Ayurveda has always taught that the host (human body) is the most important tool to defend against any invasion.
As we are navigating a global pandemic right now, we can look to Ayurveda for simple tools to support our bodies and strengthen our immune systems with the power of nature.
According to Ayurveda, a healthy physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lifestyle is the basis for a strong immune system. Especially in these difficult times it is of utmost importance to pay closer attention to our well-being and to listen closer to our own bodies and their signals.
Strengthening the upper respiratory tract: Ayurvedic oral hygiene
Since the mouth and the throat are gateways for infection, maintaining their health is very important for our general well-being. The Ayurvedic morning routine provides us with a few tools to promote a healthy oral flora:
Tongue Scrapping: removes buildup, including bacteria and other toxins on the tongue. Different areas of the tongue are related to different organs, especially organs of digestion. Although scraping the tongue only removes toxins accumulated in the oral cavity, it is said to have a mirror effect triggering the digestive system to detoxify as well.
Oil Pulling: promotes oral hygiene. It involves swishing coconut oil in the mouth to remove bacteria.
Neti: nasal rinse with salt water to flash the nasal passages. Add ¼ tsp pure non-iodised salt to one cup of lukewarm water. Neti is said to have a positive influence on all sense organs in the head.
Salt-turmeric gargling: warm water plus ½ tbs salt and 1/4tsp turmeric every morning (or even more often, at first signs or throat inflammation).
Additionally, a dry mouth and throat are not only uncomfortable, but they are also more susceptible to infections that promote inflammation of the mucous membranes. To protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat from drying out sip on warm water and herbal teas throughout the day.
Strengthening the inner balance: Meditation & Pranayama
For a healthy balanced body and mind, practice yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation for 10-20 minutes daily, or longer.
The right diet
According to Ayurveda the end product of perfect digestion (Ojas) is directly responsible for our immunity and vitality. Ojas is created by the body through the proper digestion of food. As such, Ojas is a direct reflection of the potency of our digestive fire as well as, the quality of the food we put in.
Ojas and immunity enhancing foods are warm, cooked and freshly prepared using wholesome, seasonal produce and healthy fats. Herbs and spices such as turmeric, garlic, coriander, ginger and chilli are also highly beneficial.
At the same time leftovers, ice drinks, fried foods, processed foods, frozen foods, refined sugars, flour and alcohol will hinder the production and quality of ojas and therefore affect our immunity.
And last but not least, make this delicious Golden Milk and enjoy it before bed:
add half a teaspoon of turmeric to a cup of warm milk and season it with cinnamon, cardamom, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg. Once the milk cools down you can add honey to taste. Curcumin, the active component of turmeric is rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage, ward off disease and infection and contribute to overall health.
Take good care,