Further to my article yesterday, there is one more topic left to cover, that is Dietary Supplements or Tonics to keep your immunity strong.
Ayurveda is wonderful in this respect, and offers several general immunity boosters which anyone can take any time. Most of the suggestions given below are from Ayurveda:
1. Dasamoola-arishtam: This is a tonic made of ten potent herbs (along with some more stuff). It is a general immunity booster. Being an arishtam, with self generated alcohol, it has been pre-digested, and hence should be taken after food. 30 ml arishtam plus 30 ml water, after food, once a day. The big advantage of most arishtams is that they taste like wine, so it is not at all an unpleasant experience to have some arishtam after meals.
2. Ashwagandha-arishtam: Ashwagandha is also known as the Indian Ginseng. A panacea, highly regarded in Ayurveda, it is great vitality booster. Dosage: same as above, 30 ml with 30 ml water after meals.
3. Chyavanprash. General immunity builder. Being a lehiyam (ghrit / paste) it needs to be taken on an empty stomach. There is no need to write more about this, since everyone knows about the benefits of Chyawanprash. Beware of buying the more popular commercial brands though. They are cheaper, but their quality is highly suspect.
4. Giloy Juice. Juice of a single plant Amritavalli (Nectar!) highly celebrated in Ayurveda for its innumerable health benefits. One of the benefits is that it is good for people with Diabetes since it reduces blood sugar. My personal experience is it is best to take it along with a bit of honey, to balance out the drop in sugar.
5. Moringa leaf powder and Alfalfa powder are loaded with nutrients. You can have them anytime, either with water or mixing them with your soup or something.
6. Check out Spirulina powder also. Again, loaded with nutrients, great supplement.
7. Narasimha Rasayanam: This is a substitute for Chyawanprash.
8. Tulsi Cinnamon tea. Tea made from cinnamon powder, and tulsi leaves from your home garden. Can add gud / sugar for taste.
9. And, last but not the least, actually the one thing that everyone should have everyday is Triphala Churna. This is a powder made of three herbs one of which is Amla. This should be had as a herbal tea – bring water to boil, take off the flame, put in some triphala powder, let it steep for a couple of hours, then strain, and have it as a tea.
There is no need to have all these supplements all the time, or even necessarily to have all of them. But dietary supplementation, once in a while, based on the above, cannot go wrong. At best, it will improve your immunity and keep you healthy; at worst, it will do no harm. Traditional wisdom maintains that the former assertion is true, and I am a great believer in traditional wisdom.
While taking supplements, remember to take breaks. Never take any supplement for more than forty days at a stretch. After that, give a longish break before starting again.