A team of US researchers are conducting studies to understand whether botanical therapies like medicinal mushrooms and Chinese herbs provide therapeutic benefit in treating acute Covid-19 cases.
According to principal investigator Gordon Saxe, director of research at the Center for Integrative Health in University of California-San Diego, mushrooms were chosen because of their long history of use and recent evidence of immune-enhancing and antiviral effects.
MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for Covid-19) is a multi-centre study led by UC San Diego's School of Medicine and UC-Los Angeles, in collaboration with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.
In a preclinical study published in 2019, mushroom agarikon was found to inhibit viruses, including influenza (H1N1), influenza A (H5N1) and herpes. Saxe said he believes medicinal mushrooms inhibit the viruses' replication, a theory he plans to test against SARS-CoV-2 in a Phase II trial.
"Mushrooms have the advantage that they co-evolved with us. So bacteria, viruses and other fungi prey on mushrooms just like they prey on humans. And mushrooms have developed exquisite defenses against those pests, and we believe they can confer those to us when we eat them," Saxe said.
MACH-19's third ongoing trial measures whether the same medicinal mushrooms, given in capsules at the time of initial Covid vaccination, can increase antibodies and other measures of immune response.
A fourth trial, yet to be launched, will look at whether medicinal mushrooms could provide a similar lift to Covid-19 booster shots as an adjuvant, a substance which enhances immune response.
"Vaccines lead to the production of antibodies that can destroy the virus in the blood," Saxe said.
"Mushrooms may not only increase the number of these antibodies, but also enhance T-cell immunity against virally infected cells. Further, because mushrooms bind to receptors on human immune cells, they can modulate our immunity -- boosting it in some ways and calming it down in others. And this property of mushrooms may also reduce vaccine-related side effects.
Natural therapeutics have been used for centuries to treat infectious diseases, according to Saxe, who noted that herbs helped Chinese doctors manage 300 recorded epidemics, while the Greek pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides prescribed agarikon to treat pulmonary infections 2,300 years ago.
The three trials, under MACH-19 of which two are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, are currently recruiting for between 66 and 80 patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are quarantined at home with mild to moderate symptoms.AInitial safety data from the trials are expected by the end of this year, with efficacy data ready within a year.
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Pregnancy is a beautiful experience during which a woman nurtures and grows a baby for a period of 9 months. During this time, the body experiences many changes both internally and externally as it turns into a space of nourishment and protection for the growing foetus.
Hormonal fluctuations, stretching of the skin, greater storage of fats, etc can also lead to significant and apparent changes in the skin. While many women often feel self-conscious and mourn the loss of their pre-pregnancy skin, it is important to know that these changes are completely normal and that many women feel the way you do! These issues can be managed during pregnancy and also minimised post-pregnancy.
Avoid comparing how your body reacts to pregnancy as it largely depends on factors beyond your control such as your genetics. Having said that, below are some of the most common skin issues that women face during and post-pregnancy with some simple steps that one can take to manage them-
Often known as "the mask of pregnancy," is a pigmentation disorder that is caused by a combination of hereditary, hormonal factors, as well as due to sun exposure. It shows up as mottled dark spots on the cheekbones, forehead, nasal bridge, upper lips and rarely, over the jawline.
How to Tackle It:
a) Sun protection is the most important step to avoid and prevent the worsening of melasma. Physical protection like opaque umbrellas, wide-rimmed hats, the scarf should be used while stepping out in the sun
b) Use liberal amounts of sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, in the morning, at least 15 minutes before stepping out and repeat it in the afternoon after 3-4 hours. Sunscreen use should not be restricted to only while stepping outdoors or when it's sunny but also while indoors. Remember to use only physical sunscreen during your pregnancy and breastfeeding period.
c) Using skin lightening products that contain kojic acid, glycolic acid and vitamins C, E, and A in lower concentrations can assist to brighten and rejuvenate your complexion.
Stretch marks affect around 90 percent of women at some point in their life, with pregnancy being one of the most prevalent times when this occurs. These marks, reddish-purple scars become white over time and are produced by the damage to its elastic fibres when it is stretched due to weight increase. These are particularly noticeable on the abdomen after delivery.
How to Tackle It:
a) Prevention is better than cure. Start using moisturising lotions containing cocoa butter and Shea Butter during pregnancy itself and continue to post your delivery.
b) Massages will also enhance the elasticity of the skin, however, do take care to do it gently.
c) In the initial stages, the stretch marks are red in colour (striae rubra) and these respond best to treatment, so do visit your dermatologist early.
d) Various cosmetic procedures like lasers, PRP, micro-needling with a derma roller can be done to lighten the scars.
Acne or pimples is caused by an inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the face. While a few women report clearing of their pre-existing acne during pregnancy, others may experience a severe flare. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
How to Tackle It:
a) Always use cosmetics that are non-comedogenic.
b) Increased fluid intake and staying hydrated may help your acne naturally.
c) Remember to remove makeup before bedtime and avoid frequently touching your face.
d) Products containing benzoyl peroxide may be used to penetrate clogged pores and remove pollutants; it is also safe to use during and after breastfeeding.
e) Although products containing retinol are great for acne treatment, they are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common yet non-infectious skin condition that will not transmit to the infant. It's usually the result of an underlying sensitive skin disease that's been there for a while. Hand eczema has become quite common of late due to frequent hand washing with harsh soaps and hand sanitisers.
How to Tackle It:
a) Use a mild soap with a skin-friendly pH.
b) Gently pat dry the skin after each wash and apply a moisturising cream immediately which helps to lock in the moisture content of the skin.
c) Topical steroid creams are used to treat severe eczemas, however, they should always be prescribed by a dermatologist after careful evaluation and never be taken OTC from pharmacies. They are safe during pregnancy and lactation.
d) Do not wear anything too tight or shape-fitting. Tight clothes may trap the heat and make the skin irritable. Better to pick natural fabrics, like cotton.
The most common pregnancy rash is PUPPPs, or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. These itchy, red spots appear around stretch marks and can spread to the arms, legs, and buttocks. They generally appear at the end of pregnancy, when the tummy is stretched the most.
How to Tackle It:
a) Try applying something cold to your rash to receive some relief. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes or cover the rash with a cold, damp cloth.
b) Have lukewarm water baths as very hot water dries the skin and aggravates the itching
c) Keep the skin moisturised with a good moisturiser or coconut oil.
d) Visit your dermatologist who will further guide you on use of safe treatment options during pregnancy and lactation.(Dr. Swathi Shivakumar, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster RV Hospital, JP Nagar, Bengaluru)
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Ministry of Ayush has recently noticed safety concerns on use of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) that were published in social media and in some scientific journals.
This advisory is being issued to confirm that Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is safe to use but some similar looking plants like Tinospora crispa may be harmful. Guduchi is a popularly known herb, familiar as Giloy and is being used in therapeutics since long in AYUSH systems.
There are good number of studies published in peer reviewed indexed Journals to substantiate safety and efficacy of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia). Its hepato-protective properties are also well established. Guduchi is known for its immense therapeutic applications and the practices are regulated in accordance with various applicable provisions.
It is observed that different species of Tinospora are available and only Tinospora cordifolia should be used in therapeutics, whereas similar looking species like Tinospora crispa may manifest adverse effects.
Ministry of Ayush has a well-established system of Pharmacovigilance (for reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions from Ayush medication), with its network spreading across all over India. If any suspected adverse event occurs after intake of Ayush medicine it may be reported to the nearby Pharmacovigilance centre through an Ayush physician. Further it is advised to take Ayush medicine and treatment under supervision and consultation of a registered Ayush physician only. (PIB)
Guidelines issued by Ministry of Ayush-
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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the local traditions should be used to help the vaccination drive. He was interacting with the healthcare workers and beneficiaries of the Covid vaccination programme in Himachal Pradesh via video conferencing.Addressing the gathering, Modi said that Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a champion in the fight against the largest epidemic in 100 years."Himachal has become the first state in India to have administered at least one dose of corona vaccine to each one of its entire eligible population which underlines the importance of 'Aatmvishwas' and 'Aatmnirbharta'," said Modi. While talking to Dr Rahul of Civil Hospital at Shimla, the prime Minister lauded the team effort for minimising the vaccine wastage. Talking to a vaccination beneficiary, Modi inquired about the facilities of vaccination and how they dealt with the rumours regarding vaccination. The Prime Minister spoke to ASHA worker Nirma Devi from Kullu, and enquired about her experience with the vaccination drive. The Prime Minister emphasised to use the local traditions in helping the vaccination drive in his virtual address. He praised the model of dialogue and collaboration developed by the team and asked about how the team travelled long distances to administer vaccines.The PM said that the world's biggest vaccination programme is continuing due to the efforts of people like Karmo Devi.Karmo Devi of Una has the distinction of vaccinating 22,500 people. He praised her spirit as she kept on working despite a fracture in her leg. Lauding the efforts of doctors, ASHA workers, Aanganwadi workers, medical personnel, teachers, and other staff in the vaccination drive against Covid, PM Modi said that the success of vaccination in India is the result of the spirit and hard work of its citizens. India is vaccinating at the record speed of 1.25 crore vaccines per day. This means that the number of vaccinations in India in one day is more than the population of many countries.Recalling the mantra 'Sabka Prayas' which Modi mentioned during his Independence Day speech, he said that this success is a manifestation of that. He praised the dialogue and collaboration model and expressed happiness that even in a remote district like Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal has been a leader in giving 100 per cent first dose."This is the area which used to be cut off from the rest of the country for months before the Atal Tunnel was built," said PM Modi, while admiring the state's efforts to not allow any rumour or disinformation to hamper the vaccination efforts. "Himachal is a proof of how the country's rural society is empowering the world's largest and fastest vaccination campaign," said PM Modi.Referring to recently notified Drones rules, PM Modi said that these rules will help in the spheres of many sectors like health and agriculture and will open doors for new possibilities. He inspired the farmers and gardeners of the state to make farming in Himachal complete organic within the next 25 years.--IANSavr/dpb/skp/
आयुष मंत्रालय के अधीन राष्ट्रीय औषधीय पादप बोर्ड (नेशनल मेडीसिनल प्लांट्स बोर्ड-एनएमपीबी) ने आजादी के अमृत महोत्सव के क्रम में देशभर में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती को प्रोत्साहन देने के लिये एक राष्ट्रीय अभियान की शुरूआत की है। इस कदम से किसानों की आय में बढ़ोतरी होगी और हरित भारत का सपना पूरा होगा। अभियान के तहत, देशभर में अगले एक वर्ष में 75 हजार हेक्टेयर रकबे में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती की जायेगी। कार्यक्रम की शुरूआत उत्तर प्रदेश के सहारनपुर और महाराष्ट्र के पुणे से की गई है। यह ‘आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ के अंतर्गत आयुष मंत्रालय द्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रमों की श्रृंखला का दूसरा कार्यक्रम है।
पुणे में औषधीय पौधे किसानों को बांटे गये। जो लोग पहले से जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती कर रहे हैं, उन्हें सम्मानित किया गया। अहमदनगर जिले के पारनेर से विधायक नीलेश लंके, केंद्रीय यूनानी चिकित्सा अनुसंधान परिषद (सीसीआरयूएम) के महानिदेशक डॉ. आसिम अली ख़ान और एनएमपीबी के उप मुख्य कार्यकारी अधिकारी डॉ. चंद्रशेखर सांवल ने भिन्न-भिन्न स्थानों से कार्यक्रमों की अगुवाई की।
डॉ. सांवल ने कहा, “इस प्रयास से देश में औषधीय पौधों की आपूर्ति में और तेजी आयेगी।” इस अवसर पर 75 किसानों को कुल मिलाकर 7500 औषधीय पौधे वितरित किये गये। इसके अलावा 75 हजार पौधे वितरित करने का लक्ष्य भी तय किया गया।
सहारनपुर में उत्तर प्रदेश के आयुष राज्य मंत्री (स्वतंत्र प्रभार) डॉ. धर्म सिंह सैनी, एनएमपीबी के अनुसंधान अधिकारी श्री सुनील दत्त और आयुष मंत्रालय के अधिकारियों ने सम्बंधित कार्यक्रम में हिस्सा लिया। उत्तर प्रदेश के आयुष राज्य मंत्री (स्वतंत्र प्रभार) डॉ. धर्म सिंह सैनी ने जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती करने वाले किसानों को सम्मानित किया। आसपास के कई जिलों से आये 150 किसानों को औषधीय पौधे निशुल्क वितरित किये गये। पौधों की पांच प्रजातियां वितरित की गईं, जिनमें पारिजात, बेल, नीम, अश्वगंधा और जामुन के पौधे शामिल थे। किसानों को जामुन के 750 पौधे अलग से निशुल्क बांटे गये।
केंद्रीय आयुष मंत्री श्री सर्बानन्द सोनोवाल ने कहा कि औषधीय पौधों के सिलसिले में देश की अपार क्षमता है और 75,000 हेक्टेयर रकबे में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती से देश में दवाओं की उपलब्धता सुनिश्चित होगी। इस कदम से जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती किसानों की आय का बड़ा स्रोत बनेगी। दवाओं की उपलब्धता के मामले में देश भी आत्मनिर्भर होगा। उल्लेखनीय है कि पिछले डेढ़ वर्षों में न सिर्फ भारत में, बल्कि पूरी दुनिया में औषधीय पौधों की मांग में बड़े पैमाने पर बढ़ोतरी देखने में आई है। यही कारण है कि अमेरिका में अश्वगंधा तीसरा सबसे ज्यादा बिकने वाला उत्पाद बन गया है।
इसके अलावा ‘आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ कार्यक्रमों के तहत वाई-ब्रेक एप्प की शुरूआत, रोगों का उपचार करने वाली आयुष दवाओं का वितरण, ‘आयुष आपके द्वार’ तथा स्कूलों-कॉलेजों के छात्रों के लिये व्याख्यानमालाओं का आयोजन शामिल है। वाई-ब्रेक एप्प पर वेबीनार और व्याख्यानमाला का आयोजन पांच सितंबर को किया जायेगा।
यह भी पढ़े► आयुर्वेद में राष्ट्र की पोषण आवश्यकता को पूरा करने की क्षमता है : स्मृति जुबिन इरानी
The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH has launched a national campaign to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants in the country as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. This will help in increasing the income of farmers and realize the dream of Green India. Under this campaign, cultivation of medicinal plants will be done on 75,000 hectares of land in the next one year across the country. The program has been started from Saharanpur in UP and Pune in Maharashtra. This program is second in the series of programs being organized by the Ministry of Ayush under the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.
In Pune medicinal plants were distributed to the farmers. Those who were already cultivating medicinal plants were felicitated. Nilesh Lanke, MLA from Parner in Ahmednagar district, Dr. Asim Ali Khan, DG, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), and Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sanwal, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NMPB, led the events from different locations.
Dr. Sanwal said that “this effort will give more impetus to the supply of medicinal plants in the country”. A total of 7500 medicinal plants were distributed to 75 farmers on this occasion. A target has been set to distribute 75 thousand saplings.
In Saharanpur, Minister of State for Ayush, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Dharam Singh Saini along with Research Officer of National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Sunil Dutt, and officials of Ministry of Ayush also participated. The farmers cultivating medicinal plants were felicitated by Dharam Singh Saini, Minister of State for AYUSH, UP. Medicinal plants were distributed free of cost to 150 farmers who came from many nearby districts. These included mainly 5 species of plants - Night-flowering Jasmine (Parijat), Golden Apple (Bel), Margosa Tree (Neem), Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha) and Indian Blackberry (Jamun). 750 Jamun saplings were separately distributed free of cost to the farmers.
Union AYUSH Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the country has immense potential in the field of medicinal plants and cultivation of medicinal plants on 75000 hectares of land will ensure availability of medicines in the country and it will be a big source of income for the farmers. This will make the country self-reliant in the field of medicines. Significantly, in the last 1.5 years, the market of medicinal plants has increased in a big way not only in India but all over the world. This is the reason that Ashwagandha has been the third best-selling product in America.
Further programs being held under 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' include launch of Y Break App, distribution of Prophylactic Ayush Drugs, 'Ayush Aapke Dwar' and lecture series for school and college students. The lecture series and webinar on Y Break app are to be organized on 5th September.
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