The Covid-19 Virus has focused global attention on the phenomenon of immunity and of how much we still need to learn about this vital subject. Modern science has discovered a great deal about our immune systems and the miraculous way it differentiates “the friendly from the pathogenic.” The development of vaccines, especially since the mid 20th century has saved countless lives by enhancing herd immunity to diseases like polio, measles, pertussis and many strains of influenza. A vaccine to protect us from Covid-19 seems to offer the best hope for controlling this new virus and its spread in the collective. However the collective (the family of man) consists entirely of individuals and each is born with substantial and natural immunity. This birthright can be increased, or diminished.
Immunity is not a new discovery. Masters of Ayurveda, India’s traditional medical system, described immunity in great detail around five thousand years ago. According to Ayurveda, immunity is associated with a subtle liquid substance called Ojas, a sanskrit word meaning “strength.” We can enhance Ojas by following sensible dietary and lifestyle guidelines. Ojas is depleted if we are careless about self-care.
Our bodies can produce Ojas from food just as it produces new plasma, red blood cells, muscle, fat, bone, nerve and reproductive tissue. These seven tissues are produced one after the other at intervals of five days. Ojas is the last and most refined product of digestion. It is produced in small quantities from reproductive tissue.
Not all foods produce Ojas equally. Foods which are high in Ojas producing capacity include avocados, bananas, dates, figs, almonds (skins removed),yams and sweet potatoes, leafy greens, zucchini, and mung beans. Raw (unpasteurized) milk and honey also enhance production of Ojas.
Food which can contribute to Ojas depletion include cold, raw, old, canned, fried, frozen and otherwise devitalized foods. Meat (necessary on certain diets) does not lend itself to production of Ojas.
While diet is essential in producing Ojas and enhancing immunity, lifestyle considerations are also important. Negativity in all forms (thoughts, words and deeds) lower the energy necessary to produce and maintain Ojas. Stress in all its manifestations also robs us of precious Ojas and makes us more vulnerable to illness. In future posts, I will write about ways to reduce stress in our lives as we wait for a new and better world on the other side of this crisis.
Ojas is not available in capsule or tablet, it cannot be taken by mouth or injected, it is not available for sale in the market place. Ojas, its strength and security, is the product of life in balance.
I know that you share with me the hope that we will emerge from this pandemic with new tools and information for living the high destiny for which we were born.