SPRINGS, Colo. ó Howís your ojas these days?
the Sanskrit word for the immune system, and we all can use a
little boost in that department.
I am a
big fan of ayurveda, which often is called the sister science
to yoga. Itís the traditional system of medicine in India,
used for thousands of years, that seeks to balance the body
through diet, herbs and lifestyle choices. Food and spices are
considered medicine in ayurveda.
a combination of healthy lifestyle choices, said Carly Beaudin,
clinical ayurvedic specialist and owner and founder of Ancient
good metaphor for understanding ojas is itís the honey of
the body," she said. "The bee goes out, collects
pieces of flowers, brings it back and makes it into amazing
honey. Ojas is like sap."
make those good health choices, our immune systems naturally
strengthen and we can fight off the germs that enter our
systems on a daily basis. Beaudin has a number of suggestions
to work into your daily routine. Imagine each one as a deposit
in the bank of your future good health.
During periods of cold, wet weather, eat warm, cooked and
spiced foods, such as soups and root vegetables. Beaudin
recommends spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, cardamom,
cinnamon and fennel. Theyíre all considered warming to the
is opposing the qualities that create issues in our
body," she said. "The cold is our problem right now
in winter so we counteract that by being warm. As we shift
into different seasons, we shift what we give our body."
Healthy, strong digestion is the golden fleece in ayurveda.
Take an honest look at the foods and beverages you consume.
Pay attention to those that give you gas, constipation,
indigestion or a heaviness in your body.
to get to a point where you are able to digest everything. For
now, avoid the substances that make your body unhappy, and
work on improving digestion by adding spices to foods you know
work well in your system.
cold liquids and foods during cold months. This is a blanket
statement, Beaudin said. While each personís constitution is
different and requires different practices, every person will
benefit from forgoing cold items.
beverages for the immune system are tragic," she said.
They can dampen agni ó the internal fire that helps fight
pathogens and viruses. You want that fire to burn as strongly
as possible in winter.
more herbs. Two that build ojas in everyone are amalaki and
has the highest concentrated form of vitamin C in any plant
life. You can order it online or find it at herbal
apothecaries. Ashwaganda traditionally has been prescribed to
help strengthen the immune system after an illness, reports
the website Chopra.com. You can take them in capsule form or
place a teaspoon of the whole herb in a cup of warm water.
excellent ojas builder is ghee, which is clarified butter. You
can buy it at most grocery or natural food stores.
essential oils. There are hundreds of oils, such as tea tree
and eucalyptus, to choose from, Beaudin said, and theyíre
all anti-fungal and anti-bacterial by nature. Anytime you use
them, you help kill bacteria and boost the immune system.
Take warm baths and add essential oils. Make room sprays by
putting filtered water into a bottle and adding drops of oil
to it. Spray counters, hands, yoga mats ó anything that
might carry germs.
fight the flu, Beaudin recommends eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary,
ginger, cardamom and clove.
your body and your breath. Yoga and meditation always are
recommended, Beaudin said.
really important to keep moving during this season and get the
heart to pump. Whatever it takes to get off the couch, do
it," she said.
and rejuvenation. Summer and its longer, light-filled days are
coming, so itís good to prepare now for the sunshine and
note ó too much sleep can be as bad for the immune system as
too little sleep, Beaudin said.
we can get away with in the summer," she said. "A
good rule of thumb is eight hours, but between seven to nine
is a good window."