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The lungs play a vital role in our well-being, and Ayurveda offers valuable insights into maintaining their health. This article explores natural methods to protect and improve lung function through diet, lifestyle adjustments, and preventive measures. The lungs play a crucial role in our respiratory system, and maintaining their health is vital for overall well-being. Ancient traditions like Ayurveda have highlighted the significance of proper lung care. In this article, we will explore Ayurvedic methods to protect and improve lung health. From incorporating turmeric and pepper into our diets to understanding the benefits of vitamin C-rich foods, we will delve into natural remedies for common respiratory issues such as colds, asthma, COPD, and the potential side effects of cough syrup. By adopting these Ayurvedic practices, we can safeguard our lungs and promote better respiratory health.
The global impact of the Coronavirus has caused widespread fear, resulting in a devastating rise in the death toll. Governments worldwide have been compelled to prioritize public health, leading to the implementation of stringent measures aimed at controlling the outbreak. In India, similar actions have been taken, including the enforcement of lockdowns, as a significant strategy to prevent the life-threatening spread of the virus.
Regrettably, the implementation of lockdown measures across various regions has inadvertently led to a sedentary lifestyle for many individuals. This lack of physical activity has gradually taken its toll on people’s metabolism and immune systems. Meanwhile, the world is witnessing a surge in viral infections and airborne diseases, necessitating a robust defense mechanism within our bodies to combat the severity of such ailments and viral attacks.
Turmeric and Pepper :
Turmeric, known for its active compound curcumin, requires the presence of phytochemicals for effective absorption in the body. Pepper is a natural source of these phytochemicals, making it beneficial to consume turmeric alongside pepper. To ensure purity, it is recommended to use homemade turmeric powder rather than store-bought varieties, which may be adulterated. Additionally, guava, abundant in phytochemicals, can be included in the diet to support lung health.
Vitamin C :
Lemon, orange, and amla are excellent sources of vitamin C. However, it’s important to understand the optimal ways to consume these fruits. Vitamin C is rapidly metabolized and excreted from the body, necessitating daily intake. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that can be stored, vitamin C requires regular replenishment. Individuals with respiratory acidosis, characterized by inadequate CO2 elimination, should incorporate alkaline-balancing foods into their diet. Consuming juices made from lemon, amla, mint, and cucumber facilitates acid elimination through urine, effectively cleansing the lungs. Ginger also holds remarkable benefits for lung health.
Frequent colds can be addressed using natural remedies. Boiling cloves, bark, and betel leaves in water and consuming the resulting infusion can provide relief. Nasal irrigation, using a nasal cup filled with warm water mixed with salt, helps cleanse the nasal passages. Steam inhalation is another beneficial practice for clearing congestion and promoting respiratory comfort.
Although asthma may have a genetic component, it is often triggered by lifestyle and dietary factors. When the bronchioles, the air passages branching from the trachea, become constricted, proper airflow to the lungs is hindered. This results in wheezing, characterized by the passage of air through narrowed tubes. Asthma is considered a kapha-type disease, thus it is advisable to avoid foods that increase kapha. Milk, known to cause sluggishness, should be avoided as it hampers the coordination between the stomach and breathing. Moderate consumption of ghee aids digestion, while buttermilk, devoid of solid milk content, can be consumed. Adding dry ginger powder to buttermilk enhances its benefits. Foods made from maida (refined flour) should be avoided, and incorporating turmeric and pepper into the diet can help balance the body’s doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha).
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is primarily caused by occupation-related factors such as working in cement or textile factories, exposure to traffic pollution, and smoking. Inhaled pollutants from these sources can cause inflammation and swelling in the lung tubes, resulting in decreased lung elasticity and compromised oxygen exchange. 80% of COPD cases are attributed to smoking, affecting not only active smokers but also passive smokers. Quitting smoking is crucial for preventing and managing COPD. Individuals exposed to excessive carbon monoxide, such as traffic police working for extended periods on roads, should prioritize lung protection. By donning a mask, they can minimize the inhalation of harmful pollutants, ensuring better respiratory health.
Risks of Frequent Cough Syrup Use :
Various cough syrups have different functions, some targeting phlegm, heart issues, or dilation of lung tubes. Incorrect usage can lead to side effects like palpitations and heart failure. It is crucial to seek medical advice before administering cough syrup, especially to children. Herbal cough syrups should also be approached with caution, as they may contain preservatives. Alternatively, consuming turmeric in hot water on an empty stomach can provide natural relief.
Lifestyle Considerations :
People with wheezing concerns should not avoid head baths out of fear, as this can exacerbate kapha imbalance in the body. Instead, under proper medical guidance, they should opt for oil baths, which aid in waste removal and enhance lung activity. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, individuals can minimize the risk of respiratory issues.
By embracing Ayurvedic principles, including dietary modifications and lifestyle adjustments, asthma and other respiratory ailments can be prevented and managed effectively. Regular nasal washes also promote clear nasal passages and improved breathing.