A healthy immune system is the key to avoiding flu, preventing cancer, and living a life of vitality and longevity. In today’s frantic paced society we are more stressed than ever and our immune systems are bearing the brunt of it, as evidenced by the ever increasing rates of cancer and other autoimmune diseases like, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
In Ayurveda terms, prevention is the best medicine., and strengthening one’s immune system is essential. It is more beneficial to stay healthy than to try to restore health after it is lost. The road to recovery can be long.
Ayurveda gives us tips for daily routines and to balance each individual’s constitution (dosha). Some of these include specific times of day for arising, bathing, eating, resting, exercise, meditation, and bedtime. Consistency is the key. Yet many find that sticking to a self care routine is challenging. In our fast paced culture there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, which contributes to the vicious cycle leading to chronic illness.
Ayurveda offers some alternatives to going through life, weak, frazzled, sick, and exhausted. Supported by scientific research here are three ancient herbs that support a healthy lifestyle when used properly and consistently.
1) Ashwaghanda: is a popular ayurvedic medicine that is “good for just about anything that ails you”. Traditionally it is recommended to clear the mind, calm the nerves, and promote restful sleep. Ashwaghanda has been found to improve thinking skills in double-blind, clinical research. Its active ingredients may bolster the immune system, buck up stamina, fight inflammation and infections, oppose tumors, reduce stress, and protect the liver. It may also prevent diabetes, combat malaria, and appears to strengthen bones.
2) Guggul: is the resin of a small indian tree. It stimulates the skin, mucous membranes, and kidneys to excrete toxins. This herb also relieves pain and strengthens the thyroid by raising the blood level of thyroid hormones. Its strong anti-inflammatory action makes guggul the best medicine for relieving many kinds of arthritis. In india, the standardized extract of this herb is a cholesterol and triglyceride lowering medicine.
3). Licorice: means “sweet talk” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. However, the medicinal herb is a far cry from the candy that is eaten in the United States today. As a popular medicine in China as well as India, it is recommended for asthma, bronchitis, cough, and sore throat. It is used in conditions of arthritis, bladder and kidney problems, and tummy troubles including peptic ulcers. Recent studies point to this herbs anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antimicrobial powers. But, therapeutic doses need to be monitored and evaluated by a qualified alternative health care practitioner because long term use may lead to some unwanted side effects like, headache, high blood pressure, and water retention.
Ayurveda offers many wonderful solutions for restoring health. As with any herb or medication, one should always consult with their healthcare professionals and integrate a holistic approach to natural health and healing.