The outbreak of Corona virus has affected many lives across the globe. A best defense against this deadly virus is to have a healthy and strong immune system. Following a balanced diet, routine exercises, and natural tips helps in keeping the immune system intact. There are also certain herbs which capacitates the immune response faster in our body. Here let’s discuss few Ayurveda Herbs which helps to boost the immunity.
Guduchi – Build Immunity and Prevent Diseases
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) commonly known as Giloy is a versatile healing herb in Ayurveda. It has a well-recognised synonym called as ‘Amrita’ which means the divine nectar. As the name suggests, the plant is an excellent immune stimulant and possess anti-cytotoxic effects. Tinospora also is known for its promising biological activities, such as antioxidative, antimicrobial, antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, osteoprotective, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal, and antistress effects.
The plant is a rich source of proteins and micronutrients like Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Phosphorous and Manganese. Considered as an adaptogen, Guduchi is said to improve body’s resistance to infectious conditions by potentiating the actions of white blood cells. It not only enhances the immunity but also is very helpful in treating fever, diabetes, high cholesterol, gout, skin diseases, jaundice, anaemia, and acts as a rejuvenator too
How to use?
Mix 15-30 ml of Giloy juice in a glass of water and consume it on an empty stomach in the morning. 1 teaspoon of Guduchi powder can be along with honey can be taken twice daily
Amalaki – Safeguards your Immunity
Amla or Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) is undeniably a store house of nutrients. The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, hence it’s a key component to improve metabolism, protection from viruses and bacterial ailments. Amla contains antioxidants which reduces free radical activity in the body and avoid oxidative stress. The nutritional profile of Amla is studded with range of poly phenols which fight against dreadful viruses and cancerous cells.
Ayurveda says, Amla is best to balance all the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha and possess best rejuvenating effects. It slows down the ageing process and is essential for collagen production to keep skin, hair healthy and supports the immune system. The fruit is the useful part of the plant which has numerous health benefits if included in daily diet.
How to use?
Amla can be included in the daily diet in the form of juice. It can be diluted with water and taken every day on empty stomach. It cleans your system, aids quick digestion, maintains healthy hair, skin and improves eyesight. If not juice, 2 to 3 Amla as a whole fruit can be taken.
Haridra – Supports health and protects from Infections
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is been studied since ages for its numerable health benefits. The plant-based spice has an active component called curcumin which supports its immune boosting as well as inflammatory responses in the body. Reports have also substantiated the activity of turmeric for protecting the body from severe infections
The active ingredient curcumin is unfortunately poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. When curcumin is blended with black pepper, the absorption rate can be greatly increased. Since curcumin is fat soluble, it is a great idea to include it with fatty foods.
How to use?
Turmeric can be used as a part of diet on daily basis. Raw turmeric heated with ghee can also be taken to boost the immune system. Turmeric and pepper powder mixed with honey is one of best solutions to treat sore throat and infections. Also, one pinch of turmeric powder to warm milk and consume it regularly to keep our body away from invaders.
Tulasi – The wonder drug that fights viral infections
We Indians regard holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) as a sacred herb and no courtyards can be found without a Tulasi plant. Tulasi is not only a natural immune booster but also a solution to many health conditions. The variants of Tulasi includes Rama tulasi, Krishna tulasi and Vana tulasi and can be consumed for different health benefits.
The leaves are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which accelerates the healing activity. The essential oil Eugenol, is potent on anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activities. It helps to reduce the stress and plasma glucose levels. Overall, Tulasi helps in relieving lung-related diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and congestion. The plant is best regarded to treat seasonal flu and infections.
How to use?
Practice a habit of chewing 4-5 fresh basil leaves every morning (make sure you wash them well in running water) or infuse them with your morning tea. Tulasi leaf juice mixed with honey and ginger is effective in infections and allergies. Boil the water and add Tulasi leaves along with the mint leaves and consume throughout the day.
Ashwagandha – The ultimate remedy for strength and Vigour
Commonly known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, the drug improves body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. The most useful part root, possess potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Many studies on Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) proved that it has the capability to increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that body requires to fight infection and maintain health. Ashwagandha has also shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This ancient medicinal herbs also reduces the cortisol level and thereby reduce stress and anxiety. Ayurveda also regards the plant as the best strength promoter and increases the muscle mass.
How to use?
Ashwagandha powder mixed with honey and warm milk is best to calm the aggravated vata and regulates your sleep and wake cycles. You can also have a cup of hot milk mixed with 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder before bedtime.
Neem – Bolsters you Immune System
Neem (Azadirachta indica), a miraculous herb used traditionally in every household since ages. The plant possess unique therapeutic value and plays a great role as a health promoter. It has tremendous antioxidant properties and fight all kind of infections.
Neem is a wonder herb for immune health as it helps to improve body’s ability to fight against infections. It cools the body internally and acts as an antifungal and antibacterial. Not only that, the herb is an excellent solution to treat all kinds of skin diseases, helps to maintain clean, radiant and acne free. Neem preparations are also avert high fever, viral flu, malaria, and other infectious diseases.
How to use?
Crush a fresh neem leaves and add it to a glass of warm water and drink. Neem leaves can be dried, powdered, mixed with lukewarm water and consume by adding one teaspoon of honey. This acts a very good detoxifier to the body. Even chewing fresh neem leaves daily can help to keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy
Bhumiamalaki – Liver protective and Immunity Booster
Phyllanthus niruri is a traditional shrub which has ethno-medical uses widely. The plant possess immunomodulatory activity which is proven through various studies. It activates various immune cells in the body to fight against infections. The plant also shows actions like phagocytosis, lysosomal enzyme activity and TNF alpha release which are significantly required for fighting against infections.
Studies also suggests that the plant possess hepato-protective, antiviral, antibacterial, hypolipidaemic, hypoglycaemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, anti-urolithiatic and antihyperuricaemic properties due its novel bioactive compounds.
How to use?
Fresh juice (15ml) of whole plant can be given to treat fever, and other infections related to liver and spleen. Fresh leaves infused with tea can cure typhoid and other chronic fevers. Bhumiamalaki root can be taken with rice water 2-3 days to arrest bleeding disorders. The paste of the leaf of Bhumiamalaki can be applied over the skin to treat skin infection.
Lashuna – Culinary spice and an excellent medicine
Garlic (Allium sativum) not only adds flavour in every Indian kitchen but also is one of the best immune boosters in Ayurveda. The drug has exceptional antiseptic, antifungal, and nutritional value. Due to rich antioxidant properties, the drug protects the body from infections and maintain good health.
It enhances thiamine (vitamin B1) absorption in the body and prevents beriberi. It is always best to chop or crush garlic before consuming, as it works better when in contact with oxygen. It is a good medicine for cough, cold, and all seasonal ailments. Apart from these diseases it also aids good digestion and improves appetite.
How to use?
3 to 6g of peeled garlic can be taken daily. Garlic can also be given in the form of Ksheerapaka (milk processed with garlic) in few disease conditions
Ardraka – Heals the body and aids the digestion.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is always our go to medicine to maintain a healthy digestion, and in cases of stomach upset. Ginger keeps the body warm and breaks down the ‘Ama‘ (indigestive food particle) in the body. The drug also plays a great role in maintaining the immune levels in the system.
Ginger is excellent antibacterial, and protects the body from external invaders. The drug has phenolic compound named as gingerol which is an excellent anti-inflammatory and also relaxes the blood vessels.
How to use?
Raw ginger with pinch of salt quickly calms the stomach upsets. Ginger tea with lemon protects throat infections. Powdered ginger mixed with pulverized cloves, cardamom and caraway is an age old grandma recipe to treat all sorts of fever and digestive ailments.