coronavirus India

Baba Ramdev touts ‘ashwagandha’ cure, irks medicos

New Delhi: Indian healthcare professionals are questioning claims by popular yoga guru and entrepreneur Baba Ramdev who said he has found an ayurvedic remedy that would help ward off coronavirus, reports Reuters.

In a promotional video made public this week, Ramdev says: “We’ve done scientific research and found Ashwagandha…doesn’t allow blending of corona protein with human protein.”

He did not provide evidence for the research, which he said had been sent to an unspecified international journal.

There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent Covid-19 even as  R&D goes on.

“These kinds of messages give a false sense of security. People who are not well educated, they are the ones who will get misled,” said Dr Giridhar Babu, a professor of epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, urging the government to ban such promotions.

Even potentially harmless tweets about immunity risk confusing people, he  added.

Multiple calls and emails seeking comment from Baba Ramdev and his Patanjali Institute  went unanswered.

Ayurveda is an ancient system that includes herbal medicines, exercise and dietary guidelines practiced by millions in India.

Patanjali, one of India’s most well-known ayurvedic brands, and several other such firms have been touting their products to fight coronavirus in densely-populated India.

Local media has reported that Ramdev, a household name in India, has also called on people to use hand sanitizer and keep distance from others – recommendations broadly in line with those of global health experts.

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