Invest in air purifying plants. Eat healthy. Boost your immunity.
According to the World Health Organisation, India is ranked among the most polluted countries in the world.
From smoke emission in industries and factories to the formation of smog due to traffic and festivities, agricultural field torching, Indians are compelled to breathe in the toxic air.
There are high levels of particulate matter that finds an easy way to enter into the body triggering various life-threatening health problems.
Though deadly air pollution is a round-the-year phenomenon in India, winter season worsens the situation.
The vehicular and industrial smoke fuses with the fog becoming smog during winters with an upshot rise in PM 2.5 levels and other pollutants in the air.
This poisonous smog, which is equivalent to 48 cigarettes a day, severely affects pregnant women and young children while aggravates the existing respiratory and cardiovascular ailments in people.
When the wind is cooler, it moves at a slow pace which stagnates the smoke, thus accumulating fog and traps the pollutants at ground level leading to the choking blanket of smog.
Presenting some tips how you can keep your family safe.
1. Surround yourself with air purifying plants
Plants like aloe vera, spider plant and neem act as the natural air filters absorbing the gaseous pollutants like carbon dioxide, particulate dust, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur.
Not only do they absorb the high quantity of carbon dioxide, but also produces sufficient fresh oxygen.
People should place such indoor and outdoor plants in and around their houses and at workplaces to circulate fresh air all around.
2. Cleanliness first
People should ensure the cleanliness of their surroundings in order to avoid becoming prey to airborne diseases.
The invisible air pollutants easily settle down on curtains, windows, clothes and the corners of the house.
Also, personal hygiene and cleanliness are equally important.
Washing hair and skin with a mild herbal preparation of neem in a base oil can be very effective in preventing infections.
Freshly picked neem leaves detoxify the body from within while also purifying the blood.
3. Boost immunity naturally
Smog has a harsh effect on our immune system making it a breeding ground for various endocrine disorders, allergies, and autoimmune diseases, etc.
It destroys all the essential vitamins present in our body and makes it vulnerable to fatal ailments.
Good digestion, proper liver functioning, and a balanced endocrine system boost the immunity.
One should focus on improving their metabolic fire Agni. Therefore, it is important for all to increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables while taking Vitamin A, C, D, and E.
Triphala and tulsi are proven effective in strengthening the immune system and probing viral activities in the body.
Gud or jaggery is another rich source of energy.
Enriched with iron, not only does it increase the hemoglobin levels in the blood, but also purifies the blood and negates the harmful effects of smog on the body.
4. Dealing with health problems
Smog causes nasal congestion, shortness of breath, lung infection, and other respiratory issues.
To deal with these, one can eat raw ginger to deal with the respiratory infection and shortness of breath.
If eating raw is not possible, you can make a healthy drink by mixing the ginger extracts into the lukewarm water.
In fact, a study also showed that ginger effectively fights the RSV virus, a common causative agent of respiratory infections.
5. Detoxifying the air with Lakshyaharidradi
In order to detoxify the indoor air pollution, lakshaharidradi yoga can be performed.
You may burn dried herbs like laksha, ativisha, abhaya and haridra. Its smoke can be spread around the house to purify the toxic air.
While doing so, you will have to ensure your house and premises are well ventilated.
The author Mohammad Yusuf N Shaikh is founder, Kudrati Ayurved Health Centre.