Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ayurveda enhances immunity
Tuesday April 10 2007 16:50 IST
Dr Remya Krishnan
Infectious diseases continue to be a major health problem today, and still rank very high as a cause of death in India. The major reasons behind them include illhealthy life-style in a polluted environment, development of new drug resistant strains and constant administration of immunosuppressive therapies.
The term ‘infection’ reflects the process of successful invasion and establishment of pathogenesis in the tissues of the host, which are capable of being transmitted to another host. Once established, the pathogenesis will manifest in the form of a disease, often as a minor form or as a typical illness. Sometimes it will not manifest, depending upon various factors of the host. In Ayurveda, the host factor is considered prior to the microbe factor; though the role of several pathogens in the causation of infections is mentioned. Even if a person gets exposed to the chances of infection, he could be or not be a victim of the disease, depending on several factors.Impaired state of digestion and metabolism in the individual, more commonly occur as an outcome of an erroneous diet and lifestyle and by exogenous factors like climatic variations.

Ayurvedic approachThe mode of approach of management in Ayurveda is two-folded - prevention and cure. The following principles are adopted.Promoting digestion and metabolism of cellular toxins and metabolites by appropriate medication and specific food habits.Increasing the efficiency of natural drainage mechanism of the body by medicines and often purifactory therapies which will check the chances of a further infection.Enhancement of patient’s own immune power to combat infections by administering immunomodulatory drug formulations and a specific diet regimen.Combating infections with mere symptom alleviators like antipyretics in the case of raised body temperature and antibiotics never fight against the exact cause of pathogenesis. Irrational and prolonged use of antibiotics which include bactericidal and bacteriostatic drugs, which are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, may often cause gradual alarming resistance against these pathogens.
Impaired drainage mechanism of the body and declined immunity combined with the neglected diet and lifestyle congenial to the disease makes the individual susceptible to a more severe form of infection, even if the present one seems to be suppressed for a while.
Prevent infections
Maintenance of proper hygiene by taking daily shower in luke warm water in an empty stomach.Adoption of healthy lifestyle and food habits. Consumption of bakery foods, canned foods, drinks, too much fatty and spicy food are to be reduced to the minimum.A person most prone to a microbial attack is the person with worst digestion and excretion.Getting aware of one’s own gut and switching over to foods which favour the digestive power with moderate intake of fats and spices in normal conditions is ideal for health.Drinking warm water boiled with crushed dried ginger and coriander seeds are excellent to drain off the cellular wastes and toxins from the circulation. These drugs are immunomodulatory as well.Frequent medication fumigation with neem leaves, guggulu or asafoetida maintains the purity of atmosphere and checks the spread of infections.
Ayurveda stresses the importance of having a balanced mind in preventing and combating infection.The patient should seek medical help at the earliest and should stick on to the medications and wholesome regimen advised by the doctor for a healthy and speedy recovery.
Interesting reading- AIDS & Ayurveda
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