Our immune systems are constantly at work, fighting off disease and keeping us healthy. During this global pandemic, they have all been put to the test. To help our body do its magic during this crucial moment is definitely a priority. In Auroville, we take an Integral Health approach to healing. This means that there are many schools of medicine and types of healing incorporated and offered for the residents, Ayurveda being one of them.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine based on the philosophy that for the body to be healthy, a balance between mind, body and spirit is very important. Every body is made up of different energies, and Ayurveda uses natural remedies to realign the imbalances, for when the body’s energies are imbalanced, according to Ayurveda, that’s when a person falls ill. The natural remedies are made up of all kinds plants, using the fruits, leaves and roots to create pastes or powders for different purposes. Here we share with you some recommendations on immune boosting from our very own Ayurvedic practitioners at Santé, one of the healing clinics in Auroville. Making the following remedies fresh with the plants and the roots is preferred, however for those who don’t have the possibility, we have listed them all in supplement form for easier use!
Ayurvedic Immune Boosters
Guduchi or Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) : This plant is famous in Ayurvedic literature and is widely used in India since ancient times. Most commonly known as an immune booster, it has a wide range of benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory, it detoxifies the liver, aids in digestion and helps prevent respiratory infections (an important one for Covid!). It is suggested that one take 1tsp of powder twice daily with some juice, water, or mixed with a bit of honey. You can find a dried supplement from Solitude Farm here.
Tulsi or Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) : Tulsi is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants. Tulsi is also known to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Moreover, it is anti-pyretic, which means it reduces fever. Frequent sipping of hot water with Tulsi is the easiest way to consume this plant. You can find it here.
Amla or Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus embilica) : Amla is a powerful anti-oxidant with a very high vitamin C content. In addition to that, Amla also helps in boosting the immune system with its anti-bacterial properties. It helps eye-sight, pain management and fighting the common cold, which we are all trying to do at the moment! Fresh Amla is the best, but one can also have it dried or in powder form which you can find here.
Haridra or Turmeric (Curcuma longa) : Turmeric is well known for being an extremely effective anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory spice. It is important to note that the substance in turmeric which is beneficial, called curcumin, is more easily absorbed by the body when taken with a pinch of black pepper, so remember that next time you are making turmeric healing tea. Gargling with warm water and turmeric is also a good way to protect your throat from infection. If you don’t have access to the root or the powder at this time, you can find it in supplement form here.
Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) : Ashwagandha has been used since the ancient times in India for multiple problems. Ashwagandha can reduce stress, improve brain function and increase the overall strength of your body, crucial for building up your defense against disease. Powdered root (3 to 5 gms) can be taken twice a day with warm milk or water. Or if you don’t have access to the root or the plant, then you can find the herbal extract here.