Ministry of AYUSH had issued an advisory on various immunity enhancing steps from the time tested approaches of Ayurveda. The advisory is reiterated again in these testing times to support the efforts of all as a measure towards enhancing ones immunity.
The advisory issued on 31st March 2020, covered the following five broad areas:
The backdrop against which the advisory is issued:
In the wake of the Covid 19 outbreak, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times.
Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining healthy and happy living. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge base on preventive care, derives from the concepts of “Dinacharya” – daily regimes and “Ritucharya” – seasonal regimes to maintain healthy life. It is mainly a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda’s classical scriptures.
Ministry of AYUSH recommends some self-care guidelines (given in subsequent sections below) for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. These are supported by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.
General Measures for enhancing immunity:
Drink warm water throughout the day.
Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by Ministry of AYUSH
Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander) and Lahsun (Garlic) are recommended in cooking.
- Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures:
(i) Take Chyavanprash 10gm (1tsf) in the morning. Diabetics should take sugar free Chyavanprash.
(ii) Drink herbal tea / decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) – once or twice a day. Add jaggery (natural sugar) and / or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed.
(iii) Golden Milk- Half tea spoon Haldi (turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk - once or twice a day.
- Simple Ayurvedic Procedures
(i) Nasal application – Apply sesame oil / coconut oil or Ghee in both the nostrils (PratimarshNasya) in morning and evening.
(ii) Oil pulling therapy- Take 1 table spoon sesame or coconut oil in mouth. Do not drink, Swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off followed by warm water rinse. This can be done once or twice a day.
- Procedures during dry cough / sore throat
(i) Steam inhalation with fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) can be practiced once in a day.
(ii) Lavang (Clove) powder mixed with natural sugar / honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in case of cough or throat irritation.
(iii) These measures generally treat normal dry cough and sore throat. However, it is best to consult doctors if these symptoms persist.
Following the AYUSH ministry initiative many state governments also followed up with healthcare advice on traditional medicine solutions to enhance immunity and disease-resistance, which are particularly relevant against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to the above advisory, the Ministry of AYUSH has also proposed to include AYUSH solutions in the District level Contingency Plans being drawn up to contain Covid -19 in all the districts across the country. The Ministry has also put together the draft guidelines for practitioners of different AYUSH systems in the wake of Covid-19, which is expected to be published shortly, after vetting by public health experts.