Role of Ayurveda in Handling Viral Infections
Ayurveda, an ancient and traditional science of Medicine originated in India, has proven potential for centuries to prevent and combat any health related issues through the natural ways which includes, diet, lifestyle and natural herbs. It helps us to live a healthy and disease-free life with the most common daily practices, and uses of the natural things easily available to us in our surroundings. So, here in this article we will learn about the role of Ayurveda in handling the viral infections and for that the primary need is to understand the basic related terms clearly. Let's start.
What are the Viral Infections?
Viral Infections are caused by the ill-effects of different types of viruses that appear or remain in our surroundings, at times. Virus is considered as the topmost reason behind most of the diseases. More effects of these viruses are seen at the time of seasonal changes or winters and when the immunity of a person is weaker than usual. Virus is clearly described in all the books of modern medicines. But, what Ayurveda says about it? Before learning that, let us understand the immunity.
What is Immunity?
Generally, immunity is defined as the strength of the body to fight against the diseases. In Ayurveda, it is called as "Vyadhikshamatava". Elaborating the word explains the immunity i.e., Vyadhi means "the disease" and kshamatava means "the factor which controls the disease". Hence, it is very clear that as per Ayurveda immunity means the entity behind the disease - to manifest or to prevent. Here, these are inversely proportional to each other which says, "Weaker the Immunity, More the Diseases, and Stronger the Immunity, Lesser the Diseases".
Now, let us come back to the discussion on a specific type of disease, Viral infections and what is the role of Ayurveda for its management?
What are the Viral Infections according to Ayurveda?
As Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine but the way of life, which focuses more on prevention than the treatment that also by working on the root cause. Virus is also a part of life, one of the six microorganisms that maintains our eco-system, so it must be explained in Ayurveda. According to the Ayurvedic literatures, Virus is compared with Aam, normally called as undigested food particles or toxins, which further produces abnormal protein in the body causing diseases. And this Ama, is produced by the vitiation of "Agni", which is the digestive fire within the body.
Hence, it can be clearly understood that the root cause behind the diseases is the Ama Dosha, which develops due to vitiated digestive fire which in turn vitiates all the tridosha, Vata, Kapha and Pitta. We can easily see that everything is interlinked and very deeply explained in Ayurveda. As a result of above explanations, it is more clear now the root cause of the diseases is based at our digestion level which is directly related to our diet and lifestyle.
"Worse the Diet & Lifestyle, More the Diseases, and Vice Versa"
Consequently, in Ayurveda, viral infections are related with the Ama dosha which leads to weak immunity, thus, our body fails to fight against the unhealthy cells within it as well as the Virus present in our surroundings and leads to the Viral Infections. As per Ayurveda, viruses are also considered under Agantuja roga.
What is the Role of Ayurveda in Managing Viral Infections?
With the above discussion it is already clear that the diseases are mainly caused by our unhealthy diet and lifestyle that vitiates our digestive fire. So, the primary need is to maintain our diet and lifestyle in order to manage the diseases in a well-manner. Ayurveda, being a medicinal system that prevents or treats a disease in a very natural way through the healthy diet, proper lifestyle and the use of most efficient natural herbs to improve the various functions of our body. These all methods of Ayurveda results in the disease-free and healthy life of a person.
So, let us now have the solutions for our health problems through the natural ways to manage Viral infections as well as many other diseases.
Ayurvedic Management of Viral Infections
As already mentioned, Ayurvedic management of the Viral infections includes the three methods which are inter-related and have to be worked upon for the best results. These are the following:
- Dietary Guidelines (Aahar)
- Lifestyle Modifications (Vihaar)
- Natural Herbs (Aushadhi)
1. Dietary Guidelines (Aahar)
Starting with the Dietary guidelines for a healthy life, a stronger immunity, resulting in the prevention and treatment of Viral infections and various diseases as well. A healthy diet should include all the essential nutrients for the growth and development and functions of healthy cells, for that you should consider the following.
Green Juice / Smoothie
Drink Green Juice/Smoothie daily for a healthy start of your day to boost your immunity. Ingredients of a Green Juice include some or all of the green leaves, such as, Spinach (2-3 leaves), Coriander (6-7), Mint (6-7), Tulsi (6-7), Wheatgrass (6-7) and Fenugreek (6-7). Add 1-2 Amla and 6-7 green grapes for a better taste and results. You can also add Spirulina, a super green and the richest source of essential nutrients to boost immunity, which will make your Green Smoothie as a Super Green Smoothie. It can be consumed by any age group and will help in boosting your immunity to a great level.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla is the richest natural source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants that boosts your immunity in a wonderful manner. Eating a raw Amla, or intake of 3 tsp amla juice twice a day will help you a lot in retaining your stronger immunity.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
Tulsi is packed up with all the wonderful properties like anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and many more. It is considered as a holy basil and worshipped in India for its enormous benefits. It can be consumed in various ways such as chewing raw leaves, in sauces, in tea, and almost in any possible way of oral consumption.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Being a rich source of calcium, iron and Vitamin C, coriander leaves helps in strengthening your bones and improving your immunity in an amazing manner. It can be added in your diet in many ways like in Salad, in Green Juice, in garnishing your food, etc.
Healthy Green Sauce
Replacing the readymade packed sauce with healthy green sauce is the best choice to be added in healthy diet that will help you to maintain your immunity, thus, keep you away from the diseases. Preparing healthy green sauce is very easy and convenient. Take Amla, coriander leaves, mint leaves and tulsi leaves, altogether, grind them with some drops of water, and serve the fresh green sauce full of taste and nutrition.
Dry Fruits & Nuts
Consuming 7-8 almonds, raisins, walnuts, dates and figs daily improves your immune system and helps you to fight off viral infections.
Sprouts are considered as the most important part of our balanced and healthy diet, which is full of numerous essential nutrients required for a healthy body.
Replace your normal tea or coffee with Tulsi-Ginger Tea, Turmeric Tea, Tulsi Green tea, Lemon Tea or Arjun Tea to safeguard yourself against the diseases and assure the proper functioning of various body parts. Black Pepper, Mulethi, and Cardamom will increase the taste as well as benefits of these teas.
Drinking Red Juice daily in the evening help you to maintain your stronger immunity and fulfills the nutritional requirements of the body. Beetroot, Carrot, Pomegranate, Red Grapes and Apple are the most easily and potential available ingredients for a perfect red juice.
Other Natural Sources
Curcumin, Desi ghee, Ginger, and Jaggery are perfect combinations of anti-allergic, anti-viral and anti-biotic properties that maintains a stronger immunity and provides relief from viral infections.
Note: Prefer homemade food and avoid all the packed, and readymade foods in your diet to have a stronger immunity in order to fight off the Viral Infections and stay protected against various other diseases as well.
2. Lifestyle Modifications (Vihaar)
The second thing to be managed for a stronger immunity and protection against the Viral Infections is to manage your lifestyle which strengthens your body parts and internal systems of the body, thus, ends you with a strong immune system. Some lifestyle tips from Ayurveda Experts and ancient texts includes the following:
- Meditation for a minimum of 15-20 minutes daily help you to balance your mental, emotional as well as physical health and improves the body functioning.
- Performing Yoga, Asanas or Exercises that should calm your mind and body increase the overall health of the person resulting in the stronger immunity. You can practice Pranayam, Kapaal Bhaati, Anulom Vilom and other exercises according to your body type and ability to improve your overall health.
- Daily putting a few drops of desi ghee, badam rogan oil or anu tailam in your nostrils helps you avoid dirt, virus and bacteria, to enter into your body through the respiratory tract, hence, is used as a supportive therapy to prevent the Viral Infections.
- Burning a mixture including small piece of Guggul (Commiphora mukul), a pinch of hing (Ferula assa-foetida), some leaves of Neem (Azadirachta indica), pinch of Turmeric (Curcuma longa), and some leaves of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) together and spreading its smoke in your home, office and all around you, helps you to eliminate dangerous virus and bacterias from your surroundings. It also helps in preventing viral infections at a major level.
- For being healthy in our busy and hectic schedules, need naps / walks / movement of body parts for 5-10 mins, after half an hour or 1 hour of continuous sitting or working, it also supports your immunity.
3. Natural Herbs (Aushadhi)
The last but not the least therapy for a stronger immunity, preventing and treating Viral Infections involves the use of natural herbs. Some of the most effective herbs are as follows:
Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)
It is an anti-oxidant herb that is being used for years in the treatment of various types of fevers and infections. You can soak the giloy stems overnight in normal water, boil in the morning and strain it and drink for effective results. To take giloy in a more convenient and beneficial manner, you can have giloy powder, giloy capsules, or giloy juice.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
As it is also mentioned in the dietary tips with all its benefits, it is also used as a herb in the herbal supplements for the treatment of various viral infections and maintaining the overall health of a person. Tulsi capsules can be taken for a convenient and effective result.
Amla (Emblica officinalis)
It is also explained well above in dietary tips, it also has numerous positive effects on the body in assuring the holistic healing of a person. Amla Powder, Amla juice, and Amla candies are the easy to consume ways for getting its marvelous benefits.
Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus niruri)
Being a good appetizer, and anti-viral, it helps in effectively treating Viral and Respiratory Infections by eliminating the root causes of the disease.
Pippali (Piper longum)
Pippali is helpful in managing cough and different types of viral and bacterial throat infections thus, beneficial.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and detoxifying properties which proves to be very useful for the prevention and treatment of viral infections and avoiding any related severities. It is a great herb that stimulates the lymphatic system, resulting in fighting's viruses.
Triphala is a perfect combination of three beneficial herbs i.e., Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), and Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica). It supports healthy digestive system, maintains healthy metabolism, and balances tri-doshas, leading to a healthy body and stronger immunity.
Echinacea (Andrographis paniculata)
Echinacea is one of the best blood purifier, antiseptic and natural detoxifier that eliminates the toxins from the body and provides relief against the Viral Infections. It strengthens the digestive system and helps in boosting the immunity.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is one of the potent herbs with anti-oxidant properties that helps to improve the immunity and protect the body against the various allergies and Viral infections. It also works amazingly in developing the strength and stamina in the body, and managing the hormonal disturbances, which may contribute as a reason for the severity of the viral infections.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice, commonly known as mulethi, which soothes the throat, and helps in relieving throat infections. It contains antacid, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and many more properties which makes it a potential herb for preventing and treating various viral infections. It also has proven benefits in cough and hoarseness of voice.
Hence, it can be easily concluded with the above information that in order to treat the viral infections in the best way is through the natural methods that cause no adverse effects, rather helps in holistic healing of the body by strengthening the immune system of a person. So, stay away and protect others from the viral infections with the information provided above.