Every human being is born with immunity which is basic and is weak in nature. As we grow and get in interaction with the microbes from the environment and as our gut fights with the microbes, makes the immunity stronger. From the past few years, microbial killing agents have been used in the name of hygiene and the interaction with plants, soils, or other organisms are diminished. Even though the lifespan has increased, day by day all of our immunities are getting weaker. If we see immunity in the modern aspect then it’s the function of our enzymes and cells to kill pathogens killing the immunity. In Ayurveda, it is widely classified into Aganthu and Nijja, where some external cause like mental trauma or injuries are the factor known as Aganthu. In Nija the weak immunity is caused due to imbalance caused in the body. In this article, we are going to talk about how to balance immunity and make it stronger from Ayurvedic herbs.
In Ayurveda immunity is explained in multiple topics but the ones that are important are Bala which means the concept of strength, Ojas which means the concept of flexibility, and also Vyadhi Kshamathwa meaning tolerance to illness. Our immunity is directly related to the digestive system and balanced Dosha is one of the major factors for balancing immunity. Ojas explains that digestion and immunity work together and it is the result of physiological functioning. As there are seven tissues in the body that are nourished by the metabolic function and this process gives Ojas. The food that we consume gives nourishment and whatever we consume it shows mentally as well as physically. So, eating healthy is one of the ways to make the immunity and body stronger.
Factors that are responsible for weak immunity
- Not eating a healthy diet: – If you are not eating food that is rich in nutrition then your Dosha is also getting affected. Consuming sugars, spice, or salt in high quantities will only lead to weak immunity. Other eating disorders like anorexia are also a leading cause of imbalanced immunity.
- Irregular sleep: – Not sleeping properly, lack of sleep, or varying patterns of sleep will result in disturbed immunity.
- Stress/Anxiety: – As increased stress will directly cause high levels of cortisol in the blood resulting in weak immunity.
- Alcohol consumption: – It is proven by much research that Alcohol weakens the immune system and slows the recovery of patients as well.
- Dehydration: – It is shown by many studies that not consuming enough liquid will automatically reduce the mechanism of the body.
- Obese: – Excessive weight in itself is an indication of being unhealthy and imbalanced hormonal function.
Ayurvedic Tips to Increase Immunity
1. Eating Healthy
Eating a well-balanced diet as per your Dosha is one way to maintain immunity and fighting any kind of infection. Foods like leafy greens, sweet potato, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, capsicum, oranges, lemon, tomato, legumes, seeds, nuts, etc should be included as they are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C. Consuming antioxidant-rich food is important as it is very beneficial in eliminating the free radicals and reducing inflammation. This puts a positive impact on heart disease, cancer, and many more. Increasing fiber-rich food will help in maintaining the gut micro biome, eliminating the infection from the digestive tract and also boosting immunity.
2. Staying Hydrated
It is important to keep yourself hydrated and maintain moisture in the throat as well as mucous membrane. In Ayurveda, dehydration is considered as Apdathukshaya’ which results in an imbalance of fluid and salts in the body. In Ayurveda it is considered important to consume water in an adequate amount on the daily routine to avoid dehydration. As dehydration is the cause for indigestion, kidney problems and various other issues automatically cause low immunity.
3. Exercise Regularly
In modern times when coronavirus is at the peak, it’s important to keep yourself healthy and fit. Exercising daily has a positive impact on immunity as well as sleep automatically controlling the stress levels. Exercises like simple jogging, swimming, playing, or cycling for one hour daily is enough for vitality. However excessive exercise or Athi vyayamath can affect the body tissue so it’s better to maintain physical exercise.
4. Manage the Levels of Stress
Mental stress disorder is also known as Manovyatha in Ayurveda which is directly related to the functioning of immune cells. It is important to maintain mental health and relieve stress to increase the immune system. Always remember to give time to yourself and perform meditation or even reading books will help. Head massage with herbal oil is also very beneficial in regulating the stress levels and balancing the Dosha.
5. Regulating Sleep Cycle
The human body detoxifies stores information in the brain, and regulates energy as well as sleep during sleep. In Ayurveda not “Ratrijaagarana” means not sleeping enough results in aggravated Dosha. This results in decreased immunity and increasing stress hormones in the body. It is told to maintain a healthy sleep cycle of about 6 to 8 hours in order to boost natural immunity.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Immunity
Based on the aggravated Dosha the patient is given suitable herb for immunity but most commonly used herbs for enhancing immunity are
Description of the Herbs
The latin name of giloy is tinospora cordifolia . It is highly effective as it contains alkaloids found in the root and stem. It sustains the balance between all the three doshas but mainly pacifies vata and kapha dosha. Giloy is a wonderful immune booster because it detoxifies all the cells of the body.
Its botanical name is Emblica officinalis. Amla consists of five rasa except lavan (salty) and it pacifies all the three doshas but mainly balances pitta dosha. Classically it is an amazing rasayan. Amla possesses antioxidant, immune modulating, antipyretic, anti inflammatory, analgesic and detoxification properties.
Terminalia chebula is its botanical name. Haritaki maintains the equilibrium between all the three doshas but specifically pacifies vata dosha. As per our ancient acharyas, Haritaki is known for its rasayan properties. It has laghu (light) and rooksha (dry) guna and madhur (sweet) vipaka (results after digestion) so it is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and increases the grasping power of the brain
The latin name of Ashwagandha is withania somnifera. It specifically balances kapha and vata dosha. It strengthens the immune system by increasing the fighting capacity of the body with various infections. It possesses anti-allergic, antipyretic properties and also acts as a nervine tonic.
5. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
As we all know, how many times our grandmothers have recommended consuming turmeric milk. It is one of the best herbs for removing toxins as it contains phytochemical and also strengthens the immunity. Taking turmeric will eliminate the viral as well as bacterial infection
Immunity is one of the important parts of the body as it helps in fighting infection and during this time it’s very necessary to maintain it. These Ayurvedic tips will not only increase immunity but will also maintain overall health.