Representational image for Ayurveda | Photo: piqsels.com
Representational image for Ayurveda | Photo: piqsels.com
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Bengaluru: Tipplers in Kerala are finding new ways to satiate their thirst for liquor.

Alcoholics have now turned to Ayurveda after the Kerala High Court had on 2 April stayed a government move to provide special passes for them to access liquor based on a doctor’s prescription.

Manoj Kaloor, a member of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, a body for Ayurveda on the lines of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), told ThePrint that since the lockdown on 24 March, Ayurvedic pharmacies across Kerala have seen a 20 per cent increase in sales of ‘arishtams and asavams’, which have alcohol content.

He added that many of the pharmacies have now begun insisting on prescriptions for the Ayurvedic medicines while others have put up boards that say these herbal concoctions are strictly to be used for medicinal purposes.

An arishtam is an Ayurvedic tonic or concoction prepared after fermenting medicinal herbs. They are recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners to treat ailments. Since arishtams are fermented, they contain upto 10 per cent alcohol. Asavams are similar to arishtams but are made from freshly pounded herbs.


Also read: Kerala Covid curve has flattened, despite recent spike. Doctor who handled Nipah explains how


Lockdown effect

Kaloor said social media may have prompted alcoholics to turn to herbal medicines.

“There has been a lot of publicity created through social media that arishtams can help satiate alcohol urges. So people will go to any extent to try and source it,” he said.

He added that practitioners usually only prescribe 25-30 ml of arishtams and asavams for ailments but added that those who consume 500 ml or more could get a high.

“We usually prescribe 25-30 ml, which will not have more than 10 per cent alcohol. It is not wise to take anything more than what the Ayurvedic doctor has said,” Kaloor said. “But non-availability of liquor in the market may be driving people to consume large quantities of these herbal drugs. Alcoholics will consume anything that gives them a high. Haven’t we seen cases of people consuming sanitisers too?”

While Kaloor said classical Ayurvedic medicine sales are anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 600 crore a year in Kerala, he had no revenue figures for the lockdown period.

D. Ramanathan, secretary, Kerala Ayurvedic Medicine Manufacturers Association, however, told ThePrint that only a few people are turning to these herbal drugs for a ‘high’.

“Around 80-90 per cent of people who consume Ayurvedic arishtams use it as medicine, be it Amritarishtam, Dashamoolarishtam,” he said. “Only about 5-10 per cent of the people use it for its alcohol content. The alcohol in these herbal concoctions is self generated and does not harm people’s health like arrack and other forms of liquor.”


Also read: ‘Shops won’t even sell us water’ — Kerala’s ambulance staff on Covid duty battle prejudice


 

 

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2 Comments Share Your Views

2 COMMENTS

  1. Man is Ready To Stoop Down to ANY EXTENT to Satisfy THE URGE FOR ANY THING.
    NOW people are Misusing THE AYURVEDIC MEDICINES TO SATISFY their Alcoholic Urges.
    Ayurveda Pharmacy SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE “THIS TREND .? JUST FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING FAST MONEY AT THIS CRUCIAL HOURS”.

    ” IF BY CHANCE SOMETHING GOES WRONG ” with Someone ( for Misusing THE AYURVEDIC MEDICINES ) ALLOPATHS WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE TO
    CURB AYURVEDA ,. ” WITHOUT ACCEPTING THE MISUSE BY THE CULPRIT . HENCE AYURVEDA ASSOCIATIONS IIMMIDIETLY TAKE PROPER STEPS ” TO NIP THIS MISUSE ” for the sake of PROTECTING THE GLORY AND PRESTIGE OF AYURVEDA.

    I am a 3¡Rd Stage Male Breast Cancer Survivor since 2004 WRITING THIS COMENT WITH PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
    Here at KIDWAI MEMORIAL INSTITUTE OF ONCOLOGY BANGALORE we are FACING HORRIBLE HUMILIATION by one Allopath Surgeon ” INSPITE OF GETTING GOOD AND HEALTHY RESULTS , BY USING JUST THE GOVERNMENT SUPPLIED AYURVEDA MEDICINES “.
    I am THE EYE WITNESS for this , from the day one on 12/04/2017 on Which This Ayurveda OPD UNIT WAS REINSTATED.
    INSPITE OF HAVING A MOA of GOI LETTER TO ESTABLISH A 50 BEDDED AYURVEDA HOSPITAL AT KIDWAI a lone Lady Doctor was left ALONE LIKE A PARATROOPER to TREAT EVERY NEEDY PATIENT INCLUDING KIDWAI Stuff (it PAINS me to mention here Without Any Sort of SUPPORT FROM AYURVEDA PRACTIONERS ) .
    As a humble Patient I Can Only REQUEST YOU THE AYURVEDA DOCTORS / ASSOCIATIONS to JOIN HANDS TO PROTECT THE PRESTIGE OF OUR NATIONAL HERITAGE AYURVEDA .
    I EARNESTLY bank upon your STRONG SUPPORT FOR THIS CRUCIAL CAUSE.
    With best wishes for betterment always,
    Yours truly,
    SHIVA KUMAR.TN. B.Sc.L.L.B.A.M.I.B.M.
    DIRECTOR , YOGAVASISTHA SAMSODHANA KENDRA,
    No 13 , 5th CROSS , NR COLONY , BANGALORE – 560019
    Mobile/WhatsApp : 9483271683

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