ayurveda Q and A
Strengthen your immune
system using ayurveda
BY DR. SARITA SHRESHTA
QUESTION: What types of practices are used in
Ayurveda to help strengthen the immune system?
ANSWER: The science of Ayurveda emphasizes preventive measures called swasthavritta, or the Way of
Healthy Living. The main focus of swasthavritta is to
maintain and enhance immunity by conserving ojas.
Ojas is the subtle yet material substance identified in
Ayurveda as the foundation for immunity, vitality,
strength, and even conception.
All human beings are born with sahaj (natural) immunity. As we grow and develop we can acquire stronger immunity through food, activities, and behaviors.
Although we strengthen our immunity as we grow, we
can still lose much of our sahaj immunity through illness or different modern stimulations. Unfortunately,
we are more likely to lose our sahaj as the years go by
than we are to gain or enhance it.
In order to boost our immunity, consider the following:
Save ojas by avoiding activities that can deplete ojas.
These include: overindulgence in sex, eating dry food
all the time, eating leftover food, excessive television
watching, playing video games in a stimulating environment, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
Support the physical and energetic bodies by practicing Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation regularly.
Get enough proper rest every day. In addition to a
full night’s sleep, each day, for 30 minutes to one hour,
spend time in nature, kick back in a comfortable chair,
incorporate savasana (deep relaxation), Yoga Nidra or
other meditative practices – or simply walk, even for
only ten to fifteen minutes.
Express emotions in a positive way; this can be done
by talking to nature, singing, dancing, creating, writing, or even just a few slow and deep breaths.
Introduce healthy fats into your diet and use oil to
massage the body. These healthy fats include olive oil,
coconut oil, ghee, mustard oil, and more.
Practice Achar Rasayanas. The word rasayana means
rejuvenation, so this behavioral technique involves
cultivating the states of mind that actually serve as
tonics. These including cultivating love, compassion,
gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, honor, and gratitude.
OJAS DRINK WITH MILK
1 cup of warm milk
Boil the milk with the following ingredients:
1 mashed or chopped fresh date
4 grated almonds (soaked in water and peeled)
¼ teaspoon total of equal parts of cinnamon
Let cool and then add ½ teaspoon of ghee
before drinking once a day either in the morning
or the evening.
OJAS DRINK WITHOUT MILK
1 teaspoon shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seed, powdered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
¼ teaspoon each coriander seed, cumin, and salt
½ teaspoon amalaki (Emblica officinalis) powder
1/8 teaspoon trikatu powder (equal amount of black
pepper, ginger, and long pepper)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon and cardamom
(equal amounts of each herb)
1/8 teaspoon rock salt
½ teaspoon honey or rock candy
¼ teaspoon ghee (or coconut oil if vegan)
Once daily mix all ingredients in 1 cup of hot water
and drink as the tea or just make the paste with
honey and ghee and take like the sweet and sour
immune-boosting jam chyvanprash.