The role of the Traditional Medicine in the battle of “Covid-19” virus pandemic in Sri Lanka
Most Highlighted areas of the article
Is this medicine system unique to Sri Lanka?
Is this the same as Ayurweda Medicine in India?
The First Hospital built in the World.
First Covid-19 patient reported in Sri Lanka and how he gets healed?
The Government action plan to control the pandemic
The contribution of Sri Lanka Security Forces and Medical staff
The protection of the medical staff against the virus
Traditional Medicine System of Sri Lanka – HELA Medicine
Sri Lanka has played a wonderful job to control Corona (Covid-19) virus pandemic inside Sri Lanka which has effected to all over the world very dangerously. This is a small article to review on Sri Lanka’s Traditional Medicine system which has helped Sri Lankan government to overcome this challenge very effectively.
Sri Lanka has its own indigenous scheme of traditional medicine which is called “Hela Medicine” (apart from Ayurveda). This system has been practiced for many centuries in the island nation. The Sri Lankan medicine tradition is a mixture of the Sinhala traditional medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha systems of India, Unani medicine of Greece through the Arabs, and most importantly, the Desheeya Chikitsa, which is the indigenous medicine of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka developed its own Medicine system based on a series of prescriptions handed down from generation to generation over a period of 3,000 years. The ancient kings, who were also prominent physicians, sustained its survival and longevity. King Buddhadasa (398 AD), the most influential of these physicians, wrote the SararthaSangrahaya, a comprehensive manuscript which Sri Lankan physicians still use today for reference. Some are believe the age of “Hela wedakama” ( Hela Medicine ) comes from the great King Ravana as most of the real traditional medicine practitioners still worship the King Ravana in-order to obtain the permission prior to start treatments for the patients or prior to start making medicines according to the ancient traditions.
Ancient inscriptions on rock surfaces reveal that organized medical services have existed within the country for centuries. In fact, Sri Lanka claims to be the first country in the world to have established dedicated hospitals with the capability of performing surgeries even for the animals. The Sri Lankan mountain Mihintale (Anuradhapura-North Central Province) still has the ruins of what many believe to be the first hospital in the world. Old hospital sites now attract tourists, who marvel at the beautiful ruins. These places have come to symbolize a traditional sense of healing and care, which was so prevalent at that time.
Historically the Traditional physicians enjoyed a noble position in the country’s social hierarchy due to their royal patronage. From this legacy stems a well-known Sri Lankan saying: “If you cannot become a king, becomes a healer.” Along with Buddhism, the interrelationship between Hela Medicine and royalty continues to influence politics in Sri Lanka. However, most of the traditional values of Sri Lanka had been died with the invasions of Dutch, Portuguese and English Nations. Recently however many tourists seek out traditional Hela &Ayurveda in Sri Lanka at one of the many ayurveda resorts on the island, offering ayurveda, yoga and meditation.
The healing power of traditional medicine can be explored at several levels. At a profound level is the recognition that human beings need tranquility and balance to stay well. Nature provides us with all that we require to heal ourselves and traditional medicine shows us the way we can connect with the natural elements and heal ourselves.
The main difference between traditional medicine and the western medicine is traditional medicine giving priority to human immunity and the peace of the Mind where western medicine focus on curing diseases. Sri Lanka’s Traditional Medicine act like a body armor to help to recover from illness quickly. Ancient people were taught good food as the medicine for body and meditation is the medicine for mind. They had natural agriculture and cultivation without chemicals to increase the level of immunity to get the protection form viruses and bacteria.
According to Buddhism 85% of the illnesses are based on mind (psychological). If we can train our mind to being fully conscious most of the illnesses can be healed. This will be taught in the Sri Lanka’s traditional medicine which has influenced from pure Buddhism in Sri Lanka. As explained above Buddhism is connected to every traditional practice in Sri Lanka as it has lightning up the Srilankan culture, tradition and society for more than 2000 years.
When we think about the current global pandemic same thing has happened. Western medicine still couldn’t find a permanent solution and they are trying to support human body by giving various medicines until human body itself increase immunity to fight back with the virus. But SriLanka’s traditional doctors give medicine to increase the immunity of the human body to fight with the virus before it become more dangerous.
In this article we only discuss the treatments for virus pandemics with relevant to traditional medicine in Sri Lanka and we will discuss later in this article what the treatments are given to the Covid-19 patients as well. Sri Lanka’s traditional medicine is increasingly attracting international attention for its holistic healing powers. As a result, operators in both Wellness Tourism and Ayurvedic and Herbal products industries in Sri Lanka are in for a great time.
The first Srilankan Corona (Covid-19) patient reported on 11th March 2020. He was a tour guide by profession and last time he was travelling with some Italian travelers and doctors suspected that he was infected by those travelers. We would like to share his experience to give you an idea how he survived from the virus and the treatments he received from doctors.
“On 06th of March I was travelling with some Italian travelers and while on the tour I fell sick, I was bit cold and I coughed. Then I went to see a doctor while on the tour and he gave me some anti-biotic suspecting that I might have sour throats. I took that medicine. But fever did not reduce. Time to time my body temperature has arisen. After saying good bye to my travelers I directly went to see my family doctor and as per his instructions I was admitted to Colombo IDH hospital (Infectious Diseases Hospital – Sri Lanka). On 11th March I was tested and reported as Covid-19 positive. Then I become the first Corona (Covid-19) patient in Sri Lanka. It was not a nice thing to memorize. I was almost dead. I have diabetics also but I do not smoke. I used to exercise 30 minutes per day. I used to eat healthy and traditional foods. I always tried to live my life as per the Buddhism. Therefore I believe that I had some better immunity in my body. Even though I felt I’m strong I don’t remember anything in the firsttwo days in the hospital. I could not eat. I couldn’t walk 5 to 6 steps. It was very difficult to breath even. Doctors said that I was given the support of the oxygen machines to breath. Dr. Narangoda has given me some herbal drink and within two days I was able to eat. My appetite was increased really well. Then only I could walk. I could eat. I felt very strong and good”.
Doctors have given him antibiotics but it didn’t respond because he was a diabetic patient and immunity level has dropped to very low level. After discussing with other doctors, Dr. Narangoda has agreed to give an herbal drink (herbal soup) to the patient in order to get the immunity level up to sufficient level. As per the explanation of Doctor KumuduDahanayake, the recommended FCQ medicine was not with Sri Lanka those days therefore doctors have used this traditional medicine to increase the immunity level of Corona (Covid-19) patients. Doctors have recommended inhaling as well but it wasn’t happened due to some reason. Same pack of medicine pack was sent to patient’s family as well and no body of his family was tested positive for Corona (Covid-19). Doctor Malin Batagoda believes that “if we can increase the immunity to fight back we can heal Corona (Covid-19) patients.”
There are two medicine packs recommended by physicians. One is the “herbal drink” and second one is the “steam inhale pot”. The inhale pot is like an inhale steamer and they put some medicines into a pot and boil the water. We must inhale the steam for few minutes.
Since these treatments worked well, all the medical staff and every other personal who deal with Corona (Covid-19) patients have taken this medicine to increase their immunity level. Sri Lankan Government also encourages people to inhale steam water because virus gets killed after reaching some temperature.
Specially the medical staff whose in the battle front become a major threat because if the virus spread within the medical staff eventually the medical system of the county will be collapsed and pandemic will be uncontrollable.
Most of the medical staff members has spoken to media and told about the traditional medicines they took and specially the inhaling method they used to increase the immunity and one doctor who went positive Corona (Covid-19) has told that he used traditional inhale method for a speedy recovery from Corona virus.
Two months before the first Sri Lankan patient reported there was one Chinese lady who came for a visit in Sri Lanka was reported as Corona (Covid-19) positive. Sri Lankan Doctors treated her over 01 month, and she recovered from the virus. Then few dayslater first Sri Lankan patients reported. But during the time Mr. Gotabhya Rajapakse the president of Sri Lanka has planned how to control Corona (Covid-19) if it hits Sri Lanka. Mr. President appointed a National Task Force by including Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, The Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, the Ministry of Health Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Deputy inspector General of Police Mr. Ajith Rohana and lot of other specialist from various categories such as medical specialists, virologists, pandemic specialist, public health inspectors etc. to face and control Corona (Covid-19) global pandemic effectively. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva was appointed as the chief of the special task force. All the operations and actions are taken with the approval of the task force when the lock down is on action in Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka government make sure to supply essential goods to people and donations given to the families to survive during the lock down period. Even though it is a lock down essential services and agriculture put in operation since it was not a complete lock down.
Sri Lanka’s Intelligent Services played a magnificent job to get all the details of Corona (Covid-19) associates when a Corona (Covid-19) case is reported to a hospital and all the associates sent to quarantine centers. Because of the contact tracing of patients’ associates, Sri Lanka really could control the spread of the virus. This was become reality only because of the contribution of Sri Lanka Intelligent Services.
However the Corona (Covid-19) virus control task force takes the provision to operate under the quarantine act and all the treatments are given by Western qualified physicians under the guidance of Director General of Health Services.
Recently we got to know that government has officially requested traditional Hela and ayurvedic physicians to give treatments to Corona (Covid-19) and got to know that it was 100% successful with a speedy recovery.
Together we all could control the pandemic; this could have become an illusion if Sri Lanka did not have the correct leadership, brave three forces and police, effective health system, efficient medical and supporting staff, specialists and many more who help silently to control this pandemic. Special thanks for traditional and ayurwedic physicians because without their knowledge and experience this would have become bit harder.
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If you are an enthusiastic person to study this ancient traditional medicine system which has extreme healing powers and if you are a person with a the passion to research on archeology, Sri Lanka is the best place because we have 2500 years written history and 30,000 of legendary history in every aspect which you can study and gain knowledge such as ancient civil engineering, ancient medicine, archeology, Ancient civilization, Ancient politics and much more.
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