The concept of boosting immunity in Ayurveda is not attributed to the consumption of a particular food type or herbal tea or a particular exercise. OJAS, the fine essence of the tissues or the dhatus, is the one said to be responsible for our immunity.
Diseases can come from internal imbalances due to malnutrition or malfunctioning which is called the NIJA, or due to external causes either from the food, climate, air, drink, toxic bite, or exposure to toxic environments called as the AGANTUJA.
What is OJAS?
NIJA and AGANTUJA both need our immune system to be strong to protect us and bring forth inner balance.
Hence, when the 7 dhatus, namely RASA (lymphatics and the platelets), RAKTHA (blood tissues, both white and red), MAMSA (muscle tissue), MEDHA (bodily fat or adipose tissue), ASTHI (skeletal and the connective tissues), MAJJA (bone marrow tissue) and the SHUKRA (seminal or the reproductive tissue), are functioning strong and normal they produce a fine essence or extract of all these called the OJAS, which makes up an individual’s immunity.
HOW to Maintain or Increase this OJAS?
For our immunity the normal and healthy functioning of the 7 dhatus is vital. Any disproportionate loss, over usage or deterioration of the dhatus either by internal or external factors can decrease our precious OJAS.
We do this by avoiding any of the AGANTUJA (external) or NIJA (internal) factors.
3 simple Ayurveda tips to boost immunity:
Ritucharya – Embrace seasonal food and routines
Being in sync with nature and embracing its constant changes in the season and the respective characters is essential in the Ayurvedic knowledge. Nature is most intelligent in terms of diversity living. It is always required to change and adapt to embrace harmony and to live on eternally.
Ritu: The Seasons and its phenomenal effects on all the life on this earth.
Ayurvedic scholars have seen what these phenomenal changes and their effects can bring in every possible life-cycle on this earth. We can achieve this balance by using certain herbs and spices, changing up the diet and also focusing on healthy sleeping patterns; to an extent of what kind of a cloth to be worn of what textile and COLOUR! You can get proper advice on this during professional Ayurveda consultations and Panchakarma programs.
Digestion – Listen to It!
Our body is the best healer and indicator. Learning the art of listening to it is the greatest gift one can give to oneself. Digestion is a science by itself from the seasonal ingredients you choose to cook, the simplicity or complexity it takes in the cooking process, and the way it’s been accepted, tolerated, metabolized, absorbed, and expelled from the body. Such a long journey!
DID YOU KNOW? The whole of the food journey in the body is on average 20 to 25 feet in distance and takes 36 to 50 hrs to travel in total!
Listen to any small and regular or irregular signs of your body during digestion; be it a casual bloating or a serious IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Observe and correct the cause.
Some ways of listening to your digestion is to avoid:
Adhyashana: Eating food before an earlier meal is properly digested is called adhyashana. It is a bad habit of eating and leads to vitiation of all the doshas quickly. When one eats during the digestion of an earlier meal then both, the undigested food and the undigested meal mix together leading to a mixture of the digestive toxin.
Vishamashana: An irregular eating habit should be avoided. Untimely eating as well as to eat sometimes way too much or way too little is known as Vishamashana. It leads to an increase and vitiation of Vata.
Samashana: Eating food containing both wholesome and unwholesome diet qualities together in one meal is known as samashana.
Viruudhashana: Eating food with opposite qualities and potency (hot and cold).
Pramitashana: Intake of nutritionally deficient food or food without LIFE (Prana).
LOVE Your food – Be a faithful Lover
Being in love with our food allows us to be relaxed and enjoy every little bite. Mindful eating helps the brain to signal the best amount of salivation production and hence aiding proper digestion and accepting every cellular energy of the food translated to the cell energy as a wholesome entity of life. Engaging the mind and physical body to something else while eating does disturbs the mind-food connection and has ill effects on the metabolism. So love your food!