Boost Your Immunity—Naturally!
Tips for boosting your immunity system to fight common health conditions naturally
Fight cough and cold
Dilute a pinch of paprika and one teaspoon of honey with two tablespoonfuls of lime juice in half a cup of water and take it every morning to prevent colds. Take this concoction thrice a day if you already have a cold.
For dry coughs
Make a brew of two tablespoons of ginger juice, one tablespoon of garlic juice, a pinch of turmeric powder and two green cardamom pods in 100 ml water. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for two minutes. Strain, add one teaspoon of rock sugar (mishri) and drink warm. Repeat two to three times a day until the cough subsides.
For stronger immunity
Boil five green cardamom pods and two cloves in two litres of water and drink this water daily to improve immunity.
—Charmaine D’Souza, a health and nutrition consultant
Balance acidic and alkaline
Ideally, your body should be 80 per cent alkaline and 20 per cent acidic. A more acidic body is prone to viral and bacterial attacks. So, avoid processed and canned foods, sugar, alcohol and refined foods. An alkali-rich diet includes antioxidant- and fibre-rich fruits and vegetables that promote gut and kidney health.
Drink lots of plain water, lemon water, coconut water, amla juice and fresh fruit or vegetable juices.
Spice up meals
Add spices such as black pepper and cinnamon, ginger, rock salt, turmeric and garlic in meals.
Fight respiratory issues
Take a daily dose of vitamin C-rich foods such as amla, citrus fruits and lemon.
—Salila Tewari, naturopath and founder of Swasth Bachao Andolan
Supplement your body
Vitamins C, D, B-complex, zinc and magnesium are all important. Research shows vitamin D may be more effective than the flu vaccine for flu prevention. Take supplements under your doctor’s supervision.
Switch to healthy fats
Cook with cold-pressed mustard, sesame, coconut, olive oil or desi ghee.
Go for the gut
Boost gut health with fermented foods, prebiotic fibre, or even psyllium husk (isabgul).
Get herbal help
Herbal remedies can keep your immunity robust—tulsi (1 capsule or a few leaves once a day); guduchi (decoction or one finger-long stem crushed and boiled); neem leaves (two or three every day).