My daughter is always keen to know whether I have been regularly taking a cup of decoction (kaadha) or not. When I said, sometimes I take it on alternate days, she brought a lot of essential ingredients from the market, which are used to prepare the kaadha. Now it is a part of my regular routine. Especially in the evening, I prefer to drink kaadha instead of ginger and masala chai.

The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India has issued instructions to the countrymen to drink decoction regularly. Drinking decoction increases the body’s ability to fight diseases. Especially to beat the Coronavirus, a decoction is an effective remedy, which works to enhance immunity. By the way, those who do physical labour or do exercise on a routine basis have good immunity, whether they eat or drink something particular or not. For example, I did not see my newspaper hawker, the dustbin cleaner boy, the vegetable sellers and the presswala kaka who sits in a hut in the corner, suffer from Covid-19. This is because of their daily routine of physical labour. These men remained active as usual even during the peak Covid periods.

Meanwhile, winter is in full swing in North India. It is mostly snowing in the mountains in J&K, Himachal, Uttarakhand, and extreme cold in the plains. Then there is the third wave of Covid. In such a situation, it’s good to have a proper diet, so that the immunity is strong. Ayurveda experts recommend that fruits should be eaten for three to four days as soon as symptoms of flu and infection are seen. Consumption of coconut water, salad and fruit juice are also beneficial. Eating oranges and citrus fruits replenish vitamin C, which strengthens immunity. Consumption of gooseberry (amla) is also useful, which can also be taken in the form of pickle, marmalade or powder. For vitamin D to be produced naturally in the body, one should sit in the sun for at least 30 minutes every day. These days, one must drink hot water instead of tea. Apply mustard or coconut oil to the nostrils. While cooking the vegetable, add half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder to it. Boil milk mixed with turmeric and drink it at night. Take a decoction twice a day, which has been boiled by adding basil, black pepper, cinnamon, dry ginger, cloves and dry grapes (munakka) in water. A few drops of honey, jaggery or lemon can be added to it for taste.

Do not forget to take sufficient vitamin C in your diet, as it helps in strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is believed to increase the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting infection. Almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Consuming garlic is good during cold days. Tales of its speciality have been going on since ancient times. Garlic slows down the hardening of the arteries. Sulfur-rich salts like allicin present in it boost immunity. Ginger is also a great remedy for reducing inflammation and sore throat. It provides heat to the body, so ginger tea is preferred in winters. It can reduce chronic pain and also has cholesterol-lowering properties.

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