According to Ayurveda, ojas are believed to be responsible for the overall health, well-being, immunity, intelligence, and thought process of the individual. According to the Ayurveda, Immunity is considered as Vyadhikshamatva or Bala or Ojas, the body’s resistance is not only important for the prevention of diseases but also speedy recovery from illness.

Since ancient times, Rasayana (Rejuvenation) being used to enhance the Ojas or Bala. Rasayana’s are rejuvenating agents that promote resistance against diseases, both physically and mentally, thus improving overall health. Ayurvedic herbs are enriched in antioxidants, which help to enhance immunity and protects against infections.

Some of the commonly described herbs in Ayurvedic literature which help to boost our immunity are as follows,

  • ASHWAGANDHA – Withania somnifera

All parts of the plant like leaves, seeds, roots, bark, and fruit are consumed for their medicinal properties but the most commonly used part is the root.

  • It provides a defense against diseases by improving cell-mediated immunity.
  • Being a rich source of antioxidants it protects against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

  • AMLA – Emblica Officinalis

It is perhaps one of the richest sources of vitamin C and is perfect for overall immunity, as it can rejuvenate and revitalize the body’s systems.

  • It is rich in iron, calcium, and several other minerals which make it a complete house for nutrition that enhances immunity.
  • It has various antioxidants that can help neutralize the free radicals and thus protect against many diseases.

  • YASTIMADHU/ MULETHI – Glycyrrhiza glabra

According to Ayurveda, Mulethi is sweet to taste, slimy, and heavy. It is efficacious in treating vata disorders and Regular use boosts immunity.

  • Glycyrrhizin – a type of saponins found in Mulethi is known for its anti-microbial action.
  • It enhances immunity by boosting levels of interferon, which is a key immune system chemical.
  • Mulethi is believed to be an anti-aging agent and natural revitalizer

  • SHUNTI/GINGER – Zingiber Officinalis

Ginger is very versatile – it can be had fresh, powdered, or oil form or in dry candied/ juice form, and intake of antioxidant herbs like ginger shoot may keep the immune system healthy.

  • Gingerol, an active compound present in ginger is responsible for its immune-boosting activity.
  • Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in ginger improve immunity in the body.

  • TULSI – Ocimum sanctum

It is considered one of the potent herbs that act as a natural immune system booster.

  • It contains photochemical, antioxidants, and bioflavonoid that makes this herb into multi nutritious which acts against different ailments.
  • It increases T helper cells and natural killer cell activity, boosting the immune system.

6. HARIDRA/TURMERIC – Curcuma longa

Turmeric is used widely in India both for cooking and medicinal purposes. It is considered a natural way to boost the immune system by increasing the immune-modulating capacity of the body.

  • Curcumin a component found in turmeric helps up in boosting immunity and provides a defensive mechanism against viral replication.
  • Turmeric is consumed along with milk to combat cold and it enhances immunity

7. NIMBA/NEEM – Azadirachta indica

Since time immemorial, neem has been respected and widely used as an immunity booster helping the body’s ability to fight all kinds of infections.

  • It is very effective in keeping the body safe from attacks by harmful pathogens, due to its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
  • It purifies the blood by flushing away toxins and keeps it clean. 

8. SHIGRU/MORINGA – Moringa oleifera

Moringa is an herb that can help to combat many health complications.

  • This magic tree is nutritionally very rich, different parts such as leaves, bark, fruits, and flowers are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Being a natural source of multivitamin and multimineral increases immunity naturally not only that, Moringa also contains some other vital nutrients that strengthen your cells, tissues, muscles, and help your body heal.
  • It is known as a superfood for having high levels of potassium, iron, calcium, and amino acids.

9. BLACK CUMIN – Nigella sativa

Black cumin seeds and oil extracted from them, both act as antioxidants and help flush out free radicals that weaken your immunity.

  • It is a rich source of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
  • It enhances the immune system by increasing lymphocyte production

10. BALA – Sida cordifolia

The ultimate immunity-boosting herb Bala has an Adaptogenic and immunomodulatory action, it is used for its nourishing and strengthening properties.

  • Due to its nourishing and strengthening properties, it is used as Rasayana.
  • It is considered an immune-boosting herb due to its Rasayana property.

Other herbs useful to improve the immunity

  • Brahmi
  • Guduchi/Giloy
  • Triphala
  • Lasuna/Garlic
  • Manduka parni/Gotukola
  • Shatavari
  • Vacha

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827274/
  • . Bhavaprakasha of bhavamisra commentary by Dr. Bulusu Sitaram,chaukhambha orientalia, Varanasi reprint edition 2015, Tpg 742

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