Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by viruses. Even though it is similar to the common cold, its symptoms are more severe and pronounced.
Influenza is primarily caused by a virus in the body. It spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks around others. It can easily spread by touching a surface like a telephone, keyboard or doorknob that has been contaminated and then from your hand to your nose or mouth. Breathing the air where a contagious person has been may also pass the flu onto you.
Typical symptoms include runny nose, chills, blocked sinuses, sore throat, cough, fever, fatigue, aching muscles and headache.
According to Ayurveda, Influenza results from an imbalance of the Kapha and Vata Doshas (Ayurvedic humors representing Water and Air respectively). Cold develops in the body when there’s an excess of Kapha’s cool, moist characteristics, causing a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. And, excess Vata reduces the body’s digestive fire, so you get the chills.
The Ayurvedic treatment of Influenza consists of pacifying the aggravated body energies, expelling excess mucus, restoring peripheral circulation, strengthening digestion and boosting immunity.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
- Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of good sleep every night. This will boost your immune system and enhance the ojas (energy) in your body.
- Try Panchakarma therapies – specialized Ayurvedic massage techniques – that are extremely useful in cleansing the body and giving it renewed vitality.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to flush accumulated ama (toxins) from your system.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet to keep your body strong, nourished, and ready to fight infection. Stick with whole grains, colorful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits.
- Support your immune system by exercising moderately on a regular basis. It helps in increasing blood circulation and eliminating the blockage in body channels.
Some Home Remedies
- Add just under ½ teaspoon each of ginger powder, fennel seeds and cinnamon and a pinch of clove powder to one cup of hot water. Let the herbs steep for about ten minutes; then strain them out of the tea before drinking. Drink as much of the tea as you wish.
- Neem has special air purifying qualities which help in alleviating airborne diseases, including all kinds of flu. Chew 3-5 fresh leaves of Neem daily to purify your blood.
- Take a concoction of ginger juice and honey a few times a day. This remedy gives instant relief from cough and cold.