In Ayurveda, there is a whole section dedicated to strengthening the immune system. And it is not about how to treat and remove the symptoms of a particular disease, but about how to prevent the weakening of the physical health of the body. And even though we live in the era of technological progress and advanced medicine it can still be very useful to apply the tips of ancient teaching. In this article, we will share with you 10 ayurvedic tips on how to boost your immune system, which is especially important in connection with the widespread of coronavirus.
Immunity and Ayurveda
According to Ayurvedic teachings, the source of immunity is the subtle essence of all body tissues called ‘Ojas‘. It is vital energy, concentrated in the Heart chakra. Ojas controls all the functions of the body and if it is depleted, the entire body suffers. It is a subtle substance that nourishes and unites the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. If it is depleted, the immune system is reduced, and we can get sick.
Thus, the immune system is reduced not only because of the weakening of the physical body but also because of the weakening of the emotional, mental and spiritual spheres of our lives. That is why ignorance, negative thoughts, fears and worries negatively affect the Ojas and lead to a decrease in the body’s resistance to various diseases. Also, our lifestyle can reduce Ojas. Improper sleep and nutrition, accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body, reduced Agni (digestive fire).
Thus, from the Ayurvedic point of view, in addition to physical immunity, we also should take care of our spiritual and psychological immunity. Therefore improper lifestyle, negative emotions, and bad attitude lead to a decrease in the body’s protective functions. That is why focusing just on a physical aspect is not enough.
Ayurveda also believes that poor immunity is the result of aggressive actions towards others in the past or current life. If we committed aggression against someone, we attract aggression against us. And this aggression can be expressed as flu, viruses, and other respiratory diseases.
In this regard, it is very helpful to perform spiritual practices, since they purify us and raise our vibrations. Radiating love and peace increases immunity.
Now is the time to dive deeper into Ayurvedic tips on how to boost your immune system.
10 Ayurvedic Tips On How to Boost Your Immune System
1. Eat well
In order to boost our immunity, we need to strengthen Agni. We can strengthen Agni by minimizing stimulants, refined sugars, and processed foods. Instead, emphasize healthy, whole foods. Make sure you eat with mindfulness and maintain a regular eating schedule and when necessary.
- Light food prepared with a minimum amount of water;
- Give preference to spicy, bitter and astringent food;
- When cooking, don’t forget to add spices;
- Eat wheat, barley, and millet porridge.
What to avoid:
- Heavy meal;
- Cold food;
- Fatty food;
- Sweet and sour food.
It is important not only what you eat, but also how the process of eating is organized. Pay attention to these Ayurvedic tips:
- Sit down at the table in a state of peace of mind. No background sound around and unnecessary fuss.
- Chew food slowly.
- Enjoy the taste of food, inhale its pleasant aroma.
2. Do not overeat
According to Ayurveda, our digestion is directly related to immunity. So keep track of exactly how much you eat for lunch and dinner. No matter what kind of food we are talking about, you can not overeat!
If you have never restricted yourself in food portions, reduce the usual amount of food by at least a quarter. Ayurveda recommends that you leave your stomach empty after dinner – this will free up “space” for faster digestion of the food received.
Ayurveda teaches that the largest portion of food should be eaten at lunchtime. It is during this period that our body is most active and releases significantly more digestive enzymes for fast digestion. And if you eat a lot before going to bed, when the body is already preparing for the upcoming night’s rest, you will have problems with sleep and a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.
3. Minimize stress
Stress hormones suppress the immune system. By reducing the number of stressful situations, you maintain the balance of Ojas, and thus strengthen the immune system!
For overcoming stress Ayurveda suggests including meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy in your daily routine.
4. Prioritize Balanced Sleep
With balanced sleep, the body works as it should – cells and tissues regenerate and you wake up in a good mood. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system. A constant lack of sleep can provoke the development of certain diseases, such as diabetes, depression, obesity, hypertension, etc. Therefore it is very important to have a good night’s rest.
5. Use essential oils
Essential oils have a beneficial effect not only on the psycho-emotional but also on the physiological state.
Ayurveda recommends us to use peppermint, lavender, tea tree, thyme, and eucalyptus essential oils for boosting the immune system.
The easiest thing you can do is to regularly light an essential oil burner with one of the essential oils for immunity. It fills the room with pleasant scents that will help strengthen the immune system.
Other ways to use essential oils are massages, baths, and rubbing a mixture of base and essential oils into the skin.
Regular meditation practice helps to relieve stress — this primarily affects the strengthening of the immune system. For maximum benefit, meditate twice a day for 20-30 minutes – in the morning and before going to bed.
To learn more about meditation read our article “Meditations For Beginners: Best Ways To Start Your Practice”.
7. Practice yoga
Yoga is a great way to boost your immune system and reduce stress levels. It moves prana in the body, helps to dissipate tension, clears stagnation, and encourages fluidity throughout the tissues, the subtle body, and the mental and emotional spheres. No wonder people who have been practicing yoga for more than a year are less likely to get sick.
8. Drink ginger tea throughout the day
Ginger is known in Ayurveda as a universal remedy for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and strengthening the immune system. Ginger improves the functioning of the digestive system.
To make ginger tea is simple. Just pour a glass of boiling water 1 tsp of crushed ginger root, let it brew.
9. Use herbs
Each ayurvedic herb has its own unique power that can help your body stay healthy. Herbs should be added to the diet not only when you are already sick but also for the prevention of the disease.
There are five herbs that are popular in Ayurvedic practice and that can be introduced into your diet.
It is considered a sacred plant in India. It is often grown in local temples for the treatment of respiratory diseases (as an antitussive). The pleasant aroma of the plant reduces stress levels.
Make sure you use lots of basil when cooking!
#2 Indian gooseberry (Amla)
It contains ascorbic acid. This berry not only strengthens the immune system, but also normalizes the digestive processes, and helps the body absorb nutrients from food better.
Indian gooseberries are often added to Ayurvedic detox diets.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that cardamom relieves tension and helps to relax.
According to ancient Indian teachings, turmeric has lots of benefits:
- Turmeric is rich in antioxidant compounds, which block free radicals. In other words, the compounds stimulate your body defenses.
- It fights off coughs and colds, especially on those cold winter nights.
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that fight against arthritis.
- It will boost your immune system even when down with a sickness.
Golden milk latte is a perfect way to include turmeric in your immune-boosting diet!
It is believed that cumin will help improve digestion and speed up metabolism. According to Ayurveda, the plant promotes the absorption of nutrients that you consume with food.
10. Perform Ayurvedic cleanse
Those toxins accumulated in your body from undigested food often cause a weakening of the immune system. In a “cluttered” body, it is much easier for pathogenic bacteria to develop. Therefore it is very important to do ayurvedic cleanse in order to boost your immune system. To learn how to do it, read our article “9 Ayurvedic Detox Tips to Cleanse Your Body“.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, many people are still looking for a “magic pill” and other easy ways to improve their health: they abuse antibiotics even as prevention, use antibacterial soap and drink synthetic drugs, believing in their “wonderful power” without consequences. The role of these “tools” for prevention is so ambiguous that they are more likely to cause concern.
The above suggestions are natural holistic ways to help you to boost your immune system. However, during an epidemic of diseases, it is sometimes wise to give up group yoga classes, where the risk of getting infected or infecting others is higher, and stay at home and practice yoga at home through online resources.
We are wishing you to stay healthy during this flu season!