Ayurveda has been practised in India since ancient times. It involves various concepts of immunity but the most important ones are Bala - the concept of strength, Vyadhi Kshamathwa - the concept of resistance to illness development and Ojas - the concept of supreme resilience. Given the importance of a strong immune system, many have turned to Ayurveda to aid the fight against the novel coronavirus. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), along with the Ministry of AYUSH, announced on 23rd April 2020 that they’re conducting clinical trials to find the effectiveness of ashwagandha, along with other fortified medicinal herbs such as guduchi, yastimadhu as a prophylactic medicine.
As per Ayurveda, following are some ways in which you can boost your immunity:
Every Indian must have heard the word kadha at home. Kadha is an Ayurvedic concoction made by mixing various herbs and spices which are boiled in water for over ten minutes so that all the medicinal benefits of these herbs could be extracted. Kadha is a popular home remedy during cold and dry seasons and can help boost immunity.
This herbal concoction can be made by adding Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kali Mirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) into water. You can add jaggery or natural honey to this concoction if needed. You can also add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in 150 millilitres of hot milk. These concoctions should only be had once a day.
Meditation and yoga
According to Ayurveda, yoga is necessary to relieve physical stress and calm the mind. Meditating on a daily basis can help in reducing both physical and mental stresses. You can start by sitting in a comfortable place and meditating for at least 10 minutes daily. You can practice yoga asanas such as savasana, sukhasana and siddhasana for 20 minutes a day, two to three times a week to maintain your nervous and endocrine systems. You should also practice pranayama every day to calm your mind.
Basic ayurvedic procedures
According to the Ministry of AYUSH, there are certain ayurvedic procedures which are believed to improve your immunity against respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. You can practice procedures such as Pratimarsh Nasya where you have to apply sesame oil, coconut oil or ghee in both the nostrils in the morning and evening. Another procedure is oil pulling therapy, where you have to put one tablespoon sesame or coconut oil in your mouth and swish with it for 2 to 3 minutes, then spit it out. Rinse your mouth with warm water after and practice this therapy once or twice a day.
There are many medicinal herbs that are known to improve immunity and have also been mentioned in Ayurveda. Some of these herbs are:
1. Kalmegh: Kalmegh is a bitter-tasting plant leaf which has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb is known to help fight cold, flu and other upper respiratory tract infections.
2. Guduchi Giloy: Guduchi Giloy possesses anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. Giloy is also considered a natural fever suppressant which also reduces the stress and anxiety levels.
3. Chirata: Chirata is a common Ayurvedic herb which is considered to have strong anti-asthmatic and expectorant properties. Chirata is helpful in getting rid of chest congestion.
For more information, read our article on Ayurveda.
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