Ayurveda is an age-old system that originated from the Indian subcontinent with practices expanding from herbs to alternate healing, Yoga and much more. The COVID-19 surge has brought all of us to the brink and it is time to be cautious and adapt to new and healthy habits. An Ayurvedic approach to boost immunity and making it a part of your daily routine will do wonders for your well being.
Ayurveda for Immunity
Ayurveda is the science of life that gives the message of healthy and happy living. The concept of Dinacharya (daily regimen) and Ritucharya (seasonal regimen) is the conceptual backbone of this plant-based science, making a perfect partnership between immunity and Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, the concept of immunity is termed as Beej-Bhumi (seed-land) where the land symbolizes the human body and seed is used to indicate diseases.
The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) has laid down few guidelines backed by Ayurvedic researches to help boost immunity which are as follows:
- Drink warm water
- Practice Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation
- Use Haldi (turmeric), Jeera (cumin), Dhaniya (coriander) and Lahsun (garlic) in food
- Practice Pratimarsh Nasya (applying sesame/coconut oil on both nostrils)
- Practice oil pulling therapy (Take 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil in the mouth. Do not drink, swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off followed by a warm water rinse)
- Inhaling steam and using Pudina (mint) or Ajwain (caraway seeds) in the process.
- Consuming Lavang (clove) powder with honey
Apart from adapting to the above-mentioned techniques, some Yoga Asanas can also help in building immunity too. The most common immunity-boosting Yoga Asanas include:
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
According to Ayurveda when the body is infected it produces a toxic by-product called Ama which depletes Ojas – the vital energy present in the body. It is believed that negative emotions can also be the cause of depleting Ojas and can therefore give rise to the seeds of infection. Tejas – intelligence of the body – is responsible for differentiating between foreign organisms and healthy cells, and it also helps cells in communication. If the Tejas present in the body is disturbed it loses the ability to distinguish healthy cells and toxins which give rise to autoimmune conditions.
Ayurveda to boost immunity suggests consuming food that will help in increasing Tejas and avoid food that will compile Ama. Some of Ayurveda’s dietary suggestions for better immunity are as follows:
- Consume easily digestible food and add raw fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Consume cereals, legumes, low-fat organic dairy products
- Avoid refrigerated food and consume food at room temperature
- Ghee and milk have the property to stimulate Ojas, so they should become a part of the diet
- High fibre food such as quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds should be added to the diet as they clean up the toxic substances from the body
- Legumes are highly recommended in Ayurveda
- Consumption of processed food should be avoided as they build up Ama
- Pepper has the property to clean the body entirely and supports the Ojas energy
All the suggestions and practices are focused on restoring the lost balance in the body and helping it repair. One does not have to wait to follow the steps until the situation becomes worse; strengthening the immune system is a continuous process that everyone should adhere to.