Our body and nature are connected more than we may realize. Maintaining the balance within our body as well as that of nature is believed to keep us healthy, energized and at peace. Ayurveda shows us how we can achieve this balance.
With stress, pollution, an unhealthy lifestyle and diet summing up our lives today accompanied by the many bacteria, viruses and other pathogens around us, our body is constantly under threat of infections, illnesses and diseases. If we are looking to protect ourselves our health and maintain wellness, then the best option would be to strengthen and support the body’s natural defence force – the immune system by following a healthy diet and lifestyle through some simple changes.
Let’s look into Ayurveda-the holistic science of life, about what it says regarding the causes, remedies and treatment for various types of communicable and infectious diseases. The causes it states mainly include environmental and hygiene factors. Ayurveda believes that the delicate balance of nature depends on the 05 basic elements – Ether, Air, Fire, Water & Earth which always must be performing their functions rightly to maintain a state of balance. These elements do fluctuate in balance according to the seasons in various regions of the world. And because of these changes in the composition of the natural elements it has been seen to influence the various flora and fauna in the world equally. While the flora and fauna in nature adapt themselves to the changes by shedding leaves, having fresh leaves, flowers bloom, animals by hibernating or growing fur and so on, so do we humans.
As human beings are also part of nature and is made up of these 05basic elements we are also equally affected by the changes in nature during every season. Man, too has to make changes in his lifestyle and diet according to the seasons or else his body will not be able to adapt to the changes and we begin to show signs and symptoms of imbalance.
Ayurveda prescribes a very detailed description known as Ritucharya (seasonal regimens) – a set of diet, lifestyle and therapeutic regimens which if followed seasonally will ensure that all the 5 basic elements in turn the 3 basic bio humors of the human body are maintained in a balance. This balance ensures the health of a person.
Ayurveda divides the year into six seasons and each of them have their own regimens. The most important aspect of these regimens is the use of local and seasonal products in one’s daily diet and lifestyle. Ayurveda believes that nature empowers these foods with the necessary qualities according to the season of their growth and when consumed at the right time have nourishing and nurturing qualities. But with our modern-day technologies we can get what we want, when we want all year round either artificially grown or processed and packed. This has led to the decrease in the natural healing powers of our diet.
Consuming seasonal and local food and food products in our regular diet will not only help our body adapt to the seasonal change but also strengthens and supports the natural immunity of the body. This boost in immunity helps the body fight various imbalances and diseases caused during the cusp or change of seasons when the body is generally weak.
Ayurveda also provides us with the panchakarma therapy procedures which can be done as a preventive and curative treatment for maintenance of health and wellness. Panchakarma therapies are generally done in the seasons where certain bio humors are vitiated to the maximum extent and can be easily eliminated. Elimination of the vitiated humors can be done even in the diseased state for curing the diseases.
Along with Ritucharya and Panchakarma Treatments, Ayurveda places great emphasis on the use of certain herbs and spices on a regular basis to boost and maintain the immunity power of the body. Herbs like Tulsi, ginger, garlic and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, when used regularly aid in balancing the vitiated humors or the body and boost the natural immunity or the healing powers of the body.
In the present world scenario, where the environment is polluted with dust, smoke, chemicals and viruses it is the need of the hour that we find simple, effective natural remedies especially home remedies. It is also very important that we maintain our health and immunity with healthy diet, lifestyle, yoga, pranayama and meditation for stress relief.
Here’s how you can use these immune supporting herbs & spices in your daily routine:
- 1/3 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly chopped Ginger
- 4-5 Mint Leaves
- ½ teaspoon Lime Juice
Boil all the ingredients in one cup of water. Reduce to half. Strain into a glass or mug and drink while still hot. If you find it too strong then fill up the glass with water to dilute it.
- 1 tablespoon Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Ginger
- 1 big Onion roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 handful Fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
In a blender add all the ingredients and grind till you get a thick but smooth paste. You can add a little water if needed. Use as much as you need and store the remaining in a clean dry container in the refrigerator. You can also make a bigger batch. When using you can apply to meat, chicken, fish, paneer/ cottage cheese, even vegetables, let it marinate for about 30 to 45 minutes. Have as a dip on the side or use in a vegetable curry as well.
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