You can take recourse to ayurveda and Homeopathy to tackle Swine Flu

Two schoolgoers, walking side by side. One clears his throat and the other jokingly responds, “Kuch lete kyun nahin? Tamiflu lo.” Both pat each other’s back and burst into peals of laughter.

Well, with swine flu spreading its wings across the country in feverish fury, it has but gone past the level of innocuous school-boy jokes. And with the media blitzkrieg on the virus and its remedy day after day has made many of us take Tamiflu to be a wonder drug by now. It surely has its pluses but it definitely is not the only answer to the flu that seems to be taking the world a hostage. At least in India, the land of over 3000-year-old ayurveda, there is enough antidote to the disease.

Dr. Tahira Sultana, ayurvedic consultant at Dr. Health Smith clinic in New Delhi’s New Friends Colony elaborates on some useful preparations to treat swine flu. “There is a long list of concoctions like Sitopaladi Churna, Tribhuvan Kirti Ras, Naradiya Laximivilas Ras, Classical Chyavanprash, Haridra Khanda, Godanti Bhasma, etc. to treat swine flu. Besides, Panchakarma procedures like Nasya Karma and Sadya Vamana Karma are also very useful for all respiratory track infections. But I advise people to first consult a qualified and experienced vaidya before taking it.”

Dr. Tahira also mentions some preventive measures from ayurveda. Boil approximately 500ml of potable water with these herbs — Juice of 10 to 15 fresh leaves of tulsi (basil), 1/2 tsp harad powder, 1/2 tsp amla powder, five ml fresh ginger root juice, 1/2 tsp cloves powder, 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon bark, 1/2 tsp powdered peppermint leaves, 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp rock salt. Mix them properly and boil till the contents remain approximately 250ml. Add one tsp honey when the tea is lukewarm and have it twice or thrice a day before meals.

She says the herbs will help detoxify the liver, fight allergies, stimulate digestion, and boost immunity. “All these spices have anti-viral, cleansing and anti-oxidant properties. They help the free flow of oxygen to the brain, enhance digestion and circulation and stimulate the appetite. They are excellent for balancing vaata and kapha, which are the prominent dosha in swine influenza or any other respiratory track infections.”

Taking recourse to ayurveda, which says daily dietary habits play a major role in warding off any disease, she has put together a few recommendations here:

  • Avoid travelling or being outdoors during the early hours of the day when there is dew and cold winds blowing.
  • An oil massage is beneficial.
  • People should avoid direct and strong cold winds.
  • Try to avoid exertion.
  • Take meals at regular timings and in fixed quantities.
  • Avoid use of air conditioners specially the centralised ones.
  • Drink a glass of water with two teaspoons of honey every day early in the morning.
  • Sprinkle your salads with dry ginger powder, and black pepper powder.
  • Taking a bite of ginger before meals with little bit of salt is helpful.
  • Avoid regular use of sweets, butter, cheese, paneer, etc.
  • Avoid non-vegetarian food.

In homeopathy too, there is a remedy for swine flu. Says Dr.Saurabh Goel, “We have a medicine called Influenzimum which people can take as a preventive.” Though many fear that it can have adverse side affects, Dr. Goel says, “You should never take it without consulting a doctor. Each case is different and so each dose is different. It is case specific.” Above all, he urges people to maintain good hygiene. “You should keep your hands clean, wash your face often.” Since the symptoms of swine flu are more or less similar to common flu, it is difficult for a lay person to differentiate one from the other. “The difference is, this flu has gastrointestinal symptoms, so there can be diarrhoea, persistent nausea and vomiting in some cases.”