Ayurveda is considered as the oldest healing science originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. This is compiled in Sanskrit language and term ‘Ayurveda’. This word translates to “The knowledge of Life.” Ayurveda’s authentic texts mainly emphasise the importance of maintaining healthiness by being free from diseases and treatment modalities for diseases. The science of Ayurveda basically focuses on harmonising our internal and external worlds. The five sensory organs serve as the portals between the body and the external world. The theory of Pancha mahaabhutha (five basic elements: earth (Pruthvi), water (Jala), fire (Thejo), air (Vaayu), ether (Akasha) play an important role in this ancient philosophy. Ayurveda groups these five elements into three basic types of energy and functional principles known as Thridosha: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Structural as well as functional components of human (purusha) depends on the status of these three entities. The concept of Agni which can be correlated with metabolic fire is also an important concept of Ayurveda in maintaining healthiness.
With the present situation in the world it directs us again to look back on these healthy food habits and behavioural patterns advised by sages. Healthy food (Ahaara) is known as “Mahaa Bhesaja” in Ayurveda texts which means that the food we take is the best medicine.
During a contagious disease like this it’s beneficial to follow Ayurveda teachings to maintain a healthy life
At present the whole world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic which was first identified in December 2019. Though the whole clinical picture of COVID-19 is not completely discovered the common signs of the infection are dry cough, sneezing, high fever, fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain and other respiratory problems. The COVID-19 risk is greater in older people, kids and patients having health problems like lung diseases, heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.
During a contagious disease like this it’s beneficial to follow Ayurveda teachings to maintain a healthy life. Signs and symptoms of this disease can be compared with diseases caused due to vitiated kapha-vatha doshas. This can be classified under Praanavahaa srothogatha roga that can be correlated with diseases of respiratory system. Other than the Ayurveda medicines specially used for respiratory tract ailments, certain food items can also be used to increase body’s immunity. Ayurveda teachings in combination with knowledge of traditional Sri Lankan medicinal system can be used in preventing and controlling the spread of respiratory tract related diseases.
Coriander/Kottamalli (Coriandrum sativum), Ginger/Inguru (Zingiber officinale), Pepper/Gammiris (Piper nigrum), Long pepper/Thippili (Piper longum), Yellow vine/ Wenivelgata (Coscinium fenestratum) and Turmeric/ Kaha (Curcuma longa) are some drug ingredients used in Ayurveda and traditional system of medicine in Sri Lanka.
Coriander is known as Dhanyaka in Ayurveda and considered as a digestive stimulant and dried coriander helps in curing phlegmatic conditions (vitiated Kapha). This is well known for treating cough and fever in Ayurveda too.
Black pepper and long paper are spices which help to pacify vitiated kapha - vatha dosha helps to decrease sputum production. These two drug ingredients are included in Trikatu which is an excellent drug formula used in Ayurveda and traditional medical system for diseases caused by vitiated phlegm (Kapha roga).
Yellow vine/ Wenivelgata is a drug with bitter, astringent taste and includes light (laghu), rough (ruksha) properties which are mainly used in treating fever.
Among the multiple therapeutic effects of these drugs, immune enhancing effect plays a major role in controlling and being prevented from contagious diseases like COVID-19. The intake of drug recipes including these drugs helps in treating respiratory diseases. Similarly, the inclusion of these healthy ingredients to daily food patterns, maintaining personal hygiene by awakening, eating, studying, working, exercising, sleeping at proper time in a proper way will be helpful to maintain better health. “Arogya”, healthiness is considered as the main factor necessary for achieving all the life goals and by practising and adopting the Ayurvedic way of living, an individual can improve the natural immunity and maintain healthiness to avoid diseases.