Improve your Immunity Naturally!
Immunity is the body’s defense mechanism that protects the body and its systems. It is a relationship between the body, mind and the environment. Here are a few practices which you can follow to increase immunity naturally.
Tip 1: Nasyam
Nasyam is the procedure through which medicated oil /Ghrit is administered through the nose for a short duration of time. It helps to make the mucus membrane strengthened to fight against pathogens.
Procedure– Lie down with the head tilted back and put 3-4 drops of Sesame oil in each nostril. Sniff deeply, then remain to lie for a minute or so, to allow the nasya to penetrate.
Benefits of Nasyam :
- Enhances the strength of sense organs, make eyes , nose and ear healthy
- Keep the nasal passage lubricated
- Reduces headache and relieves stress
Tip 2: Include Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic Acid is the most accessible and inexpensive nutrient one can find. We need a daily dose of this vitamin as our human body is not designed to produce or store Vitamin C.
This powerful vitamin fights off free radicals and eliminates them from our system. It not only helps to fight infections or diseases, but it also protects us from a serious illness like cancer. It is an anti-ageing antioxidant also.
Vitamin C can be easily found in good quantities in the following foods: Lemon, orange, amla, seasonal fruits, red and yellow bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, yogurt etc.
Try consuming these in fresh and raw form only, but if at all one has issues, then you can use their dried form also. Amla is one such herb that can be consumed in fresh form, capsules, murabba, candy, pickle, juice form etc.
Tip 3: Add Spices and foods that boost your Immunity
Adding certain spices to your daily food can help you stay away from many diseases and keep your system strong.
Cumin- Helps to prevent foodborne illness, promotes digestion and reduces the ‘ama’.
Black pepper- works great when it comes to cleansing the body from the cellular level, it helps the ojas energy to reach the tissues.
Turmeric- removes toxins from the body, has an immune-stimulating effect and provokes the intelligence of the cell to fight off all kinds of infections. Not only this, but it also helps you lose weight. (Read More: Does turmeric help in weight loss)
Garlic- In Ayurveda, garlic is used as an antiseptic, anti-fungal and immune booster. It is a natural antioxidant that protects our body from any kind of viral and bacterial infections.
Ginger- This herb is used to boost your immune system and helps keep the body warm. It also breaks down the toxins which get accumulated in the body.
Other kitchen foods that should be included in daily life are whole grains (oats, barley, quinoa), lentils, pulses, dairy products and seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds).
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Tip 4: Natural Herbs that must be included daily
Our body is well equipped to fight off any kind of infection, but due to poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, stress or other reasons one can get exposed to falling sickness. In this case we should take help of natural immune boosters to get healthy again.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)- This is a wonder herb and above all it protects us from fungi, virus, bacteria and protozoa. It fights off infections, keeps you safe and boosts immunity. It can be consumed raw, ark or in tea form or put in food.
Ashwagandha– It is for longevity and vitality. It boosts our immune system by increasing the number of pathogen fighting agents and reverses the effects of drugs on the body.
Sea Buckthorn/ Himalayan berry- This special herb is very rarely found in Himalayas and because of its high flavonoid content it helps in protecting us against all kinds of infections.
Green Tea or Herbal Teas- Certain flowers, leaves or stems of plants are dried and used to make herbal teas, which are easy to take and are rich in antioxidants which we know are lifesavers! (Check out the range of tulsi teas)
Tip 5: Saline Gargles
- Saline gargles help to remove the mucus build-up in the respiratory tract and nasal cavity.
- It reduces the inflammation and relieves the pain in the throat.
- It helps to flushes out the bacteria and virus, which if left unattended can lead to congestion.
How to do Saline Gargle :
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water and dissolve it .
- Take a big sip of the salt and hold it in your mouth.
- Tilt your head back and gargle the salt water in your throat for about 30 seconds and then spit it out.
- Repeat the same process until you have finished the whole cup.
Tip 6: Chyawanprash
Chyawanprash is no doubt a tested Ayurvedic formulation of herbs that help in building immunity, thereby protecting us from many bacterial and viral infections. It is believed that ‘Chyawan’ was the name of the sage for whom this Ayurvedic formula was prepared to restore his youth and vitality, while ‘Prash’ translates literally to ‘specially prepared food‘. This formula can be consumed by anyone to benefit from its many healthy properties.
It contains various herbs such as amla, Guduchi, dashmoola , long pepper ,Triphala etc. which helps to build immunity.
The primary benefits of chyawanprash are to boost immunity. It is known to be good for the lungs because it nourishes the mucous membranes and further helps to keep the respiratory tract clear. It is used to improve natural resistance and lends strength and energy to the body.
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Tip 7: Take a daily dose of Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics refer to the live and health-friendly bacteria whose consumption helps our digestive system especially our gut, to function properly. We can create probiotics by fermentation of certain foods that we use in our daily life in our kitchen. Examples are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, miso, and pickles. There are many bacteria that are classified in this group, but the top 2 which are most beneficial are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
On the other hand, Prebiotics are non-digestible part of food that goes through the small intestine in the undigested form only and gets fermented when it reaches the colon. This fermentation of the food enhances the growth of beneficial bacteria colonies, which in turn helps with improved digestion and strong immunity of the body. Examples are onions, garlic, artichoke, banana, chicory root, the skin of apples and beans.
Tip 8: Pranayam
Pranayama helps to clear nasal passages and can be effective for asthma and sinus treatments. Our cells need oxygen all the time to regenerate. Breathing is the most efficient way to fulfill the need of oxygen in our body . To boost the immune system deep breathing is the best exercise. It helps to regenerate the cells and fight infections.
Kapalbhati Pranayama helps clear the respiratory passage. Bhastrika and Nadi Shodhan pranayama help in clearing congestion.