COVID-19 is a novel disease – scientists and doctors are tirelessly working to gauge how the world can combat this pandemic. Based on their expertise, it has been determined that individuals with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19, such has lung conditions (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis) heart disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system or obesity (having a BMI over 40)
Dharana, a wellness retreat near Mumbai, has its philosophy embedded in ancient practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. It is considered to be a premier Ayurvedic healing center in India. While there is no cure for COVID-19, inculcating some wellness practices and undertaking precautionary measures that can help reduce the risk of getting sick with COVID-19.
Any pre-existing lung conditions like Asthma, COPD, Bronchitis, Pulmonary Fibrosis puts people at higher risk for COVId-19, as it affects the respiratory system, causing flares up, which can lead to severe symptoms.
Pranayama, which literally means extension of life force, teaches us controlled breathing. If practiced daily, it has the potential to significantly reduce stress. Eg. Kapalabharti Pranayama is a cleansing technique that clears the mucus in air passages, relieves congestion and improves lung capacity. Additionally, Ayurvedic food, spices and herbs can also improve lung health. Eg, Peppercorns are ideal detoxifiers, which help keep airways open over time. Licorice root supports proper function of the lungs and adrenals, and healthy immune response. Tagara, a calming herb, helps ease the bronchial system if under pressure. For Asthma, bitter and pungent herbs and spices, such as turmeric, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc help the reduction of accumulated mucus by thinning them out.
COVID-19, like other viral illnesses, attacks the respiratory system, which makes it harder for the heart work, especially those who suffer from serious heart conditions like Coronary Artery Disease, Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiomyopathies, Pulmonary Hypertension, thereby putting them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms
In Ayurveda, most cardiac diseases are related to imbalance in our Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Herbs such as Arjuna strengthens the heart and tissues and activates blood circulation. It can be taken with honey, ghee or milk depending on individual doshas. Saffron, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger are spices you can incorporate into your daily diet for better heart health. Sandalwood oil also calms the heart. Practicing Yoga asana like Sukhasana, Tadasana, Uttanasana, Padangusthasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana also promote heart health.
Individuals with type 1 or type 2 Diabetes have higher blood sugar levels than the norm, therefore it may be harder to overcome COVID-19.
As diabetes patients, regular blood sugar tests, continuation of diabetes pills and insulin are important. In Ayurvedic treatment, consuming turmeric, methi has been known to aid in diabetes management. Consumption of majorly bitter foods like hemp seeds, bitter gourd, amla, aloe vera have also been found effective in controlling diabetes. Utilising spices like asafoetida, cinnamon, mustard and coriander in meals and drinks also helps.
Additionally, regular practice of Yoga reduces the risk of complications from Diabetes.
Practice asanas like the Kapalbhati, Supta Matsyendrasana, Dhanurasana, Shavasana are beneficial.