H3N2 on prowl: Keep the virus at bay with tips from Ayurveda
As we all know H3N2 is a strain of the influenza virus that behaves like Coronavirus in the body with flu-like symptoms. While Ayurveda does not offer any cure for H3N2 virus, it certainly helps with ways to ward off and overcome the virus by boosting your immunity.
In the current season when winter is gone and summer is gradually setting in, respiratory tract infections are common. Hence, influenza, which is at its peak for some time, is spreading fast in the country. Children being vulnerable to all sorts of infections, of late, every fourth child is suffering from some form of influenza or viral infection. More than 60 per cent of children in the age group of 0-5 are suffering from infection.
According to Ayurveda, lack of immunity is the reason why someone gets the flu or viral infections. Due to seasonal change these respiratory infections attack a person as this is the time when the immunity happens to be at its lowest.
The common symptoms of influenza are fever, body pains, sour throat, running nose and puffed nose. In some cases we have seen in our country it even results in death.
According to an Ayurveda expert, Dr Hem Raj Gautam (former DAO, District Ayurveda Officer) Himachal Pradesh, viruses attack the host body that provides them an appropriate environment. So, the key to ward off the viruses is making your immunity strong so that no virus could survive in your body. To boost the immunity, Ayurveda gives many tips. Here are a few of them…
Control over breath: “Prana” means breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, while “ayama” means control. So, Pranayama literally means control over breath.
One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama to realise the objective of achieving a healthy body and mind. There are certain breathing techniques that can help your respiratory tract stronger and healthier and thereby boosting your overall immune system.
Ayurveda doesn’t work on the principles of calories and nutrition like modern science does, but it works on how to maintain three doshas (elements in the body) – vata, pitta, kaph. According to Ayurveda, a meal has six types of tastes (shadrasa), namely sweet, salty bitter, astringent, sour and pungent. Dishes you savour in your lunch and dinner can boost your immunity as each of the above tastes has an impact on the body as well as mind.
The basic principle of diet in Ayurveda is that physical changes as well as mental effects can be observed after the consumption of different food types. This way, the food can directly and indirectly affect the three doshas of an individual. We can achieve a balance in these three doshas by regulating diet and by this way we could have no effect or very less effect of viruses on our body.
Kadhas (spices and herbs concoctions)
During seasonal changes, many of us sip kadha (traditional Indian drink considered to be effective against cough and cold and seasonal flu) or concoctions to cure cough and cold or viral infection. Kadha is an all-natural blend of spices, herbs, and leaves simmered together to form what we believe is the best remedy for cold and flu like symptoms. The kadha is believed to help build immunity and keep seasonal infections at bay. This well-known home remedy is derived from ancient wisdom handed down from generation to generation long before over-the-counter medicines became popular. Drinking these magical concoctions can reduce the effects of ingrown viruses or incubated ones.
After trying all these Ayurvedic remedies every day, chances of a person getting infected by viruses are low, but if a person still is infected, here are natural ways to cure the infection through Ayurvedic methods.
Ayurvedic remedies for influenza
Tulsi (the queen of herbs) boosts the production of antibodies. It has anti-inflammatory, anti microbial, anti allergic, antitussive properties. Rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and zinc, Tulsi helps soothe the airways, helps in cough and mobilises mucus.
Chew 4-5 leaves with honey in the morning, or drink tulsi kadha and tulsi tea
Honey with antimicrobial properties helps ease the sore throat and loosens the mucous
Mulethi: Chewing mulethi sticks is the best remedy for cold and cough. It improves oral health, boosts immunity, combats respiratory infections and heals canker sores.
Pippali (long pepper) has expectorant properties. It loosens the mucous and cough it out
Sonth (dry ginger) with honey acts as a soothing remedy for respiratory infections
Giloy also known as (amrita or guduchi giloy) is full of antioxidants. It is rich in java ghana which has properties to fight and reduce fever
Turmeric paste with honey has antioxidants properties
Ginger tea has powerful expectorant properties, helps to get rid of kapha dosha
Ashwagandha builds energy and it has powerful antihistamine and decongestant properties
Herbal remedies for influenza
Drink herbal tea, green tea, black tea and dried ginger tea regularly to fight flu
Fresh cloves can also help cure cold and cough
Fresh garlic has antimicrobial properties
Apply plant and herbal essential oil which works as natural antibiotic and anti- viral
Cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, lemon oil, oregano oil, thyme oil, geranium oil, etc.
Vitamin C: Add fresh lemon juice to hot tea or water with honey to reduce phlegm, getting enough vitamin C can relieve upper respiratory tract infection
Lemongrass helps prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast
Licorice Root has antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties
Ambala is the richest source of Vitamin C which helps fight seasonal infections and boots immunity
Oregano, a herb potent in the mint it has antiviral properties
Oregano oil is effective in respiratory infections
Lemon balm is a rich source of essential oil and has antiviral properties
Coriander seeds has antibiotic compounds that potent for cute viral infection