New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh government has launched a scheme to distribute packets of an ayurvedic powder, called ‘Trikatu Churna-Kadha’, and Anu herbal oil among people to boost their immunity against the novel coronavirus.
Under the Jeevan Amrit Yojana, launched Monday, the government will distribute trikatu churna packets and the oil free of cost.
During a video conference Monday with AYUSH practitioners and Indian Medical Association doctors, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the scheme and said one crore packets of the trikatu churna and three lakh bottles of Anu oil would be distributed.
“It is important to maintain good immunity during this critical time. Our saints and vaidyas have prescribed several medicines to boost our immunity. Our AYUSH department is behind this initiative. We should mix the churna with water and drink it 3-4 times to enhance immunity,” said the chief minister.
Chouhan’s government has drawn flak for its handling of the pandemic and Madhya Pradesh is among those states where the central government has sent teams for assessment of the Covid-19 situation.
As of Wednesday evening, Madhya Pradesh has 2,561 confirmed cases and 119 deaths.
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What is trikatu churna?
In Sanskrit, ‘trikatu’ means three spices. Trikatu churna is a mixture of black pepper, long pepper and ginger, said Umesh Shukla, principal of the government-run Khushilal Ayurvedic College in Bhopal.
Shukla said the mixture should be boiled in water with tulsi (basil) leaves for consumption. The churna has been prepared by Madhya Pradesh Laghu Vanopaj Sangh, a subsidiary of the state government, he said.
The trikatu churna packets contain 50 gm of the mixture.
“This (trikatu churna) is prescribed by the AYUSH ministry and it is mentioned in ancient texts as well. It is used in ayurvedic treatment of cough also. It helps the respiratory system to get rid of the excess phlegm, which is one of the symptoms of coronavirus… Its research on animals has been published in various journals,” Shukla told ThePrint.
Dr R.C. Sharma, deputy director of the Madhya Pradesh government’s AYUSH department, said: “Our initial target is to distribute one crore packets. Distribution of the kits has been assigned to every district AYUSH officer and medical officer. It will take 15 days to distribute the packets. We are making all efforts to reduce (Covid-19) mortality and this is essential to boost immunity.”
‘Anu oil restricts entry of coronavirus via nostril’
Anu oil is made up of sesame oil, milk and some ayurvedic ingredients, said Shukla, adding that it helps in fighting respiratory diseases.
“Two drops of this oil is recommended in the nose. It creates one protection layer in the mucus of the nostril to restrict the entry of any foreign particle. It can restrict entry of coronavirus and it is effective throughout the day. Although there is not more research of Anu oil on animals, it is recommended by ayurveda,” he added.
Bhajans, shlokas to boost morale of Covid-19 patients
On Tuesday, the chief minister held another video conference with several saints and religious gurus to find alternative ways to fight the coronavirus.
Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati of Chinmaya Mission, Avdheshanand Giri of Juna Akhara, Parmananda Saraswati of Arya Vidya Mandir in Rajkot, Nivedita Bhide of Swami Vivekananda Kendra and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living participated in the video chat.
“Many diseases are cured with love but when it comes to coronavirus even a mother cannot touch her son. So along with the prevailing medicines, elemental practices of Indian tradition can be tried, maybe it could reduce the death rate,” Chouhan told the religious leaders.
He asked the saints to suggest bhajans, songs, shlokas to boost the morale of Covid-19 patients during treatment.
PR exercise, says Congress
The opposition Congress has raised objection to the chief minister’s photo on kadha packets.
“During the war against coronavirus, your government is doing public relation exercise. Printing photos of the chief minister is a punishable offence. This is the time to save lives and not do publicity,” Vivek Tankha, Congress Rajya Sabha MP, told ThePrint.
Asked about the efficacy of the trikatu kadha and the oil to fight Covid-19, an ICMR doctor, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint there’s little scientific evidence to suggest that these medicines can fight coronavirus.
“The state government should do more testing and increase the numbers of laboratory to enhance the testing. The government should focus on procuring more PPE, mask ventilators,” he added.
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