Boost your immunity, first step in the fight against COVID-19

The age-old Ayurvedic texts talk about the changes to be made in our lifestyle from food to dressing for healthy living. (Representative image)

We are living through troubled times as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan have been taking several measures to contain the virus transmission. I am confident that by strictly adhering to the instructions of staying indoors and maintaining social distancing, we can overcome this dreaded disease.

The first step in defeating any disease is to enhance the immunity of your body. We can use the lockdown period as an opportunity to incorporate healthy practices into our lifestyle.The age-old Ayurvedic texts talk about the changes to be made in our lifestyle from food to dressing for healthy living.

By following these, the body will develop the ability to face any illness at any time. Boosting our immunity is imperative now more than ever. Even the services of hospitals and doctors have become scarce due to the lockdown, and we need to overcome minor ailments on our own.

Eat right, sleep well

The environment we live in and our daily routine have a crucial role in determining our health. It is a really hot summer. Therefore, follow a liquid diet by drinking milk, buttermilk, sambharam and fruit juices. You can also mix two grams of cardamom powder in a glass of Ilaneer (coconut water) and drink it. This will be beneficial for your body. Along with the diet, we need to maintain personal hygiene.

You should wash yourself at least twice a day. Never apply oil on the head while you are sweating. Just as how you keep your hands clean, the mouth should also be kept clean all the time. Loose cotton clothes are ideal for this hot season. Avoid wearing ornaments and cosmetics.

Along with physical fitness, mental wellness is also of utmost importance. Therefore, practice meditation or yoga. You should definitely stay away from alcohol. Follow healthy food and sleep patterns. Stick to a routine, and keep the duration of sleep and quantity of food intake at optimum levels. Daytime sleeping should be avoided, but a light nap is allowed. Though the consumption of pure ghee is good, it should be taken only on medical advice.

Goodness of Ayurveda

Ayurveda prescribes several food items with medicinal properties that can keep us healthy. Grind together 10gm of jaggery and 20gm of ginger, and roll into small balls. Pop these into your mouth occasionally. This would aid in digestion and remove toxins from the body.

Another major medicinal food is black pepper. Instead of chilli, use pepper in small amounts in the dishes. You can also make a Kashayam using Veppintholi, Chittamruthu, Adalodaka veru, Kaipanpadavalavalli and Cheruvazhuthanaveru. This concoction is known as 'Nimbamritadi Panchatiktam'. Tiktam means bitter. Ayurvedic physicians have certified since ages that these medicines will purify blood and cells.

More than anything else, we need to keep at bay emotions of anxiety, fear and sorrow. We also need to instil courage in ourselves and support one another. I urge my doctor colleagues to remain dedicated in their duties, while keeping in mind that both physicians and medical practice are products of society. As we await days devoid of COVID-19 fears, let’s pray for that light at the end of the tunnel.

(Dr P K Warrier, a renowned Ayurvedic physician, is the managing trustee of the Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala)

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