Thursday, November 21, 2013

Let us get the basics right

            It is said that the value of anything is best realized by someone who doesn't have it. We take so many things in our life for granted that it would come as no surprise that most of us have never given importance to the constant battle our body fights. Yes, our immunity is the unsung hero.
           From a slight cold to the dreaded HIV ( Human Immunodeficiency Virus), it is our immunity that gives us a lease of life. Isn't it a wonder that, unknown to us, our body is immune to a plethora of noxious chemicals and millions of micro-organisms?
                                                   The bubble is our immunity

         Imagine a life where your immune system isn't functioning well.

         Imagine having psoriasis that makes the first defence, your skin, so fragile that even detergents can cause you irritation.
         Imagine having allergy that makes you sneeze in reaction to dust, volatile oils, perfumes.
         Imagine having sinusitis with every little change in temperature.
         Imagine having studied everything but feeling weak to give the exam.
         Imagine dreading to get drenched in the rains while rest of your friends are enjoying the first rain.
         Difficult imagination right?
         Would anything in our life go well without a proper immune system?

         Now imagine someone who has lived it for 21 years. It is no serious illness and yet the discomfort is no less annoying. Yes, I have had immune issues since birth.
         It is in built defect of my system. Having known what it is like to not have natural protection, I do value the importance of immunity not just for children but also for grown ups.
                    which one would you want your child to be? I would want mine to enjoy the rain! 

         The true foundations of one's health lies in the childhood. It is that age which will make the body more resistant and capable of handling the onslaught of coming years, not just diseases but emotional and physical stress as well. In my case, I had all the care and wisdom of tradition but my own body failed me. When I see others taking their systems and their kids for granted I just wish they could see it from my side. Why would anyone want their child to suffer like I do?

        What would I do in their place? What would I do to make sure that the kid become resistant and strong?


     Dump that cereal box right now. You don't have time to cook a proper breakfast and the advertisements say that the cereal box serves the purpose. Real the label. You would not allow your child to consume chocolate and yet you would allow chocolate flavored cereals and drinks and what not? Hot chocolate is supposed to be a luxury and not a bribe to force down milk down their throats. Going by the food being made child friendly, I think the kids today consume more chocolate than food!  Stick to the traditional breakfast. Idlis and chapatis are the kind of nutrition your child needs.
    Do not go over the diet fads and serve the same to the child. It is an age that requires more nutrients. Give them oil, give them proteins, give them carbohydrates and vitamins. The genetic buildup demands rice for the South Indian then let him have it. Let the Punjabi have his paratha doled in ghee. Kids have need of these!
    Balanced diet is the first step to immunity. Most of the food that we consume contain immunostimulants.


"He goes to school at 11. He gets home at 6 and completes his homework. He then watches TV, eats and sleeps" My cousin tells me about her 5 year old kid.
"When does he play?" I ask.
"He gets no time. He plays on the phone when he gets time." She tells me. 
"But he needs physical activity!" I reason.
"His friends have different tuition timings." 

We are talking here of a 5 year old. Let him be a 5 year old ! Let the child play outside. Let him get a taste of mud, let him slip and hurt a bit, let him feel the blood rushing through his veins and the heart thumping with excitement, let him feel the wind in his hair as he runs, let him feel the thrill of sliding down, let him sweat the exhaustion. 
Did you know that an average Indian is immune to about 50,000 chemicals that enter his system daily? Surely, he didn't get that resistance by staying at home! 

Enroll the child in some activity that makes him feel euphoric. Let him flex his/her  muscles in the karate class or let her/him dance to the tunes of freedom. Note: Do not press the need to win anything while they are at it.

Proper blood circulation ensure better health. 



My mother says that most of the illnesses are cured by sleeping well. Whenever I run a temperature due to cold, she sets the water boiling and adds garlic, ginger, jaggery, tulsi leaves and black pepper to it and makes me drink that and tells me to sleep. Most of the time I sleep straight 10 hours and wake up all renewed. 

Our body repairs itself when we are asleep. We need atleast 6 hours of sound sleep and the children need a good 8 hours sleep. Do not wake them up to study for some stupid test or make them burn the night lamp. 8 hours it is! 

No stress

I still don't understand the deal of putting kids into tuition class for kindergarten section. Or any standard before boards for that matter! Helping out a child in some poor subject is one thing but putting him/her for every subject is putting undue stress. 

When we were kids, the only thing that our kindergarten section concentrated on was to make us tell stories and poetry, make us write A to Z on the board and count a few numbers. The rest of the time was spent in playing and talking which made sure we were good at interacting with our age group. Most of the class didn't know to make words till the first grade!  The competition never came into picture as fiercely as it is now. I wonder what we have in store for kids who already fight for their ranks in nursery! 

Make the child participate in activities and do not attach importance to winning. Stress invites diseases and makes the body incapable of fighting the attack! 



I was taken aback when someone told me that she took sleeping pills to get a sound sleep at the age of 15. She had no illness and yet she resorted to these pills. 
A classmate had confided in me that she was taking "memory improving" pills that someone had recommended. 
Do we really need these pills and tablets?

I can tell you better options.
1. Oil your hair before you go to bed. Sleep assured.
2. Eat soaked almonds every morning. Memory sharpening. 
3. Eat a clove of garlic every day. More memory. 
4. Eat tulsi leaf before going to exam. Blood pressure regulated. 
5. Eat amla. Skin and hair maintained or improved. 

The list can go on because I have just given my Pharmacognosy exam and I remember all the uses well right now :D 

One of the major hurdles in the way of right nutrition and immunity is the extremely choosy child. Children do not easily eat amla or any other herb for that matter. The solution is to give them a spoonful that contains a mix of a handful of good herbs. I will call them good herbs because not only do they increase resistance but also impart their natural goodness.  

One name that has been a must and  the only supplement that was available in our childhood is Chyawanprash. If the child has an over active reflux mechanism then chances are that he/she will throw up the whole spoonful. Yes, experience! 

Dabur Chyawanprash has a whole new range that contains flavors that the child will like and yes a spoonful of flavor is acceptable right? Dabur also has sugarfree variety for those who are worried about the sugar intake. 
             A great future depends on the safe and immune childhood. What goes into the system at a young age is what comes out at a later age. They call it GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. So what do you think we must do with all that junk food? Let us get the basics right to build a stronger, healthier and more immune india! 

                This post is written as a contest entry for Immune India contest  in association with Dabur


drlawrencekindo said...

Nice thoughts on how to improve our immunity. All the best for the contest.

Read my entry at You might just love it.

Red Handed said...

All the best with the contest babe

maithili said...

Thank you :) I shall drop in

maithili said...

Thank you Red

saket said...

Wow! Your pictures are worth a thousand words and your words paint a thousand pictures! A unique post Maithily. One of the most original posts in the contest. Keep blogging.

The only post which mentioned the all important Eucalyptus. Yours is a post scores high on information and originality. Keep blogging. All the best.

Would appreciate your candid comments on my post at

maithili said...

Thank you Saket for your kind words. I shall drop in to your page.