With heavy rains, landslides and strong winds continuing in most parts of the country, another problem is the influenza epidemic largely in the South and it could become serious if urgent and effective measures are not taken. On May 28, the Daily Mirror in a front page news report spotlighted the lack of facilities like Intensive Care Units (ICUs) but we need to focus more on measures to prevent the epidemic.
The usual method is by having mass vaccination campaigns. But flu vaccines have not had a good track record and usually the vaccines have to be made with elements of the target virus and other substances. This takes time. But perhaps there is an even better option - prevention.
Dr. Joseph Mercola who publishes popular newsletters worldwide on health and well-being refers to the power to prevent viral illnesses by using the famous Ayurvedic herb – “holy basil” or thulasi in Tamil and maduruthala in Sinhala, that is also revered by Hindus.
It is a common herb that grows all over Sri Lanka and therefore is readily available and easily administered – just by eating the raw leaves in a salad or sambol. About five leaves by adults and three by children under 12
It is a common herb that grows all over Sri Lanka and therefore is readily available and easily administered – just by eating the raw leaves in a salad or sambol. About five leaves by adults and three by children under 12. Many who know the value of it say it works because they eat these leaves often and have not had a serious viral flu attack for several years.
This herb’s stimulating powers have been recognized by ancient healers and sages. In India people venerate thulasi or holy basil as a sacred plant. It is a part of Indian households, typically grown in earthen pots in the family home or garden.
One of the most important reasons why it is so famous, aside from the fragrant flavour as a basil type cooking herb, is that it is one of the most effective adaptogens--an agent that helps our bodies adapt more effectively to stress caused by diseases.
But thulasi also has another beneficial side effect, and that is helping to prevent and treat viral diseases such as Influenza, Dengue, Chikengunya, Swine Flu and Bird Flu.
According to Dr. Mercola’s article thulasi or holy basil may improve your body’s overall defence mechanisms, including its ability to fight viral diseases. It helps speed up your recovery process if you suffer from illnesses such as swine flu or Dengue. It also strengthens your immune system.
These benefits may stem from thulasi’s highly complex chemistry. It contains beneficial compounds called phyto-chemicals -- naturally occurring compounds that plants produce to protect themselves against bacteria, viruses and fungi -- that interact and have strong antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune-enhancing properties. They promote general health and maintain your body’s natural defence against viruses, stress and disease.
If you are concerned about the Influenza, Dengue or any other viral disease Dr. Mercola highly recommends trying thulasi instead of the flu drugs or vaccines.
Many broad-minded medical analysts have recommended that Sri Lanka instead of depending so much on western medicine and medications should also give a place to time-tested medical systems such as Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Acupuncture. Unfortunately western medicine, with the marvels of modern technology has today become a big business with many investors throwing their investments into private hospitals.