Ayurveda’s classification of COVID-19
From the Ayurvedic point of view, COVID-19 is an epidemic disease (janapadodhwamsa vikara). The concept of an epidemic is described in Charaka Samhita, the big treatise of Ayurveda as “… even though there is dissimilarity in the physical constitution of human beings, still there are such factors which are common to all individuals and disturbance of these factors leads to the concurrent display of diseases having the same set of symptoms leading to the destruction of countries. Factors which are common for all the inhabitants of a country are air, water, location and seasons.” Epidemic is a situation where the environment - air, water, land and seasons - is disturbed, causing a concurrent display of a disease among large populations (epidemic), destroying human habitations.
Ayurvedic ways of boosting immunity
Charaka Samhita says that immunity as the ability to prevent and arrest the progression of disease to maintain homeostasis. Ayurveda pays larger emphasis on strengthening the mind and body to cope with various stressors, including infection. Like innate and acquired immunity, the Ayurvedic concept of immunity (Bala or strength) is classified as natural (Sahaja), chronobiologic (Kalaja), and acquired (Yuktikrut).
In Ayurveda, numerous treatment options are available for enhancing immunity against respiratory illnesses, these include certain immunomodulators (known as Rasayana), local and systemic intrusions. Local prophylaxis measures such as herbal decoctions, consumptions of hot water, gargling with medicated water, and steam inhalation described in Ayurveda for respiratory illnesses. This is evident that such traditional measures can positively influence mental health and immune function through modulating psycho-neuroimmune pathways.
A few effective home remedies
Here, we reveal a few home remedies that are very effective in strengthening the immune system.
- Drink a glass of milk with 1 teaspoon of turmeric at night before going to bed. Turmeric has potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Have 1 teaspoon of ginger paste or juice with honey. This anti-inflammatory concoction will stimulate your taste buds and prevent cold and mucus buildup.
- Gargle with hot water and salt twice daily to keep your oral cavity clean and free from any mucus accumulation.
- Decoction made with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, dry ginger with honey is beneficial for cold and throat infection. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Know what to eat
Diet plays an important role in Ayurveda. Here are a few suggestions about what you must add to your diet and avoid to avoid infection.
- A nutritious soup made of carrot, beetroot and beans with salt and pepper twice daily will keep you hydrated, healthy and energetic.
- If fever persists, eat very light food to cope up the hampered digestion.
- Include more protein in your daily meal. Sauté your vegetables and avoid deep-fried and oily foods.
- Apples and pomegranate are beneficial and have oranges on alternate days if you have a fever.
- Potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage and peas are not recommended as they may induce bloating.
Ayurvedic medications that help
There are quite a few Ayurvedic medications that are very useful. Here we list a few of them.
- Indukantham kashayam – improves immunity, reduces fever and acts as an antacid. Have it in the mornings 1 hour before breakfast.
- Dasamoola kashayam – protects lungs from infection, cough, cold and tastelessness. Have it in the evenings 1 hour before dinner.
- Agasthya rasayanam – improves immunity, protects lungs from infection. Have 1 teaspoon at bedtime with milk.
- Amrutharishtam – Have this after food with water if fever persists.
- Steaming with Rasnadi churnam helps with congestion.
- Application of paste made of Rasnadi churnam and lemon juice on forehead is helpful for headache and heaviness of head.
A few other tips
Abhyangam with sesame oil and Nasya (2 drops) with Anu thailam or sesame/coconut oil on daily basis are beneficial. Pranayama (breathing exercise) should be practiced daily along with the above said home remedies, diet alteration and therapies to improve the capacity of the lung and to improve the overall immunity.
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