With a global race on to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus, teams of Siddha doctors in Tamil Nadu who dug deep into the traditional system of
medicine have found 'kabasura kudineer' a herbal concoction to be effective in managing COVID-19 cases. At least two research papers in Siddha, including one after the novel coronavirus began to spread in Tamil Nadu in early March this year, claim Kabasura Kudineer is effective in managing the COVID-19 positive persons.
Kabasura kudineer is a herbal concoction, comprising dry ingredients of ginger, pippali, clove, cirukancori root, mulli root, kadukkai, ajwain and many other herbs. The ingredients are powdered and mixed with water, then boiled to make a decoction of one-fourth of its initial volume.
Incidentally, the Tamil Nadu government has also been promoting its consumption to boost immunity, although it has made it clear that it is not a medicine to treat COVID-19.
A study on two groups of COVID-19 positive cases both primary and secondary contacts, numbering 84 in nearby Vellore claim the study may be taken as preliminary evidence of the protection offered by the herbal drink and its prophylactic effect in high-risk COVID-19 cases.
The study by Dr V Vikramkumar, Assistant Medical Officer (Siddha), Tirupattur district, S Ganesh, Director, Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy in Tamil Nadu, MP Sivanarul, Tirupattur District Collector, P Parthiban, Joint Director, Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Tamil Nadu, and others were conducted in April.
COVID-19 patients those took kabasura kudineer tested positive
It found that those who received kabasura kudineer intervention tested negative for COVID-19 on April 6, 2020 and those not administered the herbal concoction tested positive.
From the chisquare test analysis and graphical interpretation, it emerged that there is an association between the intake of the concoction and the patients' health status, according to the study.
Kabasura kudineer was given to 42 patients and observed
Kabasura kudineer was distributed to 42 patients in a quarantine facility at Agraharam in Tirupattur district. At another facility in Jamiya College of Ambur taluk in the same district, Kabasura kudineer intervention was not resorted to for the subjects. They were quarantined on April 1, 2020 and special attention was given to both groups.
No home-made food was given to them, but only that prepared and given by a supervision team.
For the treatment group, 60 ml of the concoction was administered daily after food to adults and 15 ml to children for 14 days. Both groups comprised 42 patients each and their ages ranged between 3 and 70 years. All patients were quarantined on April 1, 2020.
A five-year-old male child in this group got relieved from dry cough after drinking four doses of kabasura kudineer under adult supervision. Further, 10 patients got immediate relief from mild tiredness after the intake. No adverse effects were reported, according to the study. Swabs for PCR for six cases (direct positive contact) on April 6 showed negative. Repeat sample tests on April 20 also showed negative results.
Secondary contacts tested on April 11, too, were negative. However, they didn't develop any symptoms and no-repeat tests were done. In the control group all the cases were tested on April 6 and five primary contacts out of 42 tested positive and the others negative.
After 14 days quarantine period all others (secondary contacts) were out of symptoms and therefore no second testing was done for these cases.
Kabasura kudineer research undertaken right after COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan
Immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic was first reported from Wuhan, China, in December 2019, a team of Siddha doctors took up research on kabasura kudineer and Thonthasura Kudineer-- the two Siddha formulations used against fevers due to respiratory infections.
Siddha medicine classifies disease and disorders into 4,448 types and has remedies for more than 64 types of fevers.
In a paper published in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Health Care in January this year, K Pitchiah Kumar, State Licensing Authority, Directorate of Indian Medicine, Government of Tamil Nadu, K Meenakshi Sundaram, Sanjeev Biomedical Research Centre and M S Ramasamy, through their study, demonstrated kabasura kudineer could be a potential Siddha medicine for COVID-19, provided further
preclinical and clinical confirmatory studies were conducted.
Kabasura kudineer contained more active phyto constituents, the higher activity than in Thontha sura kudineer was observed, in the study on silico evidence for Corona Viral Drug.
Meanwhile, two pilot studies conducted in May and June 2020 by the National Institute of Siddha, Tambaram, here and SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre on the herbal concoction revealed that 99 per cent COVID-19 cases turned negative within five days.