Follow Ayurvedic regimen to boost natural immunity


The threat of deadly Covid-19 is unlikely to ebb anytime soon though scientists are working day in and day out to develop a vaccine, which would prepare our body’s immune system to fight the incoming infection. Most experts say that the vaccine is at least a year away. It’s here that the role of traditional medicines including Ayurveda comes. They have been found effective in boosting one’s natural immunity and are strongly advocated by the AYUSH Department. However, a strict daily regimen is a must, especially when it comes to Ayurveda. Dr Geetha G Menon of the renowned Keraleeya Ayurveda Samajam shares some valuable information with regard to the ayurvedic regimen one should follow so as to be free of diseases.

 

Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of recorded health care, focuses on total wellness of an individual. It pin-points five factors as essential for boosting one’s immune system– diet (annam), exercises and general mode of life (viharam), sleep (nidra), mental wellness and medicines.

The preventive aspect of Ayurveda includes both daily and seasonal regimen. While the former deals with activities one has to follow from the time one wakes up till he/she goes to bed, the latter focuses on the change of annam and viharam one should make in tune with the change in seasons.

Having the right food at the right time in the right way assumes much importance according to this ancient science. Food should form only half portion of the stomach with liquid filling up one-fourth of the remaining. Avoid eating till you feel full as there should be sufficient space of air passage. Similarly, intake of hard foods (rice, chappati and the like) should be limited to once a day. It’s advisable to include easily digestible foods like Idli, Idiyappom or porridge for breakfast. One should try to take fruit juices or vegetable soups along with these. The latter can be prepared using turmeric powder, cardamom powder and dried ginger (chukku).

It’s more than enough to have “three square meals a day” while fluids should be had at regular intervals. Butter milk prepared using ginger, turmeric powder and curry leaves and fresh coconut water are ideal choices. The diet should include a lot of vegetables and fruits while limiting the intake of fish and meat. One can have a ‘heavy’ lunch but a light dinner. Care should be taken to avoid consumption of fried and spicy food.

The traditional science speaks of equilibrium of vata, pitta and kapha as ideal for a healthy body and mind. The food we take and the general mode of life have much influence on each of these three doshas. As for viharam (activities), it’s ideal to have bath twice a day, especially if it’s hot and humid climate. Applying oil to the body once a day (before bath) and use of cotton clothes is recommended.

In Ayurveda, Swastavritta (personal hygiene) is vital and includes habits like waking up early, washing face with cold water and consuming warm water besides the usual hygiene activities (brushing, bathing and the like). One should also go to sleep early.

It’s very important to have sound sleep, a minimum of six to seven hours, during night. One can also rest for at least half an hour during day time. Similarly, regular exercise has many benefits for one’s body and mind, though it is better to avoid activities resulting in excessive sweating.

The regular practice of yoga, meditation and pranayamam for half an hour in the morning will help you attain a healthy mind. Good personal hygiene and keeping the house and premises clean will also go a long way in keeping the diseases at bay. ‘Aparajitha dhooma’, the smoke of which will reduce the potency of germs and drive away mosquitoes, is ideal for environmental cleansing.

Consumption of boiled milk mixed with turmeric powder (two tea-spoon per glass) is ideal for boosting immunity. However, those suffering from cough or related ailments should avoid milk and instead they can consume hot water mixed with turmeric powder. The magical herb tulsi is the most effective and one can simply chew and have tulsi leaves. Boiled water mixed with chukku (dried ginger) and malli (cilantro) can be had at regular intervals.

As for preventive ayurvedic medicines, Indukantham kashayam, Drakshadi kashayam (both 15 ml on 60ml boiled water), Vilwadi gulika, Sudarshana gulika, are all effective. While the kashayams should be taken before food, the gulikas (one pill each in morning and night) can be had after the food.

Similarly, ‘Irattimaduram’ and ‘ashwagandam’ are known for their immuno-modulator properties and can be taken in daily. The former can be mixed with warm water and gargled before going to bed. Having a teaspoon of any of the Chyavanaprasham, vidharadi lehyam or ashwagandha rasayanam is good for boosting the body immunity. However, diabetic patients should avoid chyavanaprasham as they are prepared using jaggery. They can take ashwaganda choornam.

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