COVID-19: The Prevention Prescription
Photo Bio Modulation is an Ayurvedic technique being considered as an effective way of building immunity, among other things
The health focus today is squarely on the body’s natural defense system. Until there is a vaccination, preventative measures are all we can turn to. Ayurveda can help, experts believe, especially a technique that’s been gaining popularity. It's called Photo Bio Modulation (PBM). Available at Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre (IVAC) in Mysore, it’s an emerging medical practice in which exposure to low-level laser light or light-emitting diodes stimulates cellular function. This results in beneficial clinical outcomes for various conditions and diseases, primarily low immunity, in addition to lung disorders, respiratory disorders, joint problems, skin issues, and stress.
How does it work?
Also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), it increases the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) in the mitochondria of the cells, which scavenges the free radicals. “By doing so, it stimulates stem cell proliferation, lymph nodes associated with respiratory tract, the immune system and stimulates local tissues to support lung function leading to protection from asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” says Dr Talavane Krishna, Founder, President, IVAC.
While PBM is gaining prominence now, processes such as nasal application, part of Panchakarma (five actions) treatment, have been a standard Ayurvedic antidote to viruses for aeons. One has to apply different herbal powders, liquid extracts, medicated ghee or oil inside the nostrils. Medications like Anu Taila, sesame or coconut oil, Brahmi ghrutha etc are antimicrobial and act as a protective filter inside the nose and throat—the primary entry point for the viruses. This simple procedure could be a daily practice for both adults and children.
Likewise, oil pulling with sesame or coconut oil as a daily oral health practice is useful. It involves swishing a teaspoon of oil in the mouth for three-five minutes and then spitting the oil, followed by washing/brushing the mouth. This kills bacteria that may lead to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
This is one of the eight major branches of Ayurveda. Popularly known as a form of rejuvenation therapy, not only does it focus on anti-aging, but also immunity. This is accomplished by taking certain Ayurvedic preparations, food based on body constitution, and following an Ayurvedic way of life. “This increases Ojas, the very essence of the body’s immunity. Medicines include single herbs like Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Amrita, and formulations like Chyavanaprash, Triphala, Makaradhwaja, not
to mention regular body-mind detoxifications like Panchakarma and Rejuvenation.
Balance is key
Keeping the body aligned with its natural rhythms is a prerequisite to the success of your health. For this, Ayurvedic principles namely Dhincharya (daily regime) and Rithucharya (seasonal regime) are crucial. Dhinacharya looks at aspects such as oral hygiene, yoga, pranayama, meditation, diet, bowel movements and more. Ritucharya describes the various changes in our body during the different seasons and its effect on health. It also teaches us how to keep a good balance.
The importance of diet cannot be negated, therefore ensure you add ginger, garlic, pepper, turmeric, clove, cumin, fenugreek and cinnamon in your food as all these ingredients build the immune
system and bring about perfect balance,” says Gita Ramesh, Joint MD, Kairali Ayurvedic Group.
Don’t forget to take warm showers and apply sesame oil on the entire body before the morning bath. “Allow nostrils to be lubricated by application of cow ghee or oil, and do warm turmeric water gargles regularly,” says Dr Aruna Bhide, Senior Ayurveda Doctor and Consultant, Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat. Breathing exercises like Anulom vilom pranayama (alternate breathing), Kapal bhati (forceful exhalation) and Nadi shuddhi pranayama are beneficial too. Keep in mind to exercise until you sweat as this is the best way to excrete toxins.
Potions for healing (Do consult an Ayurvedic doctor)
Indukantha Kashyam Prevents the recurrence of debilitating diseases and keeps the body healthy
A tablet used as a treatment for insect bites, rodent bites, gastroenteritis etc.
Chyawanprash High in Vitamin C, it aids in the production of haemoglobin
and white blood cells
Kushmandarasayana Comes in a herbal jam form and is used in respiratory conditions
Ghritam Support bowel health and aids digestion. As an antioxidant, it’s also thought to detoxify the body and support immunity.
It has demonstrated excellent immune-boosting effects, and has also shown to encourage anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting immune cells, that keep illnesses at bay
Amrita Used as a blood purifier
Makaradhwaja A mineral-based preparation used for its aphrodisiac characteristics, it enhances the effectiveness of several medicines