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Boosting the immune system with Ayurveda

Boosting the immune system with Ayurveda
По-добър имунитет с Аюрведа

With its origin starting from the Vedic culture in India, the ancient medicine Ayurveda for more than 5000 years has been helping people of all ages to overcome their illnesses. If you want to boost your immune system in a natural way, then Ayurveda is the right path for you. Usually winter is considered the most appropriate season for a therapy for strengthening the immunity, but we can try to improve it at any time of the year if needed.

Better immunity to Ayurveda

In Ayurveda the immune system is called ojas. It is a fine vital energy, concentrated in the heart chakra. When the health of a man gets weaker, this is a sign that the ojas energy in the body has decreased. When the ojas level is low, people are vulnerable to various infections, illnesses such as ulcers, even cancer.

Ayurveda believes that the negative emotions also can be a reason for ojas decreasing. Such feelings are the hatered, anger, worry, guilt, envy, jelaousy, excessive fatigue or hunger.

And in fact, weakening of the immunity can be caused by various negative emotions, psychological tension, contamination of the environment, excessive use of antibiotics, metabolic disorders (overweight or underweight), unhealthy way of living (lack of physical activities and excessive consumption of unhealthy foods), also genetic factors.

It is important to highlight that the unhealthy food, especially these containing refined sugar, reduce the ability of the cells to cope with the viral infections. The good health is a sign that our immune system works as it should be.

The low level of resistant forces makes us vulnerable to various infections, allergies, tiredness, feeling of lethargy and fatigue, breathing problems, digestive problems, lack of appetite, chronic insomnia.

Another aspect of the immune system is its hyperactivity, when attacking the body’s own cells by thinking them of foreign invaders. This inability to distinguish the foreign organisms and healthy cells is called autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others.  

In Ayurveda, this is called “tejas„ – the intelligence of our body. Thanks to “tejas“, the cells of the body can communicate with each other through hormones and chemicalal “messages”. When this intelligence of the body is disturbed due to the presence of toxins or a trauma, tejas is blocked and it can’t distinguish the cells properly.

Any food that enhances tejas is good for the immunity, and the food that increases the Ama should be avoided.

Reinforce immunity through Ayurveda

Here are some ways to boost your immune system with the help of Ayurveda

Choose natural and easily digestible foods

Yes, we have heard many times that we have to increase our intake of raw fruits and vegetables. The natural plant food is absolutely included in the Ayurveda cuisine. But in fact, according to Ayurveda, the food should undergo a thermal processing in order to be absorbed by the organism easily and not to create a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.

Which Ayurveda foods boost the immunity?

Ayurveda advises for a healthy immune system besides vegetables and fruits, to consume cereals, legumes, low-fat organic dairy products. It is recommended the meals to be with indoor temperature, and neither raw, nor overcooked, according to Maharishi Ayurveda.

Ayurveda recommends the dairy products such as homemade milk, paneer (type of Indian cheese), as well the popular Indian cow‘s butter – ghee, for boosting the ojas enegry. The organic fresh milk and ghee are valued by Ayurveda due to their ability to stimulate ojas. The milk can be warmed before drinking and a pinch of cardamom can be added to it, because then the digestion becomes even easier. But it should be consumed separately from the main dishes.

Preferred food is also the Moong Dal (Indian stewed red lentils and vegetables), which is easily digestible in the stomach and it is very nutritious. Immune stimulating foods are also considered to be the apples, because they contain a rich amount of antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, that have cleansing effect on the intestines.

All sweet and juicy fruits such as pears, peaches, plums, pineapple, mangoes. They transform themselves quickly into ojas, if they have ripened on the branches of the tree. The pomegranate juice, as well the extract of pomegranate seeds, are a powerful immune stimulating agents. They facilitate the digestion process without causing irritation to the Pitta constitution, and they cleanse the organism from all harmful substances.

The green leafy vegetables are also recommended for a weak immune system – spinach, kale, curly-leaf cabbage. When stewed and spiced with immune stimulating spices, they become a powerful immune stimulant. They provide the organism with calcium, iron and other valuable nutrients that have a cleansing effect on the bowels. The broccoli, cabbage and the cauliflower contain a lot of antioxidants, flavonoids that also stimulate the immunity.

The legumes are highly appreciated in Ayurveda, because they are a valuable source of proteins  and they are light and healthy food for the organism, that gives us a sense of content and this foods could be consumed every day. When we avoid semi-manufactured foods (vacuumed, frozen, preserved foods), containing preservatives and enhancers, we increase in a natural way our vital energy ojas. The locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables are also recommended, because they dont contain harmful pesticides and do contain a lot of minerals.

The wholegrain foods such as quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds also have a positive effect on the weak immune system, because of the content of fiber and valuable nutrients, that clean the whole organism from the toxic substances.

As for the meat, Ayurveda doesn’t recommend it, because it is not easy to digest and therefore it creates Ama energy.

The processed foods increase the “ama” energy. They don’t allow tajas to reach to the body cells. It is characterized with accumulation of toxins in the body and with the non-digested food. Since it is not digested properly by the organism, it starts to rot, as well a process of fermentation begins, and then starts the production of toxic substances that are released in the body.  

So, according to Ayurveda not only the food that we eat is important, but also the way we eat. It is desirable to eat slowly, to chew the food well, so that we can maximaze the process of digestionq as well the absorption of the nutrients.

Avoid simple sugars in any form. The proper function of the stomach is one of the signs of a stable immune system. When our digestion system works properly, we are immune to diseases.

Foods for better immunity

Add to your dishes immune stimulating spices

Ayurveda recommends cooking with a variety of spices and especially with those that don’t disturb the energy of the food, but they add to it. The spices facilitate the digestion and help to fully absorption of the nutrients from the food by the body. If, for example, we add light spices to foods such as boiled vegetables, legumes, whole grain foods, this will increase the ojas energy.  

Besides giving a pleasant aroma to the dishes, the spices have the ability “Yogavahi”, which means that they have healing properties on all cells and tissues of the body. The name “Yogavahi” have all natural healing agents such as spices, herbs, bee honey, with proven medical properties.

The different spices have their own specific immune stimulating properties:

  • The turmeric, for example, has a strong immune stimulating effect that is due to its ability to remove toxins from the body and it stimulates „the intelligence” of the cells of the immune system.
  • The cumin helps to reduce the Ama, the black pepper cleanses the body entirely so that it facilitates the ojas energy to reach the tissues in depth.
  • Also recommended are the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, healing herbs in the form of teas and tonics,  such as aswaganda, triphala, amla, tulsi (holy basil).

Let‘s enjoy a daily massage

The massage with warm herbal oils such as the sesame oil help not only the health of our skin but also the tone of our muscles, and it makes us healthier inside.

We have to relax

For good immunity, Ayurveda recommends to be physically active and to provide a proper recovery to our body, in order to give it a chance to strengthen its resistant forces. The best way to do this is with yoga practices, walking, mountain hiking, meditation, pranayama breathing techniques.

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