- Immunity boosters increase the risk of stomach problems like acidity, ulcers, constipation and piles
- The sale of OTC products like vitamin C and D and zinc supplements has also increased
- Consult your doctor before taking herbal remedies, vitamins, and other OTC supplements
'Drink turmeric milk regularly and you will never get COVID-19'- many social media posts of such home remedies have been circulating in the lockdown. But now, the side effects of all such remedies are observed in the citizens all over the town.
There is a 20 to 30 percent increase in acidity, stomach ulcer, constipation, and piles due to the various immunity boosters and other medications taken without consulting the physician. Studies have proved that these medications do not prevent COVID-19 but do generate side effects.
These observations were made by doctors of the Terna Specialty Hospital & Research Centre from Navi Mumbai. Not only in Navi Mumbai but the increase in such cases were seen all over the country.
According to The Essential Toxin: Impact of Zinc on Human Health, published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, zinc in excess can lead to copper deficiency and cause lethargy.
In addition to increasing cases of stomach ulcers and acidity in the lockdown period and even now, there were cases of bleeding through the rectum due to irritation of the piles formation, burning sensation in the stomach and chest.
Patients who didn't respond to medications required endoscopy. Stomach ulcers and internal injury to the stomach were diagnosed using gastrointestinal endoscopy. Many coronavirus positive patients had loose motions and pain abdomen.
Dr. Nitin Tawte, Laparoscopic, Endoscopic and Piles Surgeon from Terna Speciality Hospital & Research Centre said that it is important to tell your doctor about the medications you are taking which also includes those prescribed by other doctors, as well as vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, and over-the-counter drugs you use every now and then.
Dietitian Preethi Raj has given simple tips on natural immune boosters, their role, and how much should be consumed.
- Active ingredient- Curcumin
- Has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Freshly ground turmeric
- It should be stopped immediately if the person feels bloated and has cramps
- Use not more than half a teaspoon (3 grams) if taken in the concoction
- Active ingredient- Gingerol
- Fresh ginger maintains the health of the digestive tract. Ground ginger removes toxins from the lungs. People can consume ginger lemon juice
- It should be stopped immediately if the person experiences gastrointestinal discomfort
- Fresh ginger juice - No more than 2 teaspoons (10ml)
- Dried ginger - 1 teaspoon (4-5 grams)
- Active ingredient - Allicin, disulphate, and thiosulphate
- Removes toxins from the lungs. It aids in good digestion
- It should be stopped immediately if you develop symptoms of bloating, and weakness
- Fresh garlic - No more than 1 teaspoon and a half (7 grams)
- Dried garlic - A pinch (300gm)
- Coriander and Cumin
- Cumin - cuminaldehyde
- More effective when taken together
- Helps in bowel movement. It also helps to build immunity as it is rich in magnesium, selenium, potassium, and calcium
- The person should not exceed 600mg of cumin and a few seeds (1 gm) of coriander in a day if he has low blood pressure
- Black Pepper
- Active ingredient - Piperine
- It helps to remove toxins from the lungs and increases the production of T-cells, which help to fight infection. It has anti-inflammatory properties and strengthens the immune system (helps the cell to engulf the bacteria)
- Should be combined with vitamin-A rich foods like carrots as it improves the absorption of curcumin and beta carotene
- It should be stopped immediately if there are gastrointestinal issues, heartburns
- Less than 4 grams of pepper kernels should be consumed in a day
- Has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and antiviral properties
- Helps decrease blood sugar and cholesterol
- Sprouted fenugreek has anti-oxidant properties and can be consumed on an empty stomach to increase absorption. It should be stopped immediately if the person experiences intestinal distress Less than 1 teaspoon (5 grams) should be consumed as more quantities of fenugreek can lead to liver toxicity, fatty liver, and even cirrhosis.