New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Thursday launched a strong objection against the Union Health Ministry saying that the ayurvedic treatments prescribed by AYUSH Ministry have little scientific evidence to be called medicines for COVID-19 infection.Also Read - UK Further Relaxes Travel Guidelines, Allows Cheaper COVID Tests For Fully Vaccinated Tourists Including From India

Earlier on Tuesday, the AYUSH ministry had dismissed claims that prolonged consumption of ‘kadha’, recommended as a preventive health measure for boosting immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, damages the liver, saying it is a “wrong notion” as the ingredients used for preparing it are used in cooking at home. Also Read - Mumbai Local Train: Good News For Passengers, Railways Plans To Convert Suburban Network To AC Trains, Ticket Fare to be Reduced Soon

The IMA stated that the Health Ministry provided “impressive names” of institutions to justify their prescription of ayurvedic medicines. However, “these are based on empirical evidence which means that the evidence is anecdotal and based on individual subjective experiences,” the letter read. Also Read - Kids Can Spread The Emerging Variants of COVID-19, Confirms New Study

The medical association sought evidence regarding the claims, asking how many ministers made the informed choice of getting this treatment and why the government had not made the data public.

“Is there satisfactory evidence regarding the claims made from studies done on COVID-19 patients based on the above criteria? If so, whether the evidence is weak or moderate or strong? The evidence should be in public domain and available for scientific scrutiny,” it said in the statement.

It further challenged Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to volunteer in a double-blind control study of the ayurvedic treatment and refrain from any kind of allopathic treatment.

“What is stopping him from handing over COVID care and control to AYUSH ministry? IMA demands that the Union Health Minister should come clean on the above posers. If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs,” it added.

Notably, the Ministry of AYUSH had in March issued some self-care guidelines as preventive health measures for boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health amidst the coronavirus outbreak. As part of the guidelines, among other things, it recommended drinking herbal tea or ‘kadha‘ (decoction) made from basil, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, and raisins once or twice a day.