The immunity of an individual is defined as the ability of the body to defend itself against disease-causing organisms. The concept of the immune system in Ayurveda extends beyond the physiological and cellular components recognized by western sciences. A healthy immune system is represented by physical, mental and emotional, as well as the spiritual resilience of an individual. To me having a healthy immune system is all about having an abundance of reverberance, vitality, and health, so that I can give my best in everyday life.
In order to have a healthy immune system Ayurveda says that it is very important that one improves the quality of life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle (Dinacharya) and food habits. Here are some of the best Ayurvedic immunity boosting habits and herbs that I shall list for you –
Wake up early – Ayurveda says that you should rise before dawn at 4:30 – 5:00 AM. This is the purest and most fresh time of the day. Waking up at this time will help you to remain positive and energetic throughout the day.
Follow a schedule – Make a schedule at night before going to bed of all the things that you need to do during the next day and stick to it. This will create a mental, emotional and physical balance in your life.
Eat an Ayurvedic diet – If you want Ayurveda benefits in everyday life then it is advisable to emphasize more on seasonally fresh and organic vegetables and fruits along with whole grains and legumes. Eat according to your Dosha Prakruti (body type). Stay away from processed, oily or junk food. The important thing is to eat light, warm foods, cooked with Ghee and the immune-enhancing spices such as cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, ginger and black pepper. Avoid eating or drinking anything cold, because cold foods and chilled drinks will reduce the strength of the digestive fire (jathar agni), leading to ama (undigested food toxins) . You’ll also want to avoid heavy desserts and processed sugar, as these are difficult to digest.
Start your day with honey and lime – For this, you need to add one teaspoon honey in 1 glass (16oz) of water with juice of 1/2 lime and drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will aid in clearing the toxins from your body.
Get sufficient sleep– Sleep is when all the good stuff happens in our bodies. Sleep is the time for the body and mind reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. Sleep allows for our memory and creativity to grow and restore. If you get good quality and enough sleep then the inner cells work in harmony and it will strengthen your immune system and circulate energy throughout your body.
Physical activity and Meditation – Physical activity can be Walking, yoga, biking or swimming along with meditation everyday in the morning helps in keeping the body and mind healthy and thus boost immunity.
Warm bath and Abhyanga (oil massage) – A warm bath after a full body self massage with oil every day is very necessary to warm the body, opening the channels, stimulating the digestion, removing toxins from the body, activates your muscles and keeps your skin looking youthful and regulates your body’s internal thermostat. This is important in both Vata and Kapha season.
Drink a lot of water – If you drink plenty of warm water during the day it will aid in flushing out the toxins from the body faster. It will also ensure the smooth running of the digestive system which is good for overall well being.
According to Ayurveda, Rasayanas are the powerful, Ayurvedic herbs for immunity building, which strengthen, nourish and repair all the Dhatus of the body – the fundamental constituents involved in the healthy functioning and upkeep of the body. These Rasayanas can be applied to your skin, and taken through your diet, to improve immunity.
Some other immunity boosting herbs in Ayurveda, to look out for are –
–Guduchi/ Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) – is also called “Amrita” and it is using worldwide for many medicinal purposes. Giloy help in removing toxins, purifies the blood, fights bacteria, and also cures liver diseases and urinary tract infections.
–Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis) – Vitamin C plays an important role in Boost Immunity Naturally. Amla is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs that contains a lot of vitamin C. Amla works well for detoxification and improves the functioning of liver, and other organs. It can fight against several harmful viruses and bacteria and protect the body from various infections. That is the reason Chawanprash is recommended to be eaten every morning as it’s main content is amlaki.
–Yasthimadhu (Licorice) – It’s regular helps the body to produce lymphocytes and macrophages that protect the body from pollutants, allergens, microbes, and cells that cause autoimmune diseases.
–Shatavari (Asparagus Recemosus) – It is an essential antitussive, antioxidant, anti-dyspepsia, and immunostimulant. It increases the power of our body to raise resistances to organisms and strengthens the overall immune system of the human body by enhancing each function associated to macrophages. Shatavari is also know for helping the immune system recover right after any sort of exposure to harmful toxins.
–Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) -Any kind of mental disturbance also leads to lowers the immune system, in that case, Ashwagandha plays an important role to provide strength to the nerves and treat various Vata Imbalance. It improves the body’s defense against disease by improving cell-mediated immunity. This herb possesses potent antioxidant properties that help to protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
With the Coronavirus threat going on we should keep our Respiratory system at its optimum health so that our immune system can fight it off. The following herbs can be useful –
Turmeric – is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. It is also an excellent anti inflammatory herb.
Tulsi (holy basil)- contains strong expectorant and anti cough properties, which work from the root to get rid of phlegm, irritants and suppress the cough, thereby treating chronic respiratory problems.
Yashtimadhu (Licorice)- has expectorant properties. It also eases in coughing up the thick yellow sputum accumulated in the lungs. Due to antibacterial properties, it also reduces infection of upper respiratory tract. It reduces throat irritation and helps in chronic cough.
Ginger – it’s volatile oils have anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which makes it an excellent remedy for flu . The rich range of antioxidants present in ginger helps fight free radicals and reduces oxidative stress in the body, thereby boosting your immune system against common cold