Build Your Immunity
Article contributed by Dr.Dinesh Kurup
If children suffer frequently from fever or any sort of infection, it is because there is deficiency / lack of immunity. But once the fever leaves, the body knows what to do when the same virus invades the system second time round. This process of body protecting the body against outside bodies / microorganisms is called immunity.
According to Ayurveda immunity is called VYADHI KSHMATHWAM.
And this Vyadhi Kshamathwam is of 3 types: Sahaja, Kalaja and Yuktikrita.
- Sahaja: This is the immunity that we inherit from our parents. Also called inherent immunity.
- Kalaja: This is the immunity that we develop with age (adults are less prone to infection than kids). Immunity also depends on climate change. It dips a little during the rainy season, even the digestive fire is a little low. This is the reason why SRI SRI AYURVEDA PANCHAKARMA will advise KARKIDAKA CHIKITSA where the treatments, diet, as well as medicines will help to improve the immune system
- Yuktikrita: This is the immunity that we obtain through our diet, medicines, rasayana etc.
Ayurveda is not just a science or medical system to cure disease. It actually advises us how to live life to the fullest extent possible, and if you develop a health issue after following the lifestyle advised (dinacharya and ritucharya), Ayurveda will step in to treat that.
Ayurveda will treat the SWASTHA (healthy person) as well as ATHURA (diseased). For swastha, Ayurveda focuses on how to keep immunity balanced and for athura how to treat a disease. Here, immunity will be our main concern.
There are 5 ways to increase immunity.
As we all are working from home in the current scenario, it’s easy for everyone to take care of daily diet.
When considering our diet, we should make sure that the food we eat is not altering the pH balance of the body. Our normal pH balance is alkaline, and in this alkaline system none of the bacteria, virus, other microbes can survive. Neither can cancer cells. Ghee is a great option to keep the body alkaline. Drink a good amount of water, minimum 2 to 4 litres every day. This will help the body to get rid of harmful viruses, bacteria and also maintain a normal pH balance.
Indulging in junk, coloured, artificially flavoured, spicy food; aerated drinks; excess masala, tea, coffee will make the body acidic. Let us make sure that we include natural, organic foods, with less carbohydrates and more fruits and vegetables in our diet.
According to Ayurveda, we should eat only when we feel hungry (not for everyone). Breakfast is given great importance in Ayurveda; it is recommended that we have heavy breakfasts and light dinners. This will help to improve immunity and also help to avoid many lifestyle disorders without much difficulty.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a person healthy, happy and wise. A famous quote
which was actually propounded by Ayurveda more than 5,000 years ago. “Brahma muhoorthae uddishtae” means that we should wake up 1 hour before sunrise or earlier.
Getting up at this time will help the body eliminate waste from the system very easily. This will in turn aid the system to rejuvenate and fight foreign bodies.
After your morning ablutions, exercise outdoors which will help improve the immune system by absorbing essential vitamins which are present only in sunlight.
Do maintain regular meal timings. Do not stay rooted to your laptop, move around within the confines of your home.
Ayurveda considers Nidra (sleep) as a very important pillar of life. Keeping late hours is the main reason for low immunity.
Two generations before us, people used to go to bed by 9:00 PM latest, and get up early in the morning. These days, however, most of us sleep (irrespective of age) only by 10:30, which is the main reason behind current lifestyle disorders. Many hospitals recommend good sleep upon discharge to patients as it helps improve the immune response and also helps avoid tiredness which can be an aftermath to any illness.
Here’s a sample routine chart:
5:30 AM: Wake up.
Lukewarm water shower (with besan powder / moong dal powder)
Yoga and meditation
Breakfast before 8 AM
Work / Study
11 AM: Juice
1:30 PM: Lunch (less carbs, more vegetables)
4:30 PM: Buttermilk / tender coconut water
Very light dinner before 8 PM
Oushadham and Rasayanam
This falls under Yukti Krita Vyadhi Kshamathwa. Before ingesting any medication do reflect on the quote which is as follows: A mother is the best doctor, the kitchen is the best pharmacy and food is the best medicine. So, we will start with home remedies to improve immunity.
Remedy no 1:
Store all powders in equal quantities in an airtight container. Take 1 teaspoon of this powder, boil in 200ml water. Reduce to 100 ml. Drink daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
Remedy no 2:
3 mango leaves
3 guava leaves
2 elaichi granules (without the outer cover)
Boil the above ingredients in 3.5 litres water, reduce to 3 litres. Cool to lukewarm temperature and drink it every day. This will help improve immunity and the digestive system. It will also help control many lifestyle disorders like diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and the like.
Other home remedies:
Turmeric milk; milk with 1 to 2 tsp Ashwagandha Choornam.
Oil pulling daily with coconut oil.
Easily available immune boosting medication:
- Indukantham Kashayam / ghritam / tablet / syrup
This is a classical medicine which will help boost the immune system. Its main effect is on the lungs and the digestive system. It is referred to as Vishama Jwara Hara which means that it exerts very good anti-viral action.
This is a very good immune booster for children and adults. Good for general and Covid infections.
- Agastya Rasayana
This is a very good immune booster for the elderly.
Diabetics should not use the 3 immune boosting medication mentioned above.
Recommended home remedies for diabetics:
Powdered Shilajathwadi Lauham tablet
Store equal quantities of all the ingredients in an airtight container. Mix 2 teaspoons with a small amount of organic honey. Ingest every night.
Increases lung capacity, improves immunity. Also helps boost energy levels after infections and hospitalisation. Good for all Covid conditions
Some other important medication:
Sri Sri Tatttva Shakti Drops
Sri Sri Tattva Amruth Tablets
Sri Sri Tattva Turmeric Plus Tablets
Sri Sri Tulasi Arka
Sri Sri Tattva Kabasura Kudineer Tablets
Sri Sri Tattva Kabasura Kudineer Churna
Sri Sri Tattva Immungen
Sri Sri Tattva Dhoopana Churna
Sri Sri Tattva Sudarshanam Vati
A daily 45 minute walk.
Drink 2 to 4 litres water every day.
Meditate daily for 20 to 45 minutes.
Adopt a positive approach towards life.
Be helpful towards others.