Coronavirus has certainly made us all more sensitive towards hygiene and using a mask wherever you go might help in filtering out the pollutants outside, but what about air pollution that affects you even while you are at home?
As monsoons end in September in most parts around the country, everyone starts prepping-up for the festive season with the annual home cleaning and re-decorating Diwali ritual. Irrespective of how much we clean the shelves, the bottom line remains that the levels of air pollution are increasing alarmingly and affecting not only your respiratory health but also your hair and skin.
In 2019, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi was 368 which were 16 times worse than the prescribed limit. Some areas even recorded 999 AQI beyond which even the equipment fail to record the AQI.
Even after the firecrackers ban being reinforced in many states like Delhi and Rajasthan, one cannot predict the AQIs but simply prepare to survive the nasty outcomes of increasing Air Pollution. And thankfully, Ayurveda has the solution for you to increase your immunity and fight the pollution.
So, what are the ayurvedic methods that can help in fighting air pollution?
This can be done in three different ways:
- Adding anti-oxidant rich food to your diet
- Following ayurvedic home remedies to boost your immunity
- Purifying the air around you
Let’s take you through each of these methods in detail.
Ayurvedic Methods for Increasing Immunity against Pollution
Since there isn’t much you can do externally to reduce the air pollution to a level that it doesn’t affect your health, there’s a lot more you can do by increasing your immunity against its effects. To achieve that, you must take a diet that is rich in anti-oxidants that would strengthen your immunity and help you fight the negative effects of air pollution. You should add foods that are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene and Omega-3.
- To add more Vitamin C, you can include foods like apples, amla, kiwi, carrots, berries, guava and tomatoes. For Vitamin E, include almonds, basil and clove.
- For Omega-3, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, clarified butter and ghee are the best sources.
- You might not be aware of what beta-carotene is. Present as an orange pigment in plants like carrots, beta-carotene not only acts as a major source of Vitamin A and acts as an anti-oxidant. Beta-Carotene helps in skin health, lung health and reduces eye problems. To make sure that you are taking a diet rich in beta-carotene, include green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, coriander and broccoli.
Home Remedies to Boost Immunity against Air Pollution
Apart from the regular intake of these fruits and vegetables to increase your immunity, here are some home remedies that you can use to increase your immunity.
- Basil, Ginger and Honey: Mix five drops of basil juice with one tablespoon of honey and ginger extracts and take it every morning on an empty stomach.
- Turmeric with Honey: A time-tested formula, mix a tablespoon of honey with one-fourth tablespoon of turmeric powder and take it before going to bed every night. Drinking warm milk with turmeric would also help. Turmeric is known to work better than any anti-inflammatory drug and Curcumin, the main hero, increases immunity and viral multiplication and provides pain relief.
- Jaggery: With winters around, we are sure you would find many ways to include this food rich in anti-oxidants.
- Neem: With amazing anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits, neem’s natural trapping filters can absorb the dust particles absorbing gaseous particles. To reduce the external effects of air pollution on your skin, you can apply the neem paste to reduce wrinkle lines and promote healthy skin. You can also take neem capsules or add the paste to tea/water to boost immunity.
- Ghee or Clarified Butter: With the presence of Omega-3 and anti-oxidants, adding ghee to your diet would do wonders for your immunity. Ghee is not only good for digestion, but it also promotes an alkaline environment in the body which suppresses the manifestation of viruses and diseases.
House Plants to Purify the Indoor Air
While you are including Vitamin C, E, Omega-3 and beta carotene in your diet, another step that you can take to fight against air pollution is by adding more indoor plants that would purify the air. House plants not only have decorative properties, they have dust filtering capabilities as well. Like we mentioned earlier, Neem is one of the most common and easily available plants that would help in absorbing gaseous particles and CO2 from the air. Apart from that, money plant, peace lily and bamboo can not only spruce up a place but would also clean the air that you breathe inside your homes. Go ahead and add the plants to your work desk and feel the magic of clean air.