Three Ayurvedic Remedies for Flu Prevention
The flu is a common viral infection which attacks your respiratory system. It is most common in the winter and monsoon, when microbial matter in the air transfers quickly. Fortunately, a strong immunity can keep you illness-free. You can reap these benefits through the Indian science of healing, Ayurveda. Be sure to practice these preventative tips given below to keep the flu at bay.
Natural oil is an ideal Ayurvedic immunity booster. Oil pulling can improve sinus, oral, and ear health. It is especially beneficial in cleansing pathogens from your sinus tract. Thus, it prevents mucous clogging and enables you to breathe easily during the flu.
Oil Pulling for the Nasal Tract
Neti pot is a saline or saltwater solution which is popular in sinus cleaning. Unfortunately, the salt content can dry out your skin, causing excessive mucous and bacteria to breed.
In contrast, Ayurveda recommends the use of Nasya to clean out your nose. This is a method of nasal lubrication which involves inhaling herbal oil scent to moisten the sinuses, thus preventing dryness. You can practice this 2-3 times a day, with 2-4 drops sniffed into each nostril. This method works best during winters, or if you have the flu. Most people practice Neti and Nasya in tandem. However, Nasya is the more preferable practice if you do not have the time or resources to practice both.
Oil Pulling for the Mouth and Ears
Apart from your nose, oil can clear out your ears too. Sesame or mustard seed oil can lubricate both your upper eustachian tube and the cervical lymph nodes lining your neck. Subsequently, lubricated nodes prevent gland swelling and boost immunity.
Finally, this practice can also improve dental health. It increases saliva production and moisturises the gums. Thus, it reduces the possibility of tooth decay, gum diseases and bad breath. It also lowers likelihood of cavities, plaque, and bad breath, all of which are a result of bacterial buildup. Moreover, oil pulling for the mouth has had specific benefits of teeth whitening and gingivitis. Be sure to use coconut and sesame oils for optimal results.
Fortunately, oil pulling is a cheap and easy addition to your daily routine. All you need is a natural oil – namely, coconut, sesame or olive, which is available in your kitchen. Coconut oil is most popular for its anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Similarly, the anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil can fight flu-like symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.
Measure one teaspoon of your preferred oil. Next, move it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes for optimal effect prior to expulsion. Make sure to rinse your mouth well with warm water before eating or drinking anything. Above all, practice this first thing in the morning for best results.
Find out more about oil pulling in our chapter concerning Ayurveda-prescribed daily routines here.
Ashwagandha is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in Ayurveda. It is regarded as one of the most holistic herbs for its tissues and body systems (specifically, the immune, reproductive and endocrine systems). This Sanskrit term literally translates to the ‘smell of a horse’, which represents the strength and stamina of a horse this herb provides through nourishment. Similarly, the other popular name ‘Indian ginseng’ refers to the energy promoting qualities of the ginseng family.
Our immune systems can be threatened by environmental stressors and burdens. Moreover, we need to stay simultaneously energised and calm for optimal performance. Ashwagandha has the unique property of creating this balance through a steady and lasting effect on the nervous system. It is ranked high on the list of immunity boosters among Ayurvedic medicines.
The adaptogenic or stress reducing effects are evident in not just your body, but through the plant as well. For instance, the plant can thrive in arid conditions and poor quality alkaline soils, in which other plants would not thrive. The stout and fleshy roots of the plant are are concentrated with nutrients to fight pathogens. Further, the leaves and berries of the plant contain therapeutic benefits.
Your body is subject to an all-time low during flu. During this time, Ashwagandha provides a natural and effective means of rejuvenation. For instance, it supports a healthy back and joints, muscles, sleep patterns and reproductive health, as well as aiding strength, vitality, and physical activity. As your body recovers, it works with your T-fighter cells to enable adequate rest and recovery.
We recommend the traditional method of consumption here at Mekosha. Simply dissolve Ashwagandha powder (1/2 teaspoon) with tepid water (1/2 cup). Ayurvedic churna is the method of dissolving powdered herbs with water, and is an excellent way of revitalisation. Alternatively, you can make an Ayurvedic elixir by combining ashwagandha powder (1/2 teaspoon), ghee (1/2 teaspoon), and a dash of cardamom with warm milk. Have this warming beverage before bedtime to ward the pathogens away.
Turmeric is a power packed local spice, and is an ideal ayurvedic medicine for immunity. While it is a relatively recent addition to the west, Indian kitchens have used this for centuries in cooking. It contains over 300 nutrients ranging from beta carotenes, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, all of which supplement macronutrients to fight the flu. Most importantly, the presence of cur cumin aids recovery through its antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Moreover, turmeric works well with black pepper, which magnifies the punch of cur cumin. Since our ancestors were aware of this fact, you see a combination of these elements in a plethora of Indian dishes.
This spice is best in the form of a hot milk concoction or tea if you have the flu. Likewise, you can use both the root and powdered form in your daily cooking. Its antiviral and anti fungal properties work effectively to bring your respiratory and immune systems back on track.In addition, it works as a prebiotic which restores gut health.
Practitioners recommend different methods of turmeric consumption which best suit your ailment. Drink boil raw turmeric in water and drink it with one teaspoon of ghee in the morning to cure a dry cough. This is a popular winter morning drink.
Take a look at other Ayurveda-prescribed immunity boosters here to keep the flu at bay.
Prevention is better than cure, and the flu is one of the best examples. You need not suffer through poor energy levels and weak immunity. Be sure to avail of the three key resources – oil pulling, ashwagandha and turmeric – to keep the flu away.