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The spread of swine flu has brought the country to a standstill where we are hurriedly looking for ways to treat the flu. While the many number of medicines and vaccines find it difficult to tame the disease, we have heard Baba Ramdev claiming that yoga can cure swine flu. According to him, ayurvedic remedies and breathing exercises like bhastrika, kapalbhati, anulom-vilom pranayam can cure swine flu completely and also relieve the after-effects the viral infection has on one s body. Let us have a look at our experts take on this.
Can regular practice of yoga prevent swine flu?
It is vital that you build a strong immunity to prevent the flu. According to Kamlesh Barwal, Global Head, Sri Sri Yoga, The Art of Living, a regular practice of yoga ensures that all systems (endocrine, digestive and circulation) are working optimally well. Yoga poses, mostly inversions and forward bends are very helpful in the lymphatic system, that is responsible for draining out the toxins from the body. Practising homukhsvanasana,hastapadasana, sarvangasana, matsyasana can increase blood flow to the sinuses. Practices like 'jal neti' can keep the sinuses clean and infection free.
How can one build their immunity with yoga?
Our expert says, Yoga strengthens the bodily functions along with relaxing the mind. Immunity is directly related to the mental state. Poor liver function, digestion and a stressed body and mind is at higher risk of catching infections. We must practice asanas that gently compress or massage the belly and can help get rid of digestive ailments.
There is ample research to show that just 20 minutes of meditation a day can increase endorphins and decreases blood cortisol levels, to enhance mental wellbeing of an individual. A sound sleep is another factor that increases immunity. Here are 10 facts about swine flu you should be aware of.
How does the deep breathing or pranayama help in preventing swine flu?
Maximizing one s breathing capacity through pranayama builds resistance to attacking bacteria and viruses. Kapalabhati boosts resistance of respiratory tract. Bhastrika drains out the lungs. While alternate nostril breathing increase the resistance of sinuses.
Is it possible to treat swine flu with yoga?
According to the expert, when you are down with flu and cannot practise asanas, it's best to do pranayama. In early stages, asanas like bhujangasana, setubandhasana and pranyama like bastrika can help expand the lungs and flush them. Also, meditation plays a key role in keeping the stress hormones at bay and boosting the immunity. Sheetali, sheetkaari pranayama can help get relief in fever.
Ayurvedic doctors suggest tulsi leaves to boost immunity. Tulsi or holy basil has amazing medicinal properties. Rich in antioxidants, it is known to relieve stress, strengthen immunity, and relieve respiratory inflammation and congestion. Tulsi can be taken with ginger and honey/jaggery or boiled in drinking water or tulsi tea can be had in regular intervals. Tea made from laxmi taru leaves, tulsi, amla and amrut (giloy) acts as an immunity enhancer. Also, read swine flu- foods to eat and avoid.
Additionally, ginger, turmeric (haldi) powder mixed with either lime juice or honey can also be taken twice a day. Sri Sri Ayurveda's Shakti drops contain properties of most of the above.
Is there any specific yogic diet one can follow to prevent or treat flu?
Kamlesh suggests following some of these tips to prevent the flu:
Kamlesh says, Additionally, burn Sambranidhoop - a very potent atmospheric steriliser at home and also sprinkle agnihotra ashes around your home.
Image source: Getty Images
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