AYUSH Practitioners Cannot Prescribe Covid Cures, GoI Tells Supreme Court


Dec 2, 2020


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Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and homeopathy (AYUSH) professionals can only prescribe government-approved tablets and mixtures as preventative immunity-boosters, stated a government affidavit to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, December 1. The AYUSH ministry further stated in the affidavit that AYUSH therapies, “should not be treated and/or prescribed as a cure.”

The Ministry filed the affidavit in response to an appeal filed by Dr. A.K.B. Sadbhavana Mission School of Homeo Pharmacy against a Kerala High Court ruling in August. The ruling prohibited AYUSH practitioners from prescribing and advertising any medications for Covid19, except those specifically mentioned in the Centre’s March and January directives. The Kerala High Court also allowed state authorities to take action against AYUSH practitioners who violate the order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, said the High Court’s interpretation of the AYUSH Ministry’s guidelines was correct. The Centre’s affidavit stated, “Guidelines were issued with a holistic approach of AYUSH systems of medicine focusing on prevention through lifestyle modification, dietary management, prophylactic interventions for improving the immunity and simple remedies based on presentations of the symptoms.”

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The Supreme Court took the Centre’s affidavit and the Solicitor General’s statement into record and declared the case complete.

AYUSH practitioners have occupied a tenuous position during the pandemic, having earned the distrust of doctors and the law. Previously, a homeopathic practitioner sued the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for calling Ayurvedic medication “a placebo.” The IMA has also shown displeasure at a recent ruling that allows AYUSH doctors to perform specific surgeries, calling it “poaching the disciplines of modern medicine through back door means.”

In return, AYUSH scientists have hit back at modern medicine practitioners for calling their claims unscientific and pointing to the confusion around hydroxychoroquinine and Remdesivir as an example of how modern medicine has also failed to create a cure for Covid19.


Written By Aditi Murti

Aditi Murti is a culture writer at The Swaddle. Previously, she worked as a freelance journalist focused on gender and cities. Find her on social media @aditimurti.


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