medicines and lab test. Thats all.
    I request never underestimate Ayurveda or homeopathy. Many dengue patients platlet count has incresed from 50000 to 1.5 lakhs in two days by papaya leaf extract. In many allopathy drs prescribe caripill (spelling may b wrong) a tablet contains papaya leaf extract for dengue patients. Multi organ failure can be prevented by taking Sidha, homeopath medicine. Immune booster medicines also available. Thus preventing end of life as happens in many cases.

    Nilavembu, Vellarugu, Karuvelam pattai kashayam helps reducing risk of coronovirus. Make…drink…then for satisfactiin get admitted in hospital…

    • I wish that you understand the fact that most allopathy medicines get raw materials from nature and plants itself… Its raw form is studied by research and modified and developed further for better acceptance by the body…Hence the example of dengue patients taking caripill and calling it is only ayurveda is a quite absurd comment…

  31. Its like ghar ki murgi daal barabar. Indians will always run after west. When they have dengue they search for papayas leaves. In cold and cough they have tulsi and ginger tea. Still they think that ayurvedas, homeopathy is a crap and antibiotic are only saviour. Immunity system get strenghened by naturopathy not allopathy

  32. Prevention is better than cure, these are all symptomatic preventice medicines. But the sold out presstitutes singing peans of china would criticise india . Coupta is faithfully paying his dues to master pappu.
    So fuck off if you don’t want the meds

  33. Homeopathy is being criticised where Alopathy also failed. The person who criticiseses have no knowledge of homeopathy but gather informations or arguments to criticise homeopathy. Thousands cases where Alopathy failed or amputed -damaged organs or made whole life patient,Homeopathy treated successfully. Right or wrong decisions to take from the scholars of those fields not from criticisers

  34. The author seems to suggest that there is no alternative to allopathy at all? The prevention of infection is as important as trying to find a cure. The common cold virus and influenza virus is still not entirely preventable by allopathy in all these years. The allopathic system is very strong in having all kinds of influencers and support groups. No doubt allopathy is advanced in terms of surgical procedures and number of other areas over other system of medicine.

  35. Whosoever are criticizing Govt action are educated illerates only or they are Allopatic pharma agents who are afraid of losing their profits to homeopathy and ayurveda / unani . I am very happy that a sensible govt have been elected for the first time which is concern about the health and safety of it’s people. Homeopathy is 1000 times better than allopathic medicine, all chemical based tablets spoiling human immune system drastically. Shame on those who are behaving like well frog .

  36. I was against almost every decision this stupid government took and tried to impose it on the people. But on this advise by the government i wouldn’t disagree. I have been taking only Homeopathic medicines for my problem for 17 years now. I was suffering from Bipolar and the Allopathic Doctor’s didn’t have a clue on what was wrong with me. But the Homeopathic Doctor treated me well. I am almost cured of my problem now. And i have not taken any allopathic medicines in these 17 years except one time when I met with an accident and suffered a wrist fracture. For people who don’t know what Bipolar can do to you search for Honey Singh with Bipolar disorder in Google and you will know what it does to you.

    My children are 5 and 3 year old and both of them have not taken a single dose of allopathic medicines. My mother had Arthritis and the so called Allopathic doctors suggested knee replacement. But the Homeopathic Doctor or Homeopathy cured her and now she is able to walk for miles without a problem.

    There are a lot of examples I can give but I don’t have time and people who don’t want to believe will never believe the Power of Homeopathy.

    For people who still believe Homeopathy or Alternate medicines they may check this clinic in Juhu, Mumbai called The Other Song Academy.

  37. Amazing. Pharmaceuticals is one industry where India has long term competitive advantage. Let us not destroy its global acceptance through such messaging.


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