As an Ayurvedic student I feel a responsibility to help educate and inform people. I know it is a lot of reading but it's vital for your natural health. So please take the time to read the information I have put together. Thank you and be well.
‘A person who has good Ojas rarely becomes sick.’ – Dr. Vasant Lad
Ojas is a Sanskrit term that means ‘vigour’ or ‘vitality’. Ojas is the good stuff we are all after. It’s the essence in our body that gives us a spring in our step and a sparkle in our eye. It’s our underlying energy reserve of the body, the foundation of our immunity and the base for our happiness and contentment in life. It’s all the beautiful things in our wellbeing we want in abundance.
When Ojas is deficient we have excess Ama, bad energy, in the body which causes fatigue, low moods, poor sleep and frequent colds and flus. Our spirit is weak and we lack enjoyment in life. Ama is caused by raw, uncooked and undigested food. Ama blocks digestion and absorption in the body which leads to poor nourishment of the bodies essential functions and tissues which then leads to defective formation of Ojas causing low immunity which is suitable for disease formation.
In modern medicine, Ojas is described as a patchwork of secretions of different peptides, neurotransmitters, hormones, neuro-chemicals and other properties that exert their effect all over the body so we can remain in homeostasis – in harmony and balance to reach our full potential in life.
Ojas is the final by-product of good nutrition and digestion. So, the first step is to ensure you are eating good quality, fresh, in season wholefood. The second is to ensure digestion is strong with minimal indigestion.
Also, according to Ayurveda, there are certain foods that directly build this essence of Ojas.
The qualities of ojas are sweet, heavy, unctuous, cool, and smooth, so Ojas building foods embody these qualities.
Foods that are highest in Ojas building qualities include dates, almonds, ghee, saffron, raw cows milk, honey, wholegrains such as basmati rice. If feeling weak, debilitate, fatigue or recovering from disease these foods can be taken in abundance.
Other foods to each include Avocados, Bananas (very ripe lady fingers are best), figs, sweet potatoes, Leafy greens, Zucchini, Nuts (especially almonds), Mung beans, tofu and fresh, juicy, sweet in-season fruit.
Foods to avoid that deplete Ojas include excessive dry, raw, and undercooked foods; canned, frozen, fried, or old foods; Alcohol; Stimulants; Refined sugar; Refined flour and heavily processed foods.
Great Ojas Herbs include:
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
All parts of the ashwagandha plant like leaves, roots, bark, fruit, and seeds are consumed for their medicinal properties but the root is most commonly used. This herb has traditionally been prescribed to strengthen immunity post an illness. Ashwagandha has strong anti-inflammatory action that helps in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases and certain skin diseases. This herb has proven its efficacy in nervous system disorders. It has shown to improve brain cell function, nervous exhaustion, anxiety and depression. It also refreshes the body by relieving fatigue. Researchers are exploring the role of ashwagandha in degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is ideally recommended to be had with warm sweetened milk.
Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Liquorice or yashtimadhu, also known commonly as mulethi is an excellent home remedy for a number of disorders like cough and cold. According to Ayurveda, mulethi is sweet to taste, it’s slimy and heavy, and is efficacious in treating vata disorders. Glycyrrhizin – a saponin found in mulethi is known for its anti-microbial action. The root is powdered and had with honey and ghee to improve immunity. It is believed to be a natural revitaliser and anti-ageing agent. Some studies have also shown positive effect of mulethi in relation to brain function.
Amla (Emblica officinalis)
It is perhaps one of the richest sources of vitamin C and is perfect for the overall immunity, as it can rejuvenate and revitalise the body systems. Amla is cooling in nature and can help remove excess body heat, thus often recommended in pitta conditions. It is also helpful in in afflictions of the gastro-intestinal tract. Amla is also believed to stimulate regeneration of red blood cells and help improve haemoglobin content in body. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help soothe joint pains. Amla is often used in powder form but is also available as tablets or liquid extracts. It is best to consume amla in raw form. Amla powder can be consumed by mixing with honey, twice a day. Chyawanprash is a well-known Ayurvedic formulation that can be taken to reduce mental and physical fatigue and boost immunity also contains amla.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger is hot in potency and thus aids in decreasing the aggravated vatta and kapha doshas. Ginger is very versatile – it can be had fresh, powdered or oil form or in dry candied/ juice form. Dry ginger powder mixed with sesame oil is used to relieve joint or muscle pains. It is also used for hot fomentation in gout, oedema, arthritis or other joint pains. Anti- microbial compounds in ginger helps fight infections, and boost immunity levels. Ginger is also recommended for many respiratory ailments like cold, cough, pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
Ocimum sanctum is the primary form of Tulsi used for its medicinal purposes, due to its anti-infective properties and its use in respiratory tract infections like cough, cold, sore throat, asthma etc. It helps remove excess kapha from lungs. This natural stimulant energizes our body, increases circulation, and has been proven to be beneficial in skin diseases and ulcers. Fresh tulsi juice taken twice a day may help to boost health. Adding a few drops of ginger and honey to tulsi juice may help further improve immunity.
The picture I've attached are 2 recipes that will help build your Ojas. Enjoy and thank you for reading.