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Waning The Winter Woes: Boost Immunity & Beat Colds & Flu Naturally

Learn how to enhance immunity to the common cold & the flu with Ayurveda, the ancient medical science which specialises in seasonal change and the rhythms of nature.

Article At A Glance

What exactly is the flu?

The flu does not deserve panic.
The flu is a natural detoxification that the body’s intelligence wisely instigates to “clean the house”.
So, do not suppress the flu with so called “treatments”.
Your body “vents” (clears) toxins 24 hours a day.
But, sometimes, particularly with seasonal change and colder seasons, the body gets overwhelmed and opens up all the vents for immediate clearing.
This clearing comes in many forms: perspiration, breathing, sweating, rashes, diarrhoea, colds, cases of flu and so on.
So we must facilitate this process of “cleaning the house” by allowing and assisting the toxins to be eliminated.
Unfortunately, people aren’t facilitating this process enough.

Ways to Enhance Immunity & Prevent Getting Sick

Prevention is priority.
Here are a few techniques to help strengthen immunity and prevent colds, viruses and flus. 

Self-Abhyanga (Oil Massage) Daily

When you massage oil onto your body before your daily shower, you create a shield-like-armour on your skin. 

The rich microbiome species that live on your skin are enhanced with self-abhyanga. This strengthens the “energetic periphery” – preventing something on the outside trying to get inside. 

Self-abhyanga especially enhances lymphatic drainage, which circulates your white blood cells and killer T-cells (immune system). 

It effectively helps ground and strengthen the nervous systemwhich is crucial as stress is a significant immunosuppressant.

Ayurvedic Nasal Drops (Nasya)

Nasya is the Ayurvedic practice of lubricating the nasal passageway and the brain with herb-infused oil.

Ayurvedic immune benefits of Nasya:

  1. Moisturise the nasal cavity.
  2. Enhance the filtering turbines in your nose to protect from toxins and air-borne bacteria and viruses, and metabolise them safely.
  3. Prevent sinus congestion.
  4. Protect from environmental pollutants such as building sites, polluted cities and unfamiliar countries.
  5. Enhance the intake of prana (life-force)
  6. Promote mental clarity
    + many more benefits

One of the few times when Nasya is contraindicated is during the time when you are sick. Otherwise, use before as a great preventive. 

Ayurvedic Immune Strengthening Herbs

Some Ayurvedic herbal formulas are elixir tonics, known as “rasāyanas”, which are basically like precious potent foods. They are whole herbs (not extracts or concentrated constituents) and can be taken daily for long-periods of time, just like eating good quality foods everyday.

  1. Anand Sid Yog – Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss
  2. Swasakasantak Yog – Helps allergies, upper respiratory system, hay-fever, immunity and great for children and babies above 6 months. 
  3. Shodana Vati – Ensure regular detoxification and free-radical scavenging everyday. This prevents overload of toxins which when it hits break point, can manifest as nasty.
  4. Nasika (Nose Drops) strengthen the upper respiratory system
  5. Siddhajal (Super Human Liquid) – Increase prāṇā (life-force), physical, mental and spiritual energy and capability.

Early Symptoms? Act Now!

If you feel a cold coming on, act early!
Look out for early symptoms like:

  • Tickle in the throat , scratchy or sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Blocked ears
  • Sneezing
  • Cough (even if it is mild)
  • Slight headache associated with heaviness and feeling “run down”.
Start the herbs and remedies listed in the article below right away to knock out the cold/virus before it manifests deeper.

Herbal Formulas for Early (& later) Stages of Disease:

  1. Pranadrops or Siddhajal – perform steam inhalation + drink daily.
  2. Neela Vati – take 2 tabs 2x/day.
  3. Nectar Immunity Tonic – 25ml 2x/day. More indicated for fever and virus.
  4. Swasananda Lehamsuck on one pinch 3-6x/day. Especially for respiratory and lung conditions.
  5. Cough Tonic – small sip every time you cough.
  6. Shoolari Vati – 2 tabs 1-5x/day as needed due to severity, pain and inflammation. 
  7. Shoolagna Vati – 6 tabs 4-6x/day as needed. Great for fever and parasites. (note, no need to take both Shoolari and Shoolagna Vati together. One is enough.).

Take the above to for 3-7 days or until symptoms fully clear. 

What If I Already Got the Flu or Cold?

If it has hit you well, do not resist it.

Rather, rest, accept and apply the tactics listed in this article to actually help make the flu work for you!

Understanding Conventional Flu "Treatment"

It is helpful to understand the pathology of what most people do and will recommend for you to do.

Pharmaceutical drugs mask symptoms, thus fool the body into feeling that it doesn’t have any toxins to eliminate.

The drugs may also clog or block these “vents” (elimination channels).

These toxins then will get trapped deeper into the bodily channels, causing deeper problems down the track.

Additionally, drugs and vaccines will further add to the toxins that are trapped in the body.

No one currently knows the long-term impact of ‘foreign’ substances that are being injected into the bloodstreams of majority people.

Ayurvedic Tips & Protocol for Cold/Flu/Fever

Realise that your body is trying to cleanse during this period and the best thing you can do is to support it during the detoxification process.

Avoid suppressing the symptoms with a pharmaceutical drug

Yes, you might get some symptomatic short-term relief, but the effects of the toxic residues that are left behind will show up down the road and your body’s natural intelligence to function will be weakened. There are other ways to relieve the discomfort listed below. However, if after you have tried natural remedies to relieve the symptoms you are still unbearingly suffering, it is sometimes better to take the pharmaceutical drugs.


Really important. Meditate more. Avoid exposure to cold wind, avoid strenuous work, exercise & late nights, and stay warm.

Eat Light

Cut down on your intake of heavy, kapha increasing foods like meat, animal products, cheese and yogurt. Dinner especially should be light (soups are best).

Liquid Diet

Any cooked and pureed foods or soups, lassi (unless mucous and cold is present), fresh fruit juices and herbal teas (see recipe above) can help you overcome a virus much more easily. Avoid vegetable juices.

Foods for Cold, Fever & Flu

Anti-bacterial, pungent heating to burn up and melt the toxins like foods like:
  1. Garlic (raw or cooked)
  2. Turmeric powder
  3. Fresh ginger
  4. Black pepper


To do this you first need to understand and consider your body type.
Fasting is a tremendously effective tool to cleanse and renew the body, but it should not be done without taking proper considerations first (i.e. your body weight, energy levels, etc.).
That being said,  fasting coupled with sipping hot water all day is “the best/chief among those which cure fever.” (1)
We have a whole module on fasting, in The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition.
Light Watkins sitting by the beach

Sip Hot Water

Sipping plain hot water is a good approach to clear all body’s channels and hydrate the body.
Frequency is what matters, not quantity. Sip every 10-15 minutes. You can also make a tea with turmeric + a little black pepper or cumin + ajwain tea, or the immunity tea recipe above.

Avoid Body Therapies

Avoid body therapies such as massage, self-abhyanga oil massage, nasya (oil nose drops),  and any excessive body stimulation.

Home Remedies

Honey & Kitchen Spice Paste –  This cough and cold remedy helps increases immunity & fight infections. You can find the recipe Here.

Tulsi Tea – “Holy Basil,” also known as the “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda. Tulsi is especially effective for the lungs and to decongest the respiratory system.

Black Salt + Warm Water Gargle – Can do this all throughout the day, especially if experiencing sore throat.

Use 1/2tsp-1tsp of black salt for best effect. If not available, other salts are fine. Can add a little turmeric to the water for stronger bacteria-fighting help.

Cough and Cold Remedy

Therapeutic Herbal Formulas

The above herbs in the Early Symptoms section. 👆 


Act early. Prevention is a key component in Ayurveda.

If you notice the initial stages of a symptom of the flu or cold, like waking up with a slight sore throat, then apply what Ayurveda has taught you.
If you are beginning to feel a bit congested in the sinuses or lungs, incorporate these actions into your morning routine.

Jump in early to work WITH the viruses or toxins to ensure their effective elimination.

Act even earlier

Adopt an Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and perhaps take herbs to maintain optimum immunity and vitality and hardly ever see the start of a disease or symptom, especially the cold or flu.

Read other articles or book a consultation to acquire a detailed lifestyle and dietary plan to tune yourself into optimum balance and wellness.

Have you ever applied Ayurveda to treat the flu or common cold? How did that go? Comment below.

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Special thanks to Rudolf Steiner and Jiddu Krishnamurti for providing content.

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