A typical day at the Siddha treatment centre involves salt water gargling, Yoga, pranayama and mudra practices, as well as counselling.
The traditional Siddha system of medicine has come in more than handy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Tamil Nadu with nearly 6,000 people being cured of the contagion in dedicated facilities across the state, official sources said on Monday.
Siddha treatment has helped to successfully treat 5,725 patients at 11 exclusive Siddha COVID-19 Care Centres (CCC) in Tamil Nadu, including two in the metro, till August 7, the sources added.
Chennai’s Siddha CCC facilities at Jawahar Vidyalaya and Dr Ambedkar Government Arts College in Vyasarpadi, offering Siddha-based treatment for asymptomatic patients, handle high caseloads and they have treated nearly 3,200 patients as on August 7.
While 434 patients are undergoing treatment in the two centres here, 715 persons are undergoing treatment at 12 Siddha CCC in the districts. Next to Chennai, Vellore has been handling the maximum number of positive cases, treating 1,258 people, sources pointed out.
Apart from two Siddha CCCs in Theni, the exclusive centres function from Tiruvannamalai, Thachur, Vellore, Thirupathur, Ranipet, Tenkasi, Villupuram and Coimbatore. Two more centres were started at Salem and Pudukottai recently.
Earlier, the state government had ordered “kabasura kudineer,” a herbal concoction regarded as immune booster and capable of combating viral infections, to be included in the integrated approach. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had launched the ‘Arokyam’ special programme with AYUSH intervention for COVID-19 in April including Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, to be included in the fight against COVID-19.
“It is very difficult to isolate the role of Siddha in treating the COVID-19 patients in order to quantify the percentage contributing to Tamil Nadu’s recovery rate because Kabasura concoction is administered to patients, visitors and even medical professionals in all government CCCs in the state,” said a senior official at the directorate of Indian Medicine.
Moreover, Kabasura concoction is given regularly to the police, public and even the health and sanitation workers, as a precaution, he said.
Mohammed Kasim, a ready-made garments outlet owner here, said “we are also apprehensive of the spread of the virus, but we take adequate precautions. In addition, we regularly consume Kabasura kudineer.”
According to an official with the Greater Chennai Corporation, the moment a Coronavirus positive case is identified, apart from disinfecting the area, “we distribute Kabasura concoction to all the families around the infected person’s house. It is also given at the regular fever camps.”
Kritika of Pallavaram here, who lost her sense of smell, was quick to getting admitted to a Siddha CCC here.
“Within two days after consuming herbal tea and Kabasura concoction, I regained my sense of smell,” she said and added that during her stay at the centre, she never felt like staying in a hospital.
“The doctors, nurses and those who served us food, were kind and caring,” she added.
A typical day at the Siddha CCC dawns with gargling using salt water, a session of Yoga, pranayama and mudra practice. The patients are also provided counselling.
Their diet includes Thinai Pongal (a dish made with foxtail millet), Thuthuvalai thuvaiyal (Solanum Trilobatum), a medicinal plant food to address respiratory problems and Vazhaipoo poriyal (made with banana blossom).
The patients are also given other herbal food preparation.
As of Sunday, Tamil Nadu’s cumulative tally of COVID- 19 cases stood at 2,96,901, including 2,38,638 recoveries.