‘When Homo sapiens met Coronavirus’

by: VEDIKA BANSAL

Ayurvedic herbs to boost body immunity level

The minuscule coronavirus is spreading in every corner of the Earth with a supersonic speed. Many front runners have joined the race to devise a potent vaccine to defeat the Coronavirus. Despite promising reports about potential Coronavirus vaccines worldwide, the development of a vaccine that could thwart the virus in Humans seems distant. Besides developing a vaccine, another alternative to eradicating the virus is the formation of herd immunity, but this idea seems a little petrifying to me. Introducing new changes in our lifestyle could help in keeping Mr. Coronavirus at bay.

The first life change would be not to visit public spaces or areas which are packed to the gills. The next habit to incorporate would be adherence to social distancing norms at all times. Since the virus is transmitted via physical contact, maintaining at least a minimum distance of 6 feet would protect us from contracting the infection. The maintenance of good personal hygiene is also very pivotal.

Maintain distance between yourself and others

Being a firm believer of the proverb, ‘precaution is better than cure’, the third change to adopt would be to eat foods or indulging in practices that boost our immune system. As per the Ministry of AYUSH, the intake of about 10g of Chyawanprash in the morning and drinking golden milk once or twice a day helps in enhancing immunity. There is scientific evidence that proves that herbs play an important role in boosting immunity and eradicating the virus from the body. In a recent study, a group of scientists from IIT Delhi found out that a herb named Ashwagandha exhibits the potential to fight off Coronavirus. This herb contains certain bio-actives that interact with SARS-Co-2 and also comprises a natural compound called withanone (Wi-N), that obliterates the replication process of the virus, treating the infection. Besides ashwagandha leaves, the giloy leaves have also proven to decrease the risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Including such herbs in our daily lives in the form of concoctions is beneficial.

Foods for immunity boosting

The intake of healthy food is key to a strong immune system. Reduced dependency on the junk or refined foods and including fresh fruits and vegetables is important. Foods rich in antioxidants boost the immune system, hence it is essential to include foods like mangoes, strawberries, dark leafy greens, spinach, almonds, mushrooms, and bell peppers in the diet. These foods are also rich in vitamins. Besides food intake, maintaining a good sleep cycle, exercising for about 30- 45 minutes every day and staying hydrated helps in the proficient functioning of the immune system. Besides being a boon, news channels could also function to infuse a toxic dose of anxiety in its viewers by disclosing copious amounts of information in an amplified manner. While we are confined within the four walls of our houses, anxiety and distress start to heighten. Thus the infamous pandemic has become a source of deteriorating mental health of individuals from across the globe. For a healthy state of mind, refraining from exposing our senses to excessive and unnecessary coronavirus coverage is important. Spending about 30–60 minutes either reading or viewing the latest updates on the pandemic would suffice for the day. Meditation has proven to improve mental health by reducing distress or anxiety, thus, including this practice in day-to-day life is advantageous. Also, reaching out for psychosocial support from trained mental health care professionals is essential. Mental health should be of paramount importance and one must access it at times of need without any fear of social stigmatization.

Incorporating such changes in life would help us withstand the whirlwind set by the Coronavirus.

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