Intro: According to Ayurveda, prevention is always better than cure, and the primary goal of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person.
With the death toll increasing by the day across India due to contagious swine flu, it is necessary look for all possible solutions to fight the menace. In today’s medical fraternity, Swine flu is a “Hot Topic”. Exposing the scam behind swine flu scare, Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor, in his article—Report condemns swine flu experts' ties to big pharma, in
theguardian dated June 4, 2010—wrote that Scientists who drew up the key World Health Organisa-tion guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit, according to a report out today.
An investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journa-lism, the not-for-profit reporting unit, shows that WHO guidance issued in 2004 was authored by three scientists who had previously received payment for other work from Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), manufacturer of Relenza.
Coming to what is Swine Flu?
Let’s now move from Scam to Swine Flu-Solution. Swine influenza (also called H1N1 flu, swine flu, hog flu, and pig flu) is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.
Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood.
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at increased risk of zoonotic infection with influenza virus endemic in these animals, and constitute a population of human hosts in which zoonosis and re-assortment can co-occur.
Signs and symptoms of Swine Flu
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans the symptoms of the 2009 “swine flu” H1N1 virus are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea and vomiting. The 2009 H1N1 virus is not zoonotic swine flu, as it is not transmitted from pigs to humans, but from person to person.
The most common cause of death is respiratory failure; other causes of death are pneumonia (leading to sepsis), high fever (leading to neurological problems), dehydration (from excessive vomiting and diarrhea) and electrolyte imbalance. Fatalities are more likely in young children and the
Swine Flu: How does Ayurveda see it?
Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years, and is a comprehensive system of medicine, which places equal emphasis on mind, body, and spirit.
According to Ayurveda, flu is caused only when there is lack of immunity in the body. In this ancient science of healing, the concept of immunity is based on the beej-bhumi (seed-land) theory. When the human body contains ama (toxins-impurity), it becomes a fertile breeding ground for different viruses and bacteria. On the other hand is the Ojas (Immunity) which helps the body in resisting infection. Low Ojas is lack of immunity at the physical level and absence of mental strength at the mind level. Ayurveda says you can prevent the spread of flu by strengthening the Ojas and enhancing your body immunity.
In Ayurvedic medicinal system, Swine Flu may be referred to as VataKaphajwara, which is caused by the aggravation of Vata and Kapha. It attacks the respiratory system, blocking the air passage channels and leads to associated symptoms like cough, nausea, body aches, fever etc.
Ayurvedic line of Treatment: Prevention
According to Ayurveda, prevention is always better than cure, and the primary goal of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person. As stated: “Swasthasya Swasthya Raksha-nam”. These are the few preventive measures according to Ayurveda.
The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days for analysis. So as soon as any one feels discomfort with symptoms like sneezing, coughing and any other respiratory symptoms, he or she should start taking herbal tea.
Here is the way to make herbal tea
- Boil approximately 200ml of potable water, till it remains half and mix the following herbs in it.
- Juice of 10 to 15 fresh leaves of Tulasi(Basil)
- 5 ml of fresh ginger root juice
- half spoon powder of cloves
- half spoon powder of cinnamon bark
- half spoon powder of peppermint leaves
- half spoon powder of cardamom
- half spoon of turmeric powder
- half spoon of rock salt
Mix all these properly, add one spoon of honey when the tea is luke warm and have it twice or thrice a day.
These all-around wonder spices are said to help detoxify the liver, fight allergies, stimulate digestion, and boost immunity. They are excellent for balancing Vaata and Kapha, which are the prominent Dosha in Swine influenza or any other respiratory tract infection.
If you are not vaccinated, start practicing Pranayama, especially “hot Pranayama” like Bhastrika and ‘’Kapalbhanti”. This will improve your lungs capacity and immunity to combat any infections from the viruses.
- One should avoid sleeping during the day hours.
- One should avoid traveling or being outdoors during the early hours of the day when there is dew and cold winds blow.
- Oil massage with oil possessing warm quality is beneficial.
- Clean and dry clothes should be worn.
- Individuals should avoid direct and strong cold winds.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Try to move around the place of work instead of sitting in one place or do some kind of physical work.
- Try to avoid over exertion.
- Take meals at regular timings and in fixed quantities.
- Drink a glass of water with two teaspoons of honey every day early in the morning.
- Always have fresh meals, prepared using minimum quantity of oil, or prepared with the help of Cow’s ghee.
- Dry chatni & dry vegetables are recommended.
- Sprinkle your salads with dry ginger powder, and black pepper powder.
- Chewing of a bite of ginger before meals with little bit of salt is helpful.
- Always choose warm food over cold food.
- Pickles made of ‘Raw haldi’ are recommended.
- Daily use of ‘Honey’ helps to control the excessive kapha.
- Avoid use of air conditioners. Avoid damp, humid and cold weather, and environment.
- Regular use of sweets, butter, cheese, etc.
- Dairy products especially curd and butter.
- Refrigerated, re-warmed, day old stale food, etc.
- Excessive use of cheese, yogurt, etc.
Ayurveda Treatment for Viral infections in cold seasons.
Following Ayurveda drugs may be started as soon as possible.
- Sitopaladi Churna
- Naradiya Laximivilas Ras
- Malla Sindura
- Prahari Pippali
- Suvarna Vasanta Malini Rasa
- Shwasa Kuthara Rasa
Dr Hitesh Jani (The writer is HOD, Department of Panchakarma UG, in Gujarat Ayurved University in Jamnagar)