Ayurvedic ‘cure’ for COVID draws large crowds in Nellore

The herbal preparation is being given free of cost to those testing positive

May 19, 2021 10:38 pm | Updated 10:38 pm IST - NELLORE

People waiting in a long queue for the herbal preparation, at Krishnapatnam village, near Muthukur, in Nellore district.

People waiting in a long queue for the herbal preparation, at Krishnapatnam village, near Muthukur, in Nellore district.

Hundreds of people line up well before daybreak outside a garden in the sleepy little village of Krishnapatnam in Nellore district every day, in the hopes of getting an Ayurvedic preparation that claims to offer a cure to COVID-19.

Visuals of a serpentine queue outside the garden, belonging to an elderly Ayurveda practitioner named B. Anandaiah, went viral on social media recently, resulting in many people flocking here even from neighbouring States. The ‘medicine’ being prepared by Mr. Anandaiah is being compared to the ‘fish prasadam’ given by the Bathini brothers in Hyderabad for curing asthma every year.

However, there is no scientific evidence as of now that Ayurvedic medicines can help cure COVID-19. Still, that has not deterred people from coming here in large numbers.

“There is nothing wrong in giving it a try. Patients are gasping for breath, running from one hospital to another in the search of an oxygen bed, and many are losing their lives in the process,” said a man named Srinivasulu, adding that he hopes the medicine works.

The man behind the Ayurvedic preparation — Mr. Anandaiah — is distributing it free of cost to the people. Those in a critical condition are given eyedrops. Ayurvedic balls with ingredients such as Giloy (Tinospora codifolio), neem, pepper, ginger and turmeric prepared by a large number of workers are distributed to those who test positive for COVID-19. The same preparation is also given as an immunity booster to people impatiently waiting for their turn to get vaccinated.

‘No adverse effects’

“There have been no side-effects in those who have consumed the preparation,” said Kakani Govardhan Reddy, YSRCP MLA from Sarvepalli. Mr. Anandaiah has managed to secure the support of philanthropists who are funding the procurement of ingredients needed to prepare the Ayurvedic medicine in large quantities.

Meanwhile, Nellore Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu who had constituted a committee comprising AYUSH doctors and officials, led by District Panchayat Officer Dhanalakshmi, in order to assess the efficacy of the preparation, said there were no adverse effects seen in patients who had taken the herbal preparation.

Samples of the preparation were sent to an AYUSH laboratory in Hyderabad for testing, he added.

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