Preventing Infections in the Wake of an Epidemic
In the wake of another epidemic, we wanted to share with you some tips from Ayurveda on how to protect yourself. Ayurveda, like modern medicine, has specialities and epidemics would fall under the category of Bhuta Vidya (Bhuta meaning ‘invisible’ and Vidya, ‘knowledge’). In the old days this was considered as possession of spirits or unknown causes, but they are now recognised as external beings (pathogens) like bacterias and viruses which invade and infect our system.
Ayurveda used herbal fomentations to protect our internal system from these invisible viruses/bacteria, with several herbs that are easy to find even today, like Guggul (Commifora mukul), Sweet flag (Acorous calamus) and Asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida). A fomentation is done allowing the smoke to cover the mucous membrane areas in the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs. This layer acts as a protective barrier for those unhealthy pathogens and reduce their action within our system.
Additionally, Ayurveda focus on increasing Ojas, or immunity. It is our best defense against any pathogen or external threat to our system. It is also the best explanation as to why some people do not get sick even though they might be in a contaminated environment. The production of Ojas is similar to that of honey: thousands of bees collect the essence of thousands of flowers and fruits, storing it at the hive so that honey can be formed. Immunity, from this perspective, is the nectar of our body, formed only after all different tissues and systems have been properly nourished.
According to Ayurveda, things that deplete our immunity are: excessive physical exercise and sex; too much fasting; over consumption of foods that are dry; consuming food in the wrong quantities; excessive exposure to sun and wind; keeping awake at nights; drinking strong liquour or excessive quantity; excessive elimination of Kapha, Shonita (blood), Shukra (reproductive fluids) and Mala (urine and faces); mental and physical trauma or injury to Marma (vital parts); mind agitation in the forms of constant worry, fear, grief and sorrow, anger; decrease of immunity power due to old age.
As we see, our immune system is basically related to the three pillars of health: food (including good choice of foods, proper digestion and proper elimination [absence of frequent loose stools or constipation, among others]), sleep, and keeping the mind and senses calm.
We can increase our immune system by: using foods and medicines having similar qualities to Ojas (like we serve at Plantation Villa and medicines that our doctors prescribe); refraining from activities that cause unhappiness of the mind; fried foods and alcohol should be avoided; extremely spicy/strong foods should be avoided; reduce sexual intercourse during the course of the treatment; intake of good foods that are light and easy to digest; proper exercise, breathing practices and meditation.
Please use these tips to keep your immunity high and protect yourself against this epidemic and stay happy and healthy.