THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An ayurvedic fumigant developed by the state government-owned Oushadhi has found itself in national limelight after a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council — Shamika Ravi — suggested its use to disinfect surroundings in the backdrop of the pandemic. A key ingredient in the kit being distributed by the state’s Covid response cell, the Aparajitha Dhooma Choornam has fetched a market beyond borders due to its anti-microbial property. Shamika, an economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute’s India Centre, tweeted a few days ago that the product is used copiously in Kerala, while admitting that she had received her supply. The tweet was shared by hundreds in minutes.
Oushadhi — an ayurvedic medicine manufacturing unit — had recently recommended the Ayush Ministry to use the fumigant in isolation wards and quarantine centres. Oushadhi managing director K V Uthaman told TNIE that there is a huge demand for the fumigant from various corners. “We even supplied around 500kg of the fumigant to the state government to disinfect government offices and premises,” he said.
Despite the lockdown, the past two months saw a sale of over 20,000kg of the fumigant. That a total of 50,000kg was sold in the whole of the last fiscal underlines the popularity of the ayurvedic product since the coronavirus outbreak.With studies proving the anti-microbial activity of the formulation against common pathogenic bacteria, fumigation helps prevent the spread of infectious fever and disinfects air. The studies suggest that Aparajitha Dhooma Choornam can be used as a fumigation powder for creating an aseptic condition.
In Kerala, it is distributed through the Indian Systems of Medicine department and was used effectively during the outbreak of diseases like chikungunya and dengue. It was also used to prevent communicable diseases after floods. The Choornam is supplied mainly through 1,200 Ayurvedic dispensaries in the state, and over 650 Oushadhi retail units across the country. Dhoopana is a method in ayurveda by which drugs of herbal, herbo-mineral or animal origin are used for fumigation to heal, disinfect and sterilise.