First-ever collaboration between AYUSH Ministry and UK university researchers.
In July, the Indian Government’s AYUSH Ministry All India Institute of Ayurveda, in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine agreed to conduct a formal study on Ashwagandha for promoting recovery from Covid-19.
The double blind clinical trials will be conducted on 2,000 people in three UK cities, Leicester, Birmingham, and London (Southall and Wembley). “For three months, one group of 1,000 participants will be administered Ashwagandha tablets while the second group of 1,000 participants will be assigned a placebo, which is indistinguishable from Ashwaghanda in looks and taste. Both patients and the doctors will be unaware of the group’s treatment in a double-blind trial” explained Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari, AHA director, who is also a co investigator in the project along with Dr Rajgopalan. Dr Sanjay Kinra of LSHTM is the principal investigator of the study.
This is the first time the AYUSH Ministry has collaborated with a foreign institution to investigate the efficacy of Ashwagandha on Covid-19 patients. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), commonly known as ‘Indian winter cherry,’ is a traditional Ayurvedic herb known to boost energy, reduce stress, and strengthen the immune system. It is an easily accessible, over-the-counter nutritional supplement in the UK and has a proven safety profile, and positive effects have already been observed In Covid-19 patients.
The successful completion of the trial can be a major breakthrough and give scientific validity to India’s traditional medicinal system.