In just six months, the new strain of coronavirus has infected millions of people across the globe. Due to the fast rate of the spread of the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called it as a pandemic and with no Vaccine or medicines available against the virus as of now, everyone is talking about Immunity. The Ayurvedic stream of medicine always had a big focus on Immunity, the concept of Immunity therefore is very vast and fascinating in Ayurveda.
It is observed that among a group of people exposed to a given disease including COVID-19 only some are afflicted while others are left without any effect. This phenomenon clearly tells the role of Immunity in our body. Ayurveda offers very profound and in-depth explanation to this phenomenon. As per Ayurveda good immunity can be achieved not only by taking good wholesome food and a regular routine but other factors like mistakes of the intellect (Knowingly doing wrong acts), Body constitution, moral conduct, karma and unsuitable contact of sensory perceptions like sound, touch, vision taste and smell are also responsible for good and bad immunity and onset of Diseases.
Types of Immunity as per Ayurveda:
- Sahaja – Congenital or Natural can be corelated to Innate Immunity as per modern science.
- Kalaja – Time bound, Seasonal, Age related
- Yuktikruta – Acquired and can be corelated to Adaptive immunity as per modern science.
Sahaja Immunity comes from Parents and is inherited. According to Ayurveda’s concept on Genetics, genetic factors are decided at the cellular level. The entire cell is referred to as “ Beeja” and beeja bhaga is the nucleus and chromosomes are the avayavas. If the genetic makeup of the Parents is healthy the same health is seen in children whereas if the genetic makeup has some susceptibility to certain diseases, those diseases will be carried over to the next generation. The effect will be at cellular, nuclear or chromosomal level. Since this immunity is inherited, there is not much one can do except to avert the defects through various modalities of Ayurveda.
The time of the day, season and one’s age are important factors for enhancing immunity, strength is greater in the morning, in spring /winter season and during Young age. Taking this in consideration when we try and do things to improve our immunity it will have more impact. Some actions like exercise in the morning, immunity enhancing measures done during winter and hard work mentally and physically during young age builds a stronger immunity and have long lasting effects on our body. The biggest take away of this concept is we should try and acquire as much strength as possible for future.
Yuktikruta immunity represents acquired immunity here diseases can be defended by using Ayurveda. Ayurveda focuses on three important aspects to acquire immunity and those are:
- Rasayana: Rasayana is health promoting and rejuvenating therapies which rejuvenates the whole body physically as well as mentally. E.g. Chyavanprash or simple Milk along with ghee is very potent rasayana to improve immunity.
- Vyayama: Daily Exercise of up to 50% of one’s exertion capacity enhances the immunity.
- Satmya: Satmya is suitability. Adapting to wholesome substances and giving up unwholesome substances, to which our body is addicted since birth, also promotes immunity.
Additional factors which influence immunity in the body are:
- Uterine Health of the mother: A healthy uterus for a baby’s growth can be like a fertile soil for a seed
- Nutrition after birth: Wholesome, adequate and timely nutrition after birth plays an important role in developing immunity.
- Constitution: Usually people with Kapha Constitution have good immunity than those with Vata and Pitta body constitution.
- Mind: A strong mind oriented towards positive thinking is a major factor in one’s immunity.
- Karma: In case where an individual has everything that amount to good immunity but still succumbs to severe illness, subtle karmic factors may reveal themselves as having a prominent impact on immunity.
- Meditation for Mental strength: Meditation brings about greater self-awareness and positive thinking, thereby enhancing the Mental strength and overall Immunity.
Dr Naveta Shah (BAMS, D.Pk)
Founder – ayurconsult.in
Panel Member – Jarma Wellness LLP