COVID-19 has emerged as the most dangerous global pandemic threat since its outbreak during December 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of September 4, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 26 million confirmed cases and 8.6 lakhs deaths worldwide and it has spread to 216 countries, areas, or territories (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019). Now, it is a big challenge for the researchers and health professionals to find out a solution for this deadly viral infection. COVID-19 is a viral infection that has been known to have the fastest frequency of replication in its positive strand resulting in the quick development of new progeny viral cells inside the host cells. SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA pathogen, which is characterized by a high mutation rate [1, 2]. In Ayurveda point of view, COVID-19 is a Janapadodhwamsa vikara (epidemic disease), a situation where the environment—air, water, land, and seasons—is vitiated, causing a simultaneous manifestation of a disease among large populations .
Medicinal plants have been used as a treatment and defensive strategy for several infectious diseases since ancient times. The benefit of using these herbs in viral respiratory infections is to build immune-stimulating and inflammation-modulating effects to prevent severe life-threatening conditions. Holistic approach of Ayurveda focuses on prevention of diseases through lifestyle modification, dietary management, prophylactic interventions for improving the immunity, and managing the symptoms using herbal preparations. Medicinal plants have been reported to have anti-viral activity and many species such as Aegle marmelos, Andrographis paniculata, Acacia nilotica, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Piper nigrum, Solanum nigrum, and Terminalia chebula have been scientifically proved for their anti-viral properties [4,5,6]. Ayurveda medicines were recommended by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India to enhance the immunity and to prevent the severe conditions of Cov-2 infection. Detailed guidelines have been published by the AYUSH Ministry regarding the management of COVID-19 (https://www.ayush.gov.in/ayush-guidelines.html). About 80% of COVID-19 cases are with mild symptoms requiring only primary medical care. Ayurveda medicines are advised to patients with mild symptoms and those under surveillance which addresses the therapeutic province within an integrative model of care . The present study was focused on the identification of active ingredients of certain Ayurveda medicines such as Indukantham Kwatham (IK), Vilvadi Gulika (VG), and Mukkamukkatuvadi Gulika (MMG) in which the ingredient plants have been reported to possess immunomodulatory and anti-viral properties.
Indukantham Kwatham is a polyherbal tablet prepared out of specific parts of different medicinal plants such as Holoptelea integrifolia, Cedrus deodara, Gmelina arborea, Aegle marmelos, Stereospermum colais, Oroxylum indicum, Premna corymbosa, Desmodium gangeticum, Pseudarthria viscida, Solanum anguivi, Solanum virginianum, Tribulus terrestris, Piper longum, Piper mullesua, Plumbago zeylanica, and Zingiber officinale. It is generally used for the treatment of intermittent fever and fatigue and to enhance the resistance power . Vilvadi Gulika is prepared using different parts of the various medicinal plants such as Aegle marmelos, Ocimum tenuiiflorum, Pongamia pinnata, Veleriana jatamansi, Cedrus deodara, Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia bellirica, Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum, Piper longum, Curcuma longa, and Berberis aristata. The ingredient plants of Mukkamukkatuvadi Gulika are Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia bellirica, Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum, Piper longum, Cuminum cyminum, Nigella sativa, Acorus calamus, Swertia chirata, Cinnamomum camphora, Myristica fragrans, Aloe vera, Syzygium aromaticum, Allium sativum, Piper cubeba, Saussurea costus, Cinnamomum verum, Ferula assa-foetida, Trchyspermum roxburghianum, and Vitex negundo .