Our personal immunity is dependent on three factors. We have an inherited reserve, an aquired reserve and the third factor is the quality of digestion. Our personal reserve is regarded as an essence, known in Ayurveda as ojas.
Our inherited reserve is given at birth so we can not alter that. We can work on the other two factors to improve our current condition.
The proper digestion and assimilation of food maintains our ojas. Eating wholesome food in harmony with our constitution and the season is important. Other supporting actions are healthy breathing habits, sufficient quality sleep and healthy, moderate sexual activity. These will all help to maintain ojas. Our diet and lifestyle are the first priority in maintaining our natural defences. A regular, appropriate Yoga practice including pranayama is crucial to give good circulation and correct flow and function of prana. These are the things to do to preserve and improve our reserve.
Avoiding actions that deplete our reserve is the other aspect of action. Incorrect diet and habits, lack of sleep and sleeping at the wrong times, excessive stress, overwork and excessive sexual activity are the actions to avoid.
Herbs and tonic foods can help to nourish ojas. Some examples are ghee, amla and ashwagandha. Herbs can also help to protect us from invading bacteria or viruses.There are three ways that they can do this. First there are herbs that disable the intruder such as elderberry included in our Organic Three Berry Tea. Other herbs can strengthen the cell walls preventing access to intruders. Echinacea is an example of this. Then there are herbs that stimulate the bodies immune response (they increase the white blood cell count) such as Andrographis. The first two are preventive to enhance our defenses and Andrographis is best taken at the first sign of symptoms.
Wishing you a healthy Autumn.