‘Wonder drug’ to be distributed to prevent outbreak of the epidemic

Ayush-64, an ayurveda medicine called as a ‘wonder drug’ for curing as well as preventing malaria will be distributed for the first time in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam.

The medicine’s formulation developed by Central Council for Research and Ayurveda and Siddha will be made available before the onset of monsoon, when high incidence of malaria is reported in the tribal areas.

“In areas identified as highly endemic, we will distribute the medicine by involving local NGOs like Koval Foundation.

The medicine being a genuine herbal product has no side effects and will give a big relief even during the outbreak of viral fevers, which claim many lives every year,” Ayush Commissioner K.P. Srivasuki told The Hindu on Sunday.

Pilot project

Dr. Srivasuki, who is also the CEO of AP Medicinal Plants Board, said after a visit to the Agency areas that they had distributed the medicine among the students of ashram schools in Rampachodavaram area in East Godavari and found the medicine to be very effective. The incidence came down drastically there he stated adding the efficacy of the medicine’s ingredients finds a place in ayurveda texts.

As a pilot project, the cultivation of high value ‘Navara’ rice known for its medicinal properties and nutrition will be cultivated in high-altitude areas of Visakhapatnam.

“Once we identify suitable areas, we will involve NGOs to take up farming of ‘Navara’, a unique crop native of Kerala also known as red rice,” Dr. Srivasuki said.

The organic rice is grown in large extents in Kerala. It is used for massage and also popular for treatment of arthritis and paralysis.

Stating that efforts were being intensified for promotion of medicinal plants, he said their focus on popularising ‘nelavemu’ and other traditional herbs used by tribal people for getting rid of minor ailments.

He said of Rs.10 crore sanctioned for subsidy towards encouraging medicinal plants, Rs.6 crore was allocated to Seemandhra and the remaining to Telangana.

Dr. Srivasuki stated that Aswagandha was being cultivated in an area of 6,000 to 7,000 acres in Kurnool.