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I had a patient who came to the hospital complaining of perennial fatigue and lethargy. Her main complaints were aches and pains and she also tended to catch a cough or cold very easily. She had a Covid attack a year back and since then, her immunity had taken a beating. The patient fell ill very often and the symptoms would persist for weeks on end. She was severely disappointed due to the constant dip in energy and persistent bouts of fever and cough.

No amount of medicines could help build her immunity and that’s why she finally decided to turn to Ayurveda. I have many such patients who consult me regarding their immunity issues.

In this blog, let us discuss immunity from the Ayurvedic perspective.

 

Immunity as per Ayurveda

 

The strength within you to fight all diseases is called Vyadhi-Kshamatva Vyadhi means illness and Kshamatya means resistance. In Ayurveda, any imbalance in Doshas is indicative of bad health. Imbalance in Doshas results in the accumulation of Ama (toxins) that affect all the cells in the body. And this leads to diseases.

People with a strong immune system rarely fall ill and if they do, they recover faster. A robust immune system is characterised by healthy sleep, good gut health and overall well-being and people feeling energetic daily.

Construct your immune defense to ward off illnesses and diseases. As per Ayurveda, we possess different types of resistance or immunity:

  • Genetic
  • Developed by specific antibodies created in the body to fight a particular antigen
  • Developed through healthy lifestyle practices and a nutritious diet

 

Contributing factors to immunity

 

According to Ayurveda, the following factors have an effect on your immunity.

 

Ojus

Ojus or vitality is hailed as an important determinant of a person’s immunity as it nourishes and manages the body’s functions. This includes digestion, nutrition assimilation and the ability to fight infections. Any decline in Ojus can result in lowered immunity.

 

Our state of mind

The mind plays a crucial role in maintaining our emotional balance and the strength of our immune system. We have heard the phrase ‘it’s all in the mind’ – and it cannot be far from the truth.

  • Our unique body constitution
  • Dosha imbalance

 

Digestive power or the power of the Agni

It cannot be stressed that gut health determines your overall well-being. Impaired digestion and improper metabolism of nutrients can weaken the Ojus. There is an accumulation of toxins or Ama, thereby clogging the channels.

 

Guidelines to boost immunity with Ayurveda

 

Ayurveda emphasizes building and strengthening immunity with a healthy lifestyle. This encompasses using herbs, healthy foods and incorporating daily rituals. Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detoxification is also prescribed for people suffering from a build-up of metabolic toxins. This process includes massage with Ayurvedic oils, steaming with herbs and cleansing of toxins.

 

Your food and your immunity

 

The quality and quantity of food you eat is vital for your immunity. Stay away from stale, highly refined and processed foods. Load up on fresh vegetables to benefit from the fiber, micronutrients, carotenoids and antioxidants.

Consume greens and brightly-colored vegetables like pumpkin, squash, beetroot, and carrot. Also, incorporate turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and other powerful herbs for cooking. They provide significant antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that boost immunity.

Dry fruits like raisins, walnuts, almonds and seeds would go a long way in strengthening the immune system. Citrus fruits like berries, oranges, apricots, and pineapples will provide Vitamin C, which is vital in building strong immunity. Also, don’t miss out on healthy pulses and sprouts as a source of proteins. They can provide antioxidants, folate and potassium.

 

Practice healthy daily rituals

 

Start your day early and sleep during the prescribed time. Do not discount the role of good sound sleep to relax and recharge your body and mind. Start your day with a glass of warm water to boost your gut elimination.

Ayurvedic rituals include tongue scraping and oil pulling. Daily self-massage with oil will keep your skin lubricated, improve circulation and calm the mind. A common modern-day malady is stress. Stress can arise due to various reasons and affects your peace of mind. 

Try to practice breathing exercises, take quiet walks and do meditation to allow the mind to achieve a calm state. Keeping physically active is critical to immunity. Whether walking or yoga, exercise moderately to handle stress and boost immunity.

 

Herbs to Boost Immunity as per Ayurveda

 

Here are some herbs to boost immunity as per Ayurveda:

 

  • Ginger 

In Ayurveda, ginger is highly valued for boosting the immune system and helping with digestion. Try ginger tea or add grated ginger to your meals for its warming and refreshing effects.

 

  • Amla 

Amla has lots of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help your immune system. Drink fresh amla juice or use dried amla powder in your food to get its advantages, especially for enhancing immunity and lustrous skin and hair.

 

  • Tulsi

Tulsi is considered a sacred Ayurvedic herb and is known for its ability to help your immune system. It also helps relieve congestion, colds and coughs. Regular consumption of tulsi can go a long way in enhancing immunity.

 


  • Drumstick

Drumstick or moringa is a powerhouse of nutrients and has the ability to greatly boost your immune system. With its high antioxidant levels, it helps protect you from infections. Additionally, moringa is packed with iron and vitamin A, which further strengthen your immune system.

 

  • Neem

Neem aids in boosting your immune system and has a cooling effect on your body from within. It has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and has been recommended by Ayurveda for different health conditions.

Low immunity is not a disease; it indicates prevailing conditions. Managing great immunity levels keeps you free from disease and assists you in a healthier life. It increases your overall well-being and  leverages anti-inflammatory features. Care for your body to ensure physical, mental and spiritual balance. 

Apart from following the above-mentioned suggestions, you can also consult an Ayurvedic doctor for guidance regarding diet and lifestyle practices to boost your immunity.

 

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony