Defining Immunity in Ayurveda
Vyadhi Kshamatva is a life-sustaining energy. It can keep us healthy, improve our endurance, strengthen our mental fortitude, and protect our bodies from wear and tear as we age. Since this level of disease resistance requires harmony between our internal and external environments, there are multiple factors that contribute to it.
Ojas describes the immunity that we are born with, as well as the immunity that we build throughout our lives. Ojas is vital to nourishing our organs, so its depletion can quickly deplete our immunity.
Similarly, your dosha may help boost your immune system. Research shows that people with Kapha Dosha tend to have stronger immunity because their bodies contain higher levels of white blood cells.
Similarly, the importance of your digestive system cannot be overstated. If the microbiome in your gut is healthy, your immune system will likely be better prepared to fight off foreign bodies.
Bala and Immunity
There are three types of Bala, which directly translates to “immunity.” Each type contributes to a person’s physical and mental resilience:
- Sahaja Bala is an innate immunity. It describes the capacity that an individual has to resist diseases. This immunity is something we are born with, and is directly acquired from our parents.
- Kalaja Bala is the strength of our body and mind. It fluctuates during the different seasons of the year, as well as the different stages of our lives. These seasonal changes influence our physical and mental strength.
- Yuktikrita Bala is an acquired immunity that is gained through the diet, lifestyle, and activity choices that we make throughout our lives.
Overall, Bala is a source of nourishment for our bodies and minds. It helps to sustain our lives by improving endurance and disease resistance. This immunity also reinforces our physical and mental strength and the stability of our joints, protecting us from the wear and tear of daily life.
Immunity Habits For Your Daily Routine
Regardless of where you’re starting from, these five daily routines can help you maintain and improve your body’s immunity. They are preventive measures, working to keep your ojas flourishing and your body’s harmony intact:
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an easy add-on to your existing oral hygiene routine. After you finish brushing and flossing, take a teaspoon of sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around for two minutes, spit it out, and rinse your mouth with warm water. Since your mouth is the first step in your digestive system, oil pulling can help keep unwanted bacteria from traveling further into your body.
3. Apply Nasal Oils
By lubricating your nostrils with one drop of oil each night, you may prevent respiratory infections and encourage a higher quality of sleep. (You may also see this referred to as pratimarsha nasya!)
4. Consume Sweet Fruits
Fresh and dry fruits are rich in the vitamins and minerals that play critical roles in fostering healthy organ function. Berries, cherries, and oranges are especially rich in antioxidants, making them powerhouses for building and repairing tissue throughout your body.
5. Spice It Up
Research shows that many spices – including ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon – carry many therapeutic properties. By adding these spices (along with basil, spearmint, or cloves), you can boost your body’s overall immunity against diseases.
No matter which new habits you add to your routine, be sure to continue maintaining them consistently. When your body knows to expect meals, sleep, and exercise on a regular basis, it is better prepared to regulate your digestive system, contribute to the establishment of internal and external harmony, and support your life-sustaining energy overall.