Is everyone you know sick? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), respiratory illnesses are at it again this winter with COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) aggressively circulating throughout the United States and beyond. We are all familiar with the standard practices to keep oneself healthy during cold and flu season, like washing our hands regularly, avoiding large crowds, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods, getting vaccinated and masking up, but there are also simple Ayurvedic rituals one can incorporate into each day to boost immunity and avoid falling ill. Below, we share 5 PAAVANI favorites for a healthy immune system.
1. The Nasal Care Ritual
Cleanse, moisturize and protect your nasal passageway with ancient Ayurvedic practices of neti and nasya. Ayurveda recommends frequently cleansing (neti) and oiling (nasya) the nasal passageways to prevent pathogens from entering the body, protect the mucus membranes, clear congestion, moisturize the nasal cavity and help reduce symptoms associated with allergies, sinus infections, common colds and influenza. The Nasal Care Ritual includes a ceramic Neti Pot, Nose Oil and sample size Aromatic Neti Salt - everything you need to properly care for your nasal passageway and support your immune system. During this cold and flu season, lean on the Nasal Care Ritual to protect the body from illness, alleviate symptoms and restore optimal balance to the body and mind.
2. Golden Milk
Cozy up this winter with a warm mug of our perfectly spiced, immune-boosting Golden Milk. Golden Milk, known as haldi doodh in Hindi, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda to protect the body from infections, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, purify the blood and increase circulation. This traditional blend of organic powdered herbs synergistically delivers antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to the body, thus increasing immunity and vitality. Simply blend 1-2 teaspoons of Golden Milk into 8oz of warm milk (of choice) to enjoy its healing benefits. You can also add ghee, coconut oil and/or honey for extra flavor and additional immune support.
3. Ear Oil
Ear oiling, known as karna purana in Sanskrit, may be the immune system support your body is missing. What we commonly refer to as cold and flu season is known as vata season in Ayurveda. This means that during the fall and early to mid-winter months, the qualities of vata dosha (light, dry, cold, mobile and rough) are most predominant in the weather patterns of the natural world. If exposed to an excessive amount of these environmental energies there can be adverse effects on our health, making us more susceptible to colds, viruses and the flu. For example, if you have ever experienced a painful ache in your ears while outside for a prolonged period on a cold, windy day, this is the result of vata dosha. Some may also experience ringing in the ears or be more susceptible to chronic ear infections or TMJ. These are all results of an imbalance in vata dosha usually brought on by one’s environment. Applying Ear Oil daily will help to protect the ears from the harsh qualities of vata season by providing essential moisturization and nourishment along with antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, which further barrier viruses and pathogens from entering the body.
4. Vata Body Oil
Detoxify your lymphatic system and create a protective body barrier by slathering yourself from head to toe with our Vata Body Oil. Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic warm oil massage that delivers immune-boosting, herbal healing benefits to your entire body through the largest organ - your skin! Our Vata Body Oil contains sesame and almond oils, ashwagandha, shatavari, cinnamon, lavender, sweet marjoram, sandalwood and more to provide the skin and body with nourishment, hydration and protection through its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Additionally, performing a self-abhyanga is an excellent way to stimulate the lymphatic system, which provides essential detoxification and protection to the immune system.
Make Ashwagandha a staple in your home apothecary. Known as one of the leading adaptogens, this widely used Ayurvedic root can help the body and mind cope with stress - one of the leading causes of disease. Many of ashwagandha’s profound health benefits are due to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to combat inflammation. Ashwagandha also contains antioxidants that ward off free radicals in the body, which can cause weakness and fatigue. Finally, in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is considered a rasayana due to its ability to rejuvenate, replenish and restore vitality to the immune system. Incorporate ashwagandha into your daily routine by enjoying it as an Ayurvedic churna or adding it to your cooking.
We hope this list helps you consider how incorporating simple Ayurvedic rituals into your day can foster a healthy immune system and free you from illness this cold and flu season. For a more in-depth understanding of the immune system through the Ayurvedic lens, we invite you to read Ayurvedic Tips for Immune Health. Additionally, please visit our Immunity Collection for a complete list of our immune-boosting essentials.