Coronavirus pandemic: Keeping your immunity intact by switching to simple options

Poorna Kulkarni
Monday, 6 April 2020

While the world is coping with the coronavirus pandemic, Sakal Times speaks to doctors to find out how we can keep our immunity intact by switching to simple options.

The alarming number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in Italy, Iran, the UK and the US has made people all over the globe sit up and take notice. With no vaccine ready yet, people in India are sourcing products like sanitisers, masks, that are said to keep the virus away. Ayurveda, our ancient system of medicine that has stood the test of time, too suggests measures to boost one’s immunity so that we can fight the virus. Ayurvedic medicines are readily available in the market, and a few remedies can also be easily prepared at home.

IN-HOUSE MEDS
An Indian meal is termed as wholesome and nutritious, as it contains essential ingredients for the proper functioning of the body. Dr Sameer Mahajan, MD in Ayurveda, who has been practising for two decades, tells us that simple homecooked food is anytime better to remain healthy. 

“Rasayana Chikitsa is a term in Ayurveda which means rejuvenation that helps in boosting our system. Since most of the symptoms of coronavirus are affecting the respiratory system, we recommend remedies like Sitopaladi churna, where we use a mixture of cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, pippali powder and rock sugar. It’s best to take this mixture with ghee in the morning on an empty stomach. People can opt for warm water/ milk with turmeric and tulsi leaves (only) or with honey as they have anti-viral properties.”

He adds, in earlier times, people used dhoop, camphor and guggul, which are easily available in the market, to keep the air clean. He also recommends to stay hydrated and avoid cold-inducing foods like watermelon and cucumber.

Dr Swapnil Darunde, founder of Greenleaf Ayurved and MD in Ayurveda, assures, “People need to keep their immune system healthy as those with low immunity are prone to get the viral infection. Of course, many people have been cured of coronavirus. That said, Ayurveda offers good preventive options.”

He gives a list of options that are readily available in the market. “One can consume amla and amla products, incorporate pippali in food, have chyawanprash and undergo nasya treatment with cow ghee. 

“This apart, simple homecooked food and turmeric milk are good options as the latter has antibacterial properties and helps in building immunity. Honey with ginger is the best option for keeping the respiratory tract clean, and buttermilk with its probiotic properties also contributes a lot to a good digestive system which is the core for building immunity.”

DEALING WITH PANIC
India is blessed with traditional and well-developed systems of Ayurveda and Naturopathy. Naturopathy is a technique that helps cure diseases without any medicines, just by using techniques like controlled diet, exercise and meditation.

Dr Pratibha Bagwe, PhD in Naturopathy and Yoga and a psychosomatic expert, who has been practising naturopathy for the past 26 years, points out how people can avoid panic and remain strong in such times. “Even if someone coughs, there’s panic among people. This fear is creating more trouble. It’s important to be strong from within; only then one can be physically strong. For the same, we recommend breathing exercises like bhastrika as it helps in cleansing the lungs, deep breathing with inhaling, holding and exhaling of 8 seconds each and abdominal (udar) breathing as a relief for negativity and panic. 

“We also recommend Raag Durga meditation where Raag Durga is played in the background, and one must sit and put one palm over the other; this helps in balancing our five elements. Also, this meditation activates adrenal glands, above the kidneys, which are effective in curing anxiety.”

WHAT YOU MUST TAKE
Dr Bagwe recommends a few easy recipes for improving the respiratory system and protecting yourself from viral infections.
Tulsi extracts................ ..2 tsp
Ginger juice..................... ...1 tsp
Mix the two and consume it.

Decoction
Bell patri (leaves)... 8 nos
Tulsi leaves. .. 8 nos
Cinnamon stick (dalchini)... 1 inch
Ginger.. . 1/2 inch
Pepper. .. 8 nos
Turmeric powder. .. 1/4 tsp
Jaggery (optional)... 15 gm
Water... 4 glasses

Procedure
Boil all the ingredients in water and reduce it to half quantity. Take the warm decoction, about a half glass, four times a day.

Chatan
Turmeric powder... 1/4 tsp
Ginger juice.. . 1/2 tsp
Honey as required

Procedure
Mix all the ingredients well and consume it a couple of times in a day.

Cinnamon powder.. . 1 inch
Baked sugar pieces (battasse).. . 4 nos
Black pepper... 4 nos
Cloves.. . 2
Turmeric.. . 1/2 tsp

Procedure
Grind all the ingredients and have 1/4 tsp with honey or water or as it is.

DROPS
Cinnamon oil......... .1 drop
Karpur oil.......... .. 1 drop
Nilgiri oil............ ....1 drop
Clove oil............ ....1 drop

Mix it with 1 tsp of sugar and have it.

Following superfoods should be included in the diet

  • Ragi
  • Spinach raw juice + buttermilk
  • Button Mushroom
  • Raddish salad
  • Aloe vera laddoo
  • Garlic
  • Neem chatni
  • Methi 

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