Antiviral and Immune Support
With the acknowledgement by the World Health Organisation that the Coronavirus has become a pandemic, let’s broaden the question on how to support your body’s healing mechanisms when a virus is circulating or when the body is fighting a virus. Let’s consider
Key herbs and herbal combinations that have known antiviral and or resistance boosting properties to provide protective support or to aid recovery.
- Aroma oils that have antiviral and or resistance boosting properties.
- Everyday spices that have antiviral and or resistance boosting properties.
- What you can do to support recovery if you get sick with a virus.
Key Herbal Formulations
The following herbal combinations have been used traditionally in Ayurveda for a very long time to support the body’s natural defences to pathogens and to support resistance to disease. Ayurveda has a rich tradition and practice of combining ingredients for more effective use.
Meda (MA631) is traditionally used to help increase resistance to disease and strength of all other tissues including the respiratory system and maintain energy, stamina, bone strength and reproductive fluid. The main elements are treasured herbs called Shilajit (43%) and Indian Bedellium (11%). Ayurveda explains Shilajit supports the restorative processes of men and women, young and old and is known to be a natural source of antiviral substances. Indian Bedellium (Guggul) is traditionally used to support the resistance and to help balance the circulatory, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. This combined preparation also supports the whole digestive process and assists in nutrient assimilation.
MA 687 Liquorice/Ashwagandha
MA687 Liquorice/Ashwagandha Contains Yastimadhu (liquorice) (87%) and Ashwagandha (8%). Liquorice is considered a rejuvenating herb that is traditionally used to support the respiratory system including the lungs. It is also used to help soothe a sore throat. Ashwagandha is traditionally used to help is a stress-protective agent that helps the body maintain homeostasis, even when mentally or physically challenged.
It is also important to aid digestive health. Ayurveda explains, respiratory imbalances start or are exacerbated by an accumulation of ama or impurities in the gut. What is meant here is that our ability to defend against invading viruses, bacteria or fungi depends greatly on the effectiveness of our gut.
Therefore it is important to consider taking a digestive herbal when viruses are circulating as well as being careful not to overeat and avoid taking large meals in the evening. Favour fresh foods (avoid leftovers), with freshly prepared meals and snacks. It is best to avoid canned, frozen or very cold, packaged or processed foods.
- Herbal Digest (MA927) helps the whole digestive system and is a mild digestive aid particularly suitable for those with Pitta nature or Pitta imbalance. It supports all five bhutagnis – digestive fires, supporting a regular appetite and freedom from cravings, making you feel more light and comfortable. Pomegranate seeds help balance and stimulate both the appetite and the process of digestion. The seeds are processed in the unique and specific way described in traditional texts. This maximizes their potency.
- Digest Plus (MA154) is a stronger digestive aid that helps to balance appetite, stomach acid, reduce gas and support liver and pancreatic function. It also detoxes ama or impurities from your body tissues. It is particularly helpful for those with Vata or Kapha nature or imbalance.
Night-time Tonic for everyone
Take 1-2 tablets of Triphala Rose (MA505) at bedtime. Triphala Rose consists of three fruits Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis) Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Cabbage Rose which is added to support and enhance the other ingredients. Triphala Rose helps in absorbing nutrients effectively and in restoring your health, immunity and energy and is a gentle detox. It is considered a prophylactic that overtime protects health in many ways.
Nasal Drops (MA735)
Nasal Drops (MA735) – Protect your upper respiratory tract with regular use of these Nasal Drops. They are for sniffing up the nose. They contain 27 herbs infused into sesame oil and goats milk to balance, purify and protect your nasal passages and sinuses, and help keep them clean and free of toxins. Clear nasals passages support clear thinking, resistance to infection and eye function.
Cold Season Defence (MA1404)
Cold Season Defence (MA1404) enlivens the body’s natural resistance by strengthening digestion, clearing the shrotas (the channels through which toxins and infective agents are removed) and keeping moisture levels (Kapha dosha) in balance. It contains Holy Basil (Tulsi) which acts to support the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. It helps keep the lungs clear and is a heart tonic to name a few of its uses. It is one of the two most sacred plants in India and increases prana – life-breath.
MA3697 Guggul/Mountain Ebony complex
MA3697 Guggul/Mountain Ebony complex. The main ingredient in this formula Guggul has antiviral effects supports resistance and helps balance the circulatory, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Mountain Ebony supports the health of plasma and blood as it helps to reduce heat and congestion, flushing toxins, sluggishness and ama, or accumulated wastes, from the lymphatic system and the digestive system.
Sniffle Free Tea
Sniffle Free Tea – It is very important to keep your fluids up when your body is activated by a virus or infection. It helps to flush the pathogen into the digestive system and thereby out of the body. Sniffle Free Tea adds some powerful herbals to the fluid which greatly assists the process. Holy Basil, liquorice and Marshmallow flower support the health of the upper respiratory tract. Orris root, Hyssop and Malabar Nut help maintain fluid balance. Ginger and mint support the digestive process and provide a great flavour.
- Aim to drink a minimum of 1.5 Litres a day. Keep it warm in a flask and sip at a comfortable temperature every 15 minutes.
Use the power of Aroma Oils
Nature has provided us with an amazing array of powerful essential oils that research is now confirming can act aggressively in helping combat viruses and other pathogens. Inhalation oil (MA 634) and Kapha Aroma Oil contain a combination of some of these essential oils. They can be used in an aroma diffuser, diluted in water and sprayed on surfaces as a cleaning aid or as directed below and are a helpful addition.
Inhalation Oil (MA634)
This blend of seven essential oils (Camphor, Ajowain, Peppermint, Clove, Fennel, Eucalyptus and Cinnamon) is a robust formula of antiviral essential oils. It may be inhaled in steam or rubbed on the chest. It helps to keep the nasal passages, lungs and sinuses clear. It is also useful for helping to keep the muscles, including those of the forehead and temples, relaxed and joints comfortable.
Kapha Aroma Oil
Lavender, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Camphor and Frankincense is also a powerful antiviral combination. It helps to balance the Kapha quality within the body and as the lungs are the primary site of Kapha in the body, is helpful to use when wishing to support or protect the lungs and respiratory system.
How to make a spray
- Select a glass bottle rather than a plastic bottle if possible.
- Mix 4 oz (½ cup) of purified or distilled water in your spray bottle with 20 drops of Kapha Aroma Oil or Inhalation oil (MA 634).
Everyday Spices and Foods to Favour
Some everyday foods and spices have been used in Ayurveda for a very long time to support resistance to microbes, to promote balance of the doshas and support digestive health.
- Aim to include Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon and Rosemary into your diet daily.
- An easy way to incorporate a combination of these spices into your diet is to use the Kapha Spicy Seasoning which contains organic Ginger, Coriander, Black Pepper, Raw Cane Sugar, Turmeric and Ceylon-Cinnamon. Ideally, add Kapha Spicy Seasoning during cooking or sprinkle over savoury food at the start of the meal.
- Note: Turmeric is best taken mixed and sauteed with a good quality oil like extra virgin olive oil or ghee as key constituents are fat-soluble which means it is typically “awakened” in hot oil.
Interestingly garlic, leeks, onions and nettles have also been found to have an antiviral effect so are helpful to have in your diet. Eating red grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and drinking red grape juice is also helpful.
When your body is combating a virus
It is sensible to continue with all the resistance and resilience boosting measures mentioned above even when a viral infection has taken hold.
- Consider taking the following herbals:
- Keep well hydrated by sipping Sniffle Free tea every 15 minutes.
- Keep your environment clean by using Kapha Aroma Oil in a spray bottle and following your Health Department recommendations around hygiene.
- Do an inhalation using Inhalation Oil (MA634) to see if it helps you feel more comfortable. The aroma of these essential oils when inhaled does have a helpful effect within the respiratory system.
- Use Kapha Spicy Seasoning in your diet. Also, add 1 tsp of turmeric sauteed in olive oil or ghee to your meals or over the savoury portion of your meal twice a day.
- Add Garlic, leeks, onions, nettles, red grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries to your diet and drink red grape juice.
- Have your main meal of the day at lunchtime with hunger and eat according to appetite. Eat light soup only in the evening from 5 to 6 pm. Ghee is okay to take, but avoid all other dairy products, fried foods and heavy foods, packaged, canned or frozen foods. Favour fresh foods, freshly prepared where you can.
- Take rest, as it is nature’s cure.
- If you practise Transcendental Meditation meditate as much as is comfortable within your daily routine while resting and recovering.
Wishing you health and wellbeing today and always
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212237525
DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine