The Famous Five

  • Alka Gurha
  • India
  • Nov 15, 2013

 Are you winter ready? Now, as the weather is changing, is a good time to boost your immunity levels. Immunity is all about your resistance to fight infections. If your 

immunity level is low, it means that your ability to fight them is weak; and so you have a greater chance of falling sick. The following five gifts of nature can help you in fighting seasonal infections:


Tulsi - Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctum

Tulsi belongs to the Lamiaceae family, a native of the East. Tulsi is different from Thai Basil (scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum); the latter is used as a flavouring ingredient in Italian and Thai recipes. The two main types of Basil cultivated in India and Nepal are green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmi Tulsi) and purple-leaved (Krishna Tulsi). Tulsi contains beneficial compounds called phyto-chemicals (naturally occurring compounds that plants produce to protect themselves against bacteria, viruses and fungi), which protect your cells against free radical damage. These phyto-chemicals maintain your body’s natural defence against germs, stress and disease. The leaves of the Holy Basil plant are beneficial for coughs, sore throats, mouth infections, skin problems and headaches…and help in boosting overall immunity.

 

 

Lehsun - Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Allicin, one of the active compounds of freshly crushed garlic, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. In its pure form, it exhibits antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria, and also antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans. Garlic has also helps protect against heart disease and high levels of blood cholesterol. To strengthen your immune system, include some crushed garlic in your cooking. 

 

 

Neem

 

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is native to South East Asia. It grows in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Neem leaves help in regulating an overactive immune system, and minimizing allergic response and inflammation. 
Neem enhances the immune function, boosting the production of interferon, increasing the ability of macrophages to engulf foreign bodies and improving the ability of lymphocytes to respond to immune challenges - such as a tetanus toxin. Neem has also been used traditionally, in India, to treat several viral diseases.

 

 

Amla

 

 

Also known as the Indian Gooseberry, Amla is scientifically known as Emblica officinalis. Rich in Vitamin C and polyphenols, Amla is a great source of antioxidants. It has a unique free-radical scavenging property, which helps in reducing the damage caused by them. Amla is a good source of Vitamin C, which helps protect your body against seasonal cold and flu. Amla also helps lower cholesterol, improve blood circulation and digestion, and alleviate constipation.

 

 Haldi - Turmeric

 

 

 

Scientifically known as Circuma longa, this herbaceous plant belongs to the Ginger family. Turmeric plants are gathered for their rhizomes, which are dried and powdered before cooking. One of the main ingredients in turmeric is curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow colour. Curcumin helps strengthen your immune system against stress. Haldi doodh (turmeric milk) is warm milk mixed with some turmeric powder. It is commonly used in India as a home remedy, when someone is suffering from fever or body aches. Turmeric is also believed to help reduce arthritis, asthma, cold and inflammation - which are common during any seasonal change.

 

Finally – or first, actually - it is important to laugh! Laughter has long been held as the ‘Best Medicine’. All the cells in our body are influenced by how we feel. So even before you try the above home remedies, just try to be Happy. It’s as easy as pie! 

 


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