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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.

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].

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.

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.

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.

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.

6. Drink A 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 Sesame Oil

Known as oil pulling, 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].

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].