“THE WORSE THE SITUATION BECOMES, THE LESSER IT TAKES TO TURN IT AROUND, BIGGER THE UPSIDE” – George Soros
One might question, Why Ayurveda? Well, continue reading below to know more.
With the population rising and the change in our lifestyle particularly in the past decade along with the introduction of outbreaks like SARS, MERS, and the very new coronavirus (Covid-19) we have instantly come to realize the importance of living a healthy life. COVID – 19 or Coronavirus was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Suddenly we have shifted from coke to kaadha (decoction), candies to multivitamin tablets, eating out to becoming your own chef, weekly grocery store trips to purchasing online, commanding the maids to do it on your own, we really have come a long way in the last 6-7 months.
The pandemic has turned the world’s attention to the immune system. Our taste horizons have expanded. Food has now gone beyond taste and pleasure to nutrition and health outcomes. Since there is no medicine for this there has been increased global interest in traditional remedies.
We belong to the country that gave birth to Ayurveda, the science of life. Ayurveda has the solution for every treatment some known and some unknown. It has been there since more than 5000 years ago, and today it is contributing a ton to our immune system with its local implications as simple as drinking warm water.
It’s time we take a ride down the path of these marvelous principles of Ayurveda and how it can potentially help us battle the havoc COVID – 19 is causing.
1. Concept of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine, originated in India more than 5000 years ago. It is known as the ‘Mother of all healing’. It all started from the Vedic period and was taught, practiced, and passed on as tradition through the decades. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words Ayur (life) and Veda (science or knowledge). The classic Ayurveda text Charaka Samhita mentioned about epidemic management and defines immunity as the ability to preventing and controlling the progression of the disease for maintaining balance.
The Ayurveda pays more considerable emphasis on building the strength of mind and body to cope with various stressors, including infection. The Ayurveda pays a larger emphasis on building the strength of mind and body to cope with various stressors, including infection.
Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle, and the use of herbs.
Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind, and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance. It states that healing starts from the gut. The gut is the channel where energy enters our body.
Good health is a reflection of our ability to digest anything – whether nutritional, emotional, or sensory. The Ayurveda concept of immunity (Bala or strength) is classified as natural (Sahaja), chronological (Kalaja), and acquired (Yuktikrut).
Ayurveda is also the science of longevity because it shows the complete system to live a long life. It is an interactive system that is user-friendly and educational. It teaches them to become responsible and self-empowered. Ayurveda is not a nutritional system for those seeking an escape or excuse to abuse their body or mind. It is a system for empowerment, freedom, and long life.
2. Ayurveda and the immune system
If you want to boost your immune system in a natural way, then Ayurveda is the right path for you.
The ability of the body to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies is called immunity. It is like a defense system for the body. In Ayurveda, the immune system is called Ojas. 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 and illnesses.
Immunity is a concept explained in Ayurveda under multiple topics. The most important ones are Bala or the concept of strength, Vyadhi Kshamathwa, or the concept of resistance to illness development, and Ojas or the concept of supreme resilience.
The concept of Bala explains the ability of the system to repair and nourish itself and be effective in disease prevention, whereas Vyadhi Kshamatwa is the ability of the immune system to fight against the disease-causing pathogens.
As in recent times, the coronavirus has taken over the world boosting our immunity has become everyone’s priority. Ayurveda has n – number of immunity building formulas but it does not work like medicine which shows you results in very little time.
Ayurvedic measures take some time and all you need to do is follow them and wait for it to show its magic. Health is order; the disease is disorder. Within the body, there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order.
In our country, several initiatives have been taken to utilize the vast potential of Ayurveda in this pandemic. The Ministry of Ayush, a nodal Ministry of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has released a set of guidelines for boosting immunity and measures for self-care by using Ayurvedic principles.
3. Let’s look at some general and ayurvedic remedies you can use to boost your immunity
- General remedies –
- Drink warm water and also consume warm food.
- Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama, and meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by the Ministry of AYUSH.
- Use spices like Haldi (turmeric), jeera (cumin), dhania (coriander), garlic, ginger, etc while cooking your meals.
- Do not compromise on sleep. It is necessary to sleep form 6-8 hours on average for good health.
- Get rid of all the stress. stress leads to low appetite which again leads to low immunity.
- Ayurvedic remedies –
- Consume chyavanprash daily. It may not taste as good as candy but it sure tastes better than medicines. It is the most simple measure you can adopt to improve your immunity.
- Drink herbal tea or kaadha (decoction) made from herbs and spices like tulsi (basil), Dalchini (cinnamon), kaalimirch (black pepper), gud (jaggery), lime, and other ingredients as per your taste. Drinking tea is a part of our routine all we need to do is include some of the above ingredients.
- Drink golden milk – This is one of the oldest measures we have been following on a regular basis as a remedy for a lot of problems. It is nothing but turmeric mixed with warm milk.
- Apply ghee (clarified butter), sesame oil in both nostrils to keep them clean.
- Regularly steam with mint and caraway seeds.
So above were some of the best and easiest measures you can follow on a regular basis to create the defense system your body requires.
4. Mental health and Immunity
The fact that our mind and emotion can have an impact on immunity is something that has emerged about 5-10 decades ago.
In a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, US studied 52 men and women regarding the impact of emotions on the immune system. The part of the brain they studied prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with depression. All of them were asked to recall the worst and the best events in their life. For the best events, they had to write down about an event where they experienced ‘intense joy’ and for worst events to write about the event where they experienced ‘intense sadness’.
During these tasked the electronic activity of the brain was measured. These people were then given flue shots and after two weeks, four weeks, and 6 moths their antibodies were measured.
People who had the greatest activity in the right PFC when asked to express distressing episodes in their life had lower antibody levels after influenza vaccination. In contrast, those showing exceptional activity in the left PFC when recalling happy times developed high antibody levels.
As a result, the researchers found a link between left PFC and an increase in antibodies which were surprising but the reasons are still to be found.
5. Ending note
As we all know every dark cloud has a silver lining, similarly in this dark time of the pandemic our country has been blessed decades ago with Ayurveda. It is not surprising for us to see the recovery rate so high (76.62%) as compared to other countries in the world as through practice and traditions passed to us through generations we have been following at least a few measures from the above written in our daily routine.
| It is said that the more you let Ayurveda and Yoga become the basis for your living the easier living gets. Another great thing about it is that its treatment always yield side benefits, not side effects |