Ayurveda is a holistic system with a simple approach. Ayurveda defines perfect health as a balance between body, mind, spirit and environment. Not just this, it also emphasizes on strong connections between within ourselves, to the immediate surrounding people & environment, and lastly to the universe. This balanced connectivity ensures the good health of an individual. The balance and connectivity both play a vital role in Ayurveda texts and practice.
According to Ayurveda, we stay healthy if we retain this balance. If there happens to be an imbalance, then it causes a lack of harmony and we are susceptible to diseases. Often our choices or lifestyle is the root cause for initial imbalance. Let’s say the choices we make on diet, exercise, profession, relationships, etc. has the ability to create physical, emotional or spiritual imbalances.
Immunity is nothing but our body’s power to resist infections or prevent the development of the disease. If your immune system is strong enough, then it can easily destroy the cause of illness. If the immune system is weak, it’s unable to fight back and you might fall sick. Such conditions must be addressed by strengthening the immune system.
Why Immunity is important?
The immune system is our body’s natural defence system; immunity is your bodyguard that protects your body against foreign particles such as bacteria, viruses, etc. These foreign particles can make us sick or prone to diseases.
Everyone wants to have a strong immunity and stay healthy, avoid diseases; isn’t it? How and what should we do to boost our immunity?
Ayurveda’s Concept of Immunity –
In Ayurveda, “Vyaadhiksamatva” (immunity) or “Bala” (strength) is the synonym that appears in ancient texts and both are used interchangeably for immunity.
There are three types of immunity – Sahaja (Natural or Congenital), Kalaja (Time, Season, Age), Yuktikruta (Acquired).
As we already know, Ayurveda believes in addressing the root cause of disease rather than suppressing the symptoms. Vyaadhiksamatva indicates resistance against the loss of integrity, proportion, and the relationship between Tridoshas & Dhatus of an individual. This balanced condition among the supporting elements of mind & body is called ‘Dhaatusamya’.
The true meaning of strong immunity in Ayurveda is a product of good digestion, quality liver functioning, and a balanced endocrine system. Strong immunity or resistance to diseases is called ‘Ojas’ (protection). Ojas is our vital energy which spreads to all tissues, cells, and spaces. It is the main determining factor of our immune status and therefore our resistance to diseases.
How Ayurveda Boosts Immunity?
Ayurveda targets three things for boosting or enhancing immunity.
Rasayana – to promote good health, rejuvenate and relax the mind. Single Ayurvedic herbs (Amlaki fruit) or formulations (Balasava) can be consumed to maintain or improve immunity.
Vyayama – that is exercise. Daily exercise is necessary for proper digestion and metabolism, that in turn promotes immunity.
Satmya – suitability that means adapting to certain substances and giving up some unwanted substances to promote immunity. Some foods and exercise may or may not suit everyone; each individual has to choose the best for him/her.
Few Ayurvedic Herbs for Immunity –
Tulsi, Bilva (Bael), Bala (Sida Cordifolia), Gokshura (Tribulus), Guduchi, Haritaki, Pippali, Punarnava, Vasa (Adhatoda vasica), Ashwagandha and Shatavari.
Some natural substances that boost immunity are – Ghee, Honey, Saffron, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Ginger, Garlic.
Fruits such as apples and pomegranates are known to be immune-boosters.
To conclude, let us try to minimize stress, have a good sleep, and choose a food combination according to your body constitution. Besides these, daily exercise, meditation, and yoga are a few other things that one should practice to enhance immunity.