The age old science of Ayurveda offers a vast repository of guidelines for promotion and preservation of immunity. They emphasise on the right diet, the importance of exercise and sleep, and on protecting your respiratory health using medicinal plants and herbs that are easily available in every Indian kitchen.
Here are eight medicinal herbs to give your immune system a boost:
1. Turmeric, also called the golden herb, helps in removing toxins from the body, and rejuvenating the body tissues of blood and plasma. It has antibacterial properties that help fight infections. Add a pinch to your curries and dals or drink a cup of turmeric milk before going to bed.
2. Tulsi combats respiratory ailments, detoxifies the body and helps regulate blood sugar level. It is also used to help to treat indigestion, ulcers, gastric disorders, and stomach or menstrual cramps. Boil a few tulsi leaves with water and drink it with a little bit of honey once it cools down a bit and add a slice of lemon for taste.
3. Black pepper and long pepper work as an expectorant, and help in relieving bronchitis, asthma and cough. It is also high in antioxidants, promotes gut health and has anti-inflammatory properties. Add a pinch to your salads, pasta and even your cup of masala chai.
4. Mulethi keeps the respiratory tract healthy, and boosts digestion & immunity. Chewing mulethi sticks is an age-old remedy for a sore throat. You can even make yourself a cup of mulethi tea.
5. Garlic helps fight infections, and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also known to stimulate the immune system and boost the efficacy of white blood cells. Add it to your curries, veggies and dals to boost the function of the immune system.
6. Ashwagandha boosts brain function, helps fight anxiety and stress and improves your quality of life. Add a pinch of ashwagandha powder to your cup of milk or mix it with powdered ginger & turmeric and use it for chai.
7. Shatavari boosts the immune system, and helps with breathing problems, cough, diarrhoea and inflammation. Shatavari powder can be consumed with warm milk or water after meals.
8. Also known as ‘amrit’ or nectar in Ayurveda, Giloy is a powerful herb that boosts immunity by flushing out toxins, bringing down any kind of fever or inflammation and reducing respiratory problems. Cut the giloy stem into small pieces and boil it with water. Strain the water and drink the juice 30 minutes before breakfast.