According to Ayurveda a virus cannot be killed but it can be made nishkriya (ineffective) and its spread in the body can be arrested. By following these simple cleansing techniques you can guard yourself against colds. Ideally, these should be done every time one returns home.

1. JAL NETI (Nasal cleansing): Take 500 ml bearably warm water in a neti pot, add 1 tsp organic black/rock salt and a pinch of turmeric (organic and pure). Stand and bending slightly forward tilt the head at 45 degrees angle towards left. Insert the nozzle of the pot into the right nostril. While breathing from the mouth, tilt the pot so that the water runs into the right nostril and flows out from the left. Repeat on the other side. Saline water is the best cleansing medium, which absorbs and scrapes away infectious pathogens accumulated in the nasal passage. Turmeric is disinfectant, antiseptic and a scouring agent.

2. NASAL LUBRICATION: Warm pure desi cow's ghee to a bearable temperature (do not put it on direct high flame). Lie down flat on your back and let the head hang down, bending the neck backwards. Using a dropper or a spoon pour about 5 drops of ghee in each nostril turn by turn, in such a way that it does not flow down towards the throat but flows backwards towards the head. Keep lying in the same position for 5 minutes afterwards. Cow's ghee lubricates the nasal passage and strengthens the mucous membranes to fight against infections.

3. MASSAGING THE FEET WITH MUSTARD OIL: Mildly heat some mustard oil and massage the soles of the feet before retiring. Loose cotton socks can be worn later. Mustard oil is hot and massaging generates heat in the body to fight any symptoms of cold and infection.

Tulsi (holy basil) happens to be one of the best immunity builders. It's good for all prakriti types, but excess use is not advised for those with pitta constitution. A spoonful of tonic made out of cloves, black pepper, ginger, black tulsi and preferably at least one year old honey is potent enough to fight almost all kinds of viral infections and weaknesses. In case a person is already unwell it helps in speedy recovery. The tonic strengthens the liver where the combat capacity of the body originates.

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