Ever since COVID-19 began spreading across the world, so have bizarre claims. From supposed cures to outlandish predictions, there has been no dearth of startling assertions. The latest, however, takes the cake. An Indian Union minister claims that Prince Charles was cured of the coronavirus using Ayurveda.

The 71-year-old second-in-line to the British throne was diagnosed with the coronavirus late last month and had been in self-isolation since then. It was reported recently that the prince was out of self-isolation after seven days and was doing well. The twist to Charles' recovery story, nonetheless, is the claim that Ayurveda cured him, and that the claim was made by a minister in India's union cabinet.

Ayurveda "cured" Prince Charles

Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), claimed that the heir apparent was cured using ayurvedic formulations. He made this claim at a press conference and reiterated it to several media outlets.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles Wikimedia Commons

He told reporters, "There is an Ayurveda practitioner who runs ayurvedic resort named SAUKYA in Bangalore who called me to tell that coronavirus infection of Prince Charles was treated by his formula. It is a mix of Ayurveda and homeopathy." He also said that he has sought a report from the practitioner.

Ayurveda, which means the 'The Science of Life', is a traditional system of medicine with roots in the Indian subcontinent, and is said to have originated over 5,000 years ago. It promotes the idea of employing a natural and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Some studies have suggested that it can provide relief from certain ailments. Nevertheless, there is no research to back the claim that Ayurveda can cure COVID-19.

Is there a connection between SAUKYA and the prince?

The practitioner in question is Dr. Isaac Mathai. He runs the holistic health center, SAUKYA in India's silicon valley, Bangalore. The list of guests who are said to have visited the wellness facility includes British Actress Emma Thompson and Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles
Camilla Parker Bowles with Prince Charles Flickr

It is true that Mathai had met and interacted with the Prince of Wales in November of 2019. Charles had stayed at SAUKYA from November 14 to 16, 2019 along with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and had also celebrated his 71st birthday there. The landing page of the center's website also has a video address by the royal made in 2013 where he mentions Mathai by name.

Did Ayurveda really cure Prince Charles?

According to Hindustan Times (HT), Dr. Mathati had confirmed during a phone call that Charles and his wife were his "patients". However, he refused to "confirm or deny" the minister's claim invoking "patient confidentiality."

"Since Prince Charles is a patient of mine, I won't be able to talk about him in any public forum. He stayed here some months ago; I met him in London last month, but I cannot disclose what I prescribed to him," said Mathai. He also added that he has prescribed the medication to thousands of patients with any viral infection presenting flu-like symptoms and that he has not treated any COVID-19 patients as of now.

However, the claims made by the minister seem to hold no water as they were more or less denied by a spokesperson for the future king. When contacted by HT, a spokesperson for the Prince of Wales in London reportedly said:"This information is incorrect. The Prince of Wales followed the medical advice of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and nothing more."