Ayurveda is a form of quackery

Indian quackery in times of corona panic

In the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi there is a ministry that is supposed to promote traditional Indian healing methods. The hair-raising methods it is now proposing to fight the coronavirus are enraging the medical community.

A dispute is raging in India about how to counter the corona virus. Narendra Modi's nationalist government is criticized by the country's medical community as being irresponsible. The background to this is a statement by the Ayush Ministry, an authority that is supposed to research and promote traditional Indian healing methods ("Ayush" stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy). She recently published a catalog of measures that citizens could take to protect themselves from contracting the virus. For example, if you take a homeopathic dose of arsenic on an empty stomach for three days, you can avoid infection. Bad-tasting ginger water and two drops of sesame oil in each nostril in the morning are also good protection. Anyone who already has corona symptoms such as a sore throat should use Ayurvedic medicines made from cinnamon, chicory or quince.

The outcry from the medical school was not long in coming. The Indian Medical Association, which brings together 300,000 doctors, accused the government of promoting quackery. The representatives of traditional healing methods are not even ready to acknowledge that diseases are caused by microbes. "And these people claim they can treat the coronavirus," snorted the chairman of the medical association.

The current dispute is part of a trench warfare that scientists and supporters of alternative healing methods have been fighting since the then newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi founded the Ayush Ministry in 2014. The authority often attracts attention through ideologically charged claims: it seems to be of the opinion that the world can recover from the Indian being. Ayush minister Shripad Naik likes to claim that yoga, for example, can cure AIDS, cancer and any other ailment. What particularly upsets the medical profession is the fact that part of the funds earmarked for health expenditure has been taken away from the Ministry of Health and goes to the Ayush Ministry.

You will find more curious and unexpected things from all over the world every day in our column ┬źNoticed┬╗ - here you will find the latest and all older articles.