Approach of Ayurveda is simple. Whatever life we all supposed to live- that should be healthy and free from diseases. And everything in the human body keeps on working for the same “healthy-disease-free-life”. Every single cell is responsible for this work. So fight against the diseases is a cumulative effort. And how much strength human body has, that much strongly it can fight against the disease.
So this is all about strength of trillions of cells all together, which decides our wellness. Therefore Ayurveda names this as simple as- Bala (बल).
We need to understand the concept in detail. So that we can better understand all aspects of the immune system.
Bala: The Strength to Defend Health
Bala is a sanskrit term. The meaning is “strength”.
So simply the understanding should be- stronger the body- healthier the body. We need to understand it better that Ayurveda doesn’t focus on the concept of “offence”. This Bala is all about the defending the health. Therefore unlike “scavenger-cells” and “killer-cells” Ayurveda only has one concept of “love-for-life”. Thus Bala shows the level of romance- human body has for the
There are three types of this Bala-
त्रिविधं बलमिति- सहजं, कालजं, युक्तिकृतं च| सहजं यच्छरीरसत्त्वयोः प्राकृतं, कालकृतमृतुविभागजं वयःकृतं च, युक्तिकृतं पुनस्तद्यदाहारचेष्टायोगजम्||
- Shaja: This is the inherited strength of the body and it decides at the time of birth. Shaja means natural.
- Kalaja: This type of bala is according to season and age of the patient. For example in young age we have different strength against disease and it changes with the age.
- Yuktikrita: The strength to fight against which we acquire through different means like- specific diet, foods, activities and Rasayana or herbs etc.
So Ayurveda details it properly.
But before we understand this in detail, we need to know that from where this strength comes from.
The Ojus: The immune System of The body
Ojus is the word for the “Nectar”.
The body derives this nectar from the food that we eat. The digestive system and metabolic system all together help the body to produce Ojus. And this is the Ojus that decides the Bala- the defense system of the body.
Can we mark it like we do for immunoglobulins?
Ayurveda doesn’t believe in chemical marking or the physical occurrence of something. Therefore explains the presence of Ojus in the body- Ojus stays in the body as the fats reside in the milk. It is hard to see the fats in general. Even we can measure these fats but generally, these are not visible.
Ojus has certain qualities.
This is- Cold, unctuous, soft, smooth, slimy and stick- these properties can be perceived by touch. The taste of ojus is- sweet and it looks white or yellow-red.
These qualities become useful when we need to increase or decrease the Ojus. Because this is representing immunity thus it becomes more important to understand these properties.
GOLDEN MILK DOESN’T INCREASE IMMUNITY (Know The Truth)
Types of Ojus
There are two subtypes of the Ojus in Ayurveda.
- Para Ojas – This is the primary and important type of the Ojus. It originates during fetal development. Because it is inherited (Shaja) therefore it remains unaffected during the whole life. This type helps in the process of life.
- Apara Ojas – Secondary as per the origin. This ojus comes from the food and represents both yuktikrit and kalaja- because food and environmental change impacts on this. This is one which involves in process of diseases.
Functions of Ojus
These both types of Ojus perform different activities in the body and here are these-
तत्र बलेन स्थिरोपचितमांसता सर्वचेष्टास्वप्रतिघातः स्वरवर्णप्रसादो बाह्यानामाभ्यन्तराणाञ्च करणानामात्मकार्यप्रतिपत्तिर्भवति ।
- Immunity for the body.
- Defines Biological Ageing.
- Strength and built of musculature of the body.
- Helps in quality of voice and complexion
Diseases Related to Ojus
There are three types of immune conditions recognised in Ayurveda. These are described as- Ojo Vyapada– the diseases of ojus.
This is a condition of “increase” in Ojus. And due to increase the ojus dislodges from its natural place. This is something like “Overflow”. This condition causes symptoms like-
- Sandhi Vishlesh: Lethargic, looseness of skeletal muscles- which leads to dislocation of the joints.
- Gatra Sadnam– Fatigue and weakness in body.
- Dosha Chyavanam – Displacement of all the doshas leads to the different diseases.
- Kriya Sannirodha – Disturbed physiological activities of the body.
This is a second condition. This condition shows the aggravation of the Ojus. Hence relates to the Visransa directly. But there are different expressions of this condition-
- Stabdha Guru Gatrata: Stiffness and rigidity in the muscles. The patient feels that his body is heavy because of this condition.
- Vata Shopha– Non-pitting edema. Because it is a generalised condition thus edema can appear anywhere in the body.
- Varna Bheda– Change in complexion of the patient.In many of the immune related conditions like HIV, change in complexion of patient is noticeable.
- Glani– Unhappiness towards oneself.
- Tandra– Drowsiness, a patients keeps on yawning and feels like sleeping.
- Nidra– Excessive sleep
So this is the second type of the condition, with ojus. Now we will discuss the third one-
This is the most complicated condition among all the three. Because this shows the quantitative loss of the Ojus. Therefore in direct words it shows decay of the immune system.
- Murcha: Fainting
- Mamsa Kshaya: Decay of skeletal muscles
- Moha: Indecisiveness
- Pralapa: Irrelevant talks and finally
- Marana: Death!!!
The Final Words
Ayurveda details the immune system properly. Here we need to understand the things in a proper way. Because Ayurveda is an ancient system, thus we need to explore this with modern tools.
This seems amazing as a clinician to me that Ayurveda talks about the condition of “Wasting of skeletal muscles”. What we know today is- myokines have capacity to control the immune system. Similarly the relation of the change in complexion relates to the deeper things like “melanocytes”.
Ayurveda presents the complicated condition in an easy way. So that we can better understand and follow the things.
The three conditions, talked in Ayurveda as diseases of immune system, shows clear and indepth understanding of the immune related diseases.
Where on one end we have a condition in which immune system is increased – shows condition of Autoimmunity. Besides this the other condition of complete decay of the Ojus represents the conditions like HIV.
Because Ayurveda was least explored in last so many years. We need to understand the things better. Thus at Sukhayu Ayurved for Treatment of Autoimmune conditions. We follow the science properly. Hence we are able to give proper results too.