The pandemic has unilaterally brought the focus back on the need for strong immunity. As researchers spend precious hours in formulating, developing and testing vaccines to fight the ubiquitous COVID-19 strain, our best defense is to have a resilient immune system, apart from maintaining social distance and wearing a mask. Some of the most holistic answers in building immunity sustainably lie in Ayurveda, a 5000-year old science of healing.
The most beautiful aspect of Ayurveda is that it attempts to understand and treat illnesses from the root instead of just treating the symptoms, like the western medicine would. The aim of Ayurveda really is to bring balance in life both internal and external, of the mind and body. Ayurveda also acknowledges the role of mind in the process of healing.
Ayurveda comes from Ayur and Vedameaning the science or knowledge of life. In recent years, it has been popular for its power to heal the body through natural and more holistic treatment modalities by restoring the balance in an individual. Ayurveda is also a personalized system of medicine. Here the Ayurveda physicians will first examine your prakruti (unique psychophysiological constitution) and imbalances in your doshas. Doshasarethe three key bio energies called Pitta, Vata and Kapha that govern all our bodily and mental functions. Doshas can be compared to what is called the humors in Greek medicine, though the concept of Doshas has been in use much longer.
The key to optimal health, and aim of Ayurveda, is to bring these doshas in a state of balance. This is done through a combination of examination of the body constitution, dietary recommendations, herbs, cleanses and lifestyle changes that favor our dosha constitution. When your doshas are in perfect balance, it will show in the form of high Ojas or vitality and tejas or glow.
Ayurveda is a way of life, and not just a medical system. But one of its greatest values is in its ability to foresee potential imbalances and illnesses and tendencies that one is predisposed to, based on one’s body constitution.
Our immune system is our body’s defense force against invasion of pathogens, bacteria and viruses. What vaccination does is improve our adaptive immunity and train our bodies to keep these pathogens out of our system. But Ayurveda offers natural and effective tools to keep our immunity in top form.
The stronger your immunity, the better are your chances to fight viral invasions. Here are some invaluable Ayurveda inspired tips to build resilience and improve overall wellness in general.
· Digestible and well cooked meals
Go for easy to digest but cooked hot meals and avoid fried, cold or sweet foods.
· Ginger and black pepper
Add ginger, black pepper, coriander and lemon to your diet. Studies show that gingerol and shagelol compounds present in ginger rhizome are loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties.
· Diet should include
Also have soups, aged grains, buttermilk and pulses.
Adding turmeric to your daily intake of health supplements or in your daily Ayurvedic routine is a must. To meet your daily requirement, you can also pop turmeric in the form of Ayurvedic tablets, since consuming raw turmeric can be a messy affair. Turmeric is known to be packed with antioxidants that help your heart, circulatory and digestive systems, support your immune system and help support healthy brain function and skin quality.
· Giloy (Amruth)
Giloy is a timeless Ayurvedic herb that literally translates to roots of immortality. Giloy is a powerful immunomodulator known for its immunity boosting properties, and has been gaining popularity in recent months as effective immunity products are in high demand. Giloy has many additional benefits including supporting healthy blood/sugar levels and a healthy digestion. You can have it in the form of Giloy juice or simply in the form of Amruth tablets in the morning.
· Have fermented foods
Fermented foods like some types of cheese, yogurt or sauerkraut help the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tracts, while helping keep the body temperatures high.
· Basil (Tulasi)
Holy basil is another power herb that must be part of your immunity routine. Tulasi supports the healthy functioning of the respiratory and digestive tracts, helps with stress, blood circulation and is a blessing in many ways. You can mix about 5-6 drops of the Tulasi essence in a glass of water and have it every morning, to help support your best immunity daily.
To boost all around immunity; build resilience; and find the rejuvenative as well as detoxifying benefits of turmeric, tulasi, giloy and 10 other super herbs mentioned in the ancient classical texts of Ayurveda, you can pick up our Immunity Kittoday!
2.Abhyanga or self-massage
According to Ayurveda, a common reason for low immunity is the buildup of toxins in our body in the form of aama. These toxins usually build up in our body due to poor lifestyle choices, imbalanced diet unfavorable to our body type, exposure to stress and pollutants, and a basic lack of overhaul of the body and mind. Abhyanga or self-massage is an important way of purging our body off these toxins, to restore balance and vitality.
Abhyanga or massage therapy involves administering warm herbal and aromatic oils massaged into the body in circular motions. It loosens up the toxins and reinvigorates the nervous system, creating a sense of relaxation and stress relief. Stress is the number one enemy of immunity. Abhyangaalso corrects the functioning of the lymphatic system that is responsible to keep our immune system robust.
3. Gheeor clarified butter
Clarified butter is now popular enough in the west for the healthy fat that it is, as more research shows its myriad benefits in improving digestion, eyesight, detoxifying the body and building resilience. Ghee, when made using the milk of finest breeds of grass-fed cows, whose well-being is looked into, reflects in the purity and texture of the ghee. Ghee absorbs fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K into the body. It is known for ages to support a healthy immunity and comes loaded with many health benefits.
Yoga works up each and every aspect of our physical body and mind, responsible for a robust immunity. It refines the functioning of the lymph nodes that help expel waste from the cellular level in the body. Yoga helps calm your mind and nervous system, resetting the system to our real nature which is peace and inner strength. Yogic practices do not let aama accumulate in the body that weaken the immunity and make the body a fertile ground for diseases and illnesses to flourish. Here are a few yoga poses you can choose to practice to work up a sluggish immune system.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
Halasana (Plow pose)
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog)
Like we said earlier, stress is the number one enemy of our immune system, as chronic stress means an overactive sympathetic nervous, that keeps the body constantly in the fight or flight mode, in which state, the vitals of our body are tense and rising. When stress persists, it starts to break down and weaken the immune response. This can further make it difficult for the body to respond to viruses and other foreign pathogens. An effective antidote to stress, recommended by the WHO to stay healthy, is meditation. If you are a beginner, you can start off with simple short guided meditations. Make sure you sit for meditation on an empty stomach and not after having downed a heavy meal. Or you can practice yoga nidra meditation, which is a meditation in restful awareness that gives you deep rest and relaxes your body in just 20 minutes.
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Published by Ruchira Roy
This content on the Sri Sri Tattva blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any links to third party websites is provided as a convenience only and the Sri Sri Tattva Blog is not responsible for their content.