We’ve all experienced the disappointment of keeping everything on hold when our immune system collapses and body succumbs to any infection, especially when we can least afford to slow down or take a break. Most of us would rather like to avoid the inconvenience altogether—whether it’s a cold, a cough, the fever, or something else.
A good immune system is important to keep infections at bay.
Immunity in Ayurveda is known by the word ‘Vyadhi-kshamatva’– which literally means the capacity of the body to resist the disease.
According to Ayurveda, strong immunity is a product of good digestion, strong Agni (the metabolic fire), quality liver functioning, and a balanced endocrine system.
Immunity is also very much connected to a mysterious substance called Oja. The Sanskrit word Oja literally means “vigor.” It is the superfine essence of all of the bodily tissues and the end product of perfect digestion which gives the body strength, vigor, vitality, and immunity.
Here are some recommendations built on the premise that our bodies are inherently intelligent and that, given proper support, our physiology already knows exactly how to foster and protect optimal health.
- Factors that help augment immunity in Ayurveda
- Support Immunity with your diet – To kindle and protect your Agni is the best way to promote optimal health throughout the system, which in turn, protects Oja. Agni is strengthened when we consume balanced healthy diet with mindfulness and maintain a regular eating schedule. Diet should be low on fats, processed foods, preservatives and refined sugars. It should include variety of spices as most of them are high in their oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and reduce cell damage and maintain integrity
- Prioritize balanced sleep – Sleep is critically important to the immune system. Sleep deprivation severely compromises immunity. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to an increased risk of cancer as well as a reduction in the immune system’s ability to slow the growth of cancer cells.
- Minimize Stress – Excess stress is extremely detrimental to our immune response because stress hormones notoriously suppress the immune system. Pranayama has proved to be an effective stress-buster. Imbibing Pranayama restores vitality to the subtle energy channels of the body, releases accumulated tension, and supports the nervous system as a whole.
- Get proper exercise – Regular exercise kindles Agni, improves digestion, bolsters body’s detoxification mechanisms, encourages proper elimination, promotes relaxation in the body, and supports sound sleep—all of which serve to protect Oja and support the immune system.
- Ayurvedic remedies for improving immunity
- Giloy–Giloy helps increase the effectiveness of protective white blood cells which fight infection. The herb also augments immune responses to infections by influencing various immune effector cells and ensures early recovery.
- Amla – Amla has the highest Vitamin C content in nature with 3000 mg per fruit, 20 times more than an orange and is heat stable due to the tannin content. Its high levels of antioxidants make it the most powerful rejuvenating herb in Ayurvedic medicine to bolster the immune system.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is a popular anti-inflammatory agent and an excellent antioxidant. It strengthens and improves immune system to fight against infections, diseases & environmental assaults. It contains potent immunomodulator Curcumin which is useful in various immune disorders like cough, cold, flu and allergies.
- Tulsi–Holy basil is a miraculous remedy for various respiratory illnesses, soothes the throat, reduces the inflammation and helps to expectorate the mucous.
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