5 Signs You Have A Weak Immune System
by Dr. Rani Iyer on Nov 03, 2022
Winter has set in and with it, cough, common cold, and throat infections are on a rise. These symptoms do put a break in our daily lives. It’s also clear that more of us are falling sick more often these days, indicating that our immunity is weakening over the years.
We have more pathogens in the environment that are growing rapidly and our immune systems are getting weaker and weaker. Thanks to our changing lifestyles and stressful work and personal relationship issues.
This puts us back to our age-old thought process of weakened immunity and identifying our immune health and thereby using corrective measures to rise above the pathogens around us.
The definition of health according to Ayurveda is equilibrium in the state of the doshas, Agni (fire), dhatus (tissues), and malas associated with a pleasant state of soul, sensory organs, and mind. This is the basis for good immune system.
Therefore, our immune system does not function in isolation it depends on digestive health as well as our state of mind.
Ayurvedic factors for a good immunity
- Ahara, Nidra and brahmacharya should be practised
- Practice Sadvritta and Achara Rasayana good social behaviour
- Follow Dinacharya and Ritucharya – proper daily and seasonal regimes according to ayurvedic science
- Protect your Agni - Digestive fire is the base of your health and longevity and hence give due importance to it by taking care of your diet and lifestyle habits
- Do not suppress natural urges like sneezing, yawning, etc
- Proper nutrition, proper digestion, and proper elimination of waste are very important to keep our immune system optimal
Broadly speaking the inability of the body to fight against disease-causing agents like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens results in falling sick with some or the other organ system not functioning optimally can be identified as a weak immune system.
Causes of the immune system to weaken
Our Agni gets weakened due to various reasons like wrong eating habits, which in turn can cause metabolic wastes to form which is called ama.
Ahara is given prime importance and is said to be the first among the three subpillars that support life.
Ayurveda has explained diet principles in detail
- Consuming hot food
- Consuming food that is Unctuous
- Consuming food in proper quantity
- Consuming food after digestion of previously consumed food
- Consuming food that is not opposite in Potency
- Consuming food in places that are pleasant to the mind
- Not consuming food too fast
- Not consuming food too slowly
- Not speaking or laughing while having food
- Consuming food after due consideration of self – knowing well about the suitability or the unsuitability of the food
- Selecting food according to one’s prakruti
If we do not follow the above diet principles then our Agni becomes Manda or inefficient and ama gets accumulated.
When our body channels are obstructed with ama (toxin or undigested metabolic waste). The stubborn nature of ama causes it to stick to the gastrointestinal tract, clog arteries, seep under the skin, and creep upwards to the mind’s subtle channels.
The presence of Ama can lead to several underlying health issues. Ama can also weaken the connection between the body and mind.
Signs of a weak immune system are
1) Getting up in the morning and not feeling fresh
These include stiffness in joints early morning and having no energy to carry out your daily activities. These signs tell us that there are a lot of toxins in the body, which in turn has weakened our immune system.
2) If you suffer from recurring infections
These include recurrent colds and coughs, high fever, and throat pain. The body is constantly bombarded with a lot of disease-causing pathogens, if our body is not able to fight them, we will keep on having recurrent cold, cough, throat pain and fever.
3) Anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances
These include feeling stressed very often, having frequent headaches, and nausea. This can be because of a poor-functioning digestive system and a weak immune system.
4) Unexplained weight loss
Not feeling hungry not having a good appetite. Low immunity levels can cause food sensitivity and digestion impairment. This weakens gastrointestinal immune cells and destroys gut flora. Thus, an unbalanced gut microbiome is a primary indicator of low immunity.
5) Recurrent skin irritations or inflammation
Skin rashes, itchy skin etc unexplained allergy to any food item as well as delayed wound healing are a sign of weak immunity.
Overall, there are a variety of illnesses you may face more often than others. This means that your immune system has weakened.
4 Herbs to boost your immunity
Some herbs that can improve our immune system. As per Ayurveda, milk, ghee (clarified butter), honey etc. are few examples of such Ajasrika Rasayana, and this can be practised in a judicious manner in healthy individuals.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) benefits the body by assisting it when dealing with stress, making it an adaptogen. Can be had in capsule form.
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is an immunity-boosting herb and can be taken as Giloy Capsules.
- Amla (Emblica officinalis) contains antioxidants and vitamins found in amla. High concentrations of vitamin C in amla help the body recover from illness. Can be had as a juice or in MyPrash Chyawanprash.
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is a potent laxative, astringent, purgative, anti-bilious and anti-oxidant properties for treating numerous health anomalies.
Keep following the principles of Ayurveda and constantly working towards improving our immunity and thereby protecting ourselves from falling sick often. Eating the right foods, exercising regularly, and opting for immunity-boosting herbs can help strengthen your immunity from the inside out.