Siddha research centre suggests that claims of Siddha medicine of prevention & cure H1N1 influenza may be looked into.
The Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR), an institute that conducts research in Siddha medicine and giving training to physicians of Siddha, claims that some Siddha medicinal plants and formulations can prevent and cure the pandemic H1N1 viruses without any side effects. The CTMR has written to the Department of Ayush (Union Health Ministry) in this regard with a request to evaluate the effect of Siddha medicinal plants and formulations for anti-viral activity against stains of H1N1 virus, which is currently spreading throughout the country and taking lives across the world.The institute has made an attempt to draw the attention of the Ayush top brass to the clinical experiences of Siddha doctors in the state on the effect of Nilavembu Kudineer (a Siddha formulation), in viral diseases including certain pandemic fever. It also explained the 'Neuraminidase inhibitor activity' of Andrographis paniculata (Nilavembu) in studies carried out elsewhere (China). The bicyclic diterpenoids present in the plant has a significant activity. This Neuraminidase inhibition activity prevents H1N1 virus multiplication, said the Secretary of the Centre.In the letter addressed to the Secretary of Ayush, the secretary of the Centre DrT. Thirunarayanan said the potential of medicinal plants which are well known for their antiviral activity and studies may be initiated in the National Institute of Virology, Pune under ICMR and some other competent institutes like Haffkins Institute, Mumbai. He requested the authorities to initiate immediate measures in this regard and consider it as an additional and important effort from the Ayush's side towards combating the epidemic. The Influenza caused by A H1N1 (Swine Flu) is attaining epidemic proportion in different states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. The centre also praised the governments at the central and state levels for various measures being taken to contain the disease spread.He further wanted the Department of Ayush to initiate in-vitro and in-vivo researches on this plant drugs and Siddha formulations at National Institute of Virology, Pune, so that scientific data can be generated which will finally help millions of sufferers of virus diseases.
The common clinical manifestations of influenza A (H1N1) are cough, running nose, sore throat, fever, head ache, body ache and diarrhoea. The virus has a tendency to multiply in the lung epithelium and due to excessive cytokines can cause breathlessness due to pneumonia. An ideal drug combination therefore would be the one which has the following pharmaco-clinical activities: Antiviral activity, specifically with ‘Neuraminidase inhibition activity’, anti-pyretic, analgesic and immuno-modulant (Immune enhancers may cause excessive production of Cytokines while immunosuppressant drugs- corticosteroids can hasten secondary infection). One such Siddha formulation which fulfills the entire requirement is the ‘Nilavembu kudineer’ which contains the following ingredients – Andrographis paniculata (herb), Vetiveria zizanioides (roots), Cymbopogon jwarancusa (roots), Santalum album (heart wood), Trichosanthes cucumerina (herb) Cyperus rotundus (tuber) Zingiber officinale (rhizome), Piper nigrum (fruit), and Mollugo cerviana(whole plant).
Antiviral plants in the formulation are Andrographis paniculata, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina.
Antipyretic plants in the formulation are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Andrographis paniculata, Santalum albumand Trichosanthes cucumerina.
Immunomodulant plants are Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum.
Analgesic ingredients are – Andrographis paniculata, Zingiber officinale and Cyperus rotundus.
Antibacterials are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina .
Therefore Nilavembu kudineer is the most appropriate candidate for evaluation.