Human beings are born with a basic immune system that would help us in protection from minor diseases. As in day to day life we are in constant interaction with different types of microbes in the environment as taking this pandemic situation as an example, we have to learn to fight against new microbes, which helps to strengthen the immune system.
As taking in account the last few decades our lifestyle habits like smoking, alcohol, junk food, excessive use of chemicals in the name of hygiene and less interaction with the plants and soil has made our immune system weaker that affecting the overall health of a person.
Even though the understanding of microbes came much recently, the Samhitas had already acknowledged the presence of various communicable diseases and the reason being lack of nutrition in the body, ignoring the sanitation and hygiene. Acharya Charaka mentions the important sources of microbe spread as air, water and land. This is most relevant in this era, not just because of the infections that spread through different means but also the human exploitation of soil, water and air, change in climate, excessive intake of antibiotics and usage of chemicals.
What is IMMUNITY?
According to Modern science, it is the capability of an individual to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its products.
This concept of invasion from microorganisms and a biological defence system against it led to the development of various clinical research on antibiotics and vaccines in the 20th century.
Vaccines trigger your immune response to recognize and fight disease-causing organisms.
IMMUNITY IN AYURVEDA
In Ayurveda the diseases has been classified as NIJA ROGA and AGANTHU ROGA. Nija roga being caused by the imbalance in the dosha, dhatu, mala of the body and can be prevented by following the day to day regimen given in the classics. Aganthu roga is caused by external factors that include various injuries, physical and mental trauma, lack of focus on health and hygiene.
Immunity under Ayurveda has been explained under multiple topics. The most important ones being Ojus, Vyadhi kshamatva and Bala. The concept of Bala or strength explains the ability of the system to repair and nourish itself and be effiective in disease prevention and Vyadhi Kshamatwa being the ability of the immune system to fight against the disease-causing pathogens. Ojus is considered as the essence of the food we consume and indicates proper tissue nourishment in the body.
BEST WAYS TO IMPROVE THE BODY IMMUNE SYSTEM
- Staying hydrated – Ayurveda recommends consuming adequate amounts of warm water and fluids daily as dehydration can lead to indigestion, heart and kidney dysfunction, lowering of your physical strength, etc. As a general guideline, you should drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day.
- Nutritious diet – A well balanced diet according to our body’s dosha prakruthi plays a important role in immune system. Foods that are rich in vitamin C and fruits and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, lemon, cauliflower, capsicum, oranges, papaya, guava, kiwi, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc. boost your defence mechanism.
- Having a proper sleep cycle – As per Ayurveda, Vata dosha aggravates due to ‘Ratrijaagaranath’ or staying awake at night. This leads to the depletion of immunity due to the weakening of your body tissues.
- Stop consumption of alcohol and smoking – intake of both alcohol and tobacco hampers the liver and lung which damages the immune system of the body.
- Exercise and meditate regularly – Exercising regularly not only keeps you fit, but also comes with many benefits that boost your immunity. It enhances your sleep quality and controls your stress levels. Meditating regularly helps in relieving the stress which helps in uplifting the immune system.
Most powerful foods to boast your immunity
- Papaya – loaded with Vitamin C and B
- Garlic – best immunity booster ( raw garlic is best)
- Green tea – enhances immune function
- Broccoli – enrich in vitamin A, C and E
- Ginger – decreases inflammation and decreases nausea
- Spinach – best eaten raw (iron, calcium) and light cooking enchances vitamin A
- Citrus fruits – rich in Vitamin C which acts as key in fighting the infections
- Red bell pepper – rich source of vitamin C
- Apples – rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, C
- Kiwi – abundant in Vitamins that stimulate immunity and reduce the risk of disease
Ayurvedic medicines that we can take for boasting immunity
- Amalakki rasayana
- Arogyavardhini vati
- Triphala gugglu
And for improving immunity in children
- Swarna bindu prashana
- Swarna vacha
Having both good physical and mental health is important especially in pandemic condition so as maintaining good immunity. So avoid Alcohol, avoid Smoking, Active Lifestyle- exercise, Stress Management, Sufficient sleep, General Hygiene. Following all these would do wonders on body by keeping it healthy and immuned.