Chennai, Dec 30 (PTI) Zinc based Siddha formulations like 'Naga Parpam' (NP) and a combination of Siddha medicines could be introduced as front-line choices in the management of COVID-19 like epidemics, say Siddha doctors.

"With the coronavirus mutating, it may not be feasible to devise a vaccine for each virus strain.

So, it is suggested that using Naga Parpam would be beneficial in improving one's health during this pandemic times," asserts Dr S Vinayak, Research Associate, Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) here.

The use of vitamin rich herbal formulation and supplements along with NP once or twice a day will ensure qualitative improvement in health and builds up the much needed immunity, he said.

Traditionally, zinc has been promoted in Siddha medicine as a wonder element to treat sexually transmitted diseases associated with immune compromised status, says Dr P Sathiyarajeswaran, Director (in-charge), Siddha Central Research Institute, Chennai.

"Naga Parpam, the zinc based nano dosage form in Siddha medicine, is acclaimed for its indicative role in treating respiratory affections with or without infectious background," he said.

"NP has effectively been used in the management of TB, haemorrhage, HIV, contagious, viral, bacterial or fungal infections diseases, in Siddha.

Zinc plays an important role in the body's ability to defend against infections and it has been proven that it could even heal the non-healing ulcers," Dr Vinayak added.

Allaying concerns about the new strain of the virus, he said one need not worry as the Siddha system of medicine is capable of addressing infections that are hundreds of years old.

"Our approach is to equip the body to withstand the virus or its mutation through Siddha drugs which are a blend of phytochemical and trace elements that are vital for the body.

Naga Parpam along with a combination of Siddha formulations can prevent the virus from entering the cells and replicate," Vinayak claimed.

It's role could be compared to a safety mechanism like a lock, which prevents the entry into a house, he added.

Noting that Zinc Oxide is the main ingredient of Naga Parpam, which also has traces of other minerals, Dr Sathiyarajeswaran told PTI that it should not be confused with Naga Bhasma, an Ayurvedic medicine, with Lead as its basic ingredient.

A team of Siddha doctors, including K Kanakavalli, director general of CCRS here, undertook a research on the "Potential Pharmacological Basis of Zinc based Siddha formulations for handling COVID-19 like illness" and found that the symptom relativity is better controlled with zinc supplementations from Siddha medicine.

Apart from its therapeutic role in phlegmatic respiratory diseases, zinc based mineral formulations from Siddha may be used as immunomodulating supplement's along with other therapies for better clinical outcome.

Further clinical trials are required to validate its efficacy for acclaiming its scientific recognition, they argue.

Traditionally, zinc metal has been promoted in Siddha medicine as a wonder element to treat sexually transmitted diseases associated with immune compromised status.

According to an article "Characterisation of Zinc Oxide based nano Siddha medicine Naga Parpam - potential nutritive supplement in Cancer" published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation, Naga Parpam is a potential candidate for substitution of Zn, in Zn depleted autoimmune diseases and also in cancer.