Immunity can be improved by following a few Bharatiya traditions and keep viruses and diseases at bay. We should understand that many traditional practices and modern scientific findings are one and the same.
- Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma
We are at a critical juncture when the Chinese virus, an infection that spreads mainly from person-to-person, spread from China to all over the world and has affected around 30 lakh people and has killed more than 2 lakh people globally. The countries like China, USA, England, Italy, Spain, Germany, Middle-east and others who usually criticize the Indian traditions are now adopting the same traditions today which are based on the scientific facts. Here I try to explain four Indian traditions which are based on scientific facts and can help us keep the virus at bay.
1. Bharatiya Namaste
This will enusre that each one is maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter with the head faced down to avoid the transfer of virus through droplets while talking and breathing. The whole world has accepted Namaste today to prevent the spread through touch. It is a great form of greeting each other and also maintain Physical Distance. This practice was invented by age old Indian philosophers and it could have become a practice to avoid transmission of severe epidemic diseases in the past.
2. Bharatiya Classical Music
Bharatiya classical music is one of the living traditions which are used both during celebrations and during last rites. Ringing of traditional bells, Shankha, emanate sound vibrations and this has been a part of Bharatiya culture and spirituality. Scientists have explained that human body is made of atoms and molecules, which are affected by sound vibrations which are essentially wave forms (as explained by the hypothesis of Louis de Broglie). The wave motions can also affect materials and research has shown that chanting of Sanskrit mantras and playing classical instruments also affected them.
Ms. Alexsandra Dietrich, a Ohio State University student, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in February of 2018 when a lump suddenly popped up in her neck. She had to move back home to Florida and undergo chemotherapy every week for six months. She said that it left her “helpless” for several years. But Dietrich did not lose hope and began ringing a bell after the end of chemotherapy every time. She was able to cure her cancer soon. Many believe that the sound has the potential to influence the human body, both physically and spiritually.
3. Bharatiya way of Fasting
Fasting which is practiced by Hindus in Bharat is not essentially a religious practice as it's effect is backed by scientific research. While fasting need not be an obligation, it is good to know that it is a moral and spiritual act which helps the body and mind to be purified and also acquire divine grace. I strongly recommend that everyone fasts atleast once in a week to improve one's digestion system and regain health.
Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi, a Japanese Scientist received Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his discovery of mechanisms for Autophagy (the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells). He explained in his discoveries that human body renews its cells during fasting. The body’s mechanism gets rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes) when there’s no longer enough energy to sustain. Amazingly, it is a regulated, orderly process to discard degraded cells and recycle cellular components.
It can be surely said that fasting is actually far more beneficial than just stimulating Autophagy. It does two good things. By stimulating Autophagy, we are clearing out all our old, junky proteins and cellular parts. At the same time, fasting also stimulates growth hormone which tell our body to start producing some new cells for the body. Fasting gives our bodies the much need overhaul.
4. Balanced Bharatiya Diet and Alkaline body
No virus including Corona can survive in an alkaline environment. If our body is alkaline, you will recover faster from any dangerous virus or disease. The human body is naturally slightly alkaline, with a blood pH of around 7.4. While the stomach is acidic, which allows it to digest food, the pH of saliva and urine changes depending on diet and metabolism. According to a research, cancer cells can grow more rapidly in an acidic environment. Whenever, we feel less energetic or uncomfortable, our blood pH could be getting low. Hence we need to avoid drinking tea which can increase the acidic nature of our body. Even though tea is a stimulator it is not good for treating increase in acidity in the body.
Dr. Otto Warburg got the Noble Prize in Medicine in 1931 for his research work “the aerobic and anaerobic metabolic processes in cells”. He suggested that cancer cells “live in hypoxic, very low oxygen, and acidic conditions and derive energy from sugars by fermenting the way yeast does”. As cancer progresses, the body becomes more and more acidic as its pH drops below 7.35. Dr. Warburg is known for his statement “NO DISEASE CAN EXIST IN AN ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT”.
I hence advise citizens that they should mostly consume alkaline foods like vegetables, few specific fruits (whole fruits not juice), grains, nuts, and alkaline water. Helping your body neutralize some of its acidity is crucial for maintaining your overall health. Unfortunately, most of the foods that people consume today are full of sugars, preservatives, and genetically modified organisms, which all contribute to acidity in the body.
For the balanced food, it is well explained in the Ancient Indian Literature named “Ashtanga Hridayam (अष्टांगहृदय)”. It is an Ayurvedic Dictionary written by Vagbhata (महान आयुर्विज्ञानी आचार्य वाग्भट्ट) around the 7th Century (AD 500). It means, (Ashta = 8; Anga = organ) deals with the 8 angas or organs of the body. 1. Kaya chikitsa (treats the body), 2. Baala chikitsa (pediatrics), 3. Griha chikitsa (psychiatry), 4. Urdhvanga chikitsa or shalakya tantra (eye, ear, nose and parts above neck), 5. Salya tantra (surgery), 6. Damsthra chikitsa (toxicology like treating snake venom), 7. Jara chikitsa or rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy), and 8. Vrishya chikitsa or vajeekarana chikitsa (aphrodisiac therapy).
I advise people to intake 8 types of balanced foods for leading a disease-free life and stay away from viral infections: Sweet (natural sugar), Sour (Amla), salty (stone salt), bitter (Bitter Melon or leafy greens), pungent (chili peppers, garlic, and onions), astringent (pomegranate, chickpeas, green beans), Alkali (nuts, legumes, and vegetables), Natural Fats.
(Author is a Associate Professor, Department of Physics at CCS University, Meerut)