Ayurveda and immunity
February 21, 2011 10:54am CST
Hello everybody I have heard that Ayurvedic medicines are the best for improving our immunity. On what principles are these Ayurvedic medicines based. How do they boost our immunity.
21 Feb 11
Hi viru1981, According to Ayurveda, immunity and natural resistance to disease in the body goes hand in hand with good health. The concept of health, according to Ayurveda is not only being free of disease but also when there is balance between the three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, there is proper functioning of the digestive fire or agni, the three waste products (urine, feces, and sweat) are in normal quantity and balanced, the five senses are working normally, and the mind, body and consciousness are functioning in blissful harmony. Ayurveda holds that a person in good health will not be affected by even the most contagious disease. The function of the immune system is to protect our bodies against foreign invaders. The invaders can come in the form of actual foreign bodies such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, collectively called pathogens. Unwelcome entities can also be created from within as with auto-immune disorders and cancer. Proper immune function is an intricate balancing act. While a weakened immune system predisposes one to virtually every type of illness, it is also possible that an immune response becomes overactive or misdirected, targeting the body's own tissues for foreign invaders and attacking them. When functioning properly, our immune systems are able to discriminate effectively, between body's own tissues and foreign pathogens. Immunity is influenced by the power of agni, digestive fire and our ability to digest, assimilate and absorb nutrients in our bodies. Within a healthy body where immune function is strong, any invaders are neutralized or destroyed and then expelled and the body returns to normal. If agni is impaired by an imbalance within the tridosha, metabolism is affected and the immune response and natural resistance are lowered. If the body is unhealthy or has ama, stored toxins from undigested food, then an environment is created in which invaders are encouraged to thrive. Ama can be created from both physical and mental indigestion. It serves as fertile ground upon which parasites feed and settle into weak spots in the body. According to Ayurveda, ama is the root of all physical disease. Indigestion and ama formation prevents nutrients from reaching the tissues and weakens immune function. Ama can result from improper eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle practices. Our relationships, stress and traumas also greatly impact our digestive process and immune function. Particularly when you engage in an activity or indulge in food that you know is not good for you but you do it anyway, you are committing prajnaparabda, a crime against wisdom. Not only are you promoting ama formation and creating a toxic environment within the body, but you are also weakening your will. The strength of your will and identity are in direct correlation to immune function. Discipline and healthy relationships help to build your sense of self. When your identity with your self is strong, then the cells in the body are better able to differentiate 'self' from 'non-self' and kill off that which is not serving the whole. The body naturally wants to become balanced and healthy. Each and every cell of the body possesses an intelligence encoded with a will to live, be healthy and work together as a whole, communicating with the other cells of the body. Ayurveda is a system of medicine that supports the natural proclivity toward balance and offers guidelines regarding diet, lifestyle, herbs, and the stress relieving techniques of Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama as a formula for achieving health and longevity.