Our own body immunity is our only defense against all kinds of diseases. Our immune system is affected by our diet, exercise, age, stress levels, and our response to the environment, all these factors have to be balanced. We need to be in harmony with nature to enjoy good immunity!

Friends, I am sharing the secret of the villagers of Tircha Khet, Bhuwali, Uttarakhand; here there is not a single Covid-19 case in the entire village so far, even the dreaded second wave has bypassed it.

TIP 1 – Eat only freshly prepared, seasonal, local produce.

Sharing some of the local specialties of Tircha Khet.

Junglee karela, (Momordica dioicia) known as Ram karela in the local language, grows wild during the rainy season. It is a good blood purifier, immunity booster and helps control diabetes. Also, it is great for weight loss, though people living in the area are rarely obese. These villagers cook it in many different ways, they even prepare a very tasty pickle with Ram karela. 

GETHI, is another magical produce of the hills, known as the natural air potato, (tuber of Dioscorea bulbifera) grows in abundance, it keeps the body warm during the winter months. Locals also use it to treat skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis. They cook it just like we use our potatoes, it is an extremely delicious and filling vegetable.

KAFAL, the bayberry, (Myrica esculenta) is loaded with minerals and vitamins, it is full of antioxidants, helps in digestion, is a great immunity booster.

This summer fruit is sweet and sour in taste, local kids love to eat this berry straight off the tree. Unfortunately, it can’t be kept for more than a day.

JAKHIYA, the wild mustard or Garhwali zeera, (seeds of Cleome viscosa) is used to temper vegetables, pulses, curries and, even curd.  This is another nugget from Uttarakhand, it gives an amazing crunch to the dish.

The leaves of the plant are used as antiseptic, also for healing wounds and ulcers. Oil extracted from the seeds helps treat mental disorders.

I got all this information from the local villagers, later it was corroborated on the internet too.

BEDU, the Anjeer, (Ficus palmata), another sweet juicy locally grown fruit, the villagers swear by its beneficial effects in treating diseases of the lungs and the bladder. It is full of minerals, phosphorus, and also vitamin C.

Friends, I have developed a taste for their seasonal vegetables, condiments, fruits, and local berries. Whenever we are in our hill home, we enjoy these delicacies.

**In Delhi, we enjoy summer fruits and vegetables during summers. Is there any sense in eating apples from the cold storage at exorbitant prices during summers when melons, mangoes, cherries, and so many other seasonal fruits are available?  

TIP 2 – Simply walk, walk and walk, keep moving, keep doing something or the other during the day, it helps in boosting up the body immunity.  

Here in this village, no one sleeps in the afternoon, so plenty of sunshine and fresh air is part of their daily life.

People start their day early 5:00-5:30 am, and wind up early, by 9:30-10:00 pm the whole village is asleep. This ensures a good amount of exercise, sound sleep, no time to ponder so no stress!

** We city folks must incorporate at least 30 minutes of some exercise routine in our daily life, it can be a brisk walk, yoga, or a workout session. Moderate, regular exercise is so good for a healthy immune system!  

TIP 3 – Their social network is so very strong; people are there for each other during good times and bad times. They get together for religious and social activities.

Older people tend to sit together in the afternoon when youngsters are busy with their work. It has been scientifically proven that socially active people have increased immune systems.

They don’t need clubs, the internet, or other trappings of our modern life to keep them happy and entertained.

**We city dwellers are so lucky to have 24/7 access to technology even in these Covid times, we are able to interact socially through Zoom calls, free What’s apps and other digital media!  

I am sure the village folks have their share of anxieties, fears and stress too,

still, they can teach us a thing or two,


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