After the blazing summer heat, rainfall brings relief and a smile on people’s faces.
However, onset of monsoon also brings a bunch of illness and infections, Rains set a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Respiratory tract infections (cold, cough and flu), cholera, typhoid, dengue fever, malaria, Hepatitis A infection and sometimes cholera are the most common illnesses that occur during monsoons.
The wet and damp weather can also harm your skin and hair, causing various skin infections. Your immune system is the backbone for a healthy and strong body and it is essential to keep a healthy immune system to help fight off infections and illnesses caused by the monsoon showers.
- the Indian form of medicine, has some amazing herbs to protect us from different health issues. There are certain herbs which help nourish, support and boost the immune system
. Using herbs to treat infections are safe with no side effects and they are very effective in boosting your immunity.
Herbs to Stay Infection Free and Fit in the Monsoon1. Tulsi / Holy Basil – It is also known as Holy basil. Tulsi is also referred as "The Queen of Herbs", "Mother Medicine of Nature" in Ayurveda. Tulsi has various medicinal benefits. The taste of tulsi is hot and bitter and penetrates into the deep tissues. Everyday intake of tulsi helps to prevent diseases and improves general health, well being, longevity and helps to deal with the stress of daily life. Tulsi is found to be beneficial for a wide range of conditions including anxiety, cough, asthma, diarrhea, fever, dysentery, arthritis, eye diseases, otalgia, indigestion, hiccups, vomiting, gastric, cardiac and genitourinary disorders, back pain, skin diseases, ringworm, insect, snake and scorpion bites and malaria.
2. Turmeric: It is a useful herb for your health. It is commonly known as ‘haldi’. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties; hence it is widely used in various Ayurvedic treatments including respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, allergy, liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough and sinusitis. Turmeric contains curcumin named chemical substance and the anti-inflammatory property of turmeric comes from this curcumin. Turmeric is used for the treatment of several ailments including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections and liver diseases. It also helps in digestive disorders, abdominal pain and dyspeptic conditions such as loss of appetite, liver and gall bladder complaints. Add turmeric in a cup of warm milk, and drink this every night before going to bed. This helps to treat intestinal disorders, cold and sore throats. Application of turmeric on skin also helps to improve various skin conditions.
3. Triphala: It means "three fruits". In Ayurveda Triphala is the combination of Amalaki (Amla), Bibhitaki (Behada) and Haritaki (Harada). Triphala is known to be a bowel regulator, cleanser and blood purifier. It is also used for headache, Dyspepsia and constipation. Triphala is indicated as a digestive tonic and improves the digestion capability, which slows down during monsoon. Amla, present in Triphala, is a good source of vitamin C which helps to reduce the severity of cold and boosts the immune system. It also helps to flush out harmful toxins from our body. Bibhitaka has lot of medicinal benefits, and, therefore, Triphala is used in the treatment of cough and cold, diarrhea, asthma, fever, headache, dyspepsia, sore throat and many other conditions.
4. Licorice: The scientific name of licorice root is Glycyrrhiza glabra. It has anti-inflammatory and anti viral properties. It is beneficial in people with asthma or chest colds with coughs or problem in breathing.
5. Ginger: It is a popular herb for its natural healing and immune system boosting properties. Ginger also has anti bacterial, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Ginger helps to get quick relief from a sore throat and also inhibits rhinoviruses responsible for common cold and flu.
6. Garlic: It is an easily available ingredient in your kitchen which has medicinal properties. Daily eating of garlic can provide wide range of health benefits. Allicin is a compound present in garlic and this compound has sulphur which is responsible for the distinctive smell and taste of garlic. It is thought that allicin present in garlic helps to boost the immune system and thus protect our body against various infections. Daily intake of garlic can also help to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu. Garlic also has heart protecting, anti-arthritic and diabetic assisting properties. Garlic also has anti-oxidant properties, and thus, it can reduce the generation of free radicals in the blood.
7. Pepper: Black pepper not only adds an exotic flavor to your dish, it also has several medicinal benefits. It is good for the stomach, stimulates appetite, enhances digestion, and provides relief from respiratory problems and many more. Pepper is used for as a cold and cough remedy by adding it to tonics. Pepper is also found to be beneficial for sinusitis and nasal congestion. Due to the expectorant property of pepper, it helps to break up the mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract. The loosened materials come out through the act of sneezing or coughing because of the pepper's irritant quality and this material is eliminated from the body and helps to improve from the infection or illness.
It has antibacterial property which helps to fight against infections. Black pepper is a potent antioxidant, which helps to prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases and liver problems.
8. Cinnamon: It contains high content of antioxidants including polyphenols and proanthocyanidins. It also contains certain essential oils namely cinnamyl acetate, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamaldehyde, which can help to boost the immune system as they have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This aromatic spice can be added to many dishes including sprinkling over fruit salad or cereals, or as a flavor element to your baked goodies and others. Most importantly it can be added to your warm tea or coffee which helps to relief from sore throat.