You get sick often. Be it any flu or infection you are the first one to catch it.
You feel weak and are probably wondering why does it happen to you all the time? You just got over with the flu and you are down with another.
You are tired of being sick all the time. And medicines are of no help. You want to increase immunity naturally but have no idea how.
You are not alone.
So many of us get frequent infections these days and nothing seems to work.
With the novel coronavirus outbreak, the situation seems even more grim and scary.
We have no idea what the future holds and how many more such infections will create havoc.
But if we believe in research and continue the same approach towards life, then the answer is ‘many’.
The biggest contributor to this is our diet.
If you want more clarity on this subject I strongly recommend “ The game-changers” video on Netflix.
There is no way we can control what happens in the world but we can safeguard ourselves.
Why do you get frequent infections in the first place?
There are two reasons for the same,
1. Low immunity
2. Drug-resistant pathogens
Immunity is your body’s defence system to fight against foreign pathogens.
Your body has layers of protection starting with body hair and mucus.
If any pathogen is able to pass the basic defence system, the secondary system kicks in and the little soldiers or the white blood cells start fighting.
The time and intensity of infections depend upon how strong your soldiers are. If your army is weak, your body will succumb to these infections.
Modern medicines don’t work on your body’s immunity. Instead, they target a pathway in your body that the pathogen uses.
Though the concept is great, it does more harm than good in the long run.
The microbes have the ability to change their forms and functions. This makes the pathogens drug-resistant.
The biggest example of this is MDR-Tuberculosis (Multi-Drug Resistant) which killed more than 2,40,000 people in 2016 alone.
Despite this, if you have a severe infection, it is advised to go for an allopathy treatment.
However, if your condition is chronic, then Ayurveda is your answer to increase immunity.
Ayurveda is a 5000-year old science of body and diseases.
The beauty of this science is that it focuses on the power of your bodies to fight against the disease.
How can you use Ayurveda to increase immunity?
Ayurveda is the science of holistic wellness which includes keeping your body, mind and soul fit for the optimum health.
It believes in using herbs and home remedies to increase immunity, the power of yoga to make your body strong and the benefits of meditation for a clear and calm mind.
It places a special significance towards the preventive approach.
Your body is considered sacred and is your window to the world. It becomes imperative to keep the window intact.
A cracked window is no better view, right?
Given below is the list of holistic methods to increase immunity using Ayurveda.
1. Herbs and Home remedies
Ginger lemon honey
Ginger lemon and honey is the simplest and one of the most effective drinks to fight infections in the body.
Ginger lemon and honey are the three most powerful ingredients in Ayurveda and all three of them possess antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
There are so many researches using Ginger to fight several streams of bacteria.
Boil some crushed ginger in the water for 10 mins. Pour it in a cup and let it cool off a little. Add lemon juice and honey to it. This is delicious too.
There is another way to increase your immunity using ginger and honey. Crush some ginger and extract ~1 teaspoon of its juice in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon honey and mix. Take it as it is without diluting.
It is an excellent remedy for a sore throat or dry itchy throat.
Cinnamon is a very powerful herb in Ayurveda. it has great antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Cinnamon can be taken in the form of tea along with tea leaves. If you are not a tea lover, you can boil a pinch of cinnamon in water for 15 mins. Drink it strained and mixed with 1 teaspoon honey.
You can also increase your intake of cinnamon by putting it on bread or apples.
However, the trick with Cinnamon is to use not more than one pinch at a time.
Cinnamon is very hot in nature and excess of it can cause inflammation and rashes due to pitta.
Balance is the key here.
Golden milk or Turmeric milk
Another powerful remedy which is taking the internet by the storm is Golden milk.
Golden milk is an Ayurvedic drink which has been used for ages to fight diseases and to bring health and vitality to the body.
Drinking Golden milk before sleeping promotes better sleep, fights infections and increases immunity of the body.
Gooseberry aka Amla is a powerhouse of Vitamin C which is known to fight infections in the body. It can be taken in multiple forms.
It can be taken raw along with some salt and Cayenne pepper. It can also be added to some chutneys for adding sourness.
There are also other forms available in the market today like in the form of sweet or salted candies. Eat 4-5 candies to increase immunity.
Starting your day by drinking warm lemon water and honey in the morning has immense benefits.
It is alkaline in nature and promotes healthy digestion throughout the day.
It wards off any bacteria or buildup in the body that has taken place. You can see the improvement within a week if you have long been suffering from frequent infections.
This also keeps your weight in check.
T. Cordifolia or Giloy/Guduchi
T. Cordifolia is a herb also known as heart-shaped moonseed. It is one of the plants of immortality used in Ayurveda to fight infection.
The stem of the Creeper is taken and boiled in water for 30 minutes. if you are taking one cup of water, allow to reduce it to one-fourth of it.
Cool it and then drink it. this is a very strong antipyretic as well and can reduce fever.
Include more garlic in your diet. Garlic is a powerful antifungal and antiviral agent found in nature.
Allicin in garlic has been found to be very effective against viral infections. take it in the raw form once in the morning if your immunity is very low.
Excess cooking can destroy allicin in garlic. It can be taken raw on an empty stomach in the morning for a few days.
If you don’t like the taste of it you can probably go for a garlic capsule like this one.
However, don’t take it for more than 1 month continuously or consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before doing it.
Herbal tea or Kadha
In Ayurveda, herbal tea or Kadha is very famous to fight against illnesses like viruses and bacteria. It is a combination of antibiotic herbs boiled together in the water.
The simple recipe is,
½ inch ginger grated or crushed
1 pinch cinnamon
2 black peppers crushed
1 clove crushed
3-4 holy basil leaves
Boil them together for 15 minutes. Let it cool down. Add honey and drink the tea.
Ayurveda does not recommend adding honey to boiling water as it kills its potency.
Holy Basil or Tulsi
Tulsi or holy basil is a holy plant in India because of the properties it possesses. It can be found in almost every household.
It releases more oxygen than any other plant.
Adding this to tea or eating 4- 5 leaves in the morning can boost your immunity.
2. Reduce stress to increase immunity
Stress and immunity are directly linked together. A spike in stress for a prolonged period can compromise your immunity.
Stress-related hormones suppress your body’s innate defence system and pave way for infections.
It is imperative to reduce stress in your life if you want to increase immunity.
Yoga can significantly be used to reduce stress. However, it is important not to compare your journey with anyone else.
I personally love the practice of Hatha Yoga, the traditional yoga which focuses on holding the posture for a longer time.
There are 84 asanas in total, however, the basic hatha yoga has a sequence of 12 asanas.
Yoga and pranayama boost intake of oxygen in the body. This increases metabolism and allows better circulation of blood.
Heart-opening poses are especially beneficial for reducing stress.
1. Triangle pose(Trikonasana)
2. Camel Pose(Ustrasana)
3. Bow Pose(Dhanurasana)
4. Cobra (Bhujangasna)
5. Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Meditation is the act of silencing your brain. In Yoga, our minds are referred to as monkey minds.
We are constantly distracted and it is almost impossible to switch our brains off.
Meditation is a tool that helps us find our zen. There are several types of meditation and it depends on which one suits you more.
The most effective is just sitting on the floor with your eyes closed and focusing on your breath.
Doing this every day for 10 mins can have significant changes in the functioning and physiology of the brain.
It turns on the parasympathetic system of the body and brings the body to a restful state.
If you are new to meditation, you can read this simple meditation guide here.
Your body is the most advanced machine on our planet today. What you eat has a direct effect on your health.
Eating fresh, healthy and vibrant food can keep your body healthy and disease-free.
Simple home-remedies, regular exercise, proper intake of vitamin C & D and a stress-free mind are the basics for a healthy body.
In order to increase immunity, one should follow a holistic approach.
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Chakshu is a US alliance certified yoga teacher, a biotechnologist and an Ayurveda evangelist. Her passion is to help people live a toxic-free life, emotionally and chemically. She loves reading self-help books. When she is not writing, she is busy thinking about life.