How to Boost My Resistance to Disease
With the recent international concern about the spread of the coronavirus – scientific designation 2019-nCoV, I was reminded of an Ayurvedic principle beek-bhumi which translates to the Seed and Land Theory.
Have you heard of this theory? It made a lot of sense to me when I first heard about it. Let’s take a closer look at the wisdom of this theory…
Seed and Land Theory Explained
The seed and soil analogy points out that when a soil is fertile any seeds falling there will germinate and grow readily but if the soil is infertile even if lots of seeds fall there and germinate they will not grow.
In the same way, we do not get sick even if exposed to a lot of infection if our bodies do not provide the conditions for the growth of the infections.
This analogy gives us hope as it explains that if you are strong enough, viruses and pathogens do not stand a chance of taking hold or sprouting into dis-ease.
In this sense Ayurveda explains that your body can become so strong it is infertile to the spread of viruses and pathogens, that is they have no ground upon which to settle or propagate.
Isn’t that a good thought to have when one reads the headlines today…
While I have no doubt that this is strictly true it is wise to also adopt sensible means to reduce the amount of infection one is exposed to – e.g. washing hands often etc.
How to be Strong Enough
The key to a body that is infertile to the seeds of disease or put another way, viruses and pathogens cannot take root within is to maintain bala or strength (the word for immunity). Being able to maintain bala or bodily strength is determined by two key factors – ojas and ama. Ama is sometimes referred to as the villain and ojas the hero!
- Ojas is the substance of refined and complete digestion which nourishes immunity in the body, mind and consciousness. When Ojas is strong then resistance to disease is strong.
- Ama is the opposite – an accumulation of sticky impurities that arise when digestion is partial or incomplete.
As this product of undigested food moves through the body it causes congestion blocking the channels through which food is carried to the cells, congesting the channels that remove waste and blocking the micro-channels of the immune system. As you would gather from this, the body’s self-healing mechanism can be severely challenged especially when the clogged channels become a breeding ground for further infection and free radicals.
3 Step Programme for Boosting Resistance to Disease
Step 1: Rest well
Luciana Besedovsky, Tanja Lange, and Jan Borncorresponding in their research Sleep and Immune Function published 2011 Nov 10 said: “Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions…
Over the last 15 years, research following a systems approach of neuroimmunology has accumulated surprisingly strong evidence that sleep enhances immune defence, in agreement with the popular wisdom that ‘sleep helps healing’.”
This supports the Ayurvedic wisdom of being in bed by 10 pm light out and having 7.5 to 9 hours of undisturbed sleep a night.
When I say well-rested I also include in this category the deep rest that the body and mind gains when one practices Transcendental Meditation. The level of rest gained within just a few minutes is twice as deep as that at the deepest part of sleep as measured by oxygen consumption. If you already practise Transcendental Meditation then be regular over this time and if you don’t seriously consider attending an introductory talk to learn more about it. It is a game-changer.
Step 2: Create Ojas not Ama
The key to creating Ojas and not Ama is having a strong digestive system which is created by eating quality food matched to the needs of the season, at the right time of the day with full attention – that is without watching TV, using a computer, tablet or phone. My shorthand list to help you achieve this is:
- Eat your largest meal of the day at lunchtime and take a smaller and lighter evening meal by 6 to 6.30 pm so that you have 3 hours between your last food and bedtime. Lighter meal means to avoid taking cheese, yoghurt, fried foods, meats or animal products after 2 pm.
- Choose foods that match the season you are in and eat fresh foods that are freshly prepared. This means avoiding ama creating foods such as canned, packaged or frozen foods and foods that are hard to digest during winter such as raw food and salads and studiously avoiding leftovers. Better to waste leftovers in the bin than to waste them in your body, as they become a fertile ground for impurities which weaken your immune system as it responds to keep you well. Favour lightly cooked and warm to hot over raw or cold food and drinks.
- Drink sips of Vata Tea during winter or Kapha Tea if your body type is Kapha every 15-30 minutes throughout the day.
Step 3: Take Amrit Kalash Duo Daily
This potent Rasayana is a unique blend of over 40 herbs and fruits that help to enliven the underlying intelligence within the body. When the intelligence in your body is stimulated or enlivened Ayurveda explains the body is more easily able to create the life-giving and immune protecting substance Ojas.
The two-part formula taken together helps to
- Support and strengthen all levels of the body and mind promoting energy, immunity and general health. People report feeling happier, more resilient, alert and creative with more energy and greater inner calm.
- Amrit Kalash Nectar helps to strengthen the heart, mind and immune system.
- Amrit Kalash Ambrosia helps to strengthen the brain, nervous system and mental functions, helping to support, happiness, creativity, mental balance and refined awareness.
- Take 1-2 tablets of both Amrit Kalash Nectar and Amrit Kalash Ambrosia prior meditation or 30 minutes prior to breakfast in the morning and prior to the afternoon meditation or 30 minutes prior to your evening meal.
In addition, you may like to take this immunity-boosting drink at bedtime as it combines key foods, spices and herbs that help to build and maintain Ojas levels.
Place 1 cup of organic whole milk (you may substitute with non-dairy milk, such as coconut, almond or hemp) and the ingredients below into a pot. Then bring to the boil slowly.
- Chopped dates (1 tbsp)
- Chopped almonds (2 tsp)
- Coconut meat or flakes (1 tbsp)
- Saffron (1/2 tsp)
- Ghee (1-2 tsp) or replace with 1-2 tsp of Coconut Butter
- Cardamom (1/8 tsp)
- Add 1 tablet of Shatavari and 1 tablet of Ashwagandha
Once boiled, drink at a comfortable temperature. This tasty drink is a tonic that is good to take within 30 minutes of bed.
As everyone is more susceptible to respiratory problems when the seasons are changing, such as in early spring (late February to early March) it is important to adjust your diet and routine and follow the ayurvedic guidelines for the seasonal transitions or you can build up ama.
In the early spring, there is an added factor, because ama accumulated during the winter starts to melt, flooding the microchannels and overloading the immune system. The body’s immune system is weakened and becomes a fertile ground for bacteria and allergens.
Once the body is fertile for disease, it is easy for a cold or flu to sprout, as in the seed and land theory mentioned earlier. So lookout for the seasonal cleanse instructions in late February or Early March and commit now to completing a gentle seasonal cleanse. For now, follow the recommendations above to minimise the accumulation of ama and to optimise the strength of your immunity now.
Wishing you health, strong immunity and a peaceful mind built upon your assurance of a healthy and strong body and mind.
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212237525
DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine.