With the air quality in the severe category in Delhi and other nearby areas, people have been experiencing symptoms like throat irritation, sneezing, and coughing. “Air pollution is like a slow poison that consumes your health in the most hazardous way. An individual is at a higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases if exposed to ground zone for six to seven hours. It not only puts you at risk but severely damages lung function leaving you to suffer respiratory inflammation. It has been estimated that air pollution causes around seven million deaths a year worldwide,” explains Satkam Divya, CEO, KlinicApp.
Apart from respiratory diseases, air pollution also causes cardiovascular damage, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and harm to liver, spleen, and blood.
Studies have shown that certain foods help build the immune system and combat pollution. “Jaggery contains iron which increases our lungs capacity to carry oxygen through the blood. Vitamin C-rich foods, especially lemon and oranges, help increase the body’s immunity, foods that contain omega fatty acids, magnesium too help the body fight pollutants. People who suffer from breathing issues can also have honey as it helps with clearing mucus. In addition, a balanced and healthy diet consisting seasonal fruits and vegetables will help reduce inflammation as well,” advises Praveshh Gaur, founder and director, Srauta Wellness.
To help you fight the ills of air pollution, here are some home-remedies that will help keep the lungs strong. And it will not happen by just eating right, you will have to drink right as well,” adds Divya.
Lemon, ginger, and peppermint
Lemon is known as one of the most natural cleansers and helps in detoxing the body by working as a diuretic with antioxidants. It is advised to have lemon water first thing in the morning along with ginger and peppermint, which help unclog the respiratory tract and eliminate toxins from the lungs.
Grape juice helps in cleaning out the lungs from a build-up of toxins. The skin of this fruit is known to have high antioxidant powers that help curb inflammation in the lungs. As a result, one can notice a reduction in the severity of asthma and even lung cancer. Have this juice once a day for a week to heal the lungs.
A cup of warm green tea before going to bed releases toxins from your intestine. This helps in keeping your digestive system healthy and improves lung condition. Have a cup of green tea with ginger, lemon or honey.
Turmeric ginger drink
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancerous and also has anti-toxicity properties. This aids in removing harmful toxins from the body while protecting the organs from further damage. Ginger also helps to heal nausea which is caused by too much smoke.
Your glass of carrot juice has high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A, K, C and B. The juice contributes to improving the alkalinity of the blood and also reduces the risk of lung cancer.
On a regular basis, go for herbal and ayurvedic remedies. “Having turmeric milk can help reduce inflammation; tulsi and neem can help with ill-effects of air pollution. Chew on two-three neem leaves every day. Make it a habit to chew on a tulsi leaf first thing in the morning. Pippali powder or long black pepper powder also helps with purifying lungs and can be had with warm water,” mentions Gaur.
Additionally, he advises that since pollution and smog cause congestion in the throat, one should practice gargling with alkaline water after coming home from outside as it helps to clear the cough, and provides immediate relief. Taking steam will also help clear the nose and cause relief, he says.
Apart from having these detoxifying juices, get enough sleep, exercise regularly (but avoid strenuous exercises outdoors) and follow healthy habits. “Stay in well-ventilated areas and drink plenty of warm liquids if you want to improve the health of your lungs,” mentions Divya.