Hygiene means good practices of personal cleanliness such as bathing, brushing one’s teeth, and washing one’s hands after using the toilet and before meals.
Good personal hygiene can prevent health problems like skin infections, body odour, head lice, scalp infections, dental decay and bad breath.
It has taken us a long time to understand the necessity of good hygiene. In the olden days, poor hygiene led to plagues and disease epidemics. Since few doctors disinfected their instruments and surroundings while working, deaths due to infection during surgery were very high as well.
Also read: Monsoon mantras for staying healthy
These days, even as the West has understood the importance of good hygiene, we still largely haven’t. Urban India is waking up to it, but the situation in rural India is still very bad. Many of the diseases that affect rural India can be attributed directly to poor hygiene. For instance, drinking water tends to be unclean, which leads to illnesses. Childbirth is still a messy affair. Garbage disposal practices are abominable all over the country.
Personal health and hygiene in the monsoon
The rainy season is when you are most likely to fall ill, thanks to sewage on the roads. Besides that, the environmental conditions favour the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungus in the atmosphere and on the surfaces of many objects. You must be vigilant about your personal hygiene.
* Bathe and shampoo regularly.
* Wash your hands with soap.
* Wash your feet when you come indoors.
* Wear fresh clothes every day.
* Brush your teeth and floss them regularly.
* Women, make sure you’re clean during your menstrual cycle.
Herbs for good hygiene
* Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic.
* Add boiled neem leaves to bathing water to prevent skin infections.
* Clove oil is good for oral hygiene.
* Burn camphor in a clay diya to disinfect the atmosphere.
From HT Brunch, July 27
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