Mr. Chintan Gandhi, guides us to boost immunity.
Are you ready for the pandemic of 2025? I know this sounds absurd, especially while we are still stuck amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of cases, especially in India, are increasing daily. But, if you study the recent frequency of appearance of novel zoonotic viruses, it is increasingly evident that such contagions, epidemics and / or pandemics are here to stay. In fact, a “perfect storm” could be brewing with new diseases from wildlife waiting to jump over due to increasing human encroachment and destruction of wild habitats. While we try to relate to this uneasy truth, we should also understand the skyrocketing significance of human immune function. Hence, creating an urgent need for us to reimagine this first line of defense for our health, shifting from the prevalent treatments and healthcare systems to our individual immunity.
With this focus on immunity, globally medicines from nature are once again being reconsidered as an alternative modern allopathic medicine. Although while gaining popularity, only few medicinal herbs have been scientifically evaluated for their potency in medical treatment. Phytomedicine, which is plant-based traditional medicinal practice that uses plant materials in preventive and therapeutic processes, is believed to treat the very root cause of disease and increase immunity.
Traditional Indian systems of health, like Ayurveda provide an ideal healthcare solution to people across age groups, as they can even be used for long term treatment of ailments without significant side effects. It also gives us the science of Rasayana to augment our health and wellness. Products infused with the goodness of Giloy and rejuvenating Rasayana herbs, significantly help the gut microbiome thereby improving immunity and overall physiological functioning of the body. The need of the hour for concerned Governing authorities, is to provide medically validated recommendations and ‘instructions’ to the citizens on how to augment immunity through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. It is in this scenario where, phyto-medicines or modern Ayurveda can play a significant role.
The latest research has focused on the gut microbiome as a source of immunity and good health. Plant based prebiotics are hugely preferred as they contain Arabinogalactan, a polysaccharide from the stem of the Giloy / Guduchi plant (Tinospora cordifolia) that acts as food for good bacteria in the gut, thereby promoting a healthy microbiome in the gut. Some of the other widely accepted herbs and ingredients for building immunity include Amla and Ashwagandha. There are others that assist in the healing process, enhance wellbeing, reduce stress levels and remove dangerous cancerous cells among other benefits.
1.Giloy / Guduchi:
Known as Amrita, in Sanskrit which translates to ‘the root of immortality’, the botanical name for Giloy is Tinospora cordifolia. The stem of giloy plant is used for the treatment of chronic and intermittent fever. Boosts immunity, reduces stress, treats Arthritis & diabetes, Fights respiratory diseases, improves digestion & vision, reduces signs of aging and helps the body to heal wounds faster.
Amla is famous in India for its many health benefits and its quality to treat countless ailments. Ayurveda claims that amla can balance the three doshas in our body, namely: kapha, vata, pitta, thereby eliminating the underlying cause of many diseases. Amla has wide benefits for skin wellness
Is an adaptogenic herb that is considered one of the most important herbs in the Ayurvedic medicine system, a healthcare practice that started in India over 3,000 years ago. Modern studies have shown that ashwagandha might be beneficial for a number of uses such as helping ease anxiety, helps in cure for arthritis, maintaining a healthy heart health, Alzheimer’s treatment and even cancer.
Popular as “haldi” in India, it is one of the most researched herbs world-over for its anti-cancer properties. Haldi is a potent antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory herb having high antiseptic values. Its principal component curcumin has the ability to kill cancerous cells while not harming healthy cells. Its potent anti-oxidant fights free radicals thus inhibiting the growth of cancer cells
Commonly known as “Tulsi”, it is considered as a sacred herb traditionally, primarily perhaps, because of multi-healing properties. It is used for improved immunity and fighting stress. Research has shown that it also possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-diabetic and anti-stress properties. Studies have shown that the phytochemicals present in tulsi prevent chemically induced lung, liver, oral and skin cancers by increasing the antioxidant activity, altering gene expressions, killing cancer cells and preventing the spread of cancer to other cells.
Ginger heals the gut, mobilises quick movement of food in the gut, reduces bloating and painful cramp. Ginger also activates the digestive juices. Garlic also does wonders for digestion and useful in flushing out toxins
In Ayurveda, the immunity boosters are unending. Combine this with a Daily practice of yoga, pranayama, and meditation, and you will not only have a fighter duo, but the correct weapons to empower yourself with in the new era.