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Siddha wing serves ‘Nilavembu kashayam’ to combat dengue

A.V. Ragunathan
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No side effects; can be taken along with allopathic medicines

Herbal cure:Nilavembu plant-based anti-viral preparation being administered to dengue patients in Cuddalore government hospital.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
Herbal cure:Nilavembu plant-based anti-viral preparation being administered to dengue patients in Cuddalore government hospital.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

With the dengue scare spreading fast, the Siddha wing of the Cuddalore Headquarters Government Hospital is getting busier by the day in preparing the herbal concoction named ‘Nilavembu kashayam’ to be administered to the afflicted persons on a daily basis.

The Siddha medicine is a combination of nine substances – nilavembu (Andrographis paniculata), vetti ver (vetiveria zizanioides), vilamicham ver (Cymbopogen jwarankusa), sandalwood powder (santalum album), peypudal (trichosanthes cucumerina), korai kizhangu (cyperus rotundus), sukku (zinziber officinale), milagu (piper nigrum) and parpadagam (mollugo cerviana).

All the ingredients should be mixed in equal proportion. The medicine in powder form would have to be mixed with boiled water to prepare the decoction, and after filtering, it could be consumed in dosages of 30 ml or 60 ml, depending upon the severity of fever.

Assistant Siddha Medical Officer of the government hospital S. Senthil Kumar told TheHindu that the medicine could be used both for curative and preventive purposes. It is free from any side effects and it could be taken along with the allopathic medicines too.

Dr. Senthil Kumar further said that this plant-based anti-viral preparation was acting as a potential medicine for combating the dengue fever. Earlier, the doctors used to send the patients to the Siddha wing where they were asked to scrupulously follow the direction on preparing the dosage.

However, as the number of patients had increased considerably, the Siddha wing itself was now serving the readily consumable ‘nilavembu kudineer’ to the in-patients, in the mornings and evenings. They would be under the Siddha medicine regimen for one week to 10 days. The Siddha doctor further said that at the fag end of last month, particularly from October 26 to 31, a total number of 650 patients took the Siddha medicine.

He emphasised the point that the plant-based medicine could be administered for 64 types of fever, with minor variations. He further noted that the Department of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy was taking care of the supply of the medicine to the Siddha wing.

Soon, the wing would get 75 kg of ‘nilavembu kashayam’ from the department. Hence, it had ample inventory to meet the rising demand. For each dosage, just 5 grams of medicine was sufficient. Dr. Senthil Kumar further said that those keen on prevention were approaching the Siddha wing to get the medicine over the counter. Asked whether ‘nilavembu kashayam’ could be the right alternative to allopathic medicine, Dr. Senthil Kumar said that an integrated approach would be the best way out.

The Siddha doctor is of the view that while undertaking the cleanliness drive, the efficacy of ‘nilavembu kashayam’ could also be propagated.

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