Immunity is the body’s ability to fight against pathogens or disease-causing organisms like bacteria and viruses. While each person is born with innate immunity that forms a protective barrier for our health like our skin and the stomach acid, our exposure to diseases and immunizations provide us with an adaptive immunity or protection against pathogens.
The performance of the immune system is compromised by numerous factors. This can cause a person to fall ill, inflammation may last longer or be recurrent, and recovery is slowed down. The most common factors affecting immunity are:
Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach to keeping the body healthy, preventing illnesses and treating diseases. The traditional medicinal system builds immunity in the body, providing it strength and vitality which helps it to fight against infections and diseases. Ayurvedic medicine for immunity is in the form of herbal decoctions, supplements to boost the immune system, immunity booster tablets, as well as practicing a holistic lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise and meditation.
As per Ayurveda, a clean (inside and outside) body, balanced diet and a disciplined lifestyle are the best immunity boosters for the body.
Rasayana therapy is an Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy that replenishes the vital fluids of the body, increases its vitality and strengthens the immune system. It helps the body to slow down the effects of aging, improves mental prowess, revitalizes the sense organs and increases the flow of energy in the body. When applied to your skin, and taken through your diet, these Rasayanas are as good as any medicine for immunity.
Ayurveda states that a healthy digestion and a strong digestive fire (Agni) are needed to build a strong immunity. In order to enhance the body’s Agni, it is important to cook your food with ayurvedic herbs and spices. Foods like Ginger, Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Holy Basil (Tulsi), Ghee, Garlic and Turmeric and immunity boosting herbs like Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Yasthimadhu (Licorice), Shatavari (Asparagus Recemosus) and Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) and Ayurvedic formulations like Chyavanaprasa Kashaya should be consumed as part of a regular diet in order to nourish the body, prevent inflammation, aid digestion and increase appetite, thus building immunity in the body. Amrutharishtam is a herbal formulation that helps the body in fighting off infection and disease by breaking down aggravated ‘Kapha’ and ‘Pitta’ elements that make the body prone to metabolic dysfunction, fever, cold, and infection. Anutailam is a classical combination prescribed for regular Nasya in healthy individuals for the up keep of health and beauty, preventing nasal congestion, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and as a protective measure during episodes of seasonal flu, cough and cold.
With many countries still grappling with the dangers posed by the Coronavirus, it is important that each individual take some basic measures to keep the body healthy and build immunity. There are immunity boosting ayurvedic medicines which contain natural herbs as well as specific medication offering remedies for cough and throat infection and treatment for breathing difficulty. Vyoshadi Vatakam is a traditional recipe with Kapha balancing herbs that is beneficial in acute and chronic cases of sinusitis, recurrent cough and cold, sore throat and respiratory congestion Vasarishtam is recommended for treatment of recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, cough, cold and wheezing, congestion in the chest, lack of appetite etc It is important to keep a keen watch on bodily changes and to seek the help of a medical professional, if Covid 19 is suspected.