Immunity through Ayurveda
Boosting immunity is one and the only way to keep diseases at bay.
A body with a healthy immune system is a shield against infectious diseases.
Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine has entered every house during the COVID pandemic. In Ayurveda texts, Vyadhikshamatva is the term to refer to immunity.
The concept of immunity described in Ayurveda is equivalent to the immunity concept of today.
How does the Immune system work?
Let us start with knowing the meaning of the immune system and how does it work.
The immune system has an essential role in protecting an individual against diseases.
As long as a body is healthy, the work of the immune system is not noticeable.
If the immune system is compromised, the body cannot fight against harmful substances that can make a person sick.
How does the immune system function in your body?
- fight against pathogens causing disease and eliminate them from the body.
- It fights against cancer cells.
- It helps to recognize and counteract harmful substances found in the environment.
Concept of immunity in Ayurveda
What is Immunity?
(Vyadhikshamatva in Ayurveda)
The ability of the body to resist or tolerate the progression and severity of a disease is called immunity.
A body is healthy when the physiological factors (three doshas), tissues (dhatus), and excretory system are in equilibrium.
There are two types of immunity defined in Ayurveda –
- Sahajabala (Natural immunity)
- Kalajabala (age-related immunity)
The immunity mentioned above is enhanced by following a proper Dinacharya (daily regimen) and Ritucharya (seasonal regimen).
Apart from these, Rasayana drugs and detoxification therapies such as Panchakarma are beneficial in enhancing the immunity in a body.
Factors that affect our immunity
In Ayurveda, nine factors may affect the immune system.
Given below are the factors that can decrease the immunity in a person –
- Obesity or overweight
- Improper muscle mass
- Defect in bone, tissues
- Defect in blood
- A weak body
- Not taking proper diet
- Consuming food is significantly less quantity
- A person with a weak mind
Ayurvedic ways to boost immunity
Rasayana and lehana are well-known ayurvedic measures that help in boosting immunity.
The word Rasayana means gaining healthy body tissue.
It is a unique treatment in Ayurveda to boost immunity.
Rasayana therapy is known to maintain good health and improve the immunity of a person.
Your doctor will administer Rasayana drugs by considering various factors.
It enhances immunity by improving digestion, providing nutrition, and improving the absorption of nutrients by various body parts.
Some of the commonly used Rasayana drugs are
Lehana means something that is lickable. It is an excellent formulation for children.
Lehana is known to promote health and boost immunity. There are various benefits for lehana.
It is well-known that what you eat and the lifestyle you follow affect a body’s ability to defend itself against diseases.
Ayurveda has always emphasized enhancing the body’s ability to defend itself against harmful substances.
Here we shall mention some of the ways that can help you strengthen immunity.
Simple ways to boost immunity through Ayurveda
1.Keep yourself hydrated
Dehydration may lead to an imbalance of electrolytes. Keeping yourself hydrated adds moisture to the different body parts.
This moisture will help you to fight against microbes.
Consuming less water affects digestion, affects the health of kidneys, and impacts overall health.
2.Immune enhancing herbs
Some commonly found herbs, such as ginger, tulsi, pepper, amla, turmeric, etc., are found in every Indian kitchen.
All these herbs can be consumed in certain forms to improve immunity in the body.
3.Have a proper sound sleep
Sleep or Nidra is essential to boost your natural immunity.
Sleeping late or staying awake or ratrijagarana in Ayurveda weakens the immune system.
If your sleep is not proper, it causes to increases the level of stress hormones, which affects an individual’s overall health.
4.Eat an ayurvedic diet for a better immune system
Diet based on doshas helps you fight infections and boost immunity. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods helps the body fight against cancer and other diseases. A diet rich in fiber keeps the digestive system healthy.
Along with an ayurvedic diet, detoxification of the body through Panchakarma or fasting can remarkably improve the immune system.
5.Take care of your mental health
Ayurveda offers unique ways to destress yourself.
Therapies such as head massage, abhyanga, Shirodhara, etc., help you control the stress level by balancing the doshas.
According to Ayurveda, manovyatha (mental health problems) can hugely impact the immune system.
There are various activities, such as yoga, meditation, etc., that are beneficial in managing stress levels.
6.Keep yourself active
One can keep a body fit and enhance immunity by engaging themselves in moderate workouts.
It is advised not to do excessive workouts as this can impair the immune system.
Herbal supplements under the supervision of an ayurvedic doctor can help you maintain a sound immune system.
8.Ayurvedic medicines used to boost immunity
Depending upon the doshas, your doctor may recommend specific herbal formulations that can improve your immunity.
Some of the ayurvedic medicines used to boost immunity are arogyavardhani Vati, amalaka Rasayana, ashwagandharishta, chyawanprash, Triphala Guggulu, Brahma Rasayana, etc.
9.Follow the daily ayurvedic rituals
Following the daily rituals (dinacharya) according to the doshas and season helps maintain a healthy body.
Some of the routines like oil pulling, Nasya karma, daily abhyanga, etc. are also very useful.
Without any doubt, all the measures mentioned above can boost your immunity.
Ayurveda has always firmly stood by saying a healthy aahara- vihar (food and lifestyle) leads to a healthy mind and body.
Foods that help to boost immunity naturally
Eating the right food is the best natural way to boost immunity.
The habit of eating healthy foods that are rich in boosting immunity keeps you healthy and protects you from diseases.
Given below is a list of foods commonly available in the market.
- Citrus fruits, papaya, pomegranate are some of the healthiest fruits one can consume to boost immunity.
- Broccoli, drumstick, and carrots can be consumed in various forms. These vegetables help you fight infections, inflammation and repair the damaged cells.
- In every Indian kitchen, household spices such as garlic, turmeric, ginger are common ingredients. These ingredients help to strengthen the immune system of the body.
- Other foods such as dry fruits, mushrooms, berries, watermelon, wheat germ, yogurt, spinach, sweet potatoes are excellent foods for a healthy immune system.
You can easily maintain your health and strengthen the immune system by following a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy foods. Those with a weak immune system can be administered ayurvedic formulations but only under the guidance of a certified ayurvedic practitioner.
People with sound immune systems are easily able to float through the diseased phase. So, follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to protect yourself and your family from diseases.