Like many flu viruses, COVID-19 impacts the respiratory system and is defined as “severe acute respiratory syndrome.” Given this, it is wise for all of us to consider simple ways to enhance our respiratory wellness.
As it now appears, the COVID-19 virus is characterized by obstruction of respiratory pathways with thick mucus that solidifies and blocks the airways and lungs. Limiting the development of excessive mucus has always been a good idea, and now more than ever. In addition to following all CDC recommendations for regular washing of hands, body, clothing, surfaces, etc., here are 10 tips to help your respiratory system stay healthy:
Cold drinks increase mucus while hot drinks help dissolve mucus. Stay well hydrated with lots of hot liquids, hot water, herbal teas (ginger root, red raspberry, peppermint, etc.), green and black teas, vegetable broth, etc. Sip hot water every 20 minutes or maintain hydration and keep your mouth moist.
Avoid all dairy products and any food allergens—for most folks, these will cause congestion and/or mucus formation.
Eat hot and cooked “moist” foods like soups and stews.
Avoid cold and raw foods like cold salads and cold smoothies, especially if they cause you mucus formation. You can heat the liquid that goes into the smoothie.
Consider nasal lavage, oil pulling, or gargling with warm salt water. The ancient Ayurvedic procedure of gargling warm sesame oil or coconut oil is also cleansing and restorative (do not swallow this oil after gargling).
Stay warm and avoid getting chilled. Try to dress warmly, even on what appear to be sunny Spring days. According to several ancient medical systems, the lungs are vulnerable to cold and wind.
Do not smoke and avoid areas of air pollution. Use a household air filter if possible. Remember our lungs are the only interior organ that has direct exposure to the outside world.