The months of November and December are cold, windy and dim. In addition, with the coming of the holidays, December is often a month full of activities and preparations that are added to our list, often already full of things to do. Also, many of us will feel tired, depressed or prone to catching colds, flus or other viruses. Ayurveda offers simple and effective tools to protect and strengthen immunity at this time of year. But before seeing what these tools are, it's important to understand two Ayurvedic concepts, AGNI, Digestive Fire and OJAS, Immunity.
AGNI, THE DIGESTIVE FIRE
A balanced digestive fire is the key to good body and mind health. AGNI is the biological fire that governs metabolism. It is acidic in nature and its action is to break down food and stimulate digestion. AGNI is present in every tissue and cell of the human body and its presence is necessary for their maintenance and nutrition as well as for autoimmune functions. When the balance of the doshas is out of balance, AGNI can not work at its full capacity and the metabolism is affected. Food is not digested or absorbed optimally, and undigested food or emotions become toxins for the body. An effective and balanced digestive fire is necessary to stay healthy.
Ojas is the most refined byproduct of digestion. The complete digestion of a meal takes about 24 hours, then it takes 30 days for the body to refine enough what has been eaten to produce Ojas. Unfortunately, during this period, several factors can compromise the production of Ojas and deplete our reserves, creating health problems. Stress, intense or prolonged physical activity, excessive activity and excessive sex burn our Ojas reserves. Ojas governs aging, immunity, complexion, vigor, mood, sleep, digestion, spirituality and physical strength. And yes, all that! This is why Ojas production is extremely important in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, Ojas means '' vigor '' and '' the physical expression of consciousness ''.
STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
To strengthen your immune system, especially in this season of Vata, you must first rest, slow down. In our hyper connected and busy lifestyle, it is often difficult to find rest time. To do this, we must prioritize it. A few minutes a day of relaxation or meditation will already have a lot of effect on your health. Going to bed early and disconnecting from electronic devices in the evening is also a good idea. Think about it, in nature, most animals winter and slow down their activities. It was the same for the human before the arrival of electricity. Yoga and meditation are excellent practices for strengthening one's immunity.
MAKE THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM MORE EFFICIENT
You will help your digestion a lot by eating hot meals in this cold season. Avoid salads, smoothies and crudités and prefer rather good hot soups, stews and dishes in sauce such as dhal or chili. This simple habit will help your digestive fire to optimize. Use fresh ginger, pepper, cardamom, Indian celery seed and fennel in your recipes to balance and stimulate digestion.
CONSUME FOODS THAT PROMOTE OJAS PRODUCTION
These foods are excellent all year round to build your immunity reserves, especially if you are physically active:
-Organic whole milk (cooked with spices)
-Ghee (clarified butter)
-White or brown basmati rice
-Sesame and pumpkin seeds
-Figs and raisins (soaked)
-Bone marrow soup
OJAS MILK RECIPE TO STRENGTHEN ITS IMMUNITY
This recipe is excellent to taste and will please the whole family. It's also the perfect post-workout drink. -2 cups of organic milk (cow or goat)
-4 dates soaked, pitted and chopped
-10 blanched and crushed almonds
-2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
-1/2 c. ground cardamom seeds
-A pinch of dry ginger
-1/4 c. cinnamon
-A pinch of saffron
Heat the milk over medium heat in a saucepan, incorporating all ingredients except saffron. Stir gently from time to time until the milk simmers. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Blend until homogeneous consistency. Pour into a cup and add a pinch of saffron.