March 30, 2020
Ayurvedic Immunity Tips
with The Ayurveda Coach
As we dwell in this time of uncertainty, we often look to trusted methods for immunity and inner healing.
Now more than ever do we need to look inside and be mindful of what we are putting into the body and how each ingredient can aid us. An ancient trusted source for living healthily is Ayurveda. Ayurveda (ah-yoor-veda) is a science-meets-holistic medical system that originated in India 5,000 years ago and is believed to be the oldest surviving complete system of knowledge in the world. Just as physics and chemistry are recognised sciences, so too is Ayurveda, but this being the science of living well.
With this healing method in mind we discovered The Ayurveda Coach on Instagram and we couldn’t think of a better individual to share her health-boosting knowledge during these unsettling days. Claire Paphitis has put together her 5 Ayurvedic Tips to help build up our immunity.
Balance your Agni
Agni is so important that this is actually the title of the book on Ayurveda that I am currently writing for Ebury Press (out in August 2020). Agni is a Sanskrit word which translates as FIRE. So in Ayurveda, our Agni is our digestive fire - and the ancient texts describe a poor functioning Agni is the root cause of all disorders. So if we want our bodies to be in good shape we must first look to our digestive health. When the digestive fire is either weak or overactive, the food, drink and even emotions we put into our bodies cannot be correctly processed and toxins will form. Eating freshly cooked, warm food (avoiding raw foods, salads etc) is one of the best ways to take care of your Agni. I also encourage clients to use plenty of fresh herbs and spices, which help aid digestion. My favourites are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fresh root ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.
Ensure you getting a good night’s sleep. Going to bed between around 10-11pm and waking at around 6-7am is a good rule of thumb. Proper rest is vital to allow our bodies to repair and rejuvenate. If you are feeling particularly anxious at this time and finding it difficult to nod off there are two Ayurvedic tips I would recommend. The first is to treat yourself to a calming foot massage with some nice oils just before bed.
In Ayurveda we often use sesame oil, for its heavier and grounding properties. Massaging your feet with oil before bed creates a sense of relaxation and grounding to help ‘bring down’ anxiety and what we call ‘Vata’ energy from the head. The second thing to try is some warm milk (almond milk is lovely) with a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. All these spices are known to soothe the mind and nutmeg is particularly calming for sleep.
If you are feeling particularly wired at bedtime, try stirring through 1/4 tsp of organic ghee into the milk mixture with a pinch of sugar as this will further help to calm the Vata energy.
Another Sanskrit word which is pivotal to Ayurveda. Ojas means strength, vitality and immunity! We inherit, or are born with, a certain strength of Ojas - but there are things we can do to boost them.
Eating a small amount of Ghee is one popular way. But in this current pandemic I would put forward another way of building Ojas and that is through showing love and compassion to others. In the same way a mother can care for her sick children or a doctor can care for his sick patients without getting sick themselves (They increase their Ojas through acting selflessly) so too can we now, more than ever, build up our own Ojas and natural immunity by acting with kindness and consciousness to our friends, family and the world.
Ginger, Lime and Honey
This is an incredibly powerful combination of ingredients that I always use for any cough, cold or excess of mucus. If you feeling a lot of phlegm or have cough or cold symptoms that you are looking to treat at home then taking this remedy a couple of times a day will help to scrape mucus from the body so it can be coughed up or blown away.
100g fresh ginger - peeled
6 tsp honey
3 tsp brown sugar (don’t skip the sugar - all the ingredients are here for a reason for the role they play when all used together in these amounts. Here the sugar helps scrape away and lift mucus)
Blend ginger with half a cup of water and squeeze out the juice from the pulp - through a fine sieve. Add to this the juice of 6 limes, the honey, sugar and enough water until you have 200ml in total.
This mixture will keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Take 1tbsp of this mixture with half a cup of hot water as a small drink once a day.
Take twice a day AFTER meals if you have cold or flu type symptoms.
The ancient ways of dealing with stopping the spread of a virus was to hang a bunch of neem leaves outside the home to let others know that the household is infected. The message was - ‘I am quarantined to take care of you’. This polite message encouraged people to think of each other. We have a lot to learn from this example – we have to think carefully about how every action we take affects others – your children, your parents, your colleagues and friends. This is the very essence of consciousness.
It absolutely vital that we act consciously so that we are not carriers for the virus and spread it to others. Your support in this is critical especially for healthcare professionals and others who are carrying out essential community services many of whom are working around the clock and putting themselves at great risk to protect us all.