Role of Naturopathy and Yoga in Fighting COVID-19 – By Dr SR Jindal, Founder, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore

Despite a variety of preventive measures, such as social distancing, covering face with mask etc. adopted by the general public, the population across the world continues to suffer severely from the coronavirus pandemic. However, comorbidities, diet, fitness levels, sleep hygiene and lifestyle play a big role in shaping our immune response.

Naturopathy is a system of alternative medicine that follows a therapeutic order that is effective in modulating these factors, improving the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic treatments are unique, provided one follows them religiously with faith and patience. These are simple like mud therapy, hydro-therapy, cleansing the system, nutrition, diet, exercises, consumption of herbs and spices.  All these will help improve the immunity in our bodies. Let us look at some simple and effective preventive care measures as far as naturopathy is concerned.

Role of Naturopathy and Yoga in Fighting COVID-19

  • Improving mucosal immunity and reducing the reactivity of the airways – Gargle with hot saline water when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Perform jalneti, steam inhalation followed by kapalbhati. Neti is an important shatkriya and is effective in managing upper respiratory tract diseases and reducing the reactivity of the airways. Perform yogic exercises under the guidance of a trained instructor for 30 minutes, followed by pranayama for 5 minutes and Suryanamaskaras for 5 minutes.


  • Improving innate immune responses – Make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet, consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats. Detoxify your body once a week. Start by applying a cold mud pack to the abdomen for 20 minutes. Drink a glass of warm water with lemon followed by an Enema of warm neem water. Fast for a day with a diet consisting entirely of fruits and liquids like coconut water, lemon water, and hot herbal drinks 3 times a day.


  • Reducing stress and improving sleep – Excess stress can make you more susceptible to infections. Practising Suryanamaskaras every morning, followed by pranayama and yogic kriyas can help you combat stress. Poor sleep hygiene also leaves you more vulnerable to respiratory infections. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you are battling insomnia, take a hot foot bath and apply a cold compress to your head before sleep.


  • Improving physical fitness and respiratory health – Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise/walking every day. It helps prevent the incidence of respiratory infections. Endurance training increases stamina improves balance and coordination and optimizes the function of the immune system. Do pranayama daily for at least 10 minutes. It improves lung function in both healthy people and patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis.


Managing symptoms

If you exhibit symptoms of an infection and are home quarantined, then supportive care and dietary modifications will limit the severity of the infection. Let us take a look at some home remedies to manage symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

  • Coryza, running nose, congestion, sneezing, and feverish feeling – Perform jalneti with warm saline water. Steam inhalation with peppermint, tulsi or eucalyptus oil aids decongestion. Drink a decoction made of black pepper, cinnamon, pipli, ajwain, tulsi leaves and cloves twice a day. Keep your head and feet warm throughout the day.


  • Sore throat – Gargle with hot saline water or neem water and honey. Make a decoction of turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cloves, pipli, ajwain and cinnamon and drink it thrice daily.


  • Expectorant cough – Chew ginger and mulethi five times a day and drink the aforementioned decoction twice daily.


  • Dry cough – Prepare a decoction of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, tulsi leaves, turmeric, black pepper and pipli and drink it thrice daily. You can add milk and honey for sweetness.


  • Headache and insomnia – Take a hot foot bath and apply a cold compress to your head for 10 minutes before you go to sleep.


  • Fever – Apply a cold compress to bring down the temperature and a cold pack to the head, changing it every five minutes. Fry raw ginger, mix it with honey and lemon juice and drink it frequently. Consume hot liquids like tulsi and ginger tea frequently.


  • Wheeze and chest congestion – Apply a cold pack to the chest and a moist hot pack to the chest and upper back. Perform kunjal followed by jalneti for three days. Steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil or tulsi, followed by kapalbhati aids decongestion.


  • Malaise and fatigue – Make sure your diet is rich in plant-based proteins, natural sources of vitamin C (amla juice), glucose (honey) and vitamin D (sunbath). Drink warm lemon water with honey to boost your immunity and drink coconut water at least twice daily.


  • Stress, anxiety and depression – Do steam inhalation and perform yogic exercises, pranayama, Suryanamaskaras and meditation.


If you are new to yoga, make sure you practice these poses under the guidance of a trained and experienced yoga instructor making yoga a part and parcel of your daily activities will boost your immunity and make your body’s defences stronger against pathogens.

To conclude, drink plenty of warm water, herbal tea, lemon/fresh citrus juices, amla juice with honey. Consume spices and herbs in your daily food such as jeera, turmeric, ajwain, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, onion. Have a balanced and protein-rich diet – dal kichadi, boiled legumes and fibre-rich foods, millets, sprouts. Take plenty of fruits. Have zinc and selenium-rich foods like oats, spinach, beans, milk, cheese, nuts etc. Wear a mask, wash hands with soap thoroughly and use sanitiser.

Avoid – cold beverages, aerated drinks, coffee, refined sugar, confectionary/bakery products, sweets, ice cream, junk foods, oily foods, smoking, alcohol. Reduce salt intake.   Don’t visit relatives, friends, don’t attend any functions or any type of gathering, don’t neglect your regular medication for problems like hypertension, diabetes, asthma etc.