Ayurvedic Tips for Combating the Negative Effects of Air Pollution
With the rapid exacerbation of climate change and the proliferation of industrial projects that project harmful emissions, air pollution is an unignorable truth that poses real risks to our everyday lives. Air pollution is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as chemical, physical or biological agents that contaminate the natural makeup of an environment. It encompasses a wide range of sources, including motor vehicles, industrial factories and forest fires. According to WHO, 99% of the world’s population breathes in air that is unsafely polluted, with countries with lower incomes and higher poverty levels taking the most severe hit.
The long-term effects of pollution on our bodies can be severe. As research has demonstrated, extended exposure to air pollution can lead to the development of stroke, heart attack and pneumonia, among other conditions.
While these risks may seem scary, they can also motivate us to commit ourselves to sustainability efforts. Of course, what is necessary to combat the global climate crisis that has been worsening due to factors like pollution is structural, governmental action and regulation. But the negative impacts of pollution on our health are not entirely out of our hands. Ayurveda, which posits that the balance between our bodies, minds, spirits and external environments is essential to achieving health, offers a number of remedies for alleviating this imbalance between ourselves and our environments. Here, we break down a few of these remedies below.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Combating the Effects of Pollution
Incorporate These Immunity-Boosting Ayurvedic Herbs
A strong immune system is essential to fighting off the harmful effects of air pollution. Try out some of these Ayurvedic herbs, whose detoxifying, immunity-boosting effects will boost not only your resistance to pollution, but also your overall health.
Tulsi, or holy basil, is an Ayurvedic herb that has long been revered for its powerful wheelhouse of benefits: it improves mood and alleviates depression, it boosts circulation, it promotes cognitive function and more. Most importantly, it is a potent immunity booster thanks to its ability to produce antibodies and T-helper cells, which enable it to effectively fight off infection.
Turmeric is another powerhouse ingredient whose anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a popular go-to in the wellness world. It is known to alleviate stress, boost heart health and promote anti-aging. In addition, research has suggested that turmeric inhibits the body’s inflammatory response, thereby enabling it to combat infection.
Turmeric is an extremely versatile ingredient that you can incorporate into your routine in many ways. For example, you can use a turmeric-incorporating face mask, such as our UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask, to cleanse the skin of the pollutants that make contact with it throughout the day. You can also try to make your own golden milk, which is an extremely soothing, turmeric-based drink that boosts immunity, strengthens digestion, improves sleep and more.
Neem is an herb indigenous to India that contains a multitude of antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is a powerful tool for promoting clear, radiant skin and combating infection. At UMA, we absolutely love neem for its detoxifying, clarifying and healing effects. We incorporate it into products like our UMA Deeply Clarifying Neem Charcoal Cleanser and our UMA Deeply Clarifying Aloe Alum Toner, both of which can help promote healthy, radiant skin that clears and fights off the toxins it encounters.
Try Out Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a simple, yet potent Ayurvedic practice that cleanses the mouth of toxins and promotes overall health. Our mouths often serve as useful indicators of the health of our bodies—toxins that accumulate there can lead to more serious conditions, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Oil pulling detoxifies the mouth and body and cleanses the respiratory system of potential debris and pollutants.
The process of oil pulling is simple: swish 1-2 tablespoons of oil (such as sesame oil, coconut oil or our UMA Pure Detox Oil Pulling Treatment) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, making sure to make contact with all parts of the mouth. You can carry on with your morning routine as you do this. Then, spit out the oil in the trash can and rinse your mouth with warm water. You can finish off by brushing your teeth and tongue scraping as normal.
Practice Pranayama for Healthy Lungs
Pranayama is a yogic breathwork technique that cleanses the mind and body by promoting the flow of oxygen. Pranayama increases our lung capacity, which in turn helps us to fight off respiratory ailments that can result from air pollution. There are a number of different pranayama techniques you can try out, depending on your dosha. To learn more about how to incorporate pranayama into your practice, check out our blog here.And to learn more about using Ayurveda to boost your overall lung health, check out our blog on the subject here.
- anti inflammatory, climate change, detox, lung health, natural detox, oil pulling, pollution, Words of Wellness