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How to take care of monsoon maladies

Everyday our immune system has to deal with polluted air, processed food and contaminated water. A frail immune system escalates the chances of falling sick. Here's what you can do about it.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 14, 2011 17:10 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee

All of us fall sick on certain occasions. Our bodies are constantly attacked by toxins present in our environment. Everyday our immune system has to deal with polluted air, processed food and contaminated water. A frail immune system escalates the chances of falling sick.



Your symptoms like frequent infections and low energy are typical of low immunity. Factors like stress, improper nutrition, chronic disease, poor liver function, underactive thyroid and toxins impact our immunity. Despite the constant attack by toxins, there are many natural ways to boost the immune system. Here are a few recommendations:



Turmeric:

Turmeric or haldi is an excellent preventive remedy for monsoon-related infection. Take ½ tsp of turmeric powder mixed with ½ tsp of honey twice a day to prevent a cold. It also helps relieve bloating and indigestion, which seems to increase during the monsoons. It boosts the immune system and prepares it to fight disease. You may also drink fresh turmeric juice by blending turmeric with a little water. Just strain it and drink.



Ginger:

According to Ayurveda, ginger is valuable for immunity boosting. Include raw ginger in your regular diet. If you suffer from hyper acidity, use it cautiously. Being heat producing and anti-clotting, it should be consumed in small quantities.



Honey:

Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood cells to fight bacteria and viral diseases. If you have cold, cough and congestion, mix two teaspoons of honey with equal quantity of ginger juice and consume frequently.



Cumin seeds:

They are rich in anti-oxidants like eugenol, limonene and hence boost immunity. Cumin seeds are rich in iron, Vitamins A and C, which boost the immune system.



Clove oil:

It has a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect, and thereby clears the nasal passage. This expectorant is useful in various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis. Chewing a clove bud eases sore throats.



Ajwain:

In an acute attack of common cold or migraine headache, put Ajwain powder in a thin cloth and smell it frequently. Also, drinking hot water after chewing Ajwain reduces phlegm and cough. When suffering from a cold drink water boiled with three gms of Ajwain and three gms of Cinnamon bark thrice a day for a few days. This helps reduce the discomfort of cold to a great extent



Kalonji

(black onion seeds):

These are very effective in treating diseases caused by a weakened immune system. Immunity is accelerated by the production of cells known as neutrophils. Kalonji seeds are rich source of essential fatty acids i.e. linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an important constituents for the production of immune cells and for the growth and maintenance of the nervous system. Onion seeds can be added to vegetables, dals and chutneys.



With a strategy that combines healthy diet, supplements and lifestyle management, you will be able to make it through this monsoons without much trouble.



Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre