Health

COVID-19: Immunity boosters you can make at home

Doctors of traditional medicine like Ayurveda and Siddha suggest immunity-boosting recipes made from commonly found plants

When comic Vir Das put up a Twitter thread asking people about the different ways they are boosting their immunity against coronavirus, one answer got a lot of traction: Chyawanprash. Not a surprise, considering how he pokes fun at Indians’ blind faith in the Ayurvedic health supplement, in his latest Netflix special, Vir Das: For India.

But with cases of COVID-19 on the rise in India, and WHO declaring it a pandemic there is no doubt we need to safeguard ourselves against infections. For this, it’s best to wash hands with soap and water regularly and avoid crowds. In addition, here are some home remedies traditional medicine practitioners recommend, to boost your immunity.

What Ayurveda says

Valsala Varier, chief medical officer at Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal, Coimbatore, recommends three immunity-boosting drinks:

Boil a litre of water with 1 tablespoon of dried ginger, 4 teaspoons of coriander seeds and a fistful of fresh tulsi leaves. Strain it and drink

Mix one glass of milk with four glasses of water and add three cloves of garlic in it. Boil it till it is reduced to one glass. Strain it and and drink this instead of tea/coffee.

Add 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, fenugreek and fennel seeds with a few curry leaves to 500 ml of butter milk and warm it for five minutes. Drink twice or thrice daily.

A glass mug full of hot ginger tea. Isolated on white.

A glass mug full of hot ginger tea. Isolated on white.  

Metabolism also plays an important role in our immunity, adds Varier. “Space your meals in such a way that the first one is completely digested by the time you have your second. Also make your dinner light, like a bowl of salad.” Another important measure is to get enough sleep and prepare the body for the next day. She suggests oil baths twice a week. “Add 100 gm of fenugreek seeds to a litre of oil and bring it to a boil. Once cooled, apply it all over your body and head. Let it soak into the skin for an hour before you bathe.”

Chaithrika GK, who practises Ayurveda at the Institute of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, recommends this decoction:

Take 10-15 leaves of tulsi, 4-5 of parijata, 4-5 of neem, 6 of bael, and raw turmeric. Crush and boil the paste in one glass, or 250 ml of water, and reduce the solution to half. Add jaggery and cumin powder. Chaithrika recommends that you drink this after breakfast or lunch, and not on an empty stomach. “Having this decoction once a day for a week is enough. Don’t have it for long periods as it may be a burden on the liver.”

Siddha support

Some of the easiest immunity boosters for internal use that Siddha suggests are also the quickest to make. For instance, J Jeyavenkatesh of Kokila Siddha Hospital & Research Centre, Madurai recommends that you heat four to five black pepper corns and one large betel leaf in one litre of water, until it boils. Filter it and drink it through the day. Or tweak your regular glass of butter milk by mixing the paste of 10 curry leaves in it.

The four most commonly available ingredients in any of our kitchens — ginger, garlic, turmeric and small onions — can be added to bolster immunity. Add these to your chutneys, upma or rice.

COVID-19: Immunity boosters you can make at home

Naturopathy talk

Rukamani Nair, Bapu Nature Cure Hospital and Yogashram, suggests harvesting half a foot of giloy leaves and boiling it in two glasses of water until this reduces to one. Cool and drink a glass daily.

Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables from your region, as these are packed with the nutrients necessary for the weather.

Lemon juice is packed with vitamin C, but instead of overloading it with sugar, which diminishes immunity over a period, add a teaspoon of honey. If you have diabetes, add cinnamon.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 3:09:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/immunity-boosters-you-can-make-at-home/article31083337.ece

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