Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recommended the use of herbal medicine to strengthen the immunity against COVID-19. On 14th April 2020, when the prime minister addressed the nation, he authorized and informed the public about the herbal medicine for coronavirus and some home remedies formulated by the Ministry of AYUSH. This herbal medicine is a decoction (concentrated liquid prepared from heating or boiling a substance) made from ingredients Basil leaves (tulsi), Cinnamon bark, Sunthi (Zingiber officinale), and Krishna Marich (Piper Nigrum).  

This decoction is an Ayush health promotion product for commercial manufacturing by Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani drug manufacturers and can be sold in generic name as ‘Ayush Kwath’, ‘Ayush Kudineer’ or ‘Ayush Joshanda’. Manufacturers and the general public can also dry the ingredients, make powder, and put them inside sachets or tea bags each of 3 grams which can be consumed like tea or hot drink by mixing it in 150 ml of boiled water, once or twice daily.  The ministry guides the AYUSH Licensing Authorities to give approval for the production of this herbal medicine for coronavirus to interested, licensed Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani drug manufacturers, in accordance with the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules of 1945.

Along with endorsement of the herbal medicine, prime minister Narendra Modi urged the people to follow the home remedies given by the Ministry of AYUSH to follow that can boost immunity against coronavirus. These guidelines aren’t the cure for the coronavirus but they can be done by general people regularly and at home to prevent themselves from contracting the virus. Some of these remedies include frequently drinking boiled water with tulsi leaves, crushed ginger and a pint of turmeric, getting timely sleep, eating freshly cooked vegetables and following a nutritious diet, practicing yoga, meditation, and Pranayam. The ministry has also suggested that people should consume ‘chyavanprash’ in the morning or a herbal tea made from tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, and raisin once or twice a day. The most simple remedy a person can do is drink ‘golden milk’ – turmeric powder mixed with hot milk.  

Earlier, the government had also advised some Siddha treatments, in particular the “Nilavembu Kudineer decoction”—a mixture of nine herbs used to handle fevers caused by viral infections, malaria, chikungunya, among others — twice a day. The Unani  remedy recommended was to have a decoction made “by boiling Behidana, Unnab, Sapistan in water.”