10 Ayurveda tips to boost your immunity for Coronavirus Prevention
by Martine van Beusekom
For our students and all interested, we would like to share some ayurvedic insights with you on how to support yourself in the best way in the situation that we are facing now regarding the coronavirus. These ayurvedic tips are meant to be preventive measures you can take to keep yourself healthy and support your immune system. However, if you have complaints that resemble the coronavirus, contact your doctor immediately and follow the common instructions given by the regular health authorities.
1. Keep a positive mindset
Surrender to the uncertainties that this time brings and try to approach challenges calmly. More than ever, it is important to stick to a supportive daily routine of meditation and yoga practice. Where a calm mind supports the self-healing powers, fear undermines it.
It is very important to balance your Kapha in order to keep the channels open, which is supportive of the lungs and to balance your pitta, which plays a role in fever. Reduce dairy (yoghurt!), cheese, fried foods, meat, fish, heating herbs like chilli and sour and salty foods. Increase: fresh (cooked) veggies and proportionally more green veggies such as spinach, basmati rice, mung dal (beans), grains, some soaked fruits.
3. Tongue scraping and gargling
The idea behind tongue scraping is to effectively remove micro-organism and to stimulate your organs. Do this as part of your morning ritual. Gargling with ginger juice and some salt will give the virus less chance to settle down.
A dry mouth should be avoided and drinking teas and warm water are advised. Take sips every 30 minutes. Like this, there is more chance that you will wash the virus down through your throat into the stomach where stomach acid will deal with it. If you don't drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter easier into the windpipe and get into the lungs (Stanford Hospital nursing advice). Do not at all take ice-cold drinks!
5. Take care of your lungs
Do regular steam inhalation in which you add some Kapha reducing essential oil which is not too sharp, like eucalyptus, thyme, echinacea or a ‘breath free’ mixture you will find in stores. Very effective: take some ajwain seeds – roast them carefully in a baking pan with a lid on it and inhale (carefully) the fume.
6. Keep your nasal membranes strong and clean
Use of nasal oils can help strengthen the immunity tasks of the nose. Once infected, viral load can spread from the nose downwards into the throat and lungs, so keeping the nasal membranes strong and clean is important. You can use ready-made nasyam oil which is called ‘anu taila’and put two warm drops in every nostril daily in the morning and inhale.
7. Immunity boost
Make a tea with the following herbs: Turmeric (fresh), Ginger (fresh), Tulsi leaves (dried available as tea), Coriander seeds, Guduchi (only powder available), Cumin seeds, Liquorice (stem – not in case of high blood pressure). Take all ingredients in equal proportion, except Ginger ½ proportion. Best is to drink 1,5 – 2 litres of the tea in 24 hours (Dr Ravi, Poonthottam).
8. Slow down, help others and support the world
‘Dana’ - giving from what you have – is mentioned in Ayurveda and yoga texts as an important ‘spiritual’ remedy, both on an individual as well as on a collective level. Dana is not exclusively meant as a financial donation, any giving from our hearts is included. Offer your help and support to anyone in need, share useful information or insights, giving people around you a smile or bring food to people who need it.
9. Herbs that will support you
The Chinese government recently clearly stated that the control of the Corona situation there was supported by a multi-aspect approach including Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbal medicine can be useful to support health and to counteract certain symptoms. This is our ayurvedic shortlist:
- Guduchi – immune protector and fever-reducing (capsules)
- Tulsi – good in fevers and good for lungs (capsules)
- Ginger – good for your Agni (digestion) and cleansing your body fluids
- Liquorice – protecting mucous membranes, supporting the immune system (avoid in case of high blood pressure) (capsules)
In smaller doses (look at the recommendations on the package), all these herbs are safe for healthy people. In case of actual symptoms, consult an expert on how or whether to use these herbs.
10. Holistic approach
Ayurveda advocates multiple preventive approaches in order to stay healthy and happy in body and mind. It advises always to make use of an appropriate lifestyle, good eating/drinking habits, use of herbs and spices in food and integrate contemplation in your life. Keep calm and stay well!
Martine has an outspoken vision on spreading the word of Ayurveda in the Netherlands. By her active involvement in education for practitioners, she contributes to increasing familiarity with Ayurveda as a healing system in the Netherlands that can benefit many people.