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COVID-19: Immunity Boosting Tips For Indians By Ministry Of AYUSH

On 14 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation, urging the citizens to continue fighting the global pandemic of COVID-19; extending the lockdown till 03 May. The speech made by the PM consisted of a 7-point appeal to the nation where he has directed the citizens to follow the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).

The Ministry of AYUSH, an abbreviation for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy focus on developing education, research and propagation of indigenous alternative medicine systems in India [1].


Guidelines For Boosting Immunity

The Ministry of AYUSH has laid down a set of guidelines in the event of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can help improve one's immunity and improve your body's strength to fight off against the disease-causing virus.

The immune system in our body is responsible for protecting us from disease caused by bacteria, viruses and toxins [2]. A well-functioning immune system help removes foreign bodies and malignant cells from the system and helps regulate the immune responses against external harmless triggers such as food, or the bodies' tissue [3].

The guidelines from the Ministry Of AYUSH is rooted in Ayurveda, where they promote the use of natural herbs and plants to build a strong immune system [4]. These simple practices can be added to your daily routine for not only posting your immunity but also for your overall well-being.

Take a look at the guidelines by the Ministry Of AYUSH here.


1. Drink Hot Water Daily

Drink warm water after every meal or drink it thrice or four times a day, regularly. Many people follow drinking warm water as a holistic health remedy, where it is done first thing in the morning or right before bed for optimal health [5]. From removing toxins from your body, curing constipation to releiving nasal congestion and improving your immune system, drinking warm water benefits your body externally and internally.

Note: Please do not drink HOT water as the boiling temperatures can burn your tongue and mouth. Make sure the water is warm by touching and checking.


2. Use Spices Like Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander & Garlic

Make use of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander and garlic which are normally found in Indian households. Add these into your food to create a healthy meal. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can benefit your immune system in several ways [6].

Adding cumin to your food or drinking cumin infused water can help double the strength of the immune system [7]. Likewise, coriander offers several immune-boosting antioxidants and garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs [8][9].


3. Practice Yoga For 30 Minutes

Practising yoga regularly is one of the simplest ways to improve your overall health. According to a research study published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, yoga aids in boosting your immune system and lowers inflammation in the body [10]. Also, practise pranayama and meditation regularly for at least 30 minutes.


4. Apply Sesame Or Coconut Oil To Your Nostrils

Applying a thin layer of ghee to the inner wall of your nostrils will prevent the entrance of pollutants present in the air you breathe [11]. The process is called Nasya Karma which helps clears the nasal passages and prevent congestion.

For sesame oil or coconut oil, warm the oil a little and dip an ear-bud or cotton ball into it and apply the oil to the inside of your nostrils. You can apply it for a maximum of 3 times a day, and always before bed.

Note: Apply only a thin layer.


5. Drink Turmeric Milk

Drinking warm milk with turmeric can help reduce autoimmune reactions in the body and improve your overall health by promoting digestion, easing pain, fighting cough and cold and reduce inflammation [12][13]. A perfect immunity-boosting drink, turmeric milk is also called golden milk.

How to make turmeric milk: Mix ½ cup of unsweetened milk of your choice, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (optional) and 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and strain the drink and enjoy.


6. Drink Herbal Concoction

A herbal concoction of tulsi, dalchini (cinnamon), kalimirch (black pepper) and dry ginger can be taken once or twice a day as the ultimate immunity booster. You can also add lemon juice to your drink to up the immunity-boosting properties as well as to meet your daily requirement of vitamin C [14][15]. You can also add raisins to the tea.


7. Rinse Your Mouth With Sesame Oil

Known as oil pulling or swishing oil in your mouth like that of a mouthwash help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth [16]. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria get swept away and dissolve in the liquid oil, which helps reduce plaque and bad breath [17].

How to do it: Take one tablespoon of sesame oil or edible coconut oil and swish in your mouth for 2-3 minutes. Rinse your mouth with warm water afterwards and repeat this once or twice a day.

Note: Do this in the morning before breakfast or before bed at night, and spit out the mixture before washing your mouth.


8. Practice Steam Inhalation

As the COVID-19 infection affects the respiratory system, the Ministry Of AYUSH has recommended some Ayurvedic remedies for sore throat. Practising steam inhalation with mint leaves or carrom (ajwain) seed-infused water can help with symptoms of congestion and headaches as well [18].

How to do: (1) Pour hot water into a bowl and add 3 to 7 drops of mint oil or a bunch of mint leaves and cover your head with a towel, close your eyes, and breathe through your nose. Do this for no more than 2 minutes.

(2)Boil water and add some carom seeds and few cloves. Remove from heat and cover your head with a cloth and inhale the steam for 3-5 minutes.


9. Have Clove For Cough

Cloves act as an effective expectorant (promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages) which can help ease the cough [19]. A natural remedy for cough is to mix clove powder with honey and have it 2-3 times a day.


10. Chyawanprash For Immunity

Most of us grew up taking a spoon of this delicious and healthy Ayurvedic supplement. Chyawanprash (CP) is an Ayurvedic health supplement which can help improve your immunity and aids the body in the production of haemoglobin and white blood cells. The central component in CP is Amla (Indian gooseberry) which help detoxify the body and cleanses the blood, liver, spleen and the lungs [20][21]. The health benefits of consuming chyawanprash are endless, making it a suitable health supplement to be consumed at this time [22].

Note: If you are a patient of diabetes, take sugar-free Chyawanprash.


On A Final Note…

The aforementioned are practices that can help improve your immune system and your overall health. The Ministry Of AYUSH does not state that these can help prevent nor treat the coronavirus disease. If you have persistent symptoms, you must alert the authorities.

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