BENGALURU: A social media post shared by Principal Health Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Shalini Rajneesh, titled ‘Remedy for Dengue’ that had a picture of onions and jaggery, kicked up a minor storm.On Tuesday, the Department of AYUSH issued a statement saying, “It is not intended to suggest that these remedies should be used instead of conventional treatment.” However, the press statement has not convinced the doctors.
The statement says, “In an attempt to spread information about the utility of simple add-on therapies like decoction of amruta balli, papaya leaves and onion, material pertaining to prevention and adjuvant therapy is being circulated. The ingredients are commonly available, cost effective and generally, would not cause an untoward reaction in the body.”
“The classical texts of Ayurveda (Sushruta Samhita, Charaka Samhita, Dhanvantri Nighantu and a textbook on Dravyaguna) mention the use of onion as a haemostatic agent in bleeding disorders. To check bleeding, platelets are inevitable, and the combination of palm jaggery and onion would usher in that effect,” the statement reads.
“People may contact AYUSH doctors working across the state in various dispensaries and seek more information regarding preventive and adjuvant therapy for dengue. There are 1,400 AYUSH doctors working in various government hospitals,” it says.
Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, consultant physician, Spandana Centre for Metabolic Medicine, Mangaluru, said, “Dengue is not a bleeding disorder. Reduction of platelets is not the primary problem in dengue. It is one of the complications. There may be inflammation of blood capillaries and thereafter leakage, resulting in reduction of platelet count. By recommending something that is used for blood disorders for dengue as a ‘remedy’, the officials are further misleading the laymen.”
“There is no mention of the word ‘virus’ in Charaka Samhita. When something does not even recognise the infection, how can they recommend remedy? The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme and WHO have a standard protocol for clinical management of dengue and it only mentions modern medicine, not AYUSH. When infectious diseases are not even mentioned in Ayurveda, how can they prescribe treatment, primary or adjuvant or otherwise?” he questioned.
Shalini Rajneesh was unavailable for comment. Dr Anant Desai, Associate Professor, Government Ayurveda College, said, “We are merely saying it helps in controlling bleeding and can be used as a home remedy, not as a cure. During fever-like conditions, jaggery helps and onion has haemostatic agents.”