Delhi has been named as one of one of the worst places in the world for air pollution by the World Health Organisation. Well, no wonder why as it is engulfed in a thick blanket of fog and smoke, known as smog. The pollutants level in the air is likened to smoking at least 50 cigarettes in a single day and it can lead to several diseases like asthma, lung problems, pregnancy and birth complications and other respiratory illness.
While best way to combat smog is to avoid or spend less time outdoors, there are some home remedies and tips below that can help you beat the negative effects of toxic smog and air pollution!
Why use herbal remedies
There are plants all around us that can help us to fight the negative effects that air pollution can have on the human body. Herbs, or medicine that contains herbal compounds, have the following general benefits:
- Easing chest and nasal congestion,
- Soothing airways that are irritated,
- Suppressing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and swelling of the glands,
- They have antihistamine and anti-oxidant qualities,
- They are harmful to toxins that cause problems in the upper respiratory system.
Natural remedies & tips for fighting air pollution
Steam can be an effective natural remedy for people who have cold and flu, sinus or puffy nose. In order to beat the air pollution you can take steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. It will help relax the air passages and help your body remove the harmful particulate substances. For this you need to take hot boiling water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into it. Try to inhale the warm steam. Also, make sure that you cover your face with a towel or a piece of cloth.
Include ginger in your diet
You can just add grated ginger to your cup of tea or chew a fresh piece with a pinch of salt to keep your immune system in top shape. Ginger contains gingerol and certain compounds that can help in reducing airway inflammation and inhibit airway contraction.
Include garlic and onions in your daily diet to boost immunity and overcome infections.
Packed with antioxidants, onions and garlic are also used in traditional medicine for their health benefits, including some related to the prevention and treatment of asthma.
Known as a super herb, Pippali helps in purifying the lungs and in easy breathing. It has rejuvenating properties which can help during a lung infection. Consume 1/8 teaspoon Pippali powder with ¼ teaspoon Ginger and ¼ teaspoon turmeric, mixed in 1 tbsp honey, accompanied by warm water.
Breathing exercises can help keep away the toxic effects of air pollutants. However, outdoor exercises should be avoided. Yoga exercises if practised indoors will be of great help. A deep breathing exercise like Pranayam is recommended on a regular basis. Therefore, you should practise breathing exercises like Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Anulom-Vilom.
Jaggery or Gur
Detoxification has become very important these days as the pollution level has increased a lot. Diwali and winters are a deadly combination as it is the time for smog. So, if you eat a moderate amount of jaggery or gur during winters, it helps in cleansing the liver by flushing out toxins. It can also cure flu-like symptoms and can be used in tea instead of sugar.
1. Use olive oil to prepare food. It is documented that olive oil boosts immune system against the attack of external microorganisms.
2. Have Tulsi and ginger infused tea twice a day. It will help strengthen your immunity.
3. Drink 10-15 ml of Tulsi juice daily to keep your body guarded against external pollutants.
4. Don’t forget to add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the glass of milk you have everyday. If you don’t have milk daily, start having it already.
5. Chew a garlic pod along with a neem leaf for better immunity.
6. Try incorporating citrus fruits like lemon, gooseberries, oranges, etc in your diet. The vitamin C contents in the fruit boost your immunity.
7. Drink a glass of pomegranate juice daily.
8. Add two tablespoons of desi ghee in your diet. Make sure that the ghee you’re using is pure.
9. Eat as much as carrots and spinach these days.
10. Use mask.
These natural remedies have some great compounds which can:
- Ease out chest and nasal congestion.
- Check and reduce symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and swelling of the glands.
- Soothe irritated airways.
- Some herbs have antihistamine and anti-oxidant qualities.
- Fight toxins that cause problems in the upper respiratory system.
Note that if you are using any prescription medicine, you should seek the advice of your doctor before you take alternative herbal remedies.
Reference: Indiatimes.com, ndtv.com, cambridgemask.com, indiatvnews.com