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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 134-137

Ayurvedic approach to psychosomatic distress due to COVID-19

Department of Shalakya Tantra, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Submission05-Aug-2020
Date of Decision01-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance03-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Sheenam Gangawat
PhD Scholar, P.G. Department of Shalakya Tantra, NIA, Jaipur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_179_20

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Introduction: The outbreak of COVID-19 came into existence last year in December 2019 at Wuhan, China. The WHO declared it as pandemic and great threat to the humanity. The Government of India has taken various steps to prevent the citizens such as lockdown, work from home, guidelines for social distancing, and screening. Due to which, the disease has been controlled to a great extent, but it has also seen very terrible results such as loss of business of a large number of people and health services collapsed which leads to socioeconomic insecurity in society results to psychosomatic distress. Objective: The objective was to understand the role of Ayurveda for overcoming the psychosomatic distress due to COVID-19. Materials and Methods: Psychosomatic distress causes were analyzed by the data given in various private and government reports available in the public domain through their official websites, journals, newspapers, and magazines. Figure out the best possible preventive and Ayurvedic principles from different Samhitas and textbooks for psychosomatic distress. Conclusion: At a time where none of the medical systems of the world have any authentic treatment for COVID-19, Ayurveda is the most appropriate and safe medical practice for the people of India because it is time-tested and cost-effective. With the help of Ayurveda, we can avoid corona by increasing immunity following dincharya, ritucharya, and aachar rasayan. Thus, we can save ourselves and our family from the side effects caused by COVID-19.

Keywords: Aachar rasayan, COVID-19, dincharya, ritucharya satvavjaya chikitsa and yukti vyapashraya chikitsa

How to cite this article:
Gangawat S, Fiaz S. Ayurvedic approach to psychosomatic distress due to COVID-19. J Ayurveda 2020;14:134-7

How to cite this URL:
Gangawat S, Fiaz S. Ayurvedic approach to psychosomatic distress due to COVID-19. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 23];14:134-7. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2020/14/4/134/304900

  Introduction Top

COVID-19 disease caused by “2019 novel coronavirus” is declared pandemic by the WHO. The first case is recognized in Wuhan city of China, in late December 2019.[1] In India, the first case was reported on January 30, 2020 in the state of Kerala. This disease has a high transmission rate and it spreads through droplets, contact from human to human. On March 24 of the current year, the government under prime minister ordered a lockdown for 21 days for the nation, limiting movement of the entire population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 in India. It was ordered after a voluntary public curfew on March 22, 2020, followed by enforcement of a series of regulations within the country's COVID-19 pandemic affected regions on April 14. The Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown until May 3,[2] with conditional relaxations after April 20 for the regions where the spread had been contained or was minimal. On May 1, the Government of India extended the nationwide lockdown further by fortnight until May 17.[3] The government divided all the districts into three zones supported the spread of the virus-green, red, and orange with relaxations applied accordingly. On May 17, 2020, the lockdown was further extended till May 31 by the National Disaster Management Authority.[4] These steps have taken by the Government of India also show some side effects which were very frightening such as the business completely collapsed due to lockdown and the health services structure shaken completely. India is a developing country having 1.3 billion population largely depends on Day to day earning. Due to lockdown, the economic activities stop almost completely, which leads to the economic insecurity in the society because of which a large number of people suffered from psychosomatic distress. As the map shows The confirm cases for billion in different states of India [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].[5]
Figure 1: Map of confirm cases per million residents in different states of India

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Figure 2: Finance minister statement on the migrants condition during lockdown

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Impact of COVID-19 on socioeconomic structure

  1. India having the second largest population in the world[6] mainly depends on the day-to-day earning for large section of its population. Due to covid-19 pandemic preventive majors are taken by the government. Such as sudden lock down of economical activities. This leads to economic distress to the majority of the population of India.
  2. The service sector was also severely affected due to reasons such as lockdown and social distancing especially health services in particular were affected as a lot. Many hospitals intended to provide treatment to the patient of COVID-19 and converted in quarantine centers
  3. Daily Out patient department (OPD) was also severely affected due to COVID-19 because of lockdown and social distancing, so for other diseases, the patients either could not get the consultation of the doctor or that it was difficult to get proper counseling, due to which the patients came in a very frightening situation
  4. Many employment-intensive businesses such as real state tourism were shut down due to this lockdown, which caused many people to lose their jobs or were not given a large portion of their salary,[7] which also lead to socioeconomic distress
  5. No income source is left in the COVID-19 lockdown, as GDP is expected to be negative to this financial year,[8] but daily expenses are inevitable, due to which most people have to depend on their savings leads to economical distress.

Effect of socioeconomical distress on health

  1. Due to these circumstances, depression is increasing among the people, and according to Ayurveda, depression is the key factor in increasing the disease[9]
  2. Exercise plays an important role in maintaining health.[10] Due to COVID-19, gyms and parks get closed, which affects the regular exercise
  3. As stated in Ayurveda, the food consumed in anxiety, fear, anger, and mourning is like poison and is going to cause many diseases[11]
  4. Due to these circumstances, there has been a complete change in the normal routine of the people, disturbed food habits, and timing which is also the cause of psychosomatic distress
  5. Everyday OPD of hospitals was closed due to lockdown due to which many patients who went to the hospital after a regular interval and took their checkups and medicines were not able to get proper medical advice, the facility of testing which also leads to increase of many diseases, and many other are becoming furious which leads to psychosomatic distress.

Ayurvedic principles can be the answer to psychosomatic distress

  1. Ritucharya[12] and Dinacharya[13] are two cornerstones of Ayurvedic science. Ayurvedic acharyas practiced the concept of “preventive health care.” This means that a great deal of work is given to the end user to practice and follow to ensure that the body remains in a state of balance. By following both dincharya and ritucharya in Ayurveda, a person can keep himself/herself and his/her family healthy at both the levels (physically and mentally) and improvement in diseases of many patients is possible because by following these principles of Ayurveda which is completely natural and safe, a normal person can maintain his/her healthy state, on the other hand, a patient gets relief in his/her disease. Ritucharya may be a powerful health-giving Ayurvedic tool that helps us live consistent with the changes in season and make internal adjustments in order that our Doshas are during a state of balance. Ayurvedic health guidelines are extremely powerful and potent. The importance of following ritucharya is that we are ready to stop disease even before it starts.

  2. With health-care costs on the rise, high stress lives, and weakening immunity, ritucharya and dinacharya assume even greater importance to us. It helps us take charge of our health and our family's health and gives us simple yet powerful tools to help our body.

  3. According to Ayurveda, satva and body are formed by diet,[14] the food is also known as Mahabhaisaja according to Aacharya Kashyapa,[15] thus food plays a key role in maintaining the health (physical and mental) and eliminating diseases. Just by following the protocol given in the Ayurvedic literature, prevention and curatives aspects can easily handle in this pandemic situation
  4. Achar rasayan[16] is a speciality of Ayurveda, through which a person can get tridosha equilibrium and manasik dosha equilibrium without any medicine, etc., As stated in the principle of Ayurveda, the dosha equilibrium is the root cause of health,[17] so in these circumstances, when stress and anxiety are at its peak, the importance of aachar rasayan is much more than ever before
  5. There are many medicinal properties found in the Indian spices used within the diet, which have now proved on the scientific ground also. Spices with these medicinal properties are served in a methodical manner and in a certain quantity and by a certain imagination, show the effect as potent as medicines. It is best useful in the present time, when it is not appropriate to go out of the house due to corona, in that case, these medicines of Ayurveda which we know as spices are more creditable for getting health and prevention of disease and demand of the present time. Furthermore, if we can maintain health at this stage through spices and some common plants grown around the house, it is very useful for a country like India where very few people can afford expensive treatments
  6. The AYUSH MINISTRY made a protocol which is easy to follow yet very effective, the ministry considers all the above points (dincharya, ritucharya, aachar rasayan, and use of Indian spices). The Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi himself appeal to follow the guidelines of AYUSH MINISTRY[18] which shows its relevance.

  Discussion Top

It is clear from the above points that due to the corona, economic distress has arisen not only in India but also all around the world, and it has become extremely difficult to create employment opportunities and businesses, due to which the life of all human beings has been influenced badly. India which is second in terms of population in the world and falls under the category of developing country makes the situation more difficult compared to developed countries. Our Health Infrastructure! It is not suitable to deal with this situation and our population is much higher than other developed countries due to which the risk of coronavirus is much higher in our country than developed countries.

The infection rate of corona is very high due to which patients of other diseases are afraid of going to the hospital and general medical advice is not so easily available, so at the present time, in a country like India, principles of Ayurveda and home-based spices which have medicinal properties can prevent this situation from becoming frightening.

  Conclusion Top

  1. The corona epidemic has spread all over the world including India, which has not yet received any official treatment
  2. In a developing country like India, where there is a large population, the probability of spreading coronavirus sequence is highest
  3. At present, no treatment in the world for this disease, so prevention is the cure; knowing this, the government imposed lockdown, social distancing, etc., which leads to perished loss of job and business results in psychosomatic distress
  4. At a time where none of the medical systems of the world have any authentic treatment for COVID-19, Ayurveda is the most appropriate and safe medical practice because it is time-tested and cost-effective
  5. Spices used in Indian kitchen are full of medicinal properties; their appropriate use is the best possible way of prevention for common men, as they are cost-effective, easily available, and highly potent
  6. While we can completely avoid mental illnesses by following the dincharya, ritucharya, and aachar rasayan mentioned in Ayurveda, on the other hand, we can also maintain immunity naturally for physical well-being using Indian spices and medicinal plants easily available in our surroundings so for the present situation, it is most appropriate to resort to Ayurveda.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Novel Corona virus - China. Available from: https://www.who.int/covid-19information. [Last retrieved on 2020 Apr 09].  Back to cited text no. 1
Withal Adam “India to go into nationwide lockdown”. The Independent, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-coronavirus-lockdown-modi-speech-cases-update-news-a9421491.html. [Last assessed on 2020 Oct 03; Retrieved on 2020 Mar 24].  Back to cited text no. 2
Modi PM. Announces Extension of Lockdown till 3 May. Livemint; 14 April, 2020. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 09].  Back to cited text no. 3
Corona Virus Lockdown Extended till 31 May, says NDMA Livemint; 17 May, 2020. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 09].  Back to cited text no. 4
State data Presentation by Government of India. Available from: http://www.mohfw.gov.in/statedatapresentation. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 09; Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 5
The Statistical Institute of the Republic of India. Available from: https://www.isical.ac.in. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 11].  Back to cited text no. 6
Lockdown relaxation — more than half of India's economy may reopen from Monday, says Nomura. Business insider. https://www.businessinsider.in/policy/economy/news/lockdown-relaxation-more-than-half-of-indian-economy-may-reopen-from-monday-april-20/articleshow/75220299.cms. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 03; Retrieved on 2020 Apr 18].  Back to cited text no. 7
Misra, Udit “Explained: What deceleration in GDP growth rate tells us about state of Indian economy”. The Indian express. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/narendra-modi-coronavirus-economic-package-india-self-reliance-6406939/. [Last assessed on 2020 Oct 03; Retrieved on 2020 May 30].  Back to cited text no. 8
CharakSamhita, Sutrasthana, Yajjapurushiyaadhyaya, 25/40. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/echarak. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 9
SushrutaSamhita, Chikitsasthana, Anagatbadhapratishedha, 24/40. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/esushruta. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 10
CharakSamhita, Vimansthana, Raktpittanidan, 2/9. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/echarak. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 11
CharakSamhita Sutrasthana, Tasyasitiyaadhyaya, 6/3. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/echarak. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 12
Astanghridhyam, Sutrasthana, Dincharyaaadhyaya, 2/1-48. Available from: http://niimh. nic.in/ebooks/eastanghridyam. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 13
CharakSamhita, Sutrasthana, Vividhasitpitiya, 28/41. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/echarak. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 14
Shri Satyapal Bishgachrya, Kashyap Samhita with the Vidyotini Hindi Commentary. Ch. 4., Ver. 6. Reprint: Chaukhambha Bharati Academy Varanasi: Khil Sthana; 2012. p. 249.  Back to cited text no. 15
CharakSamhita, Chikitsasthana, Ayurvedsamuthaniya rasayanpaad, 1 (4)/30-35. Available from: http://niimh .nic.in/ebooks/echarak. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 16
Astanghridhyam, Sutrasthana, Dincharyaaadhyay, 1/19. Available from: http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/eastanghridyam. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 17
AYUSH Guidelines for Covid-19. Available from: https://www.ayush.gov.in/Ayushcovid -19dashboarad/ayush guideline for covid-19. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 18


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