Natural Remedies and Immunity Boosters

 Even as the second wave of CVID subsides in India, the old adage about prevention being better than cure stands true. Along with preventive measures like social distancing, maintaining hygiene and wearing masks, providing a natural boost to your body's natural defense system is also a plus.

The immune system protects the body from getting sick due to the entry of germs such as bacteria and viruses, but in order to do this, it needs to be in optimal working condition. Conditions like diabetes and cancer, the use of certain medication, pregnancy, obesity or general poor health or nutrition weaken the immune system, leaving you extra vulnerable to infections.

The internet is rife with home remedies claiming to do miraculous things but always verify before consuming them. Some may be ineffective or even downright harmful. Trust, but verify!

1 General Tips:

  • Drink warm water, at least 2 liters daily. Hydration is important.
  • At least thirty minutes of physical activity a day; try to avoid gyms and public spaces if they are crowded. It is safe to exercise with a mask on. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recommends yoga and pranayam.
  • MoHFW also encourages the use of spices like turmeric, garlic, coriander, and cumin, as they contain immunity-boosting compounds.

2 Ayurvedic Wisdom: (The below information is from a resource compiled by the MoHFW, in consultation with Ayurvedic practitioners)

  • A tablespoon of Chyawanprash daily. Diabetics should go for the sugar-free variety.
  • Herbal tea (kadha) made by boiling basil (tulsi), cinnamon (dalchini), black peppercorn (kalimiri) , dried ginger (shunthi) and raisins, once or twice a day.
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric in 150 ml of hot milk, once or twice a day.
  • Pratimarsh nasya: This practice involves the application of sesame/coconut oil or ghee in both nostrils morning and evening.
  • Oil Pulling: Take a spoonful of sesame/coconut oil in the mouth. Without swallowing, swish it around for 2-3 minutes, then spit it out. This is followed by a warm water rinse and can be done once or twice daily.

3 For Sore Throats:

  • Steam inhalation with mint leaves or caraway (ajwain) seeds once a day.
  • Clove powder mixed with honey or jaggery can be taken 2-3 times a day.
  • These measures relieve irritation; if the symptoms persist for 24 hours or more, consult a physician.

Remember; the above measures are endorsed to boost immunity and to improve health. They cannot completely protect you from COVID, and they are not a cure for COVID. If you develop symptoms or test positive, it is extremely important to contact a physician for further treatment.