Over many years, Swami Satchidananda made recommendations for keeping our bodies strong, our minds calm, and our hearts open, which all apply especially in this age of the Coronavirus or what I like to call: the “Karuna”-virus. Karuna is the Sanskrit for “compassion.” Having compassion for ourselves and others is paramount, especially now!
We can act so that we are less likely to be “influenzed by the influenza.” We can care for ourselves, making certain to be well rested, do our own Yoga practices, and then care for others—that helps us as well as them. Swami Satchidananda often said, “I” leads to “illness,” while “we” is the essence of “wellness.” In this epidemic, it is more clear than ever we are all in this together—at a physical distance, but socially and spiritually still connected.
So, how can you take action to help your immune system fight off infections such as Covid 19, the Coronavirus? Here are some suggestions*:
o Hand washing does make a difference, soap and water kill the virus, but also you need to avoid the droplets that can be found on surfaces, packages, any foods you bring into your home, and even your shoes. Keep your shoes and an outfit for wearing outdoors just inside your door, rather than wear them around your home, and disinfect them as soon as you return home.
o If you smoke or vape, seriously consider quitting. These have been shown to increase risk for more serious complications of this virus.
o You may want to avoid the use of ibuprofen, as this also seems to delay healing. Those who have heart disease, high blood pressure, lung diseases, diabetes, kidney disease and other serious illnesses are also at greater risk. If you take an ACE inhibitor or ARB for high blood pressure or heart failure, your lungs are particularly vulnerable.
o Our immune systems are very complex. Part of our defenses are white cells that travel in our blood streams and sit waiting in our lymph nodes, ready to attack viruses and other invaders which may cause diseases such as the Covid 19, the Coronavirus. A number of home remedies have been scientifically documented to increase quantity and quality of white cell activity.
o Yoga practice has been shown to reduce inflammation, lowering levels of C-reactive protein, which frees up the immune system to focus on fighting infection.
o Daily meditation, pranayama, Yoga postures, deep relaxation, and visualization all can help your immune competence. Dr. Pranayama is on call 24/7, with no co-pay!
o Following a whole foods vegan diet, improves immune function. If you have a fever, liquids only is helpful until it is normal. You can drink ginger tea, turmeric tea, orange juice, and abundant water with fresh lemon or lime.
o Soup made of garlic and onions acts to increase white cell function. Lemons and limes, especially their peels, contain limonene, active against viruses.
o Refined sugar—even a tablespoon—has been shown to decrease ability of white cells to fight infection. Agave and maple syrup, similarly affect blood sugar enough to interfere with immunity. Stevia or monk fruit are fine, since they do not influence your blood sugar levels.
o Here are some of the best supplements to consider:
1.VM 75 Multiple Vitamin and Minerals by Solgar, twice daily
2. Vitamin C complex (not ester C), 2,000 mg three times daily
3. Vitamin D 3, 2,000 IU daily (no more than 5,000 daily, as this has been shown to thin the bones)
4. Zinc 50 mg daily
5. Echinacea 10 capsules at first, and then 5 capsules, 3 times daily (over 200 research studies have shown it increases white cell numbers and function)
o If you have a cough, facial steamers (especially those that cover nose and mouth well) can really help. It’s ideal if you can put a drop of eucalyptus essential oil in the water, which also fights viruses. If not, a workaround (though this calls for much more caution) is to place a pot of water on the stove, bring to boiling, very carefully remove and set on a heat-resistant surface; drape a towel over the head and the pot, lift the lid to be able to inhale the steam at a comfortable distance.
*Please note: The information provide in this article is educational and informational only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
About the Author:
Sandra Amrita McLanahan, M.D., is a nationally recognized authority on preventive medicine, nutrition, stress reduction, and primary family health care. She founded America’s first integrative medicine clinic in 1976. She continued her trailblazing work as Director of Stress Management Training at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute for twenty years, where she worked with Dr. Dean Ornish to document the benefits of dietary change and stress management to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dr. McLanahan is the author of the book Surgery and its Alternatives: How to Make the Right Choices for Your Health and was the medical consultant for the book, Dr. Yoga.