Immunity: The perfect balance of Mind & Body

Dear readers,

A lot has been discussed about immunity in last one and half year. Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of being healthy with good immune system. The prediction of third wave of covid 19 has created anxiety in parents as it is said to be hitting the children under 18 years predominantly along with other age group people.

As of now we really do not know what will be the course of corona virus in third wave. Whether it affects children predominantly or not, one thing is for sure that different mutations of corona virus are giving challenge to healthcare system worldwide. So, instead of taking treatment after getting affected, it is always better to work on our own immune system which protects us from various diseases.

Today we are going to take a look at immunity in the eyes of Ayurveda.

We all know body and mind are two sides of one coin and they are always interrelated. In the last year just like elders, even teenagers and children experienced tremendous pressure, fear, uncertainty, anxiety and stress. Many of them have witnessed death of parent/s, friends or near and dear ones; faced financial challenges affecting their education; staying safe at home has increased distance between child and nature; missing out relaxing time with friends; lack of physical activity has given rise to lifestyle disorders; over exposure to screen has put eyes at risk. All these factors are contributing to the low immunity of the children. How?

Let us understand immunity according to Ayurveda in brief.

Immunity is Vyadhikshamatva according to Ayurveda. It works in two ways. One which fight with disease after manifestation and the other which prevent /stop the manifestation of disease.

व्याधिक्षमत्वम् नाम व्याधिबलविरोधित्वम् व्याधि उत्पादप्रतिबंधकत्वम् इति | Chakrapani.

It is a concept beyond disease as it is the base of physical as well as mental well-being. There are certain components of vyadhikshamatva. They are –

· Aahar- vihar (nutritious diet – lifestyle)

· Agni (proper digestion and cellular metabolism)

· Dosha samya (balanced vata-pitta-kapha)

· Dhatu samya (healthy tissues)

· Ojas (vital energy/strength)

· Strotasas (healthy internal transportation in the body)


A persons aahar and vihar (diet and life style) contributes greatly in building the immunity.

Vihar includes conduct and activities. Activities means karma, which not only explains about bodily activities like exercise and performing daily chores but also our mental activities like managing stress, worries etc. (कर्म शब्देन इह आस्याचिंतादयोsपि च गृह्यते|)

It also explains about importance of our good and bad deeds (pap and punya) as they are considered as one of the causes of certain diseases (ex. Autoimmune disorders)

For building immunity, our lifestyle must include

§ Exercise/yoga

§ Pranayama

§ Meditation

§ Positive thinking and attitude of gratitude

§ Respect and love for people around

§ Stop complaining and work to improve quality of life.

Diet is always considered as a very important factor in Ayurveda for treating diseases as well as maintaining good health.

For building immunity, we must follow these rules of diet

§ Most important is to feel the touch, have the smell, see the colour and taste the food i.e. our food should be felt by our senses while eating.

§ nutritious food with limited spices (satvik aahar).

§ Eat adequate quantity of food.

§ On particular timings.

§ Food must be easy to digest and cooked in right manner.

§ Remember, definition of nutritious food can change according to age, season, country and strength of a person.

Food that helps –

2. Agni:

Agni represents digestion as well as cellular metabolism. One who has balanced Agni can tolerate extreme thirst/hunger/cold/heat etc. without having proper diet and lifestyle Agni can’t stay in balanced condition. weak digestive fire or excessive digestive fire, both invite diseases but majority of the diseases are produced by weak digestive fire (रोगा: सर्वेsपि मंदेsग्नौ|). Conventional science also believes that nutritious diet and metabolism plays vital role in formation of antibodies(immunity).

बलमारोग्य आयुश्च प्राणाश्चाग्नौ प्रतिष्ठिता:|

अन्नपाने इंधनैश्च अग्नि: ज्वलति व्येति च अन्यथा|| Cha. Su.27/342

3-4: Dosha and Dhatu samya:

Vata, pitta and kapha are the three doshas i.e. basic principles that form constitution of body. Kapha is responsible for the formation, pitta for maintenance and vata for destruction. This is a very superficial explanation. Doshas, especially pitta, transforms food taken into aahar rasa after proper digestion. This aahar rasa nourishes further dhatus (different tissues) from rasa to Shukra respectively. Essence of this aahar rasa is said to be Ojas.

तत्र रसादीनां शुक्रान्तानां धातूनां यत् परं तेजस्तत् |

खलु ओज: तत् एव बलं इति उच्यते ||

5. Ojas:

Essence derived from food is Ojas. It is the seat of physical and psychological strength. It regulates physical(kayik), verbal(vachik) & psychological(manasik) activities. Thus, Ojas takes care of wellbeing and smooth functioning of our mind and body. No wonder sages have given immense importance to quality of Ojas while describing vyadhikshamatv in Ayurveda.

To maintain quality of Ojas, one must avoid following things

Food- incompatible food (viruddh aahar), eating very less quantity of food(alpashan)or excessive fasting (anashan), eating food which is dry in nature i.e. devoid of fat, for a long duration (rukshashan) and holding urge to drink water/thirst (veg vidharan)

Lifestyle- excessive physical work (shram), heavy exercise (ati vyayam), staying awake late night (prajagaran)

Psychological-excess of- anger, grief, fear and anxiety (kop, shok, bhay, chinta respectively). Su. su. 15/23

people with balanced (Qualitative) Ojas have following signs-

6. Strotas:

Strotasas are the inner channels of transportation throughout the body. They play very active and important role in building immunity as they carry aahar rasa to different dhatus and nourish them. Essence of aahar rasa, Ojas is also transported through the strotasas. So, potency of strotasas is very important. Any movement in the body is under the control of vata. So again, it highlights the interrelation between dosha-dhatu and strotas.

We definitely can take few herbs for improving immunity like neem, guduchi, ashwagandha, turmeric, amla, tulsi etc. These herbs are only a part of improvising immunity. Core immunity improves by balancing body as well as mind.

After reading these details, wait for a moment and check your and your child’s food habits, life style and emotional status especially in this pandemic period. You yourself will come to know why the second wave turned out more fatal than the first wave. People were emotionally down, frightened, in grief, in stress, anxious and sedentary life style due to lockdown. These are the major contributors in reducing immunity.

After learning all this, let us work on our body and mind and build our immunity by adopting good food and healthy life style.

Intention of writing this blog is to remind everyone that building immunity does not necessarily mean eating lot of immunity boosters or exercises, but also having positive thought process and adopting qualities like love, gratitude and respect for all.

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3 thoughts on “Immunity: The perfect balance of Mind & Body

  1. ?Very good and useful information as it an eye opener for us ,as we tend to overlook the psychological aspect involved in building immunity of body
    Swati Salgarkar 

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