Covid-19: Ayurvedic tips for stronger immunity and ‘biological mask’

Published on: 19 December 2021, 17:31 pm IST
With a new Covid-19 wave knocking at our doors, everyone wants stronger immunity. These Ayurvedic remedies will help you to stay stronger and safer.
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You’ve ought to get stronger immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Immunity has become the go-to word for people ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Now amid the fast-spreading Omicron variant, people have become all the more conscious about taking preventive steps against the dreaded virus. Apart from the need to follow safety protocols strictly, experts have recommended natural immunity boosting ways. And what can be better than some Ayurvedic remedies for it, isn’t it ladies?

In a recent update, the World Health Organisation has said that the Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in 89 countries and the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission! Now that you know the seriousness of the matter, let’s find out how you can strengthen your body’s virus-fighting powers.

Let us understand immunity

The human, animal and even the plant biomes are known to possess inherent mechanisms to correct most imbalances through amazing biological processes. The repair mechanisms, however, are partially understood both at the cellular and systemic levels. In modern medicine, immunity is observed by presence of macrophages, neutrophils, T-cells, B-cells. In Ayurveda, it is referred to in terms of concepts like Ojus and Vyadhikshamatvam, says Dr Prasan Shankar, Medical Director at I-AIM Healthcare Center, Bengaluru.

Concentrate on these three Ayurvedic strategies for enhancing immunity, as outlined in clinical texts, according to Dr Shankar:

1. Strengthening innate immunity by way of diet and lifestyle

Waking up
Waking up in Brahma Muhurat, which is about 48 minutes before sunrise is a healthy, not a religious practice. Early rising before sunrise influences immunity promoting cycle of physiological functions.

Exercises and Yoga
The chronobiology clock suggests that around 6 a.m. is the best time for exercise. Regulated exercises within one’s capacity is beneficial for both body ,mind and boosts immunity.

Increased anxiety and stress elevate cortisol levels, cause low-grade inflammation and compromise immune response. Selected Yoga asanas and pranayama have been found to reduce inflammatory markers.

Practice simple yoga asanas regularly to boost immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Food, metabolism (Agni) and immunity
You are advised to have foods which are easily digested like snake gourd, ash gourd, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, beans, green gram, red lentil, millets like ragi, jowar and other cereals and pulses.

  • Ginger: There a large number of studies on the beneficial effects of ginger and its role in gut health and respiratory health.
  • Fruits like dry grapes, pomegranate and Amla are advisable. Amla improves gut health, heart health, is good for the eyes, useful in diabetes and is useful in cancer and several other conditions.
  • Pomegranate has shown to possess cardio protective effects.

    Importance of drinking hot water, infused waters

  • Warm herbal waters/teas are useful for aiding good digestion and maintaining good gut health.
  • Several spices used in the kitchen such as dry ginger, dhaniya (coriander), fennel seeds (saunf), cinnamon, khus, Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Khadira (Acacia catechu) etc. can be used for making suitable water infusions.

2. Strengthening the innate and adaptive immune system by way of using herbs and formulations

Herbs like Kiratatikta (Andrographis paniculata), guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Nimba (Azadirachta indica) have been shown to strengthen the immune system. Similarly, formulations like Chyavanprash and other such Rasayanas are also very useful in improving general immunity.

Ginger is great for your health, as are herbal teas to increase immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Strengthening the entry response, namely protecting the nose and mouth (concept of biological mask)

Nasya
This is the procedure of instilling drops of medicated oils in nostrils provided one is free of fever and cold.
Procedure: The individual is asked to lie down slightly tilting the head backwards. 1 to 2 drops of warm sesame oil can be instilled in each of the nostrils and thereafter-inhaled, one might experience mild irritation for 1-2 minutes.

Gandusha – oil gargles/ mouth rinse
Oil pulling is an ultimate weapon for better immunity. Daily, pure sesame oil can be used to clean the oral cavity, pharynx, and tonsillar area . It coats the mucosa as biofilm and has immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial benefits.

Biological mask to to prevent entry of virus
Nose as an organ and nasal mucosa, serves as a barrier and plays a key physiologic function as it filters, modulates temperature of the air entering the nasal passage. It also humidifies the air, thereby preventing microorganisms from entering the lower respiratory tract. When lightly smeared with sesame oil, it contributes to a local immune response.

Use sesame oil to clear oral cavity, and strengthen your biological mask. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Sesame oil consists of about 41-47 percent Linoleic acid. This acid can alter the spike of virus and disempowers it from penetrating the nasal mucosa. Alongside the cloth mask, it can offer double protection from virus entry.

Dhoopanam (herbal fumigation)
Fumigation techniques have been used for centuries for disinfecting the environment.
Method: Fumigate your house by burning a mixture of dried herbs such as Mustard (Brassica nigra), Turmeric, Dry Neem Leaves (Azadirachta indica), Hingu (Ferula assa-foetida), and commercially available Sambrani powder and stay safe from viral outbreaks.

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