Coronil: ayurvedic remedy claimed as a cure for coronavirus

The Patanjali Research Institue has launched what they say is a cure for covid-19 made up of two tablets and a liquid drop.

Coronil: ayurvedic remedy claimed as a cure for coronavirus
Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images via / DPA EUROPA PRESS

The Patanjali Research Institue launched, on Tuesday, what they say is the first-ever medicine based on Ayurveda treatment for covid-19.

According to the research institute, part of the Patanjali Ayurved Limited consumer goods and herbal medicine company, the treatment, branded Coronil, cures coronavirus in seven days.

However, the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) has demanded the company stop advertising the drug until they have been given the chance to examine the evidence for the claims being made.

“Patanjali has been asked to provide at the earliest details of name and composition of medicine being claimed for COVID-19 treatment. We have also asked details of sample size, sites, hospitals where research study was conducted, and ethics panel clearance,” the ministry said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research have also not, as of the date of this article, approved the product.

Patanjali Research Institue trial

According to Patanjali a clinicl trial was carried out in which Coronil was tested on coronavirus patients from different cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Meerut. No patient died in the trials according to the company, although company boss, Ramdev Baba, did say that the patients involved were not highly infected or on life support systems. He went on to say that trials for severely infected people are due in a "second stage".

On their website the Patanjali Research Institute gives an overview of the treatment regime, however they do not appear to have published on their website the clinical trial involving patients. There was no easily findable information on how ill the patients were, their rates of recovery, their dosing regimes, what their symptoms were or what tests for either covid-19 or its symptoms were carried out.

The Institute do make reference to a computer simulation study potentially showing that a "phytochemical, namely, Withanone, found in Withania somnifera (Ashvagandha) could prevent the entry of COVID-19 in the host cells". The study cited is a pre-print, meaning it has not been peer reviewed, of how the phytochemical may disrupt the way the virus enters cells. However, while interesting, it is important to note that the study used computer modelling, rather than looking at the actual effects in humans.

Follow all the latest coronavirus related news in India on our dedicated live blog

Medical experts not convinced

Speaking to PTI, Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Head of the department and senior consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, said physiologically it is completely impossible that there is any treatment which can remove the viral load from the body in 5-7 days.

“These claims can be very harmful because people, instead of taking actual medical help, may start rushing to these kinds of claims which have no proven clinical trial. Instead of taking actual medical help, opting for a “desi nuskha” kind of a thing is just going to result in loss of precious time in curing the disease", Jha said.

Meanwhile, lung surgeom Dr Arvind Kumar, noted that only a proper clinical trial can prove the efficacy of a treatment.

What does Coronil include

Coronil comes as a "kit" that includes two medicines in tablet form and a liquid one. It allegedly targets the respiratory system affected by the coronavirus, while ayurvedic ingredients work on improving body immunity and eliminating the virus' known symptoms such as cough and fever.

Medicine availability:

Coronil is expected to be available in stores within the next week at the price of Rs 545 (between €6 and €6.50, with the company planning on launching an app through which people can order the product online.