We all know that keeping our immune system strong is the key to good health. In TCM, that means making sure qi is flowing and circulating smoothly and is constantly in balance. In Ayurveda emphasis is placed on keeping mental digestion of thoughts and emotions, as well as physical digestion of food and drink, smooth and strong. If our digestive fire is weak and stressed, then physical and mental toxins, called Ama, are formed and Ojas, the essence of immunity power is reduced. The following suggestions will help strengthen your immune system the Ayurvedic way.
Take a good look at all the foods and beverages you consume. Anything that makes your body feel heavy, gives you indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea should be avoided, or prepared differently. Improve digestion by adding spices you know work well for you. Make your body happy!
Stay in tune with nature by shifting what you give your body to eat as we shift into different seasons. If the weather is cold, give your body warm foods and drinks. Use warming spices, such as ginger and cardamom, for the digestive system. Conversely, in hot weather use cooling spices and cooler foods, such as peppermint and cucumber.
While everyone of us has a different constitution and needs different foods, ice cold items are bad for us all, especially in winter time or when the weather is cold. The internal digestive fire is dampened and weakened by the consumption of iced drinks and foods. This makes it difficult for our immune system to fight off pathogens and viruses.
To build Ojas, and strengthen the immune system after an illness, take amalaki and ashwaganda, two herbs traditionally used in Ayurveda. Add ghee, clarified butter, to the diet.
Essential oils can help boost the immune system. Most of them, such as eucalyptus and tea tree oil, will kill bacteria and are anti-fungal. Spray the room with a few drops of your favourite essential oils added to water. Clean floors and kitchen counters with a solution of water and essential oils, such as lavender and eucalyptus. Spray your hands, yoga mats, and anything that you touch frequently that might carry germs.
Remember to get plenty of rest to rejuvenate and allow your immune system to heal you. Don’t over sleep or sleep too little, both are equally bad. Between seven and nine hours are optimum.
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