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With the current hysteria flying around about contracting the Coronavirus, the question everyone is asking themselves, “What can I do to prevent myself from getting sick?”
The best way to prevent yourself from getting sick is to increase your overall health, which means supporting your digestive capacity and ojas, or deeper immunity through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Getting stressed out and hysterical about things you can’t control does not help, and, in fact, it weakens your immunity. Practices like proper handwashing and other common-sense measures are of course critical, but what everyone wants to know now is what steps they can take to help prevent sickness from occurring, from coughs and colds to the more serious flu and flu-like viruses.
Thankfully, there are some great herbs that can easily be added to your daily wellness regimen to help boost your immunity both pre and during any colds or cases of flu we might contract.
Here are some easily accessible Ayurvedic herbs that will help boost your immunity by supporting healthy digestion, destroying toxins, and soothing your Corona-crazed nervous system:
Ginger is your friend and a universal medicine with good reason. From destroying toxins to being rejuvenating for coughs and colds, this herb is safe, easy to use, and effective. How to use? Simply buy fresh ginger root, slice it up, and boil in a large pot for 20 minutes. How much? A good rule of “thumb” is one “thumb” length for every 20 ounces you want to drink. Sipping on this throughout the day will keep you warm and help keep your immunity in good shape.
Used in India for literally thousands of years, one of its names is “dhātrī,” which means “mother” or “nurse.” It is an excellent source of vitamin C, containing 23 mg per gram when dry and 20 times that of an orange! Tridoshic in nature, it is good for all constitution types, and supports healthy digestion as well as your deep immunity, or ojas. If you can get the fruit, eating one to two fruits per day will be plenty to get you dosed on vitamin C. Or you can take ¼ tsp of the dried powder morning and night. Be warned, it is sour!
Is there anything turmeric isn’t good for? Turmeric is a great preventative herb because it helps to burn toxins within the body that make us more susceptible to illnesses, is useful in fevers, and has antibiotic-like properties without all of the nasty side effects. Adding ½ tsp to your meals is a great and yummy way to get all of its benefits, or take ¼ tsp day and night along with āmalakī! Boom.
Sacred to Vishnu and Krishna, tulsi is a wonderful herb to be taken as a tea. When sick, tulsi helps to reduce fevers by burning toxins in the body, and it is beneficial for coughs and damp lung conditions. A great combo is tulsi with ginger, and tulsi has the additional benefit of reducing tension, which is necessary with this Coro-crazy that’s going around.
Okay, it’s not an herb, but who cares! More than just delicious, this wonder nectar has been used for thousands of years to ward off colds, treat the flu, and to just make you feel good. And with good reason—honey offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and medical-grade honey has been shown to offer bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This, as well as the fact that our food supply system depends on bees, is another great reason to not only use and support local honey but to support healthy bee populations by following these guidelines. Please remember to buy local; the health of our ecosystems depends on it.
There you have it! Herbs have been the medicine of the people for thousands of years, and it is more important now than ever to remember their power to heal us, as well as our dependence on the natural world.
We have been living in a world of disconnect from that which truly sustains us, and my hope is that the tragedies of today will serve as a wake-up call for a happier and healthier tomorrow. This is also a message that there is no time like the present to reset your deeper health and habits, and one I pray we can all receive with grace, care, and compassion instead of fear and hysteria.
May the Force be with You.
For more on how to deal with the Coronavirus, check out Waylon’s mindful advice.