Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
The past year has been extremely difficult for people. While the covid-19 pandemic brought much-needed focus on health and hygiene, it also created a lot of confusion among people about what is good for health and what is not. A steep rise in demand for immunity-boosting supplements like Kadhas and alternate medicines, which apparently strengthened the immune system, was seen.
From vitamin C and zinc to protein supplements, most companies touted their version of a cure as best to protect people. WhatsApp group chats, social media platforms, and family discussions were flooded with home remedies, recipes, and Kadhas to boost immunity! The most googled health topic in 2020 was “how to increase immunity”, a clear indication of people wanting to adopt any and everything that would give them protection from Covid-19!
With the growing number of cases, the number of variants, and double mutations being found, it is certain that no supplements and kadhas can protect us from the virus. We have to understand that our immune system is very finely tuned.
Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan and Mulund, says: “There is a balance between an immune system that is effective at limiting the ability of bacteria, viruses, and parasites to cause infection and a hyperactive immune system that can cause such problems as allergies, diabetes, and other types of auto-inflammatory and auto-immune disorders.”
Can home remedies really harm us?
The answer lies in the fact that there is no proper evidence that says a particular remedy can be adopted in one way or the other. “While there will be some science attached to it, the scientific value is never measured. Also, nobody knows which remedy may suit one person or the other. Therefore, the most dangerous aspect of a home remedy is that it is undertaken without expert monitoring, and without knowing the right dosage/ frequency, as it is never prescribed by a doctor!”, says the doctor.
Sabnis shares some remedies that adopted fervently can do more harm than good:
Drinking kadha’s: Common ingredients used to make kadha include black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, giloy, ashwagandha, cardamom, and ginger. While these are good stimulants during winters, these items create immense heat in the body. Excessive consumption of these can be harmful and cause problems like nose bleed, persistent acidity, lead to mouth ulcers and black stools. While making kadhas, one has to be extremely careful about the number of herbs and spices that are being used to make it, these can cause long-term effects too!
Excessive intake of zinc and Vitamin D & C supplements: Zinc was commonly consumed in the past year. There is some evidence that zinc can help curb the virus, but again, we do not have enough evidence to verify the quantity of supplement consumption. High levels of zinc, can lead to a depressed, rather than a strengthened immune system. FDA has also warned consumers that zinc nasal sprays can lead to loss of smell! Vitamin-D toxicity is developed when there is excess intake! A high amount of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination.
Overconsumption of Ayurvedic health supplements: While these are powerful herbal remedies used to bolster immunity and enhance the longevity of a person; these cannot be the only shield against Covid-19. Also, they cannot be consumed disproportionately. These time-tested supplements should be taken as prescribed; overuse may cause persistent digestive issues and erratic bowel movement.
Camphor use: Camphor when used the right way and in the right quantity, that is small quantities during steam inhalation or as an ointment, it is helpful. But we witnessed misuse of camphor in the past year; here are its hazards — oral consumption of camphor can cause breathing issues, seizures, and even death. Children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding moms should not use camphor at all!
Blind consumption of Arsenicum Album: WhatsApp university pushed the consumption of Arsenicum Album to prevent Covid-19, and people blindly began self-dosaging. However, no studies were found that researched the effect of Arsenicum Album for coronavirus in humans or animals. Importantly, no studies were found that linked the efficacy of any homeopathy drug in coronavirus infections!
Untested immunity-boosting powders: Most immunity-boosting powders available in the market may have steroids. Excessive steroid intake can weaken your immune system, leading to more sickness and an increased risk of serious health problems!
Steam inhalation: While steam inhalation is said to be an age-old home remedy for the common cold, it can’t help in fighting a virus-like Covid-19. Moreover, steam can cause swelling of the eyes, redness of the eye, dry eye, continuous watering of the eye, etc. It can also affect the skin, and may even burn it when overexposed to steam. It also causes the skin on the face and neck to become dry, leading to fungal or bacterial skin infections.
Saltwater gargling: Most experts recommend saltwater gargles twice a day for people having sore throat but too much salt water can also have health risks, such as calcium deficiency and high blood pressure. Also, over-gargling with hot water can cause mouth ulcers, and repeated drinking of hot water can cause stomach ulcers.
Bathing with disinfectants: As soon as the pandemic hit us, people began to wash food with bleach, applied household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaled or ingested the cleaners. Some even started bathing with disinfectants. There is enough evidence that states that inappropriate use of disinfectants can cause poisoning!
He suggests what you can do to build natural immunity:
*Eat a healthy diet with fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
*Avoid processed foods.
*Drink eight glasses of water a day.
*Include physical activities in your regular regime.
*Get 8-10 hours of good sleep.
*Have a stress-free home environment.
*Try to have a good amount of exposure to sunlight every day.
*Stay hygienic and wash your hands.
*Get vaccinated. (IANS/JC)
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City