Within days of the Covid-19 pandemic declaration, people were already familiarizing themselves with the symptoms of the deadly bug. Of the various facts and snippets that we all learned during the time, an important point that stood out was the role our immunity had to play in all of this. Not only is the state of our immune system crucial in determining how much damage the coronavirus inflicts on an infected person, but it also dictates how healthy we stay throughout the course of our lives.
Now that various Covid-19 vaccines have been created and are currently being circulated among the general population, we will probably relegate our personal immunity to the backseat yet again. And although we may not see any major differences immediately, in the long run, it is better to focus on building the body’s immune system and our innate immunity. This view is exactly what Ayurveda has been preaching since time immemorial.
Vaccination and its Progress
The Human race has progressed to a state wherein we have almost doubled our average life expectancy over the course of just one century. The average worldwide human life expectancy in 1900 was 46-48 years. 110 years later, the average life expectancy increased to 60-71 years. Advancements in Medical Technology have made this possible. Great strides in medicines, especially immunization techniques and vaccinations, are key factors in the process of increasing longevity.
However, we need to understand that while vaccines have their place in society and are generally accepted as a standard procedure, it is still an artificial means of increasing immunity. Our bodies have a system and series of checks and balances in place to combat bacterial and viral intruders. Upon activation, these systems generally eliminate the trespasser. Vaccines work by triggering these systems with an inactivated form of the disease-causing microbe. This process, however, places a great amount of stress on the body. This is why our mothers would scold us to rest and eat well just after getting shots. Vaccines aid us by boosting immunity but trigger these same defense systems in the process. Varying the dosage can partially control the vaccine-induced stress.
We need to take into consideration that vaccinations are an external aid we provide our bodies with. As such, we should carefully consider the stress and strain they put on our bodies. Despite the obvious upside they provide us with, Vaccines have a few side effects to them, some of which could be quite serious. A blog post on the Harvard Health Publishing forum provides an in-depth explanation of the side effects of the Corona Vaccine. The most commonly observed reactions include body pain, muscle aches/cramps, fever, nausea and swelling. They also report a total of 23 deaths in Norway among the elderly vaccine recipients. The exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed and may be due to the stress the vaccine produces on the human body.
Healthier and younger individuals will probably be able to handle the stress-induced due to the vaccine much better. However, we also need to understand that Vaccines do not directly harm the body. Any serious health problems caused after receiving vaccinations is probably due to the weak state of our own body.
In addition to the weakening of the body, there have been a few reported side effects of Corona Vaccine. These include:
●Nausea and Vomiting.
Some of the more severe side effects could result in extreme allergic reactions which could be potentially fatal. However, these extreme reactions occur rarely, if at all, and are generally observed immediately after vaccination and can be treated quickly with Epinephrine.
Corona through an Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurvedic practices and cures focus on building the immune system while slowly eradicating the root cause of the ailments that affect our bodies. They aren't focused on obtaining immediate and visible results (unlike western medicine, vaccines, etc.). Instead, Ayurvedic formulations are designed to completely eliminate the underlying problem over weeks and maybe even months. This approach guarantees that our body eventually becomes competent enough to prevent being infected by the same issues repeatedly. For this to happen, Ayurveda has devised a guiding principle termed as Swasthvritta.
The principle prescribes a lifestyle that prioritizes physical and mental health to prevent the onset of diseases. Additionally, maintaining personal hygiene, following key seasonal practices and engaging in adequate social interaction is recommended to maintain one’s health. Eating nutritionally rich foods and Ayurveda prescribed herbal formulations, practicing yoga or other physical activities to keep the body in shape and, most importantly, maintaining a positive mindset all go a long way in bolstering the immune system. Following a pre-planned daily routine, dincharya, which includes pranayama, is sure to boost your internal energy and keep your ojas balanced.
Another aspect of our health we need to keep in mind is the state of the Doshas in our body. Vata, Pitta and Kapha, collectively termed as Tridosha, are the three biological energies in our body that drive us. Living in a balanced and equitable state of Tridosha is essential for health. Fire in the outer world achieves growth by air, and the element of water controls the fire which would otherwise burn and consume everything in its way. Similar to this balance in nature, the forces in our body also complements and controls each other. If the gall within our body is increased by air, and if the inner fire is not controlled by phlegm, the metals of the body begin to be consumed.
Ayurveda believes that Vata, Pitta, and Kapha together regulate the metabolic processes of the body. That is, if Vata increases, then catabolic and decaying processes increase in the body as well. It is easier to understand from nature and natural examples that Kapha dosha naturally prevails during the early years of life i.e. till adolescence as it is a period of physical growth. In the middle years of life, during one’s youth, Pitta dosha prevails because during this period the body transitions to an adult phase and there is a need for stability. Vata dosha naturally prevails in old age because it is a period of aging and catabolic processes ensure optimum working of the body. To learn more about doshas and how to keep them in check head on over to Six Delicious Recipes to Balance your Dosha.
The Importance of Tridosha in maintaining our Health
Similar to how these complex energies strike a delicate balance to keep our bodies healthy and active, we too need to find the balance between work and personal health to take care of ourselves. The best way to do this is by inculcating certain practices and habits in our daily routines. Things like:
- Drinking an herbal tea (like the Amrutam Gold malt or the Brainkey Gold Malt) daily to boost your immunity,
- Going on walks or engaging in other physical activities to stimulate the heart and muscles,
- Taking sufficient rest,
- Consuming nutritional foods,
- Bathing and cleaning oneself daily are all small yet significant tasks that ultimately strengthen one’s mind and body.
Such daily acts will eventually result in a stronger immune system and body. This in turn makes it easier to deal with the various health problems that affect us. For an in-depth explanation about Dincharya and related aspects, check out Dincharya and Hrutucharya - The Wheels of Ayurveda Lifestyle.
Building a natural immunity to viruses that spread very quickly may not be entirely possible by just following Ayurvedic practices. But it is possible to be prepared and keeping our body fit and healthy greatly increases our ability to fight the disease. Our body is akin to a multi-specialty factory. It manufactures different products depending on the need of the minute – including biomolecules that fight against diseases. All we need to do is be prepared and ensure that the gears of our body are well-oiled.
Our ancestors established Ayurveda as a science specifically to help human life. By and large, Ayurveda is a way of life. We can never remain happy and healthy by walking contrary to nature. To be healthy, we have to utilize natural resources and the best way to do this is via Ayurveda.