Immunity is the body’s ability to protect the body against the invasion of pathogens. Immunity can be defined as a complex biological system which have the capacity to recognize and tolerate whatever belongs to the self, and to recognize and reject what is foreign (non-self).
Immunity against any disease is attained by the presence of antibodies to that disease in a person’s system. Antibodies are those proteins which are used by the body to neutralize or destroy foregian substance, toxins or disease-carrying organisms.
TYPES OF IMMUNITY –
Innate immunity is the Natural immunity which provides the first line of defence against any kind of infection. It is a rapid response (minutes) of the body and it’s not specific to a particular diseases causing agent . This type of immunity has no memory and does not provide long-lasting immunity to the host.
This provides a specific immune response towards an invading pathogen. After exposure of body to a foreign organism or pathogen, there is an initial EFFECTOR RESPONSE from our body that eliminates or neutralizes a pathogen. Later when body comes in contact with the same foreign organism again then it induces a MEMORY RESPONSE with a more rapid immune reaction which destroys the pathogen and prevents disease. This response is found only in vertebrates.
This immunity is further of two types – Artificial immunity and natural immunity further these can be divided into active immunity and passive immunity.
IN Ayurveda Immunity can be co- related with VYADHI KSHMYITAVA OR ROG PRATIRODHAK KSHMTA
Vyadhi Kshmyitava works on two factors –
-Vyadhi bala virodhiktvam– to prevent the disease from occuring
-Vyadhyutpaad pratibandhaktvam– power of resistance capable enough to check the progress occurrence or recurrence of disease
In Ayurveda- it is said that sleshma i.e. kapha in its prakritik avastha is known as bala or ojas
There are three types of bala (Vyadhiksamatva or immunity) is explained-
SAHAJA BALA – . Sahajabala is both mental and physical strength present naturally by birth. It depends on the healthiness of beeja bhag of parents that are shukra (sperms) and artava (ovum). According to Ayurveda if beeja bhag of both the parents is healthy or unvitiated , then children are similar healthy but If there is any of dushti in these then it may be carried over into the next generation  This concept indicates congenital abnormalities which occur due to abnormal changes at genes or chromosomal levels.
KALAJA BALA – It is the one which is based on division of seasons and age of the person. In Adana kala (late winter, spring and summers) which is aagney kal due to rukhsta of vata Bala of individual will be less and in Visarga kala (rainy seasons, autumn and winter) i.e. saumya kal , it will be more. Bala is Uttama (maximum) in young age and heen old age (vridhavastha)
YUKTIKRITA BALA – It is the acquired strength which is achieved by the combination of diet and physical activities.
Vyadhiksmatava of a person depends upon ojas –
OJAS The essence of saptadhatus and it is the seat for strength, hence called bala situated in the heart It is viscous, unctuous, greasy, Somatmaka. Its loss may lead to death and its presence in the body (and life) sure to survive as it is considered as one of the pranaaytan of the body.
Properties of Oajas are
Guru(heavy), Sheet(cool), Mrudu(soft) Slakshna(smooth),
Bahal(dense), Madhura(sweet), Sthira(responsible for stabil-
ity), Prasnna (clear), Picchila (slimy) and Snigdha (unctuous)
Factors Responsible for Oajokshaya –
Factors Responsible for Oajokshaya – are injury, anger, sorrow,
exercise more than body’s capacity , hunger, fear, alcohol consumption, night awakening, loss of
Kapha, Rakta, Sukra, Mala, Kala and Micro-organisms. With such decrease, the person always lives in fear, debilitated, worries much again, feels discomfort in the sense organ, develop bad complexion,overthink, bad mention and dryness of skin.
In Ayurveda there are three types of abnormality of Oajas are explained-
Oajovisransa: symptoms of Oajovisransa are looseness of
joints, pain in the body , and Doshas moves from their
seat, tiredness and impairement in performance of action.
Oajovyapada: symptoms of Oajovyapada are heaviness
in the body, stiffness in joints, depression, discolouration,
body ache, excess sleep .
Oajokshaya: symptoms of Oajokshaya are unconscious-
ness, depletion of ﬂesh i.e. wasting, semi-consciousness,
coma and death.
In ayurveda it is said that
N Ch sarvani sharirani vyadhiksamtava smarthani bhvanti
Which means not all the people have same vyadhiksamtava it depends upon number of factors- like desha, kala, pathya- apathya that a person take which directly affect ojas of person and many other factors.
The concept of Vyadhikshamatva made its appearance
as a result of observations. It was noticed that in spite of
living in same infected surrounding and utilization of un-
wholesome and contaminated food and drinks only some
persons get affected while others remain unaffected. It
was also seen that some of the diseases persons get rid
of their disease even without treatments. The occurrence
or non –occurrence of diseases and variance in the severity of symptoms in individuals made the ayurveda acharyas think about those factors which were responsible for these variations. So it’s totally dependent upon the vyadhiksamtav of the individual. One should always try to keep away from the factors that vitiates ojas and should follow the diet which has same properties as ojas so that his/her vyadhiksamtav kept maintained.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.