#10 – Boosting Your Immunity


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Boosting Your Immunity

Ojas is the final by-product of proper assimilation of food, and the glue that binds the body, mind and soul. Any foods that turn the food quickly into ojas are good for immunity. Ojas production will result in proper functioning of all organs and creates vitality which manifests as resistance to illness and disease.

Foods for enhancing immunity:

Sweet, ripe and organic fruit such as pears, mangoes, plums, peaches, grapes, cooked apples and pomegranate.

Foods like milk, ghee, almonds, mung dal/beans, rice, saffron, paneer, amaranth, aged basmati rice and quinoa are also immune-boosting foods. Soaked and peeled almonds, sesame seeds and walnuts are also good choices. Lassis are a good immune-boosting beverage.

Use spices in your cooking as they help in assimilation and absorption of nutrients. Turmeric, cumin, black pepper, ginger and garlic are some ama-burning spices. They also ignite your digestive fire thus helping with metabolism and strengthening resistance to disease.

Lifestyle:

Eat according to your doshic needs and season. Eat only three fourths of your capacity to leave room for proper digestion. Continue to maintain your daily routine, which includes meditation, exercise and abhyanga. Get adequate sleep as this is one of the fastest way to boost your immunity. Practice savasana for reducing stress, lowering your blood pressure, heart rate and for promoting deeper sleep. Doing panchakarma twice a year is highly recommended for cleansing and detoxifying the body/mind.

Ama-creating foods to avoid:

Canned, processed, foods with additives and preservatives are hard to digest and create ama in the body. Meat is considered an amagenic food in Ayurveda. Eating late at night is disruptive to liver function and causes sluggishness and creates ama in the body. White sugar and alcohol are some of the worst ama-producing foods. Ama impairs white blood cell activity and depresses the immune system.

Healthy relationships and self-discipline build immunity. Eat well, get plenty of rest, be happy and loving and you will have a strong immune system.

Mantras

Literally, Mrytunjaya means victory over death and certainly one of the most effective uses of this mantra is to ease the end of life transition. But it is also very effective for boosting our overall health and resistance.

The mantra is found in both the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda. There are two forms of the mantra; the first is the bija or seed version which holds the essence of the full mantra.
OM jum saha

The whole mantra is

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushthi Vardhanam
Urvar Ukamiva Bandhanat
Mrytyor Muksheeya Mamritatay

It sounds intimidating at first, but with very little practice you will be able to at least read the mantra comfortably. Just 27 times a day will bring noticeable results and you’ll have it memorized in no time.

The other mantra is for the Divine Physician, Dhanvantri, the form of Vishnu who emerges out of the ocean of milk holding the nectar of immortality.  His mantra is also a little on the long side, but still you can read it 27 times in under 10 minutes.

OM Namo Bhagavate
Vasudevaya Dhanvantaraye
Amurta Kalasa Hastaya
Sarva Ama Vinashanaya
Thri Loka Nathaya
Sri Maha Vishnave Swaha

Essentially the mantra means that I honor Vishnu in the form of Dhanvantri who holds the nectar of immortality, he removes all fear and all diseases. He is the protector and sustainer of the 3 worlds.


Aparna Khanolkar is an Ayurvedic lifestyle and culinary coach in Santa Barbara and travels throughout the LA region to teach workshops. She offers Vedic cooking classes in Santa Barbara and is always available for phone consultations.  Contact her at 805-698-5630 or aparna@themistressofspice.com.
Aparna’s new cookbook, Happy Belly, Happy Soul is now available!

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