Ayurvedic Immunity-Boosters and the Role of Rasayana and Your Lymphatic System

Strengthen your immune system with sattvic living, neem, ginger, triphala, and more.

In This Article

Ayurveda, Immunity, Rasayana, and Lymph

How does Ayurveda address immunity? The branch of Ayurvedic science dedicated to robust immunity, along with longevity, is called rasayana. The study of rasa is the study of lymph

Rasa originates in the digestive tract as a substance called ahara rasa. Ahara rasa creates and maintains the part of your immune system that is in your gut (which is about 70% of our overall immunity).

Rasayana therapies, or Ayurvedic immunity therapies, are split into two categories:

  1. Food and herbs
  2. Healthy lifestyle and behavior.

The four main types of rasayana for immunity are:

  1. Ahara rasayana: food 
  2. Vihara rasayana: lifestyle 
  3. Acharya rasayana: behavior 
  4. Aushadha rasayana: herbs 

See also What is Rasayana? Ayurvedic’s Sacred Longevity Therapies

Sattvic Living, Gut Health, and Immunity

One of the goals of rasayana therapy is to boost sattva, or a feeling of peace and calm. Sattva is created by the quality of the foods you eat and the mental and emotional health created by your lifestyle and behavior.

We now know unwholesome foods, along with mental and emotional stress, can impact the health of our microbiomes (the microbes that live in our guts are called krimi in Ayurveda). An unhealthy microbiome impacts the robustness of our immune systems. Studies show that the connection between the gut’s microbiome and mental and emotion stress is bi-directional: one can affect the other and both independently have been shown to compromise immunity.

Studies have also found that a healthy immune system in your gut is linked to a healthy immune system in your lungs.. The connection is due to a bi-directional relationship between the microbiome in the gut and the newly discovered microbiome in the respiratory tract. Previously, the lungs were thought to be sterile, but researchers have discovered that they actually support a powerful microbiome, which in turn supports our immune systems.

When foreign microbes, or krimi, associated with many illnesses enter the body, they can inject genetic reproductive material into the epithelial cells of the gut and lungs. Ayurveda suggests infectious krimi are best treated by altering the host (the individual) or the prakriti (qualities) of the krimi (pathogen), rather than targeting the invader, the way Western medicine does with antibiotics.

See also Rev Up Your Gut Immunity and Microbiome with This High-Fiber Protocol

3 Ayurvedic Herbs for Helping Your Immune System

Ayurvedic immunity treatments, in part, support your digestion and metabolism, as well as the respiratory epithelium, which promotes immunity.

Here, five herbs and supplements that can help heal your digestion and respiratory tract, and boost immunity:

1. Fresh ginger has been shown to boost your primary digestive fire, called jathara agni. Strong jathara agni can help prevent a pathogen from attaching to your respiratory tract, while stimulating innate immune cells (your innate immune response is your body’s natural first line of defense against foreign pathogens) to secrete IFN-B (acytokine that helps regulate immunity).

Recommendation: Take 1 capsule of LifeSpa Warm Digest before bigger meals. This formula, called trikatu in Ayurveda, has ginger, along with pippali and black pepper.

See also Enjoy These Longevity Spices for AMPK, Autophagy, and Healthy Aging

2. Neem plays a similar role as ginger in supporting a healthy microbiome and intestinal tract. In addition to breaking down toxic biofilms in the gut, neem supports your body’s natural antimicrobial response and blocks entry of certain viruses into your cells. Neem has also been shown to support the regulation of cytokines during an immune event, like an invading pathogen. In another study, neem leaf extract was shown to support a cytokine-driven pro-inflammatory immune cell signaling and the immune system’s natural response to kill pathogen cells.

Recommendation: Take 1 capsule of LifeSpa Neem Boost after meals.

Regulating immune response is critical in managing an immune event. Ginger and neem, as well as other Ayurvedic herbs, act as natural immunomodulators, helping to manage a potentially overzealous immune response, which can backfire by attacking healthy cells.

See also Neem: Ayurveda’s First Responder

3. In a handful of studies, triphala has been shown to be a powerful  immunomodulator. Triphala also boosts immunity by increasing the release of neutrophils and killer T cell. During an immune event, neutrophils–a type of white blood cell–lead killer T cells to the fight. Neutrophils also have the ability to regulate immune response by dialing it up or down through a process called immunomodulation. When the immune system becomes overzealous, triphala supports immunosuppression.

Recommended: Take 1 capsule after meals, or as directed by a health care professional, of the Ayurvedic herbal blend Triphala. Triphala is a mix of amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki.

See also New Science Shows Triphala with a Probiotic May Boost Longevity and Microbiome Health

6 Ayurvedic Immunity Reminders 

If you’re starting to feel sick, here are six go-to Ayurvedic strategies to support a robust immune system:

  1. Decrease stress. Easier said than done, right? Here’s a one-minute meditation to help.
  2. Eat a healthy, seasonal diet. Join our 3-Season Diet Guide for seasonal eating tips and recipes.
  3. Practice yoga and meditation. These traditions  have been well-studied as immune system boosters and stress fighters.
  4. Eat ginger or take Warm Digest.
  5. Use neem supplementation.
  6. Use triphala supplementation.
  7. Boost your supplemental dose of vitamin D3 to 10,000 IU a day.
  8. Take 3,000 mg of vitamin C a day.
  9. Take 5-10 mg of melatonin before bed. (Melatonin is known for its immune-supportive properties).

What are you doing to protect your immunity? 

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18 thoughts on “Ayurvedic Immunity-Boosters and the Role of Rasayana and Your Lymphatic System”

  1. DrDouillard

    I have been an ardent fan of your Ayurvedic and lifestyle teachings. I believe that the COVID 19 situation throws a unique challenge to the whole science and practice of Ayurveda. My question is; What are the best immuno-modulators in Ayurveda that can counter the effects of the deadly “cytokine storm” that overwhelms and kills scores of COVID19 patients. It does not give them a fighting chance. I lost my brother and my best friend to COVID 19. The latter was an infectious disease doctor in NY. Both died from the cytokines storm. It seems the Pathogen is turning the patient’s own immunity system against itself. I am certain that if sufficient research is done then Ayurveda will have the answer. This is the most unique challenge of our times thrown by Nature to the the whole Ayurvedic community to step up to the plate. I believe people like you can show the way. Because for too long Ayurveda has been confided and sometimes Unnecessarily limited to old texts. Old texts are important but so is modern research and application.
    COVIDV19 is a modern Pathogen. It will need unleashing and harnessing the power in APPLIED Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic Community has to take this on a war footing and consider this as an SOS for the sake of Ayurveda and for the sake of humanity. Let us not allow this crisis to go waste. 🙏
    Regards

    Nayan Joshi

    Reply
    • Hi Nayan,

      Thanks for the note of urgency. Yes, I have written numerous articles on immunity during these trying times and compiled an eBook on the subject as well.

      There are many studies on neem, ginger, triphala, vitamin D, melatonin, ashwagandga, mushrooms (in our Immuno Blast), vitamin C along with the benefits of copper. You can search these terms on my site to read all my articles on immunity.

      That said, I cannot make claims about specific diseases or Covid as we strictly follow FDA guidelines.

      Be Well,
      Dr. John

      Reply
  2. “ Dark side” is going to put more crap in drinking water ( Fluoride) and more Iron shavings in our daily bread (1 in 3 people has problem with Iron overload, but doctors and government don’t go there). Tel a lay vision is going to spew out more contradictions and propaganda. Cumulative speaking, we are overloaded with toxins. Forget about collective or personal immunity. It is just common sense…….

    Reply
    • Yep. The dark side is out of their minds…literally. And so are the folks who readily reach for the Kool-aid and gulp it down. Best.

      Reply
  3. Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. Focusing on strengthening the immune system and fixing the western diet (which has fast become the global diet) is the key to managing the current pandemic and future pandemics. “They” are going to try and force everyone into getting the vaccine and justify it by arguing that our domesticated animals can contract and spread the virus. So, even if human beings were to “mask” and allegedly get this under control, the animals will continue to re-introduce it. They’ll put out versions of vaccines for humans and animals with boosters, and they are going to make BILLIONS of dollars over the long haul. Harvard has embraced Fauci. How much do you want to bet that Harvard is going to require every student, faculty, and support staff be immunized by a Fauci-approved vaccine before they are allowed to step toe on campus? Money drives everything.

    Reply
    • Yes amen! Agree 100% on this. Wish this information was widely spread & pushed over the current fear mongering, our bodies are miraculous

      Reply
    • Hi Tina. I think personally that Rockefeller ( world) school medicine should be split in two. In Europe in three. They have some sorts of preventive medicine.
      Emergency medicine and preventive medicine ( right testing, not vaccines) should be given respect and full support. If you have food poisoning, knife and bullets wounds, broken bones, you don’t ask questions. Rest should be simple discarded and start again with only private money involved? More then 60% of medical studies are false, involved with corrupt money since WWII ?? 3%? of deaths in world, because of overuse of Aspirin ( bloody lungs) in 1918 Spanish fly??? Medical mall practices killed more people with license then all recently dictators combined? In England, number of dead people actually went down, because of idling operational procedures? Cancer treatments actually are speeding up of deaths and giving only 2.3 % of patients chance to see 5th year? But medical system doesn’t want to know much about heavy metals, chemicals, pathogens, liver, Oxalates, lymph, radiation, etc.. Why to lose more profitable customers?
      But bad dark side players are not dumb. They know where is wing going to blow. Oceans are dying and weak governments are telling us not to eat fish, because they are toxic? Looks like, world has enough of garbage. My problem is that thinking: enemy of my enemy is my friend. Totally false. Vaccines pushers??

      Reply
  4. I have a question about leaky gut. If you know your digestion has been compromised, how do you seal it back up? I’ve used L-glutamate, but welcome any information you could provide?

    Reply
    • Some people will get massive headaches from Glutamate. Temporary Gluten-free, because of Roundup loaded GMO wheat. Modern wheat is “made” with to high amount of gluten ( glue). Usually is also liver and gallbladder compromised. Liver bile is you motor oil for intestines. More oil, less constipation. 1-3 stools pro day. Look at animals. Most people don’t realize that when you start having gallbladder problems, liver problems started much much earlier. Please, watch Dr Gouillards videos, how human body organs actually work. School medicine doctors like to simple cut gallbladder out for “ GOOOOOD MONEY”. You need gallbladder to absorb fats and fat soluble vitamins. Liver, gallbladder, leaky gut are impacted from stress, wrong foods and timing, toxins, wrong seating ( modern 18th wheeler trucks have garten chair, car seat position, absolutely early killers, but nobody is paying attention).

      Reply
    • Hi Colby,

      Overall, there is a period of healing the skin within and Dr. John outlines a number of ways to do so with Ayurvedic cleansing and Slippery Elm decoctions. He also has written this article on it, which is a great starting point on the site to learn more about healing leaky gut: https://lifespa.com/leaky-gut/

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  5. It’s true crappy diet and environment have helped this virus invade the body but the fact is without a vaccine many many people will die. Fine, take care of yourself with your pristine behaviors but don’t act so selfish to disparage the path of others who are relying on Western medicine to save lives, Life is not black and white like that and you could try to be as healthy as possible but still succumb due to genetics or some other unlucky reason. We all live on this planet together. Encourage love and respect.

    Reply
    • Encourage love and respect. Encourage also curiosity to. Why Europeans don’t need so many vaccines? By the way, they are also better looking. It makes me angry when knowledge is hided from us. Why are metals, formaldehyde, rns, dna from animals in them?
      Metals in vaccines as adjuvants, are supposed to keep
      dead/ live inoculation in one place so immune system can easily find them. Cells communicate also electrically. Metals act as short circuit breaker, so movements and communication of cells is stoped. One of problems is when shot get direct in bloodstream and cause stoppage somewhere else. Metals are one of cause of inflammation ( radical), blockages and cancer. I would be dead by now, if i wouldn’t have recognized some parts of school medicine as a scam. For profit only. Genetics is only weakest link in chain, succumbing to environmental toxins, pathogens and manipulation/behavior. Europeans are recognized as more healthy then Americans, but then, I couldn’t board the plane from Germany without four or more questionable vaccines. WEST is going down in toilet because lack of ethics.

      Reply
    • I’m so grateful for LifeSpa’s thorough and considered approach to health and healing! I’ve seen nothing in this article or any other over the years that disparages Western medicine the way you’re describing.

      Reply
  6. Thank you for this information Dr. John! So important during this difficult time. I know that individuals vary, but what would you recommend as a protocol for taking all three herbs mentioned above (ginger, triphala, neem)? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Jaime,

      Everyone is different, so you will need to find a balance which works for you, but start with the recommended dosages on the bottles, as follows, and adjust as needed or as recommended by your healthcare provider/herbalist/Ayurvedic practitioner:

      Warm Digest (with Ginger): 1 capsule 2X/day before main meals
      Neem: 1 capsule 3 times per day after meals
      Triphala: 1 capsule 3 times per day after meals

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  7. I totally agree Marinko. The worst is the EMFs. 5G is the worst news – we have to stop it before it wipes us all out. Corruption, greed and deception has made everyone sick. Injecting chemicals won’t help……..It’s the opposite. Getting rid of the chemicals is the only way forward and getting rid of dangerous electro magnetic radiation

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the article Dr. Douillard. What about the energetic actions of the herbs relative to a person’s Ayurvedic dosha? Ginger and neem are both drying. I am Vata and I actually can’t take neem because it dries me out too much. Just curious about your thoughts on this when recommending herbal remedies…

    Reply

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