It has been quite a severe flu season. Hospitals are reporting the highest number of flu cases in nearly a decade, resulting in some schools closing and care centres restricting visitors since children and the elderly are most at risk for complications with flu.
Ayurveda, the thousands-of-years-old system of medicine from India, has long known that the very young and the very elderly have the most fragile immune systems and are more prone to the perils of disease. Like modern medicine, ayurveda would likewise concur that the best medication in prevention, so along with the CDC recommendations of coughing into a tissue and throwing it away, sneezing into your arm, keeping your hands clean, and avoiding touching your mouth and eyes – ayurveda includes a few other actions items to help in prevention of flu.
Consider the influenza from an ayurvedic perspective
Ayurveda links all disease back to a state called ama. Ama is the by-product of poorly digested food, due to eating when not hungry, eating too much, eating if upset, eating on the run, excessive processed foods, and eating meals that aren’t in season. The outcome is a sticky, flushing, half-digested food which enters the circulatory system and clogs the channels.
The short-term symptoms may be lack of appetite, constipation or nausea, lassitude, along with a foggy head, but the ultimate result of ama is a weakened immune system. We become what we eat, therefore if we are eating “junk food” or we aren’t mindful of what, when, and how we’re eating we weaken our entire system. This has long been a central concept in ayurveda, and modern science has more proof to back this concept up with research each and every moment.
Stop the flu based on ayurveda
From the classical texts of ayurveda, there is not a mention of “influenza”. But there is mention of ama, which comprises a fever and resembles the influenza. So first of all, we want to protect against the ama. Here are some ways you can enhance your digestion, which will help in appropriate assimilation of meals to encourage a strong immune system:
#1 Eat foods in season
It is winter. So eat foods that are cooked and easy to digest. Soups, stews, cooked vegetables, beans, and rice. Avoid anything raw, cold, and iced. Leave the salads for summer; ditch the smoothies for hot soup; prefer tea and warm water over iced drinks.
#2 Do not eat excessive volumes
Your body is able to hold just so much. It is helpful to think of your stomach for a shopping bag: It can hold only so much before the things slide out or the bag breaks. The exact same is true for your own stomach. Don’t fill it up too far, and listen to a body when it sends you hints that you’re not hungry. One example? Burping. A burp is your stomach sending a message to the brain to stop eating.
#3 Eat only when you are hungry
Ayurveda describes hunger for a fire, and the gut is like a wood-burning stove which holds the fire element. When the fire is ready, exactly enjoy a wood-burning stove, you feed it. If you are not hungry, then it means there is not enough fire (digestive enzymes and acid) to properly transform the food into nutrition your body can utilise. This will give you an undigested substance the body can’t really do anything except eliminate.
#4 Cut out that processed junk food
There is just crap – and there is food. I adore this, and ayurveda would agree! Processed food doesn’t encourage health. Eat foods that are fresh, exactly the same as if they came from the earth, cooked, and easy for you to digest.
#5 Eat in a relaxed manner
The nervous system resides in the gut, therefore if we eat when we’re angry, grieving, or stressed out, we will not properly digest our food. Take a few breaths; relax the body; turn off the computer, TV, or phone; and eat at a peaceful environment. The way we eat is as important as what we eat.