COVID-19

Revisiting Our Roots Amidst Covid-19

Technology has expanded enormously in such a short span of time. Today every single individual can be seen holding a device in their hand and their head bowed all the time. With the advent of technology humans started leading a comfortable and sedentary lifestyle. A lifestyle that offered an enormous amount of fast food, less or no workout, lethargic routines, and desk-bound work life. Moreover, we got trapped in the vicious cycle of marketing which offered a wide range of products and services at our doorstep at just one click of our phone. Being unaware of the fact that these habits are eventually causing us more harm than help we started following them blindly. With the fast-moving world people switched to allopathic measures for treating any ailment in order to get quick relief.

The Corona outbreak has somewhere opened up our eyes and has now given us a chance to re-examine our actions. People have now started realizing the importance of health and especially mental health. The covid-19 outbreak has certainly affected the lives of many people across the globe. One thing that is evident amidst this outbreak is the fact that we all got a chance to revisit our roots. With the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, a wave of panic and anxiety gained momentum across the globe. People are being advised to religiously follow hand hygiene and social distancing in order to keep the infection at bay. 

The AYUSH Ministry further released a guideline in which prime focus was paid on boosting up ones immunity and staying away from stress and anxiety. It recommended people to practise yoga and meditation to relieve stress and to incorporate healthy foods into their lifestyle, primarily those foods which strengthens ones immune system. In many instances physical and mental health are closely related so that a change in one directly affects other. Often when we talk about mental health, there is no better alternate to yoga and meditation for relaxing and keeping one’s mind and body calm. Yoga and meditation have existed in India since time immemorial. Studies across the world have reaffirmed the importance of yoga in alleviating stress and anxiety. A research study, conducted by Gururaja et.al. in Japan in the year 2011 to find the effect of yoga on mental health between young and senior people, concluded that yoga has both immediate as well as long-term effect on anxiety reduction. Thus, yoga helps to improve the mental health in both the groups. 

There seems to be no doubt that when it comes to treating an ailment naturally from its root world has always looked up to Ayurveda. For ages our ancestors have relied upon the traditional methods of treating an ailment from its root.While allopathic medicine tends to focus on the management of disease, Ayurveda provides the knowledge of how to mitigate its root cause. It is a well-known fact that Traditional Systems of medicines always played important role in meeting the global health care needs. At present India is one of the largest exporter of spices all over the globe and there is no question that the spices have gained recognition globally. They can help to optimize blood-glucose levels, improve our skin, remove toxins from the body, support our liver and other organs, improve our immune health, bone health, protect against cancer and heart disease. Environment of India is conducive for the growth of many different spices. India is the largest producer of medicinal plants. Our nation has the unique distinction of having six recognized systems of medicine in this category. They are-Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy. Though Homoeopathy came to India in 18th Century, it completely assimilated in to the Indian culture and got enriched like any other traditional system hence it is considered as part of Indian Systems of Medicine. Medical systems are found mentioned even in the ancient Vedas and other scriptures. The Ayurvedic concept appeared and developed between 2500 and 500 BC in India. The literal meaning of Ayurveda is “science of life,” because ancient Indian system of health care focused on views of man and his illness. Ayurveda is also called the “science of longevity” because it offers a complete system to live a long healthy life. It offers programs to rejuvenate the body through diet and nutrition. It offers treatment methods to cure many common diseases such as food allergies, which have few modern treatments. 

 In this Corona outbreak people have started relying more on the immunity boosting foods. There has been an enormous change in the lifestyle and food choices of people during this outbreak. People have started practising yoga-asana and pranayams to cleanse respiratory system and to stay mentally and physically fit. Indian spices have undoubtedly Consumption of herbal teas infused with ginger, basil, cloves etc., is a good tea time for people now. Intake of greens and fresh fruits to boost immunity. Apart from that spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic are a must have in many of the Indian kitchens. Concoctions made up of different spices and herbs and golden milk (i.e., milk infused with turmeric) are a must in routine. Habits like washing hands after every 1-2 hours has become a part of our lives.

Indian celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar is known for her fierce advocacy of Indian ingredients and hyper-local recipes, as well as advice passed on from our grandmothers’ times. She often recommends incorporating spices and home cooked healthy food in one’s lifestyle. 

Thus, this is a high time that we become self-dependent (Aatm-nirbhar) not only on economic terms, as appealed by the Prime Minister, but more importantly when it comes to health viz. mental as well as physical wellbeing. And as Winston Churchill said “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” So realizing, the importance of our roots we must take care of ourselves using the ample and simple solutions, available with us for ages, and must try to pass on this legacy to our future generation.

Author: HIMANI NAUTIYAL

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