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Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Prevent the Coronavirus ~ Or any other cold/flu virus

Mar 03, 2020

 

With the recent health scare of the Coronavirus, I thought it important to be reminded of similar health scares of the past two decades.  Listed below are a few of the examples from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - Feb 2003 (774 deaths worldwide)

Bird Flu (H5N1) - Nov 2005 (616 deaths worldwide)

Swine Flu (H1N1) - April 2009 (12,469 deaths worldwide)

Zika Virus (ZIKV)  - May 2016 (Pregnancy related microencephalopathy in which 134 infant deaths confirmed)

CoronaVirus (COVID-19) - Feb 2020

Common cold and flu (291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

 

The question is, is there a legitimate need to be alarmed with this latest viral scare? First, let's dispel any false information that you may have received.   According to The John Hopkins Institute the differences between the latest coronavirus vs the good old fashion flu is this:

Similarities: COVID-19 and the Flu

Symptoms

  • Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases.
  • Can result in pneumonia.

Transmission

  • Both can be spread from person to person through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking.
  • A possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route (see details below under Differences).
  • Flu can be spread by an infected person for several days before their symptoms appear, and COVID-19 is believed to be spread in the same manner, but we don’t yet know for sure.

Treatment

 

  • Neither virus is treatable with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections.

 

  • Both may be treated by addressing symptoms, such as reducing fever. Severe cases may require hospitalization and support such as mechanical ventilation.

Prevention

Both may be prevented by frequent, thorough hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected.

Differences: COVID-19 and the Flu

Cause

COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

Flu: Caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

Transmission

While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (see the Similarities section above), there is also a possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.

Deaths

COVID-19: Approximately 3,085 deaths reported worldwide; 6 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 2, 2020.

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

So there you have it.  The facts. So, what can we do as Yogi’s and as common sense adhering individuals to help prevent getting this virus?  Here are some simple, yet effective Ayurvedic tips on preventing colds and flu; The same steps taken to prevent the coronavirus.

Ayurvedic Tips for Coronavirus and cold/flu prevention

  1. Wash hands for a minimum of 30 seconds.  I was taught in nursing school to sing ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy” while washing to ensure enough time.  Use good ole fashion soap. It is the friction of washing that removes the virus and not the soap.  I am not a fan of antibacterial soap. The reason is that the antibacterial soap not only kills the bad bacteria, it kills the good bacteria that protects us.  And again, note the name - antibacterial, which means it kills bacteria and not viruses. So good old fashioned hand washing.
  2. Do not touch your mouth, eyes or nose with your hands. 
  3. Neti/Nasya routine - dincharya (daily routine).  Using a neti pot with a saline or saltwater solution cleans out the sinuses, but the saltwater can leave the skin on the dry side. When the skin gets dry, it reacts by producing mucus, which is a breeding ground for bad bacteria. The saline or salt water can also dry out the nose and cause fissures which are little openings in the nose.  As you know, our nose is very vascular. If you've ever had a nose bleed you know what I am talking about. This fissure, or opening, can cause a direct pathway for a pathogen such as virus or bacteria to enter into our bloodstream. Doing nasya can help. Nasya is a nasal-lubricating technique that involves sniffing herbalized oils in the nose to moisturize the sinuses and thus prevent dryness and any reactive mucus production. Two to four drops sniffed into each nostril 2–3 times a day during the winter works wonders. I recommend doing both—neti should always be followed by nasya—but if you're going to do one or the other, nasya is the better choice. Hint: if you absolutely do not like to use a neti, then use organic rose water with a q-tip to clean the nares.  I love rose water cleansing. Give it a try!
  4. Try putting your nasya oil in your ears. Putting a few drops of warm oil in your ear at night—sesame oil, mustard seed oil, or ear oil—lubricates the upper Eustachian tube and the cervical lymph nodes in the neck. Your lymphatic system carries your immune system. If the cervical lymph nodes get dry, you get swollen glands, which means the immune system is stuck in traffic. You want to keep the nodes lubricated so the glands are more effective at getting rid of any bad bacteria that might accumulate.
  5. Oil Pulling.  Keeping your mouth clean and in good health is imperative.  Our mouth is your first line of defense against a cold. Oil pulling or swishing with herbalized oils takes away bad bacteria and boosts good immune-boosting bacteria in your mouth. Let’s go even deeper here, not only are we doing virus and bacteria prevention but thinking even more long term.  Recent studies have shown that Alzheimer’s and gingivitis may be related along with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Oral health is very important, so don’t take it lightly. 
  6. Eat dosha specific nourishing meals.  If you do not know your dosha then I recommend you take this simple test.  Click HERE to take the test.   Keep in mind this simple test and food guide are basic and in no way replace a certified Ayurvedic Practitioners recommendations.  However, it does give you a good starting point. Add bone broth to your meals. For instance, if cooking rice, cook the rice in bone broth instead of water.  Think upping the ante with your nutrition in any way possible. Click HERE for a nourishing Ayurvedic kitchari recipe that is a complete meal in a bowl. If you do not know your doshic food guide list, please be sure to check my blog at dragonflyayurveda.com to obtain.  
  7. Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  This gets the digestive juices flowing and assists with bowel elimination.  You can also drink warm lemon water prior to each meal to help with digestion. 
  8. Supplement your diet with turmeric and raw, local honey.  You can make a turmeric paste by taking equal parts raw turmeric and raw honey - take 1 tsp 2-3 times per day.  If you do show signs and symptoms of the flu, then increase your intake to 1 tsp every 2 hours until symptoms have subsided.  You can also add into supplementation with Vitamin C, Zinc, Omega 3 oil and a good probiotic.
  9. Supplement with ashwagandhaAshwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its immune-boosting properties. Adaptogens help people cope with stress, and since holiday stress can be immune-compromising, [taking Ashwagandha] is a good strategy for staving off colds and flu. Take 500 mg of the whole organic root three times a day after meals when under stress or to prevent winter colds and flu.
  10. Drink 8 glasses of pure, clean room temperature water daily.  Keep the inside moisturized and the detox organs clean by purifying the body with water.  If you are doing heavy exercise you might want to supplement with organic coconut water.  
  11. Diffuse essential oils.  This is a simple and effective way to help prevent airborne viruses from spreading.  I like to diffuse any combination of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tulsi, cinamon, frankincense, lemon and lavender.   Make sure the combination smells pleasant to you. Place several drops in an oil diffuser and enjoy as often as you like. If you are having company diffuse the entire time.  I keep essential oils diffusing at the studio the entire day. We have lots of traffic and this helps to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe and healthy for their yoga practice.
  12. Plant Tulsi.  In India they plant tulsi at the front door. It is believed that it brings good health and prosperity.  Who couldn't use a little more of that? Tulsi also purifies the air. I love to clip fresh tulsi leaves and make tea.  Add a couple of fresh mint leaves, a squeeze of lemon and this is a refreshing tea that boosts the mood and the immune system. 
  13. Stay calm.  Stress reduces and taxes the immune system making you much more susceptible to illness.  It is important to take the time to tap into your spiritual practice. Make the time to meditate, pray, read spiritual versus and do yoga.  Tap into your inner spirit man and relax.  

Below is a simple infographic- enjoy, share with your friends.  I hope these simple tips help ease your mind. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below.  

So the takeaway : everything is just as it should be.

In Good Health,

Annette Broy, RN, CCM, C-IAYT, E-500RYT, CAP

Would you like to know more about Ayurveda?  Check out my online ‘Intro to Ayurveda’ course HERE

Would you like to learn how to live the Ayurvedic lifestyle? Check out ‘The Dragonfly 60 Day Transformation Plan’ a complete online step by step guide on how to incorporate Ayurveda to transform your life.  Click HERE for more info. 



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