Dr Babina N.M., Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecare Institute, speaks to G20 about the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the ways to tackle a myriad issues at home. Excerpts:

Q. How are you adapting to the trying times we are experiencing?

A. At present, we are not admitting any patients. Patient safety is our top priority, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to curb the spread of Covid-19. Since we get patients from all over the world, reopening our doors not only puts them in danger but is also a cause of concern for state and public health authorities. The medical experts in our facility are doing everything they can to educate patients online. More than ever, the pandemic has foregrounded the need to take care of our health. Improving our immunity is just as important as avoiding the infection. We can achieve this via lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and regular exercise.

Q. What exactly is naturopathy. What does it comprise of?

A. The central tenet of naturopathy is that prevention is better than cure. We believe that the accumulation of toxins is the root cause of all diseases, and we emphasise on detoxifying and cleansing the system. Toxins can be produced in the body due to improper digestion, absorption and elimination of food. An unhealthy lifestyle and bad dietary habits are two of the main causes. In our practice, we try to speed up detoxification by stimulating the four natural outlets for waste secretion — the colon, the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin.

Q. Can you tell us about the relevance of the ideas and benefits of naturopathy and yoga amid the pandemic?

A. According to the WHO, good health is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not just the absence of disease. Negative thoughts can also weaken our immunity. To give you an analogy, just as sanitizers act as a shield against respiratory pathogens, a positive state of mind and a healthy immune system shield you on the inside. By following naturopathic principles and practicing yoga, you can protect your immune system.

Q. How is Jindal Naturecure Institute working towards the benefit of the common person?

A. We believe in a preventive and holistic approach to healthcare, and our naturopaths have decades of experience designing patient-centric treatments after thoroughly studying the physical, environmental, psychological, and social factors that are unique to each patient. We have a number of cost-effective treatment plans for patients from economically vulnerable backgrounds.

Q. Can you share some tips regarding boosting the immunity at home?

A. Consume vitamin C-rich foods like lemon, orange, gooseberry, guava and pineapple. Zinc-rich foods like cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, legumes, lentils, chickpeas and beans help the immune system function optimally. Replace regular tea with ginger tea, tulsi tea or green tea. For a simple detox drink, grind up onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, lemon juice and jaggery, with a little honey for sweetness. Honey also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that improve digestion and boost immunity. Getting enough vitamin D is also important as it is an effective immune modulator and increases the production of immune cells. Probiotics like yogurt and curd help improve gut health, which in turn fortifies the immune system.  Drink at least three liters of water a day as it is important to stay hydrated. Avoid carbonated drinks.