Blog written by: Dr Anju Balakrishnan
The respiratory system is one of the most vital systems in our body, as it is responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. However, the respiratory system is also prone to many illnesses, especially during the cold and flu season.
To maintain healthy respiratory health, it's essential to keep your immune system strong. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, has a lot of natural remedies and practices to boost your immune system and promote better respiratory health.
In Ayurveda, the immune system is referred to as "Ojas." It's believed that Ojas are responsible for protecting the body against diseases and maintaining overall health. According to Ayurveda, a strong immune system depends on the balance of three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When these three doshas are balanced, the immune system functions correctly, and the body can fight off diseases.
Here are some Ayurvedic practices that can help boost your immune system and promote better respiratory health.
Proper Nutrition: Ayurveda emphasizes eating fresh, whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Foods that are high in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, can help boost your immune system. Similarly, herbs like ginger and turmeric are known for their immune-boosting properties. Ayurveda also recommends avoiding processed foods and refined sugars, which can weaken the immune system.
Herbal Remedies: Ayurveda has a rich tradition of using herbs and spices for medicinal purposes. Some herbs, like ashwagandha and guduchi (giloy), are known for their immune-boosting properties. Others, like tulsi or holy basil, are used for their antibacterial and antiviral properties, making them useful in fighting respiratory infections. Ayurvedic practitioners may also recommend herbal teas to strengthen the immune system.
Regular Exercise: Exercise is an essential part of maintaining good health, including respiratory health. Regular physical activity can improve lung function and circulation, which can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections. Ayurveda recommends gentle forms of exercise, like yoga which helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Adequate Sleep: Sleep is vital for overall health, including immune health. During sleep, the body repairs and restores itself, including the immune system. It is recommended to establish 7-8 hours of sleep each night and a regular sleep routine. Turning off electronics before bedtime and avoiding caffeine can also help improve sleep quality.
Stress Reduction: Stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of respiratory infections. Ayurveda recommends practices like meditation, breathing exercises, or mindfulness to help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Practising these techniques regularly can help strengthen the immune system and improve respiratory health.
Oil Pulling: Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil (usually coconut or sesame oil) in the mouth for several minutes. This practice is believed to improve oral health and promote overall health, including immune health. Some studies have also suggested that oil pulling may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to respiratory health that focuses on balancing the doshas and strengthening the immune system. By following these practices, you can help boost your immune system, reduce the risk of respiratory infections, and maintain good respiratory health. However, it's important to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. With the right guidance, you can achieve optimal respiratory health with Ayurveda.