Ayurvastra: An immunity booster saree in the age of coronavirus

Oinam Roselyn Devi
Corona virus is making its way around the world. Every country across the world is looking for a vaccine. At the same time, patients are being treated by giving general prescriptions in all countries of the world including India. However, no adequate treatment of corona has been found, experts are advising every human being to maintain their immunity. In such a situation, people are busy maintaining their immunity with Ayurvedic medicines and decoction. After health supplements, vitamin tablets and kadhas to boost immunity during the pandemic, the latest entrant in the field is immunity-booster sarees.
The Madhya Pradesh Handicraft and Handloom Development Corporation have now come up with sarees which are treated with traditional herbs and spices to boost skin’s immunity.  The sarees have been named as “Ayurvastra”. According to the report of India
Today,Vinod Malevar, a textile expert from Bhopal who makes these immunity-boosting sarees, said that the fabric is made by using a “centuries-old” (Rig Veda) method to prevent infection. These garments ensure better health and long life. Now, they are being marketed and sold by the Madhya Pradesh Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation. Speaking to India Today TV, Commissioner of MP Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation, Rajiv Sharma, said the sarees are priced Rs 3,000 upwards and currently being sold in Mrignaynee Store across Bhopal and Indore, but in the coming days, these sarees will be sold from their 36 showrooms across the country. Making these special sarees require special skill and time.
The entire process of making a single saree takes five to six days. Natural immunity boosters such as cloves, cardamoms, chakraphal, mace, cinnamon, black pepper, royal cumin, bay leaf spices are used for making immunity booster clothes. The corporation conducted two months’ trial before going ahead with the immunity-booster apparel.
 After trial, the exact solution was found and a mixture of these spices was prepared. Initially, Chanderi immunity-booster sarees have been introduced and next in line are Bagh print sarees.
Treatment of a saree with herbs takes more than two days’ time. Herbs and species are traditionally crushed using iron, mortar and hands as experts believe that grinding species in machine destroys their benefits.  The species are later tied in a cloth and left soaked in water for 48 hrs so that water absorbs all the medicinal properties.
This water with medicinal values is boiled in a furnace and the bag of species is also kept in the pot. Then the clothes are treated for an hour with its stem before they are packed in airtight bags to retain freshness.
 Officials said immunity- booster sarees keep bacteria at bay even after four to five washes. The treated-clothes increase the skin's capacity to fight viruses. The immunity-boosting effect reduces with every wash and lasts for a maximum of five washes.
However, it is worth mentioning that there is no scientific evidence to prove that wearing such sarees will boost immunity, especially against the novel coronavirus.

About the author

Oinam Roselyn Devi is a UGC JRF holder and Research Scholar at Punjab Agricultural University. She carries out research in the Deptt of Apparel and Textile Science.