Immune Booster. Is there such thing as an immune booster?
One of the most amazing aspects of the human body is its ability to heal itself. The body’s natural defence, the immune system, is a complex network of organs and trillions of cells that circulate in the body and protect it from disease, bacteria, infection and viruses. When it identifies harmful antigens and cells, the body’s T cells kick in to help destroy them and protect us. The most impressive fact about the immune system is that it functions automatically, without our conscious effect.
Increasing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic have seen an increased use of the popular social media hashtag #immunebooster. Sales of herbal and food supplements have reached record highs with immune boosting supplements alone, up by 25%. Big Herba and celebrity influencers, using the current global health crisis, have ramped up their sales jargon to exploit pandemic-anxious consumers into buying products with so-called “immune-boosting” powers. But is it possible to actual boost your immunity and will it help against Covid-19?
Immunology experts are increasingly debunking what they describe as the ‘immunity boosting myth’. The British Dietetic Association recently released a statement that you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching COVID-19. They assert that the immune system does not need to be “supercharged” or ramped up — just allowed to do its work. Such a statement seems to assume that we are all healthy with optimally functioning immune systems. In reality, however, many people have chronic health issues and weakened immune systems.
Years of often, self-inflicted abuse, where the body is treated more like a landfill, subjected to an unhealthy diet and stressful lifestyle, has resulted in toxic-overloaded, diseased and immune-compromised body systems. Popping a pill or eating the latest trending “immune-boosting superfood’ is like plugging just one of multiple holes in a leaky bucket. It isn’t going to be of much help. There is no quick fix – it requires a lifestyle change. A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet, daily moderate exercise, adequate sleep, reduction in stress and Vitamin D or sunlight, all help restore and support the normal functioning of the immune system. Such principles are fundamental to those of the ancient Ayurvedic system of medicine.
In Ayurveda, great emphasis is afforded to building strength of mind and body, which enhances one’s natural resistance against disease-causing pathogens. Plant-based immunomodulatory agents have been used for millennia, alongside healthy lifestyles, to balance the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. The concept of Vyadhikshamatva, meaning Vyadhi (disease) and Kshamatva (suppress or overcome) – the defence of the body against disease – is closely aligned to modern day “immunity”. Rasayana remedies focusing on nutrition, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-ageing and neuro-protective actions, are used to enhance Vyadhikshamatva against disease and ageing, to promote memory and increase longevity.
Ocimun sanctum, known as Holy Basil or tulsi, a small aromatic herb of the basil family, found growing throughout the tropics, is a powerful rasayana. In Hinduism, tulsi is worshipped as a goddess and every part of it is sacred. In Ayurveda, it is revered as “The Queen of Herbs” and “an elixir of life” without equal, for both its medicinal and spiritual properties.
Tulsi is frequently described as the world’s pre-eminent adaptogen, supporting our adrenal system and helping to balance hormones. It helps the body and mind de-stress and assists in the prevention and treatment of physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress-induced disorders and diseases. It’s high content of phenolic compounds and antioxidants support the body’s “internal housekeeping” providing protection from free radical damage and toxins. Daily consumption of tulsi serves as a tonic for the mind, body and spirit, assists in preventing disease and promoting general health, wellbeing and longevity. Ancient Ayurvedic wisdom has been reinforced by numerous scientific studies confirming tulsi’s potent pharmacological actions:
When you’re feeling a little out of sorts or the stresses of daily life are getting you down, a few tulsi leaves are an excellent herbal pick-me-up to support the body’s natural immune response. Chewing on just one fresh leaf has been described as one of the best immune-supporting Ayurvedic medicines for viral infections, particularly respiratory infections. Alternatively, tulsi leaves can be added to soups and smoothies or drank as an herbal tea. For those who aren’t lucky enough to have ready supply of tulsi in their gardens, there is a growing market of teas, drops, supplements, mouthwashes and hand sanitizers. In India, tulsi is used to repel mosquitoes and flies and has also been planted in cities to combat air pollution. The vast array of uses of tulsi is testament to Ayurvedic wisdom and provides an example of ancient knowledge offering solutions to modern problems.
Emme Haddon has lived in the West Indies, France, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the UK. She has run various businesses and has set up a successful on-line clothing operation. For the past 7 years she has lived in Sri Lanka where she has been able to pursue her passion for natural medicines. She has a great interest in Sri Lanka’s plants and herbal medicines.
Rupert Murdoch set to marry for fifth time at 92
BBC reported that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has announced his engagement to his partner Ann Lesley Smith, a former police chaplain.
Murdoch, 92, and Smith, 66, met in September at an event at his vineyard in California.
The Businessman told the New York Post,one of his own publications: “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”
He split with fourth wife Jerry Hall last year.
Children’s happiness with gardening
By Arjuna Hulugalle
On October 7th 2022, Homagama Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya in Godagama Homagama commenced their Home Garden Program, with the support of Nest, a Community based Mental Health organisation. The objective was to reduce the short fall of food in the diet of the children and to deal with malnutrition in the school population. Both the teachers dealing with Agriculture and Domestic Science have been involved in the initiative.
The outcome of the programme has many positive developments. Both the teaching staff and the children have shown great enthusiasm. Children’s happiness with gardening became evident. The students began to understand the importance of eating organic vegetables and the role of vitamins and minerals in their diet. Open air exercise which gardening brings with it has added to better health. The students have also realized that our country does not have to worry about hunger and malnourishment, if one uses available resources.
The first stage of the Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya program is to create a model garden in the school premises. Even classrooms are encouraged to be used for accommodating “grow bags” with various types of yams.The second stage of the programme is to make model gardens in the homes of 100 senior students with special interest in agriculture. The parents of the students are also drawn into this program.The third stage is for the 100 seniors to concentrate on the balance 2500 students and motivate them to set up model gardens in their homes.
The Model Home Garden in School
The School garden has a representative selection of vegetables but is concentrating on Dambala, Cabbage, Long beans of two varieties, Turnips, Occra and KankunA spice garden is being developed with three varieties of chillies, two varieties of kochchi, mint, celery and pepper.
Yams are being grown in “grow bags” inside cClass rooms. The varieties propagated are Kiri Ala and Bathala.Trees grown in the school premises are Delum, two varieties of Nelli and Murunga.
Model Home gardens of the selected 100 students
These are being trained for their tasks of developing their own model home gardens and also to motivate the other 2500 students of the school and set up Home Gardens in their own homes.Intensive training sessions have been conducted starting with Dr Lionel Weerkoon, a world renowned authority on home gardens and Dr Anuruddha Padeniya who spoke on the value of organic agriculture.
The students were given packets of seeds of bitter gourd, pumpkin, kankun, Occra, long beans, dambala, green chillies and beans. Those students who have space in their homes, were also given trees and plants to be planted in their own home gardens. The saplings included Murunga, Jack, Nelli, Del, Delum, Avocado, Orange and Divul.
The Role of the Parents and the past students
The Home Garden program is supported by the Parents and past students and soon will interact more with the community at large. Already, they have contributed towards a sprinkler system for the School Garden.In the long term the Home Garden program can grow into market gardening in the community.
Dance Epicure first Dinner Dance Theatre
A captivating evening of dinner and dance – Dance Epicure by ‘With My Feet’ brings UK champion dancers and the best of Sri Lankan talent to the same stage Dance Epicure, Sri Lanka’s very first Dinner Dance Theatre concept produced by With My Feet is all set to entertain and delight on the 2nd of April at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. The vision and brainchild of the legendary Naomi Rajaratnam, the uniquely curated evening of dance and gastronomy produced by the Colombo Dance Theatre will feature a roster of extraordinary international and local dancers paired with a night of culinary delight.
The latest initiative by Naomi, the Colombo Dance Theatre comprises of a company of elite international and local dancers woven firmly together by masterful choreography and a great love for dance. Dance Epicure will not only be the Theatre’s inaugural performance, but also the first of its kind in Sri Lanka; where artfully choreographed dance segments will be performed between a four-course sit-down menu. The highly anticipated event will feature the likes of world-renowned dancers – namely five-time undefeated UK National Latin American Champions Gunnar Gunnarsson and Marika Doshoris, as well as the formidable Nauris Kalva and Manuja Hughes, Blackpool Open Smooth Champions – sharing the stage with the best Sri Lankan dancers from Naomi’s own dance company With My Feet.
Naomi’s desire to uplift dancers from far-flung rural areas in Sri Lanka by providing them with the opportunities and spotlight they deserve has always been encapsulated in her dance showcases. It is with this vision in mind that Dance Epicure will also feature a heart-warming performance by the children of the Warehouse Project; an urban community solution in partnership with the Sri Narada Foundation. Additionally, as with all of Naomi’s shows, part of the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will go towards the Dev Siri Sevana Elders Home in Welisara.
Commenting on the upcoming event, Naomi Rajaratnam said, “I am so honoured that some of the UK’s leading dancers have chosen to collaborate with us, and I am equally thrilled to be able to showcase the best of our Sri Lankan talent on the same platform.”
“The concept of a Dinner Dance Theatre has been on my mind for the longest time and I couldn’t think of a better moment to finally turn this dream into a reality,” she added. “The calibre of these world-renowned dancers paired with the best of With My Feet dancers is the perfect opportunity to offer a something truly unique to our Sri Lankan audience.”
The principal partners of Dance Epicure are Standard Chartered Bank Priority, Maliban Biscuit Manufactories, John Keells Properties, Sri Lankan Airlines, Shangri-La Colombo, Wijeya Newspapers and Capital Maharaja Group.
Tickets for Dance Epicure go on sale on Saturday the 11 th of March 2023 and can be purchased online at https://withmyfeet.com/. With My Feet social media pages will soon be updated with where tickets can be purchased offline.
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