Kids may have a way of bouncing back from infections and illness, but that doesn’t make every ailment any less worrying. As a parent, watching your child fall sick repeatedly can be pretty stressful, especially when you notice that other children don’t fall sick as often. But, there’s a reason why kids fall ill so frequently, and understanding this will help you protect them better.
Why Children Fall Ill Repeatedly
“Immunity received from their mothers starts to fade gradually & children begin developing their own immunity, but immune function remains weak until adolescence”
During the monsoons and winter months children tend to fall ill frequently because of suppressed immunity as a result of a temperature drop. Some viruses and bacteria also thrive in these cooler conditions, increasing the spread of infections. Moreover, we tend to spend more time indoors during the rains, in close proximity to others, increasing exposure to pathogens.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t safeguard your child. Children are more susceptible to seasonal infections and bugs because of their weak immunity. As immunity received from their mothers starts to fade gradually and their own immunity starts to develop, children don’t have much protection from most of the infectious organisms that we are routinely exposed to.
Their immunity instead develops in response to such exposure, but it can also be strengthened through other means. So, if you can’t bear to see your child fall ill frequently or believe that your child’s immunity is weak, it would help to adopt some simple strategies to boost childhood immunity.
Immune Boosting Strategies That Work
“Curcumin, in turmeric, has an immunomodulatory effect, even making it a viable therapy for immune disorders”
One of the most widely used spices in India, turmeric has long played an important role in ancient Indian medicine. Ayurveda recommends the use of turmeric in various home treatments and many of these claims are now being supported by modern science. In fact, a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology showed that curcumin in turmeric also has an immunomodulatory effect, making it a viable therapy for immune disorders too.
Holy Basil (Tulsi)
“Tulsi extract has been shown to increase the production of T cytokines, NK cells, and T lymphocytes, which are vital for healthy immune function”
Tulsi leaves have been found to have an immunomodulatory effect, by which it strengthens the immune response. Not only will this help protect your child from disease causing micro-organisms, but it also stimulates production of healthy immune cells. A study that appeared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology confirmed this immune-boosting effect, with Tulsi intake increasing the production of T cytokines, NK cells, and T lymphocytes, which are vital for healthy immune function.
“Glycyrrhizin, in licorice, has been shown to work as an immune stimulant, also offering protection against variants of the hepatitis virus”
This potent herb has a long history of use in folk remedies, including Chinese medicine. The primary component of licorice, glycyrrhizin, has a structure that is similar to steroid molecules, which probably accounts for its anti-inflammatory and immuno-protective effect.
Researchers found that glycyrrhizin even works as an immune stimulant against variants of the hepatitis virus, such as DHV. Treatment with the extract has also been found to encourage lymphocytic proliferation and increased immunity in general.
“Allicin in garlic strengthens immune response, minimizing the incidence of infections & also speeding up recovery”
The next time your child asks for a second helping of that lasoon chutney, you could oblige! Yes, garlic doesn’t just lend food a delightfully pungent taste and aroma, but it also helps protect against bacterial and viral infections. This protective effect has been attributed to the presence of a compound called allicin in garlic.
Studies have shown that regular intake of garlic or garlic extract may strengthen immune response, minimizing the incidence of infections and also speeding up recovery.
Ayurvedic Treatment Options
In many cases, acquiring and preparing home treatments is impractical or simply not possible because of the limited availability of certain herbs. Moreover, clinically tested concoctions using a range of herbs can yield greater results in terms of boosting immunity.
This makes formulations like Extrammune, from Charak, perfect for working parents, who need quick results. It is one of the best known Ayurvedic solutions, available in both syrup and tablet form. This medication is prepared from a precise blend of herbs including turmeric, holy basil, licorice, and guduchi or giloy, among others. To strengthen immunity and prevent frequent infections, you can buy Extrammune here.