Open letter to the German health authorities
In an open letter to the German health authorities, Ernst Schrott, M.D., makes a strong case for including Ayurvedic knowledge and modalities to better handle the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. Here is a summary of the letter as published on the website of the DGA (German Society for Ayurveda) of which Dr. Schrott is a board member:
The [German] federal government’s approach to the Corona pandemic focuses almost exclusively on two areas:
- Protection from infection through various measures such as mandatory masking, spacing and hygiene measures
Unfortunately, measures to strengthen one’s own immune system are hardly considered, let alone recommended as an important third strategy, neither by the virologists advising the government nor by the responsible politicians. Yet there is little doubt in scientific medicine about the great importance of the body’s own immune system as a protective mechanism against infectious diseases in general and Covid-19 in particular.
Therefore, from the point of view of the German Society for Ayurveda, this is an incomplete package of measures. There is an urgent need for a holistic and above all preventive approach. Ayurvedic medicine, now used worldwide and recognized by the WHO as a traditional healing system, has a wealth of experience spanning thousands of years in the use of natural medicines and therapies, particularly for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Scientific studies in connection with Covid-19
In an effort to find effective medicines against Covid-19 infection and disease, numerous synthetic and naturally occurring substances have now been scientifically studied and, in some cases, clinically tested. While anti-malarial drugs and conventional viral inhibitors were found to have no or unsatisfactory efficacy, two traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plants show great promise: licorice root, a potential protecting agent against SARS-Cov-2, and Ashwagandha, a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant which inhibits a key enzyme for virus replication.
An Ayurvedic preparation containing the active ingredients of both these plants has been used successfully for years by physicians familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, both as a preventive measure to strengthen the immune system and as a supportive measure in the treatment of viral respiratory infections. In patients with Covid-19 disease who were in domestic quarantine, it has been remarkably successful.
There are numerous other useful substances for strengthening the immune system, e.g. ginger root, vitamins C and D3, and zinc.
In fact, the British government is currently considering vitamin D3 as a preventive means against Covid-19 and has commissioned scientists to make dosage recommendations. High-risk groups are planned to receive free vitamin supplements, as is already being done in Scotland.
Also, as heard in an interview with German Health Minister Spahn, he had received vitamin D3 and zinc from his treating physician during his Covid-19 illness.
Sunlight, fresh air, exercise
In a video clip targeted at young people, the German government encourages staying at home and being “couch potatoes”. While the idea behind it is good, aiming at reducing contacts and infection rates, this clearly is not the best advice for improving health. Furthermore, it’s doubtful whether young people can identify with such a video in view of the current partial lockdown, with jobs at risk and associated worries.
Already during the first lockdown, virologists expressly recommended spending time outdoors, especially in the sun, also in conjunction with individual sports, to promote health and strengthen the immune system.
Fear weakens the immune system
Negative emotions such as persistent anxiety, worries and loss of confidence are known to weaken the immune system. With all understanding for the necessary restrictions, we miss a language of hope, confidence and trust, both in politics and the media, which bear a special responsibility in this respect.
We’d like to make an appeal to politics to consult with medical experts, also from recognized complementary medicine, evaluate suitable means and measures for strengthening the immune system, and to more strongly recommend them to the population as a third strategy for protection against SARS-Cov-2.
(See the full text in German with scientific references here.)
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