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11 June 2020 | 6 min read

7 Ways to Boost Immunity

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If there were ever a good time to work on ways to boost immunity, it would be now, considering how COVID is lurking in every corner of the world right now, ready to jump and take hostage of any human in sight. Was that a little too graphic? Good, because the situation is dire and we need to do anything and everything we can to make sure we put up a good fight and follow the ways to boost immunity effectively.

The science of yoga has stood the test of time and has remained relevant for thousands of years. This is not because of the marketing around it, but because of its sheer efficacy. Yoga, when strung together with elements of Ayurveda and Siddha Medicine, becomes quite a force to be reckoned with, especially in matters of health. Let me give you a few simple but potent ways in which you can work on strengthening your immune system without any side-effects so that you can sail through life with ease.

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Here is a list of ways to boost immunity:

1. Neem & Turmeric

Neem and turmeric for boosting immunity  – Live More Zone

Consuming 8–10 neem leaves and some turmeric in the morning on an empty stomach is an excellent way to build immunity as this combination greatly enhances the system’s ability to fight external organisms. Remember that it will take anywhere between three-six weeks of regular consumption to start working its magic, so this has to be done diligently.

An easy way to do this if you don’t have access to fresh neem leaves around you is to buy neem powder; turmeric is usually available in powdered form in most Indian household anyway. You can make small pills by mixing neem powder with a bit of water until a pill-sized dough is formed — you can do the same for turmeric separately, and consume a capsule of each with some lukewarm water laced with a bit of honey each morning on an empty stomach

2. Nilavembu Kashayam

Nilavembu Kashayam  – Live More Zone

Nilavembu Kashayam is a herbal concoction traditionally used in Siddha medicine {a traditional form of medicine the originated in Tamil Nadu}. This concoction is made from natural herbs such as nilavembu (green chiretta), black pepper, white sandalwood, dry ginger, vetiver, snake guard, vilamichai ver, nutgrass, and parpat, making this a powerhouse drink to prevent as well as combat all kinds of viral infections. It even reduces fever and relieves body aches, fatigues, and headaches. This drink has proven to be extremely effective against dengue.

Take a teaspoon of the powdered mix and boil it in 200ml water until the water reduces to about 50 ml — you can add some honey or jaggery to it to reduce the bitterness and consume the drink twice a day every day before your meals. The Nilavembu Kashayam can be found in local South Indian stores or even online. This is one of the most effective ways to boost immunity.

3. Amla & Honey

Amla and honey for boosting immunity – Live More Zone

I am sure we are all no strangers to the superpowers of amla or the Indian gooseberry. This little fruit is a powerhouse of vitamin C, thus helping boost immunity and prevent viral & antibacterial ailments. Also, another reason to consider adding amla to your diet every day is the body’s ability to absorb vitamin C in the amla much more quickly than store-bought supplements.

An excellent way to consume amla is to soak it overnight in honey along with some crushed peppercorns. You can then drink a spoonful with all the goodness in the morning on an empty stomach. You can continue and have about three spoons every day, but the absorption of anything medicinal like this is best done when your stomach is empty.

4. Chyawanprash

Chyawanprash for boosting immunity  – Live More Zone

It’s safe to say almost every Indian household has had a jar of this thick, dark, jammy goodness in their kitchen cupboard at some point or another. That the kids had usually run far away from it when their mums tried to put a spoonful into their mouth is a different matter. But now that we’re older, we understand the benefits of the things that we avoided in childhood. Or that’s the hope anyway.

The term ‘prash’ stands for a specially prepared food, and ‘Chyawan’ is the name of the sage for whom this particular formulation was developed to restore youth & vitality — and thus came ‘Chyawanprash’. It is so plentiful in nutritional properties, and it is often known as ‘the elixir of life’. It’s made from antioxidant-rich wild forest fruits, including the amla (Indian gooseberry) and 38 plus healing herbs aids in digestion, absorption of nutrients, boosts the immune system and brings forth energy & rejuvenation in the body. No wonder this Ayurvedic formulation has stood the test of time!

Get a jar of this goodness (from a good organic brand) and have a spoonful of it every morning to walk away with a more robust immune system.

5. Meditation & Pranayam

Meditation and Prayanam – Live More Zone

Meditation and Pranayam may not be direct ways of improving the immunity, but the inclusion of them in your daily routine will contribute in a big way towards it. How? Because our modern-day life accompaniments known as stress & anxiety can hamper the immune system drastically, among other things. And once you introduce some form of meditation & Pranayam (a way to control over your life energies) and make it a part of your everyday routine, you will find that very little can unhinge you the way it once may have. That, in turn, will have a positive impact on your immune system, and that is just the tip of the iceberg of how they can contribute to the betterment of your life by following the best ways to boost immunity.

6. Generate Samat Prana & Ushna in the System

Samat Prana Ushna  – Live More Zone

In yoga, there is something called samat prana or Samana Vayu, which is in charge of maintaining the warmth in the body. A yogi always wants his/her body to be on the warmer side; if the body cools below a particular point, it creates inertia in the body and can lead to specific ailments and conditions in the body. On the other hand, by raising the samat prana, the number of cells that die in a day can be drastically reduced, thus enabling the body to heal itself with much more efficiency — creating health in the system. Samat prana can be raised by doing certain yogic practices; any sun or ‘Surya’ oriented methods such as Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, and Surya Namaskar are all designed to raise the samat prana. Practices that have kapalabhatis incorporated in them also increase the samat prana. It is imperative to keep in mind though that any such practices should be learnt under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher, so please don’t go to Google looking for answers — it can impact you in a severely negative way.

There is another aspect in the yogic system known as ushna & sheeta, which loosely translates to heat & cold, respectively. Honestly, that is not an accurate translation, but that’s the closest it comes in the English language. If you have excess sheeta in the body, that leads to excess mucus generation in the body which can, in turn, lead to various conditions like cold and sinusitis. Ushna, on the other hand, is like a fire inside you that keeps you going and no matter the external influences, your system can handle it. The neem & turmeric I mentioned above is a simple way of doing that. Otherwise, Hatha Yoga practices, as well as some chants, can be used to generate ushna in the system.

7. Simha Kriya

Simha Kriya  – Live More Zone

While many yogic practices can gradually improve the immunity of a practitioner, Simha Kriya is a simple practice that can be learnt online and is super simple to do. This practice can boost one’s freedom and increase lung capacity and takes only a few minutes to do. It is super useful in indicating to you if you have a respiratory condition (not necessarily Covid-19) that needs to be diagnosed by the doctor. Anyone between the age of 6–70 years of age can do it and greatly benefit from it during these times when we can use all the help that we can get. Get started today with these ways to boost immunity.

All the opinions expressed in the article belong to the author and Live More Zone does not necessarily subscribe to them. Images used are representational.

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