HEALTH: Prevention is better than cure as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across South Africa. The government has declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a ‘national disaster’ and has implemented a series of measures to keep the infection rate at bay. The country has recorded 62 infections to date.
People should be well-aware of the symptoms and precautionary measures that could help to control the spread of the virus. These are the sentiments of General Practitioner, Dr Ebrahim Khan. In this week’s Medical Monitor, Dr Khan explains the importance of clean hands and how to identify the similarities and differences between the Coronavirus and Tuberculosis – both of which affect the respiratory system.
Ayurveda Immune Booster
The easiest way to save yourself from catching the deadly coronavirus infection is by keeping your immunity up and tight. According to Dr. Vishakha Mahindroo, ayurvedic practitioner, there are also many more helpful ways you can boost your immunity and keep infection risk at bay:
Eat healthy, be healthy
Foods like cheese, yoghurt and sauerkraut support the gut microbial immunity and keep you healthy. Food items like black pepper, coriander seeds, garlic, ginger, oranges, broccoli, sprouts, lemons and strawberries can help keep your immunity up.
Massage yourself every day
Self-massage, also called abhyagna in Ayurveda calms down the nervous system, reduces stress and supports your immunity. You can use sesame oil to do the massage. You can also try oil pulling and nasya to boost your immunity.
Do some inversions (yoga)
Inverted yoga poses increase the circulation of the lymph and drains the germs from your body. When your head is below your heart – Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) or Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand, the lymph moves into the respiratory organs, where germs often enter the body. When you come back to an upright position, gravity drains the lymph and sends it through your lymph nodes for cleansing.
Avoid cold, sweet and fried
Drinking or eating cold foods reduce the digestive fire, which is not great for your overall health. Heavy and fried foods are difficult to digest, so avoid them. Enjoy sweet root vegetables, broths and soups.
Take warm baths
Take warm baths in the evening with Epsom salts and warming essential oils like ginger, cardamom, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, cedar, pine, basil and juniper.
Maintain good sleep hygiene
One of the most harmful things you are doing to your body is by undersleeping or oversleeping. When you sleep, your body produces essential immuno-proteins called cytokines, which act as infection-fighting antibodies necessary to keep the body healthy.
Meditation to the rescue
Meditation doesn’t just help calm the mind and centre your chakras, but what it also does it act down on several risk factors associated with a bad immune system. From reduced blood pressure, better function and strengthen immunity, regular practice of mindful meditation can help the mind send the right messages to the body and act accordingly. It also helps fight oxidative stress, which again, takes a damper on your immune system.
Add basil to your diet
Holy basil or tulsi is a traditional Indian herb which has amazing medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Basil contains strong expectorant and antitussive properties, which work from the root to get rid of phlegm, irritants and suppress the cough, thereby treating chronic respiratory problems. Tulsi water also contains several anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties which can take care of cold and related infections.