KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — At this point of the global Covid-19 pandemic, there are two things that we know for a fact, that there is no cure yet for the disease and that thousands of people are stuffed to the gills having rasam believing that the soup can either prevent or cure infection of the coronavirus.
Originally from South India, rasam is a spicy and tangy soup made with tomatoes or tamarind, and herbs such as garlic, pepper, cumin, mustard seeds, and coriander.
It has been used traditionally as a treatment for flu, or cold and as a remedy for sore throats and fever.
The combination of black pepper and cumin seeds, is believed to stimulate the taste buds, improve digestion, and prevent intestinal gas. Rasam is thought to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, as well as slimming effects.
But can this elixir of tasty spices actually deal with Covid-19?
Your mum, aunt or uncle may claim and swear by the head of someone else’s son that rasam is an immunity booster. Whether or not it is effective against the coronavirus, the answer was no when the outbreak first started, and is still no today.
Back in January, India’s Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) issued a questionable “health” advisory with cures and treatments which included drinking rasam.
Just a few days ago, AYUSH issued a statement on ayurveda can help boost immunity within the context of the coronavirus threat. Among its recommendations, drinking warm water throughout the day, practicing yoga daily, using the same spices used in rasam for cooking, drinking turmeric milk, applying sesame oil and ghee in the nostrils, and rinsing your mouth with sesame oil.
The Indian government had at one point, even expressed the view that ayurveda and homeopathy could cure a person positive for Covid-19.
Hopefully those days are gone.
The Indian Medical Association had already declared that AYUSH’s promoting homeopathic remedies to prevent infections of the coronavirus as “immature and irresponsible”
There is no scientific evidence or study to show that any ayurvedic, homeopathic technique including drinking rasam can prevent, cure or treat Covid-19.