THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: SOME ALTERNATIVE AND HOLISTIC ANTIVIRAL GIFTS OF NATURE

Abstract: This article unveils some of the nature’s kindest gifts possessing properties in dealing with several viral infections. These are the substances obtained from living components of plants such as essential oils, gums, resins and other vegetative products. Such natural substances present in the plant bodies protect them against infections, heals physical injuries, provide resistance from disease and pests and other ill effects of the environment. Human beings use them in alternative methods of therapies with holistic approach in various kinds of ailments. At present, the entire world is in the shackles of the COVID-19 Pandemic leading to global socioeconomic lockdown. Till date, it is uneasy to say that, there is no proven solution to prevent and treat coronavirus disease rather to deal with the traditional complimentary therapies for various kinds of influenza, microbial infections and other common ailments. Thus, the main purpose of this article is to highlight the therapeutic importance and application of some commonly used herbal substances which may be helpful in preventing viral infections and safeguarding our homes from microbial advents, during this hard time of COVID-19 Pandemic.

GIFTS OF NATURE


Key words: Alternative Medicines, Therapeutic Herbs, Ayurveda, Unani and Naturopathy. Introduction
Alternative and holistic systems of remedies is a complementary approach to health care and wellness which includes mental, emotional, functional, spiritual, social, and community aspects, and treating the whole person in a comprehensive manner. During the recent pandemic of COVID-19, people around world are very much perceptive towards the alternative and holistic therapies. They include different modalities of naturopathy like steam inhalation, massage therapy, sauna baths, herbal tea and decoctions, fumigation etc. Throughout the human civilizations these alternative remedies with holistic approach of treatment are being successfully used. They have been used by human beings over the centuries in various ailments. Such methods can be very much helpful in curing viral infections and safeguarding our homes from microbial advents. There are several therapeutic herbal products such as Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, Basil, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Camphor, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Lemongrass, Bay leaves, Cinnamon bark, Licorice root, Tea Tree, Pine, and Geranium, etc. Fumigation of living spaces by burning or vaporizing these natural substances is one of the oldest methods of holistic therapy. Ayurvedic fumigation with natural plant products is effective in reducing air-borne bacteria and in disinfecting inanimate surfaces. The traditional fumigation with herbal products has huge potential to address the problem of nasal infections. This method has been in practice since ages and proven by ancient cultures, religions, and other communities. In the present day world, this kind of therapy has been outmoded due to the modern lifestyle and insensitivity of the new generation towards the roots.

Nature of the Virus According to Figueiras (2020), there are currently no proven studies on Novel Coronavirus; therefore we have to look to the influenza virus on the best way to deal with viral infections. Firstly, we need to consider that viruses have a lifecycle which can simply be explained in the following manner:  entry into the host and binds with a cell in the respiratory tract (nose/throat/lungs)  the surface proteins of the virus bind to receptors like a lock and key  the virus is then able to enter the cell & infect it The virus must have a host to replicate. Viruses live longer on hard surfaces such as metal and plastic than they do on fabrics and soft surfaces. The virus may also be spread by airborne droplets that have landed and live in the environment waiting to be picked up and transferred to a live host. It can live on inanimate surfaces for potentially more than 24 hours (depending on the temperature & humidity), but will eventually die without a host to infect. There are variety plant products such as essential oils gums, resins, barks, and leaves, etc. that have been shown to disrupt the viral lifecycle at different stages.

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By:

Kamal Asif
Head, Department of Geography, Delhi Public School (SW), Aligarh (U.P.), India
Email: kasif2006bustan@gmail.com

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