It’s that time of year again! It seems like people all around us are coughing, sniffling and sneezing -- a sure sign that cold and flu season is here. While the winter holiday is a time of joy and happiness, it can also be a stressful time for many. Buying gifts, preparing for family visits or travel and dealing with cold, damp weather can add to our stress levels. And, as many of us are aware, stress can weaken our immune systems. Washing hands often, avoiding direct contact with others who are sick, getting adequate rest and keeping warm, well-nourished and hydrated are all healthy practices. But even the most conscientious among us know that these aren’t always enough to ward off sickness.
In Ayurveda, the concept of immunity can be correlated to ojas, or our body’s vital essence. Ojas not only builds immunity, energy and vitality, it also creates positive emotions like love, joy and happiness. A person with healthy ojas is easy to spot -- they have a radiant glow and complexion. While there is no official modern scientific correlation to ojas, some say it is oxytocin, the bliss hormone that is released during times of intimacy and bonding, like when a mother breastfeeds her newborn baby or during lovemaking.
When we have strong ojas, all of our seven tissue layers, or dhatus, are functioning with full integrity. Having strong ojas begins with strong, toxin-free rasa, the first tissue layer, which is roughly correlated with blood plasma in modern physiology. The quality of our rasa is determined directly by the foods, substances and liquids we put into our bodies. So YES, what we consume matters! In fact, it may be the single most important factor in health, strength, immunity and disease prevention.
A quick and delicious way to build ojas is to make a morning drink with these ojas boosting foods. Blend the following ingredients in 8 - 12 ounces of milk (organic, non-homogenized or raw cow milk) or almond milk:
- 1 tsp ghee
- 5 tbsps blanched almonds
- 2 to 3 dates
- 3 to 4 strands of saffron
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 tsp raw honey
Along with the above recommendations, support a healthy immune system by prioritizing adequate sleep, maintaining a consistent daily routine by eating, exercising and sleeping at optimal times, and eating a diet of warm, nourishing, plant-based foods and grains. Drink warm water throughout the day and make sure that you have regular bowel movements with complete elimination. If necessary, support your bowels with Triphala or other digestive herbs. Taking these precautions can help you navigate through this winter’s cold and flu season in good health so that you can fully enjoy this special time with family and loved ones.
Namaste and happy holidays!
Book a FREE 15-minute consultation with Naomi to jumpstart your New Year!
Strong digestive health is key to maintaining immunity and resiliency to disease. When digestion is weak, we experience symptoms of gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. These symptoms are signaling digestion is weak. This increases your risk for all kinds of diseases and premature aging.