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COVID-19 AYUSH Traditional medicine

KSK is a polyherbal preparation consisting of 15 medicinal herbs (Table 1). This drug was purchased from a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified company to ensure superior quality. 10g of KSK powder is boiled in 240ml of water, concentrated to a quarter (60ml) and filtered. A decoction (60 ml) was administered to all patients 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals. Each dose of KSK decoction was administered to all patients within 3 hours of preparation. The NIS pharmacist prepared the decoction to ensure the quality of the medicine. Clinical and paramedical staff at the SRM hospital confirmed that the drug was administered to the patient according to the prescribed treatment protocol. Her first dose of KSK was administered within 24 hours of admission and continued 3 times daily during her hospital stay. The patient remained hospitalized until virologic clearance was obtained by RT-PCR testing. She was also advised to continue KSK twice daily for at least one week after discharge.

Table 1. Composition and ingredients of KSK administered with the standard care of treatment for COVID-19 during May–June 2020 at SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Name of herb in tamilBotanical nameQuantitya
ChukkuZingiber officinale35 g
ThippiliPiper longum35 g
LavangamSyzygium aromaticum35 g
SirukaanjuriverTragia involucrata35 g
AgragaramAnacyclus pyrethrum35 g
KarimulliSolanum erianthum35 g
KadukkaitholTerminalia chebula35 g
AdathodaiilaiJusticia adhatoda35 g
KarpooravalliilaiColeus amboinicus35 g
KoshtamSassure alappa35 g
SeenthilTinospora cordifolia35 g
NilavembuAndrographis paniculata35 g
VattathiruppiCissampelos pareira35 g
KoraikizhanguCyperus rotundus35 g
SiruthekkuClerodendrum serratum35 g


Each dose is composed of a mixture of fifteen medicinal herbs in equal quantity.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has become a global community health threat, severely impacting the lives of many people. Since its identification in December 2019, more than 100 million confirmed cases and her 2 million deaths from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 2019 have been reported worldwide [1]. However, most people with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate symptoms, with about 10-15% of cases progressing to severe disease [2,3]. Due to the virus’ novelty and its broad clinical spectrum, there is currently no cure. In the absence of effective treatments, traditional medicines have been used as integrative therapies to treat COVID-19, as has been the case for other infections in the past.

In India, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, Homeopathy (AYUSH) are traditional medicines used since ancient times. The Siddha system of medicine is practiced primarily in southern India and Tamil-speaking parts of the world. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, His Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, has issued treatment guidelines for AYUSH practitioners to prevent and treat her COVID-19. ]. The Ministry of Health endorsed this decision based on its experience with Siddha multidrug in the treatment of chikungunya and dengue epidemics in Tamil Nadu.

Clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 infection can be compared with Iya Suram according to the Siddha literature. This is basically due to the increase in Iyam, one of her three fluids in the body. When Iyam, Vali, and Azhal increase, they become Thontham (all three juices mixed and increased) and become Sanni. It is defined as the severe and fatal stage of the disease [8]. KSK has been commonly prescribed and administered by Siddha physicians to treat Iyaslam, characterized by fever and flu-like symptoms [9]. KSK consists of his 15 herbs [10]. His Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India recommends in its Recommended Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 based on clinical experience and evidence of pharmacological and phytochemical activity of its ingredients. However, early phytochemical, pharmacological, and in vitro studies showed antipyretic, antiviral, and immunomodulatory properties

The National Institute of Siddha (NIS) which is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu with its excellence in research and higher education in Siddha system of medicine played a pivotal role in COVID-19 response. NIS has involved in COVID-19 response activities in collaboration with medical, academic, and research institutions in Tamil Nadu [12]. The SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, a tertiary care centre in Tamil Nadu, is one such health facility in which KSK was administered along with standard care of treatment for COVID-19 patients under the supervision of Siddha faculty of NIS as a collaborative activity. This polyherbal decoction is used in general practice in the Siddha system. Though it is yet to be demonstrated by controlled clinical trials for its safety and efficacy, we got the opportunity to document the experience of administering KSK along with the routine care at SRM health facility. During the pandemic, KSK was advocated as a preventive measure and the standard care for asymptomatic, mild, and moderate symptomatic COVID-19 patients based on the evidence showing anti-viral properties in the preliminary pharmacological and phytochemical studies [11]. However, clinical documentation is highly needed to know the benefit of integrated treatment. In this context, we aimed to determine the clinical outcome of integrated therapy for COVID-19 using KSK in terms of virologic clearance for COVID-19 in RT-PCR and to estimate the length of hospital stay


In conclusion, the integrated management of COVD-19 with KSK and standard care of treatment has shown notable results in virologic clearance, thereby reducing hospital stay length than that mentioned in the discharge policy issued by health authorities. Moreover, there were no significant adverse reactions concerning the administration of KSK.

Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measures for self care during COVID 19 crisis


Advisory from Ministry of AYUSH

In the wake of the Covid 19 outbreak, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health.

We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times.

Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining healthy and happy living. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge base on preventive care, derives from the concepts of “Dinacharya” – daily regimes and “Ritucharya” – seasonal regimes to maintain healthy life. It is a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda’s classical scriptures.

Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. These are supported by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.

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