As the world is battling with Covid-19, there is a lot of buzz going on pertaining to the role of immunity. No vaccine has been found yet against the deadly disease rendering people keen on learning about preventive measures. It is quite unavoidable to feel overwhelmed with the contradicting information over the web proposing a possible cure.
Of the measures of social distancing and maintenance of hygiene as an integral resource in avoiding the contraction of the disease, immunity has also emerged as a ray of hope.
Doctors and scientist around the globe have all suggested that having a strong immune system may help the body fight the infection more effectively. Lucky for Indians, who have an illustrious history of Ayurveda and Yoga as they are both renowned for using age old remedies for enriching one’s immunity to treat ailments naturally.
Listed below are 5 effective remedies passed down from generation to generation which are known for boosting one’s immunity.
1. Lemon water
This remedy caters to the vitamin C needs of our system. Vitamin C works wonders as an agent in aiding the smooth functioning of the body. Some benefits of Vitamin C include,
- Stimulating the activities of immune cells like Lymphocytes and Phagocytes. The latter is related to the immune function of attacking bacteria and foreign bodies posing a threat to the body.
- Several studies have pointed to the ability of Vitamin C in fighting off a cold faster.
- It is a rich source of antioxidants, required for purifying our cells.
- Boosting the production of collagen, required for delaying ageing and hastened healing of wounds.
Vitamin C is not stored in the body as such external nutritional sources are required to prevent any deficiency. Lemon, oranges, guava, berries, pineapple, broccoli, among others are heavily used sources of vitamin C.
In a lockdown and with the souring prices, many of these veggies and fruits are hard to arrange. The hassle-free and tested remedy of lemon water comes to the rescue in such cases.
How to concoct
Each morning, soon after waking up, boil a glass of water.
Squeeze in some drops of fresh lemon and gulp down slowly.
Apart from providing the body its daily source of vitamin C, lemon water stimulates gut movement and flushes out toxins from the body early morning.
In the times of food blogging, it’s quite common to come across fancy recipes of our beloved Haldi doodh (turmeric milk). A favourite of Indian grandmothers every time they suspected someone coming down with a cold.
One of the best in India spices, turmeric is anti-bacterial with medicinal properties, making it a natural anti-septic ingredient. It serves as an anti-oxidant and the compound of curcumin found in it has anti-inflammatory benefits. Together these advantages are believed to enhance the immunity.
Turmeric is central to Indian curries and some dips. Additionally, it can be consumed in the following ways.
- In a glass of warm milk, add half a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
- Stir swiftly to mix the two.
- Drink sip by sip.
- For those having intolerance to lactose or for any other reason, water can be substituted in place of milk.
- Just add half a teaspoon of turmeric in a hot glass of water soon after waking up in the morning and drink it down slowly.
- A remedy that many consider as helpful in cough. In a teaspoon of turmeric, add a dollop of honey.
- Mix well to make a paste.
- Remain cautious to not drink water for at least 30-40 minutes after taking it.
3. Mustard oil massage
Those suffering from vitamin D deficiency as well as staying indoors in a lockdown is cutting down on their regular supply of sunlight. Shortage of vitamin D causes a slew of problems including making our bodies more prone to falling sick, body aches, fatigue, ageing, weakening of bones, etc.
The oil acquired from mustard seeds is a reliable source of vitamin D. Hot mustard oil massage usually provides a warmth within the body that many times clears out nasal congestion, aids in cough, cold, weakness, smoothens body aches, dry skin, infections, etc.
How to use
- Heat some mustard oil.
- Apply in circular motions all over, especially on joints. Leave for some hours.
Garlic mustard oil
- Before going to bed at night, boil a little bit of garlic with mustard oil.
- Apply all over chest in case of cold and in around naval area. Keep yourself warm and sleep it off.
- The additional warmth coming through mustard oil will throw out toxins using increased sweating as well as ease the congestion in the nasal passage.
4. Herbal tea and Indian spices
Ministry of Ayush from the government of India has listed several remedies for enhancing immunity. Among some mentioned here, herbal tea has found a place in the suggested remedies. Herbal tea is highly talked about drink for relief when down with a cold.
A brewing mix of spices and herbs, it calms the nerves down and rejuvenates the body.
How to brew
Preparations differ among families, although the ingredients remain more or less the same.
- In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil.
- Add a collection of spices – Tulsi (basil leaves), dry ginger, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and tea leaves (optional).
- Brew the concoction.
- Put a bit of jaggery for taste and additional nutrition.
- Serve hot.
Indian Spices of garlic and ginger
The duo is renowned for their advantageous effects on the body. They aid in digestion, boost immunity, lower blood pressure and facilitate weight loss.
How to use
They can used in curries, dips, and ginger can be easily thrown in as an added ingredient in a regular tea.
Much has been said about the fact that any form of exercise and meditation boosts cell development and mental health. In the process, the immunity enhances with more intake of oxygen and giving out of toxins as sweat. As the world is shut in wake of coronavirus, the official work has been brought to homes. The sedentary lifestyle has taken a step further.
Not a desirable situation to be piling on weight, or remain rooted to your seat when a disease is fast spreading. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been constantly asking people to inculcate some exercise while staying indoors.
Yoga and meditation serve many purposes with a range of exercises.
What to choose?
Every part of body and every kind of ailments have a corresponding exercise to bring relief. For example, Surya Namaskar extends a helping hand to immunity by focussing on different needs of the system with a couple of asanas.
This breathing exercise needs no introduction and is quite simple in practise. Sometimes, people have said it has brought them comfort in a cold.
Amongst a variety, a simple cross-legged asana of Sukhasana, is widely relied on pose for meditation. Cutting off from the world of chaos for a few minutes amidst the given circumstances is very essential for the mental health. Meditation channelizes the inner energy and strength when the mind looks within.
These remedies have survived generational gaps owing to their efficacy. Their effect however, differ from person to person as everyone’s body is different. So, if something works for your neighbour, it might not give the same results to you. Being cautious of what suits your body and what doesn’t have to be of prime importance when applying remedies of any sort for treatment of any disease. And if the symptoms persist, it’s always the best to see a doctor.