In the wake of the Covid 19 outbreak, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health.
We all know that "Prevention is better than cure". While there is no medicine for COVID- 19 as of now(20 Apr), it will be good to take preventive measures which boosts our immunity in these times.
Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining healthy and happy living. Ayurveda's extensive knowledge based upon preventive care, derives from the concepts of “Dinacharya”(daily regimes) and “Ritucharya”(seasonal regimes) to maintain healthy life. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda’s classical scriptures.
Immunity (also known as Natural resistance/Vyadhiksamatva) depends on digestion and metabolism, nutrition, physical as well as mental strength of an individual.
We should not limit ourself to antigen-antibody phenomenon but also involve in maintaining positive health in general including homoeostasis (stability, balance and equilibrium within the body), resistance against disease, longevity and stress tolerance.
The Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. These are supported by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.
Here we bring to you the underlying reasons of the recommendations provided by the Ministry of AYUSH with reference to Ayurvedic literatures.
Drink warm water throughout the day
Stimulates the digestive system and removes toxins(ama pachana) optimizing gut functions
Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes.
Keeping stress and anxiety level in check, it resists autonomic changes and impairment of cellular immunity
Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander) and Lashun (Garlic) are recommended in cooking
They are Anti-microbial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant in nature along with the presence of Macro-nutrients
Take Chyawanprash (sugar free for diabetics) 10 gm (1tsp) in the morning
Improves digestion and metabolism, protects and strengthens the respiratory system, antioxidant, adaptogenic and immune-booster, nootropic, cardiotonic, balances the endocrine system, better absorption of calcium and protein synthesis, rich in vitamin C.
Drink herbal tea/decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi(Basil), Dalchini(Cinnamon), Kalimirch(Black pepper), Shunthi(Dry ginger) and Munakka(Raisin), once or twice a day. Add jaggery(natural sugar) and/or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed
Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, stimulate digestion and calms the guts.
Golden Milk - Half teaspoon Haldi(turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk, once or twice a day
Powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
Nasal application - Apply sesame oil/coconut oil or ghee in both the nostrils (Pratimarsh Nasya) in morning and evening
Prevents nasal respiratory allergies and helps to prevent the effect of dust, fumes and aerosol on the respiratory tract. It also improves eye and ear health, delaying greying of hair, relieves fatigue.
Oil pulling therapy - Take 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil in mouth. Do not drink, Swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off followed by warm water rinse. This can be done once or twice a day -
Prevents infection in the oral cavity, reduces inflammation. It also improves teeth and gum health.
Steam inhalation with fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) can be practiced once in a day
Open up the airway and stimulation of blood circulation helping immune cells to effectively reach the affected area. It promotes easier breathing, relieves nasal congestion, soothes sore throats.
Lavang (Clove powder) mixed with natural sugar/honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in case of cough or throat irritation
Anti-microbial, anti-viral and a potent antioxidant
These measures generally treat normal dry cough and sore throat. However, it is best to consult doctors if these symptoms persist.
In a nutshell, all the recommended measures emphasize on improving your immunity and your general health. You can follow these measures as part of your day to day life even after the current state. You will observe leaps of improvement in your general health within a short period of time.
Disclaimer: The above advisory does not claim to be treatment for COVID 19. If you are suffering from acute conditions, please consult your doctor before following these measures
Author: Dr. Rhiannon Lalrempui, B.A.M.S
Reviewed by: Dr. Payal Khandelwal, B.A.M.S., M.D.