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Ayurvedic care for winter – part 2

May 16, 2012

Ayurvedic recommendations for boosting your immune system this winter

Ayurveda recommends taking care of your immune system to stay healthy this winter. Ayurvedic approaches to cold disease are all about taking responsibility for your body and your health. According to the principle of Ayurveda, NIDAN PRIVARJANAM, it is our first duty to prevent. Ayurvedically, these symptoms are a Kapha – Vata disorder. The body builds up an excess of cool and moist Kapha qualities, resulting in congestion and a runny nose and at the same time it may suffer from excess Vata which reduces Agni, (fire), leading to chills, loss of appetite and/or poor digestion.


· Try to minimize the use of a heater for small durations of time.

· always drink 1 glass of warm water half an hour before meal.

· After cleaning your teeth in the morning and evening, you must gargle with 1 glass of warm saline water.

· One day of week we must have a liquid fast.

· Take one teaspoon of Amla -an Indian gooseberry powder – at night with warm water, (available in Indian grocery shops)

· Practice good nasal and oral hygiene.

· Use regular nasal irrigation, (e.g. a Neti pot) with warm saline solution.

· Keep up your regular exercise routine. This will also help to boost your immune system.

· Garlic and ginger have natural antibacterial effects, try to include these in your diet regularly.

· in winter, mucous membranes have a tendency to become dry. Put some liquefied ghee – 3 to 5 drops – in each nostril in the morning and evening. This will lubricate the nasal passages and relieve the irritation and sneezing of a cold.

· while having a shower, fill your mouth with the same water and keep it there the whole time you are having shower. This procedure cleans all sinuses and keeps the brain fresh.

· Frequently wash your hands. If this is not possible, carry a hand sanitiser with you.

· Don’t hide away indoors, get out into the open air and get some exercise.

· When you sneeze, always cover your mouth.

· Avoid allergy triggers, for example, remove carpeting to reduce dust mites and mould.

· Decrease the intake of animal fats in your diet and increase the intake of fish, (not fried), raw nuts and seeds.

· Avoid chemical allergens by using organic, natural cleaning products and toiletries.

Herbal remedies-

10 drops of fresh ginger juice, 3 sweet basil leaves,1/3 teaspoon black pepper powder

Swallow with ½ tea spoon of honey 3-4 times a day. This is the time tested remedy for upper respiratory tract infections.

Beside this, you can buy Septogard tablet and syrup, Tab Sinugrain, Chest Eeez Syrup (Available on the counter at all big pharmacies in South Africa)

Sitopladi Churan and Joshanda traditional are herbal preparations available in most of the Indian grocery shops.


Dr Ram Garg is an ayurvedic doctor who travels between Cape Town, Joburg and India on a regular basis. He can be contacted via email for consultations.

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