By Gaurav Jain
Monsoon illnesses and COVID-19 fear : Double Whammy this Monsoon
Need to differentiate the usual monsoon illnesses and COVID-19 fear
July 2020: Monsoon season has set in, bringing along its usual woes, adding fuel to the already flaming COVID-19 disaster. This monsoon, dual burden of diseases is imminent upon us. The usual rise in vector-borne disease during monsoon is putting extra pressure on India’s public health infrastructure, which is already burdened with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the diseases caused due to monsoon and the COVID-19 panic are different, which we need to understand. If we talk about the difference between the symptoms of COVID-19 and common flu — the patient loses his sense of taste and smell in the former but in the latter case, these two are normal.
Are you confused between the COVID-19 panic and common monsoon illnesses? In monsoon, there is a rise of seasonal diseases like malaria, dengue, flu, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis and fevers, which have symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. But these acute diseases are different from that of COVID-19. For seasonal flu strains, you do have the immunity to combat, but for COVID-19, you don’t have as of now. And, in the rainy season, the body becomes increasingly defenceless to medical problems as immune intensity gets lowered. As the manifold increase in diseases is expected this monsoon, you need to boost your immunity doubly. For this, the ancient science of Ayurveda provides certain rejuvenating tips that will boost your immunity and keep you away from viral infections as well as monsoon diseases.
“As the COVID-19 scourge is looming large, and monsoon has already set in, which brings numerous diseases. However, if we follow the Prakriti (PsychoSomatic Constitution), which is determined by 5 elements-air, ether, earth, water and fire, we will sail through this health crisis. As per Ayurveda, the combination of these five elements are into three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. And, in the (Varsha Ritu) monsoon season, Vata — the invisible force of movement composed of space and air reduces and Kapha (composed of earth and water) increases. Pitta (composed of fire with water) is not increased but gets accumulated wherein Ama (a product of indigestion formed in the stomach, which tends to cause many systemic diseases) also increases along with Kapha. Thus, the digestion of Ama is very important. Therefore, your food should be according to your Prakriti”, said Mr Anand Shrivastava, Chairman, Maharishi Ayurveda.
“Besides following the Prakriti, a balanced lifestyle which involves nutritious eating habits, plenty of exercises, yoga and meditation, sound sleep, herbal and mineral support coupled with several Ayurvedic practices could help in boosting the immune system. Amidst the COVID-19 scourge, we need to rework to boost our immunity to fight the pandemic rather than being carried away with fear psychosis” added Mr Shrivastava.
Combating Monsoon Ailments — The Ayurveda way
As per Ayurveda, in the monsoon season, due to drastic environmental change, the balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas require extra caution and care to maintain good health. Monsoon is characterized by doshic imbalances and low immunity.
During monsoons, Kapha and Pitta doshas aggravate and weaken body systems. The accumulation of Pitta dosha affects the digestive system to make it sluggish. If the foods are not digested well, Ama (Toxins) are formed, which we need to detoxify. And the process of detoxification neutralises our body. Thus, if we concentrate on our Prakriti, and eat accordingly, it will be digested well, thereby enhancing strength (bal) of the body. This will also give our body the required nutrition. Hence, by strengthening the digestive system and clearing the body of toxins, optimum immunity can be achieved.
Also, Ayurveda does not see viruses as a primary cause of disease. With every disease, the best possible protection is a strong immune system. Enhancement of immunity plays an important role in maintaining optimum health and preventing infectious diseases like COVID-19.
“In Varsha Ritu (Rainy season), usually, immunity gets lowered, allergies, indigestion, infection and sluggish metabolism blow up. However, Ayurveda advises having rejuvenating treatments along with nurturing and nourishing ourselves through a regimen of beneficial diet and lifestyle. We need to augment metabolism and immunity. This plays an important role in realigning these imbalances, building our immunity and checking the adverse impact of seasonal changes on the body”, said Dr Saurabh Sharma, Medical Superintendent, Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital.
According to Ayurveda, monsoon is the best time to detox and rejuvenate, healing chronic diseases and strengthening immunity and health. But the aggravation of Kapha and accumulation of Pitta dosha in monsoon season is the cause of various diseases. It’s up to us how we use its wisdom for enhanced wellbeing.