Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda

Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda

 Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda by Dr.Thiwantha Nawaratne

Immune system is one of the most important indicators of vitality of an individual. This represents the capacity of an individual to defend their health against physical, emotional and environmental challenges. The vital energy of an individual is represented by Digestion (Efficiency of metabolic function), Elimination (Toxic burden), Energy (Nutrition from food)

Immune system is commonly presented as a defense machinery; however, host defense is only one manifestation of its overall function in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis (equilibrium) and system integrity. It has long been considered to have evolved primarily, because it provided host protection from infectious microorganisms and correspondingly survival advantage.

Immune system divided into two major components :
1. Innate immunity – First line defense comprised of physical barriers and nonspecific immune cells.
✅ Skin
✅ Mucous lining of nose, mouth, sinus and digestive tract
✅ Sweat and tears
✅ Neutrophils, Eosinophils, Basophils, Mast cells (non- specific immune cells)

2. Humoral immunity (Adaptive immunity) - Second line defense, this is activated when a foreign pathogen or antigen get pass the innate immune barriers it is very specific in picking out targets.
✅ B cell lymphocyte responsible for developing antibodies (specific for antigen) for recognizing and mounting immune reaction
✅ T-cell Lymphocytes attack and eliminate antigen of pathogen
✅ Macrophages
✅ Natural killer cells

This system of humoral and cellular factors is considered responsible for defending the host from invading pathogenic microorganisms.

Together of these two kinds of immunity ensure our Physical health. control and balance activity of immune system can be detrimental for individual’s health.

Immune system according to Ayurveda
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The concept of immune system in Ayurveda extend beyond the physiological and cellular components it also contains mental/ emotional and spiritual resilience.

It is concept of Vyadhikshamathva (natural resistant) according to the authentic Ayurveda texts.

Vyadhikshamathva – Denotes the resistance power of the body or defense of body against first occurrence of any disease which limits pathogens and opposes the strength of disease.

Vyadhikshamathva explained under two divisions,
✅ Vyadhi-balavirodhitva : Capacity of restrain the strength of the disease.
✅ Vyadhi-uthpadakaraprathibandhakatva : The resistant power of the body competent enough to prevent the occurrence and re-occurrence of the disease.

Bala and Ojas are the indicator of Vyadhikshamathva,
• Bala – Signifies the physical mental strength of body resistance
• Ojas – Directly influence on the body’s defense against the decay,degeneration and infection. (provide the body with an appropriate substance which inhibits,neutralizes and destroys the virulent factors of diseases)

The end product or main essence of all tissue element in the body is strength or energy, it is called as Ojas in Ayurveda.

Bala categorised in to 3 types.
✅ Sahaja bala (Hereditary) : Intrinsic state of resistance or naturally occurring energy in the body.
✅ Kalaja bala (Temporal) : State of Immunity influence by seasons or age of an individual.
✅ Yuktikrita (Acquired) : Acquired through external nourishment by proper diet, good conduct, physical exercise, Yoga and essence of medicine.

Alll external and internal parts of the body are able to perform their tasks because of this energy. This strength of the body is associated with Ojas and Tejas factors.
• Tejas strength : It is derived from Thej (Agni)mahabhutha ( The element of fire) during metabolism. Immunity is influenced by power of Agni.
• Ojas strength : It is described as very important vital constituent of the body dominated by the Aap mahabhutha (The element of water)

Ojas is a protective substance which provides immune to the body,it is the reason for different conditions and activities related with the body. Hence it should be maintained and nourished.

The energy produce by Tejas and Ojas is divided into 3 sub types.
✅ Uttama ( Superior or high strength)
✅ Madyama ( Average or medium strength)
✅ Adhama ( Below average or low)

Immune system interact with our day to day life style. Imbalance or impairment of Vyadhikshamathva, Bala and Ojas is low immunity which causes diseases.

Functional role of Vyadhikshamathva,
I. Harsha (Pleasant mental disposition)
II. Arogya anuvarthana (Improves health)
III. Prana anuvarthana (Preserves life)
IV. Dosha nigraha (Balances of Doha)
V. Vyadhibalavighatha (Inhibits the effects of diseases)
VI. Vrana ropana (Heals wounds)

Immunity promoting factors,
✅ Birthplace (being born in a country where people are naturally strong)
✅ Time (time which can naturally gain strength eg; Hemantha – November to January, Shishira – January to March)
✅ Favourable time and season (Pleasant and moderate climate)
✅ Excellence of the qualities of sperm and ovum from parents
✅ Nutritious food
✅ Excellent physical strength
✅ Excellence of mind
✅ Favourable disposition of a race and species
✅ Regular exercises
✅ Optimistic, cheerful, positive disposition

Immunity reducing factors,
✅ Acute vitiation of doshas leads to formation of strong diseases
✅ Imbalance diet
✅ Infection, body contamination
✅ Dehydration (leads imbalance of fluid and Minerals)
✅ Depletion to chronic diseases
✅ Chronic medication (long term use of certain medications is proven to be detrimental for immunity)
✅ Excessive exercise (excess loss of body tissues and leads weakness)
✅ Excess in intake of alcohol (damages liver vascular and mental system)
✅ Irregular sleep (constantly varying sleep patterns, lack of sleep or interrupted sleep)
✅ Keeping awake night (increase to Vata and decrease the quality of body tissue and depleted immunity)
✅ Mental stress (fear, anger, envy) – high stress increase Cortisol level in blood reducing the focus on immune system nourishment
✅ Obesity (indicator of imbalance metabolism and hormonal function)

Improving immunity with Ayurveda
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• Maintaining tripods of life -food, sleep and celibacy
• Following code of conduct, seasonal regimen, daily regimen
• Use of rejuvenating therapy (Rasayana), Aphrodisiac (Vajikarana) Timely internal purificatiory procedures
• Maintaining proper digestive power

Rasayana,
Rasayana is defined as medicine, non- medicine (conduct, Lifestyle changes, behaviour) which are helpful in gaining high quality Dhathus (tissues) in optimum and desired quantity. Dhathus in good quality and quantity form the foundation of a good immunity and paves way for leading diseases free life.

Benefits of Rasayana,
✅ Immunity modulators
✅ Anti-aging (geriatrics)
✅ Preventive care
✅ Disease modifiers
✅ Medicines for convalescence cure
✅ Formation of best quality tissues by tissue strengthening and rejuvenating
✅ Longevity enhancers

Rasayana helps in strengthening Ojas, Bala and thus increases Vyadhikshamathva.

Ayurveda recommends a combination of Rasayana treatment, good choice of Herbs, good food, good conduct, good exercise routine, yoga and meditation leads to boosting of immunity.

Immunity boosters:
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✅ Herbs,

 Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
 Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica)
 Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
 Satavari (Asparagus racemous)
 Brahmi (Bacopa monniera)
 Ashwangha (Witharai somnifera)
 Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica)
 Coriander (Coriandrum sativa)
 Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
 Black seed (Novella sativum)
 Ginger (Zingeber officinale)
 Garlic (Gallium sativum)

✅ Medicine,

Chawanaprashawaleha – General immunity against viral infection and respiratory infection
 Ashwagandharishta, gritha, choorna – Provide antioxidants, improved strength of muscles nerves and internal organs
 Arogyavardhini Vati – Improve immunity against liver infection and skin disorders
 Brahmi ghrita – Improve immunity in chronic diseases
 Thripala – Bowel care and Vein care
 Saraswatha choorna, Dhraksharishtaya, Haridrakanda etc…

❗️Note: Medicine should be taken according to the prescription of qualified Ayurveda practitioner.

✅ Diet,
Ayurveda advises for a healthy immune system besides vegetables and fruits to consume cereals, legumes, low fat organic dairy products which contains rich amount of antioxidant and fibre, sweet in taste (in proper quantity) nourishes the tissues and improve immunity. Eg: Milk, Honey, Ghee (valued by Ayurveda due to the ability to stimulate Ojas), soluble and insoluble fibre etc...

 Green leafy vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Cabbage leaves, Broccoli, Cauliflower), Legumes
 Fruits – Goose berry, Orange, Custard apple, Pears, Peach, plum, Pineapple, Pomegranate etc…
 Spices – Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Fenugreek, Cumin (immune stimulating agents)
 Whole grains, Flaxseed
 Avoid – intake of Spicy, salty, bitter taste food, fried food, alcohol, frozen food or preservatives and artificial agent contained foods and processed food.

The diet should be taken in proper quantity and proper time.
✅ Regular exercises
✅ Yoga – Pranayama (Breathing techniques) and Asana (Posture)
✅ Meditation – The influence of mind and emotion on immunity is known as Psychoneuroimmunology. This studies the effect of central nervous system on various factors responsible for immune response.
Ojas explains the impact of Immunity caused by excessive anger, craving, worrying, sadness and exertion.
Meditation establishes to maintain the state of equilibrium in mind and soul.

Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda Enhancing Immunity through Ayurveda

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