Sunday, June 24, 2018
Follow us on
Health

Traditional south Indian medicine keeps dengue, chikungunya at bay: Study

January 26, 2018 05:33 AM

COURSTEY HT JAN26
Anonna Dutt anonna.dutt@htlive.com
Traditional south Indian medicine keeps dengue, chikungunya at bay: Study
People already use these formulations and seem to get better, so there is proof of efficacy in human beings... but, there is no scientific proof. DR SUJATHA SUNIL, lead author of the two papers based on study

NEW DELHI: Two Siddha medicines, commonly used in south India can prevent the dengue virus from replicating and the chikungunya virus from entering the body, resulting in no or very mild symptoms, according to a study by scientists from New Delhi’s International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) who have proved their efficacy in the laboratory and in mice.

The findings of the study could provide a boost to the traditional system of medicine, one of several that India is trying to foster. It could also provide relief to tens of thousands of patients infected with dengue or chikungunya every year. In 2017, 1,57,220 patients in India were infected and 250 died of dengue and 62,288 were infected with chikungunya.

“People already use these formulations and seem to get better, so there is proof of efficacy in human beings. In fact, the Tamil Nadu and Kerala government have also approved the use of these medicines during dengue and chikungunya outbreaks. However, till now, there was no scientific proof of whether these work or how,” said Dr Sujatha Sunil, the lead author of the two scientific papers based on the study. Dr. Sunil is the group leader of Vector Borne Diseases Group at ICGEB.

The scientists were able to show in vivo – in the test tube – that Amukkara Churanam that has Ashwagandha as its main ingredient prevents the chikungunya virus from crossing the blood-brain barrier (a semipermeable membrane that separates the blood from the cerebrospinal fluid) and affecting the joints.

“In the lab, we worked with two types of tissues (of the blood-brain barrier and joints) and we saw that the compound prevented the virus from proliferating in both. And, in mice too, the chikungunya virus did not cross the blood-brain barrier or affect the joints,” said Dr Sunil

Have something to say? Post your comment