According to AYURVEDA, the concept of Immunity is very fascinating and detailed topic. “Vyaadhiksamatva “as it is known in Ayurveda means resistance against disease (Vyadhi).
A synonym for Vyaadhiksamatva in Ayurvedic texts as “Bala” that means “Strength “. Three types of Bala (Vyadhiksamatva or immunity) in Ayurveda are:
1. Sahaja Bala (innate):- The constitutional strength present since birth depending on the quality of Shukra (sperm) and artava (ovum).
2. Kalaja Bala (According to time, season and age):- Strength is greater in the early morning, spring, and yuvaawastha (young age) than in evening, summers and old age.(Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 6/8)
3. Yuktikrita Bala (Acquired):- The immunity that is acquired through proper diet, by performing physical exercise and Yoga.(Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 11/36)
Home Remedies For Boosting Immunity
1. Proper Sleep
A 7-8 hours good night sleep boosts our immune system. During sleep, the immune system releases the proteins called “Cytokines” that help in promoting sleep and also helps in fighting against infections and inflammations.
2. Get Some Sunshine
Daily 25 to 30 min exposure to sunshine is the best immune booster one can add in his daily routine. The exposure to sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D that helps in absorbing nutrients like calcium and iron and also increases the production of melanin pigment that protects against damaging radiations. Most importantly the blue light coming from the sun penetrates deeper into the skin and triggers the T cells to circulate more effectively thereby increasing their chance to expose the disease-causing germs and eliminate them before they do the damage.
3. Go Green
Go Green to boost immunity. One should add Greens like beans, broccoli, amaranth leaves, and other leafy vegetables into his diet. The phytonutrients present in greens ensure the adequate functioning of the immune cells of our gut and skin i.e. ‘Intra-epithelial lymphocytes’. One can consume greens in many ways like after boiling, steaming, Sautee or by adding in soups.
Garlic is added in every Indian dish. The heavy concentration of sulfur present in it in the form of “Allyl-propyl sulfide” and “Diallyl disulfide” helps in fighting against infections and boosts the immune function. As per Ayurveda, it is considered as “Rasayana” and it can help conquer poison also.
“Turmeric and warm milk” – is the first line of treatment in every Indian house after any minor accident. Now gaining popularity as “Golden milk” in the whole world is the best anti-inflammatory and immunity enhancer. It works by increasing the immune-modulating capacity of the body. One struggling with seasonal flu should consume golden milk before sleeping regularly or you can consume turmeric by adding it into your soups, vegetables, green teas or lattes.
6. Citrus Fruits
Isn’t this amazing how nature provides us with the fruits rich in Vitamin C in abundance in the season when one easily catches flu i.e. winter. Vitamin C is a known immunity enhancer. One can have it by eating an orange or two or by simply squeezing a lemon in the water bottle.
7. Indian Gooseberry / Amla
As per Ayurveda Amla is one of the finest immunity booster and rejuvenator. It is an amazing source of vitamin C and is also loaded with polyphenols. These two compliments the immune system and aid in fighting against viral and bacterial infections. There are various ways by which one can add Amla in his diet such as by consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of Amla juice in the morning or by having it in powdered form. Out of many other ways, the most popular one is by daily consuming 1 tablespoon of “Chyawanprash” first thing in the morning.
8. Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)
This heart-shaped herb is found in almost every Indian household. It gained popularity with increasing incidents of dengue every year. It is known for its immunity-boosting quality and is also effective in treating fever, chronic infections, respiratory disorders, joint problems, and possesses anti-aging qualities also. So if you fall prey to flues now and then, do make a ritual to consume giloy juice 1 tablespoon daily.
9. Green Tea
The quickest way to sip immunity is through green tea. The polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, give green tea its immune-boosting effects. So use below boiling water and steep green tea sachet in it for a minute or two. To blunt its bitterness you can add honey and bit of lemon into it.
Daily exercise for 45 min to one hour that may include a brisk walk, yoga or cycling is great for the immunity. Exercise increases cardiovascular circulation and also flushes the toxins out of the body through sweat. Moreover the levels of stress hormone “cortisol” decreases after exercise. All of these factors play a major role in complimenting immunity.
11. Om Chanting
Om – the sound of creation. Daily Om chanting for 5 to 10 min stimulates our parasympathetic system that relaxes the mind, body and alleviates the stress. Chronic stress damages our immune system and gut. Otherthan this Om chanting is great for concentration, against depression, epilepsy, and other nervous disorders. As per our religious texts, prayers are ought to be a part of our daily routine.
12. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like almonds, pistachio, and seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds are great immunity enhancers. They are rich in magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin E. Nuts can be consumed after being soaked or as a whole and a spoon full of seeds can be added to the smoothies and shakes or can be eaten alone whenever one feels to munch something.
The anti-microbial and anti-septic properties of honey are very popular. It can be consumed with lukewarm water or can be added in meals as a replacement of sugar as a sweetening agent. Daily consumption of honey provides strength to the immune system and helps the body to fight against infections.