Written by Himadri Paul
Little do we realise the use of Ayurveda can act as an aid to this worry of ours regarding immunity. Come, let us read this article and learn how. Come 2020, come Covid-19 pandemic, and all of a sudden, people have gone crazy over immunity boosters. While this was partially driven by the pandemic situation we are in, panic has made several useful and immunity boosting medicines disappear from medical shops.
Most of the time, we forget that most of these medicines are absorbed only when it is needed. An example being vitamin C, which is absorbed by human body in limited amounts. Excessive vitamin C will just be ignore and is a waste if ii is the chemical itself. However, the same vitamin C sourced from a natural source usually have much higher rate of absorption in the body, and is less likely to cause any serious side effects.
While the world is suffering from Covid-19 pandemic, and the scientists racing against time to successfully find its cure, people have turned to age-old practices of Ayurveda, and other folk medical treatments. Let us take a quick look at the top 5 immunity-boosting Ayurvedic plants and herbs, that may help to develop our immunity against unknown viruses.
1) Ashwagandha in Ayurveda:
This is voted to be the best Ayurvedic herb to kill corona virus. Yes, you have read that right! Scientists from Japan’s AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) and IIT-Delhi have claimed ashwagandha to be effective for treating Covid-19. Better known in the western world as winter cherry, or Indian ginseng, ashwagandha tops the list of recommended herbs by Ministry of AYUSH that can be used as remedy of Covid-19. Now how to take ashwagandha? The medicinal properties of ashwagandha lies in its roots. Root powder is available in Indian market in the form of ashwagandha churna by branded companies. If you come across ashwagandha plant, you can dry it in the sun and powder it directly. Not just the roots, even the leaves have strong antioxidant and analgesic properties, and can be used as a cure for treatment of cough and cold and pain.
2) Tulsi Leaves :
Always regarded as age-old wonder in curing diseases, tulsi or holy basil is a plant that is considered to be available at every Indian homes. Known for its treatment against cough and cold, and against viral fevers, this is a plant that one can take daily without any noticeable side effects. Tulsi leaves can be boiled in water for few minutes to make tulsi tea, an effective concoction for any viral fever related disease. Tulsi tea, is also a great herbal tea, which is packed with antioxidants, and is an effective detoxifying drink. Basil is used in most Italian and Continental food due to its taste and medicinal properties. Tulsi may not be similar in taste, but can be a good substitute to sweet basil.
3) Amla in Ayurveda :
Want a Vitamin C packed food, amlaki or amla can be a good choice. Just 1 amlaki a day is enough to meet daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C from natural sources has shown great potential to minimize symptoms of cough and cold, fever, and related viral diseases. Use of amlaki is versatile in Indian cooking and it has great recipes of chutney, pickle, morabba, and it can also be paired well with other food items.
4) Turmeric :
Turmeric is one of those superfoods which are eaten daily and at several recipes. India has been gifted with origin of so many spices, and it is the spices which makes Indian food so healthy, apart from being tasty. Turmeric is no exception. Power-packed with antioxidants, the medicinal effect of turmeric is due to presence of curcumin. Curcumin makes turmeric anti-inflammatory, reduces cholesterol and chance of heart disease, may prevent cancer, and relieves stress, depression, and what not. So if you were thinking to avoid spicy food, change your mind and make sure to add adequate turmeric to your foods. Not to forget, raw turmeric paste is beneficial for the skin, and can cure several skin diseases. One of the tastiest drinks is turmeric milk, also called golden milk in other countries. Here milk is boiled with turmeric and plays a vital role in boosting immunity at times of fever.
5) Neelkanth Flower and its use in Ayurveda:
This may come as a surprise for many but neelkanth flower, also known as butterfly pea flower, Asian pigeonwings, is by far the best when it comes to keeping the symptoms away. Apart from relieving stress, butterfly pea tea acts natural paracetamol that lowers body temperature and relieves pain. To make butterfly pea tea, simply boil 2-3 neelkanth flower, cool it, add honey and/or lemon, and it’s done. It is also claimed to be antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal. Also people with high blood pressure can take it as it lowers blood pressure. Butterfly pea tea is bright blue in colour which changes to violet on addition of lemon juice. In India, and other countries of South-East Asia like Thailand and Vietnam, it is a popular drink served as a refreshment, or an after-dinner drink.
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