Authorities in India distribute unproven Ayurvedic medicines amid COVID crisis

Authorities in the Indian state of Maharashtra were today (May 19) distributing unproven Ayurvedic medicines to the public as "immunity boosters" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The herbal medicines and tonics were handed out for free by The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India from COVID-19 with 5.43 million cases and close to 84 thousand deaths. The Indian Medical Association has come out strongly against Ayurvedic medicine. "[Indian gov't support for Ayurveda as treatment] is a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs," the association said in a statement. Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system with historical roots in India where around 80 per cent of the population report using it.

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