Change of seasons is the time when germs tend to find their way inside your body and make you more prone to infections and illnesses. A change in temperature, as well as the moisture content in the air, can predispose you to a host of viruses, bacteria, and allergens. By staying adequately hydrated and making the right dietary choices you can tide through this transitional period smoothly.
Whether it is during summers when the temperature is at its high or the cold climate during winters which take a toll on your health or rains when the risk of microbial infection is more, there are few fixes which work best for every season. Moreover, all these herbal remedies lie in your kitchen cabinet so you do not have to go for exclusive shopping hunting for these herbs nor do you have to sell a bomb to buy these. Just include these Indian herbs in your everyday diet to make the most of it and reap its benefits. So get started!
Indian Herbs To Stay Healthy!
The key to fight infections and stay healthy during any change of a season is to boost your immunity. And the best way to do this is to get the most of what we have — herbs. Here are some herbs that you can include in your diet to help boost your immunity and revitalize your stamina this season.
1. Adrak (Ginger)
Ginger is one of the common herbs that is widely used in Indian households. Right from aiding in digestion to boosting immunity, this simple herb can do it all. The health benefits of ginger are well known. It is known to be packed with anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which strengthens the body’s defenses and can protect you against many chronic diseases such as respiratory infections, gum disease, muscle pain and chronic indigestion. It also lowers the risk of infections and inhibits the growth of many types of bacteria.
So don’t forget to add ginger to your daily cooking be it curries, parathas or soups as it not only improves the taste but also boosts immunity. Also, you could have ginger in the form of ginger water or ginger-honey tea. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of freshly diced ginger pieces or crush around half an inch of ginger and add it to a glass of water. Allow it to boil, cool and strain. Drink this water every morning to up your immunity.
Also Read: Ginger Benefits and Uses
2. Tulsi (Basil Leaves)
Tulsi has long been known as a plant loaded with medicinal properties. Well, this could be the reason why this plant is seen in many Indian households. Research has also proved the therapeutic potential of this herb in helping you to stay healthy and fit. These leaves act as an immunomodulator which means it plays a key role in improving, maintaining and boosting the production of antibodies and prevent infections. It protects healthy cells and prevents free radicals and microbes to affect your health due to its antibiotic and immune-boosting properties. Read more about the benefits of tulsi (Ayush Tulsi Link)
You can start your day with a glass of tulsi tea. To make this at home, add 3-4 tulsi leaves to a glass of boiling water. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Have this drink 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, you can eat 4-5 fresh tulsi leaves the first thing in the morning as it is known to boost immunity and keep you healthy all through the day.
3. Haldi (Turmeric)
Turmeric is widely used as a home remedy for various health problems such as cuts and bleeding to fungal infections of the feet. The presence of curcumin, a compound with has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, is what makes turmeric a potent medicinal herb. The root is known to prevent infections and boost immunity due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial potential thereby helping you to stay healthy.
It goes without saying that adding a pinch of turmeric in your daily diet can help you to prevent infections, especially during a sudden change in the climate. In addition to this, you can drink turmeric milk on a regular basis to promote immunity. Add 1/4th teaspoon of raw crushed turmeric or a 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk. Boil and let it cool. Drink this milk when slightly warm to reap the benefits.
Also Read: Turmeric Benefits
4. Pudina (Mint)
Pudina is one of the most widely consumed herbs which exerts a cooling effect on the body. Hence, whatever is the season, adding few pudina leaves to your diet routine can not only imparts a soothing flavor but also refresh your mind and body and boost your immunity. The herb can help fight bacteria and viruses to prevent infection during changes of season. It can also reduce body aches which is quite common during the climatic change.
You could have it as lukewarm mint-lemonade to get the most out of this herb. Add 4-5 mint leaves to a glass of water. Squeeze half a lemon in it, add a teaspoon of sugar, mix and drink it. This can not only quench your thirst but also help you to fight dehydration on a hot summer day. Additionally, you can also add dried crushed pudina powder to curd or salads for added benefits.
5. Kaali Mirch (Black Pepper)
Black pepper provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion and helps expel mucus and phlegm through the act of sneezing or coughing. It has anti-inflammatory properties which not only help to fight infections but also boosts your immunity, helping you to stay healthy. It contains essential oils and flavonoids which makes it rich in antioxidants that help in clearing toxins from the body and improving immunity. It contains piperidine, a compound, which is known for its immunomodulatory properties and anti-inflammatory action.
Due to the spicy nature of this herb, black pepper is not used as a key ingredient in everyday cooking. However, adding a pinch of pepper powder to curries or even on salads can amp up the flavor of the dish and its nutrient profile. You can even start your day by having a 1/6th teaspoon of crushed/powdered black pepper with a teaspoon of honey and repeat it 2-3 times a day.
Also Read: Kaali Mirch Benefits
6. Baboon Ka Phool (Chamomile)
Chamomile has amazing antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits. It owes its antibacterial properties to a compound known as chamazulene. The herb is loaded with essential oils which help clear toxins from the body and improve overall immunity. It also boosts your immunity and helps you to prevent infections which are quite common during the change of a season.
The best way to include chamomile in your daily routine is to have a cup of chamomile tea. Have this 3-4 times a day as it works wonders in relieving symptoms of cold and also help you protected against microbial infections. The tea can also induce sleep if taken before going to bed. It is also known to ease stress and improve overall health.
So, go ahead and add these herbs and spices generously to your diet and stay healthy during the change of seasons. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!
(The content is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)
1. Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S36-42.
2. Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:9217567.
3. Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
4. McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytother Res. 2006 Aug;20(8):619-33.
5. Majdalawieh AF, Carr RI. In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum). J Med Food. 2010 Apr;13(2):371-81.
6. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010 Nov 1;3(6):895-901.