How To Increase Immunity in Children
If you want to know how to increase immunity in children in India, then you must understand that Ayurveda plays a crucial role in maintaining vibrant health. Many people want to provide their children with the best of everything and want to keep them healthy at all times.
The art of practicing Ayurveda includes much wisdom that is easily applied to kids, as well as adults. When you apply Ayurveda to your kid's life, you introduce them to vibrant health.
However, you have to note that no matter what remedy you use (natural or chemical), you have to take into consideration the advice from a medical professional. This is because they will understand your child's health better and prescribe a dose that will provide the best results; these results will last for a long time as well.
Ayurveda functions with life cycles and energies of the natural world; this helps foster strength, resilience, and vibrant health as well. Children can benefit from the Ayurveda approach because it is natural and it won't affect their body's growth rate, and it will reignite their innate capacity to grow, heal, and thrive in the world.
How To Increase Immunity In Kids
Childhood is the most wonderful stage in life. It is the time when a child experiences the wonder of learning new things. When a child is in optimum health, he/she is able to fully enjoy all the exciting adventures that life has to offer. Good health makes learning fun. However, exposure to other kids in school and at play is not always enjoyable for all children. Some children thrive on the added stimulus while others seem to pick up every bug that is going around. School days and exciting activities are missed due to sickness-related absences. Ayurveda addresses the difference between the child that seems to be full of never-ending energy and the one that is always falling sick.
The main concept regarding Ayurvedic immunity booster programs is called Bheej Bhoomi. It is a simple allegory of a seed being able to thrive only in fertile soil. Beej means seed and Bhoomi means soil. So, if your child has strong immunity, there are fewer chances of the seeds of infection thriving in them. Ayurveda defines three Doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. To better help your child build good immunity, it is first essential to determine the Dosha dominant in the child. According to Ayurveda, each human being is absolutely unique. The Dosha balance of each person is different. To increase immunity in kids one can modify diet and habits to better balance the Doshas in the child. This will not only increase the immunity and stamina of the child but also enhance mood and happiness.
Another important factor in how to improve immunity in kids is maintaining their appetite. The main concept behind how to increase immunity power in children focuses on diet and lifestyle. Digestion is the most important factor in maintaining good health and immunity.
When Kapha dominant foods are reduced in the diet, it enhances the immune system. Some Kapha increasing food groups are sweets, dairy, and wheat. Instead, the child should be encouraged to eat more leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. To enhance digestion, cold foods should be kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether. The digestion works better with freshly prepared warm food. Using spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and ginger also supports the Agni or digestive fire. The child should be encouraged to eat at fixed meals and snack times.
How To Boost Immunity In Toddlers Ayurveda
Being active is good for children. The fast-paced schedule that kids are subjected to should be interspersed with enough time for outdoor games. When there is running and playing, the blood circulation increases and eliminates toxins from the body. It helps the nutrients better reach all the body tissues. Healthy toddlers enjoy being active and having time to play. This also sets the stage for future good habits.
Ayurveda has designated herbs and immunity-boosting formulations that are the time tested answer to ‘ how to increase immunity in kids’. These medications should be used with the advice of an Ayurvedic doctor to help enhance the immune system of a child.
A unique system:
Ayurveda celebrates differences, and it's a unique system of medication that does not include a "one-size-fits-all" concept. It's a medical concept that celebrates the health of each individual. This concept applies to children as well, as every kid is different depending on their genetic makeup. You can take an Ayurvedic test to determine your child's current physical state and balance.
Great health means great fun:
The healthier your child, the happier they are. According to Ayurveda methods, there are three essential doshas in the human body, and it's vital that you maintain a healthy balance within them. In the upcoming section, we will take you through each dosha and the prevalent traits that will help restore your child's immunity.
Vata is seen in children who are lean and have an irregular appetite. It's also present in kids who get cold really quickly and have dry skin. The hair is thin and tightly curled, and the skin texture happens to be light while leaning towards duskier tones. Children who possess Vata are sharp, witty, and creative. If a child happens to have excess Vata, then they are prone to anxiety episodes, physical and emotional restlessness, fidgety eating habits, insomnia, and digestive issues like constipation.
Kids who have a moderate built are known to have Pitta, and they also have a healthy appetite. They cannot tolerate hunger and skipping meals, which means that they need to eat regularly. Pitta kids dislike warm weather, and they have fine, straight hair and a sharp eyesight. They are also intelligent, have great speech patterns, and innovative minds. Excess Pitta leads to inflammation, diarrhea, easily irritated skin, and anger issues.
Children who have a solid and sturdy physical appearance are known to have the Kapha trait, and this comes with notable endurance and strength. These kids will have slow digestion and mild appetite, but they enjoy food too. Kapha kids have oily and smooth skin. They also have thick-wavy hair.
Kapha kids are quite mature for their age and compassionate as well, the face challenges like slow digestion, congestion, lethargy, excessive sleep, depression, and weight gain.
Just like many natural medications, Ayurveda is used as a preventive approach to one's well-being. Ayurvedic medicine for child immunity will help correct any imbalance that takes place in your child. Natural medication has the potential to set your child on a path that leads to excellent health and well-being.
The reason many parents hesitate to try Ayurveda is that the results can be slow, but even though the results are gradual, they are long-lasting as well. Parents are doubtful about Ayurveda because they expect the cure to be immediate, and you can't blame them because this notion is set up by the prescription medication industry, which enables instant gratification.
Ayurveda is an art form that takes in timeless wisdom, that is almost 5000 years old, and it helps keep your body in tune with the seasons, maintains your circadian rhythms, and encourages you to eat organic-seasonal food.
Ayurvedic diet for your children
The Kapha trait should be kept in check when it comes to maintaining a healthy life for your kids. Immunity boosting foods for kids help with keeping them active and strong; you should include foods like leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. An Ayurvedic diet includes cooking vegetables in digestive spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric, the dishes should be served hot too.
Immune boosting diets, according to Ayurveda, should lean towards pungent, astringent, and bitter flavors. You should also limit Kapha inducing food items like wheat, dairy, and sweets.
Lifestyle and child immunity
Every parent wishes an active and healthy life for their child, and this includes strong physical activity as well. As parents, you should encourage your child to engage in physical activities that help with blood circulation, balances their energy levels, and also supports the flow of nutrients. When your child is engaged with outdoor games, it triggers the detox mechanisms in the body and reduces the early onset of any problematic diseases that can lead to stagnation.
Understanding your child's constitution
Setting a healthy routine and understanding your child's health composition is essential because you will know what works for them and what doesn't. If you're familiar with Ayurveda, then you will see why a daily routine is essential for the overall health of your child. Routines create a sense of safety, trust, and stability for your child's nervous system, and it also develops healthy habits.
Kids usually require more sleep than adults because it will contribute to healthy growth and helps them transition from childhood to puberty. You have to ensure that your child gets enough sleep at night, and their sleep patterns have to be consistent as well. The consistency in their sleep routine should include an afternoon nap (if possible), going to bed at night, and waking up at dawn.
This schedule will not be the same for their entire life, but as kids grow older, you have to adjust it to their current lifestyle. However, there is no doubt that a consistent sleep routine really helps with good health in kids.
Children will eat anything as long as it's tasty, and this is why they gravitate towards candy, cookies, and anything that will give them a sugar rush; they also recoil at the thought of eating vegetables like Brussel sprouts and broccoli because of the bland taste. Hence, you need to ensure that your child gets immunity-boosting foods Ayurveda that is included in substantial meals, served at the same time daily and have all the nutrition that a growing body needs.
Mostly, kids adapt to a three-course meal quite easily, but every child has a different digestive strength and constitutional type. This means that some kids will have to consume their meals slowly than others, while some will have to consume more frequently by adding snacks in between their regular meal times.
It's suggested that you give your child a three-hour break between each meal or snack, this will allow the food to get digested properly, and also lets your body process it fully as well. This habit will also help stabilize blood sugar and energy levels.
Your child's digestive system plays a vital role in his/her overall health, and a healthy gut means a healthy life. Ayurveda explains that your stomach consists of a central digestive fire that transforms food in the stomach into energy that helps each cell function. Once you understand this process, then you will understand the importance of balancing your child's digestive system.
Your immunity is also directly proportional to your gut, so if your child falls sick regularly, it can mean that there is something wrong with their stomach. If your child has a poor appetite, it can mean that their digestion is dull. This can happen when impurities and toxins build up in the digestive tract; this waste is called ama in Ayurveda. An excessive buildup of ama can cause weak immunity, poor digestion, insomnia, and so on.
- Firstly, it's essential that you keep your kids on a diet that consists of healthy and nutritional foods. Choose fresh food items over frozen stuff, avoid serving leftovers or canned foods
- Serve up warm, regular meals, almost every day
- Provide home-cooked meals for your kid, whenever possible
- Include organic food and stay away from processed ingredients
Immunity boosting foods
Providing immunity boosting foods for kids is the best way to make them strong and sharp, along with increasing their growth rate as well. The following are a bunch of immunity-boosting foods that will do wonders for your child's body:
Not only is this juicy fruit refreshing, but it's packed with antioxidants like glutathione. This antioxidant helps enhance your immune system functions. To get the most nutrition from the melon, you need to eat the flesh that is closest to the rind. The juicy melon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps with healing wounds as well.
This plant is called a "superfood" for a reason; it helps repair DNA and enhances cell production. Spinach is great because it produces white blood cells, and this is an essential factor for a strong immune system. Spinach is also rich in fiber and beta carotene, which helps your immune system fight nasty bacterial infections. To get the most nutrition out of spinach, you must consume it raw or lightly cooked.
Broccoli is a portion of a great superfood, and it's rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals present in the body. The best way to get nutrition from broccoli is to wash it first and then steam it, avoid overcooking it because it will lose all its nutrients. Broccoli can be consumed in salads or wraps, and can even be had as a side dish with your child's main course meals.
Managing Constipation in kids
Ayurvedic medicine for constipation for a child is required when they experience the inability to evacuate their bowels, or they start passing hard stools. Constipation can be a prevalent issue if the kid has an unhealthy lifestyle or poor eating habits. Even though constipation can be seen as a common problem, if left untreated for a long time, it can lead to fissures, piles, fistulas, severe indigestion, IBS, and loss of appetite.
What are the causes of constipation?
Before you start on any Ayurvedic treatment for constipation in kids, you need to narrow down the cause of the problem and understand it. If you have a weak digestion process, that is a result of poor eating habits and not hydrating your body enough, as well as not consuming food that is high in fiber, inactive lifestyle, can lead to poor bowel movements and constipation.
All the bad habits that are mentioned above can lead to slow and incomplete digestion of food, when this happens the waste that is not expelled by the digestive system settles along the intestines, and this is called ama. Ama is a mucous-like substance that is caused by oily, spicy, fried, junk food items; these food leave behind a toxic layer of ama because they are difficult to digest.
It is highly recommended that your child is mentally present when consuming their meals. This means that they shouldn't be distracted by the television or stay up late to binge on pizza or their favorite candy.
Also, try to keep their external environment calm and stress-free, which means that they should not let psychological elements like stress, anxiety, sorrow, or jealousy play a role in their well-being.
Some of the usual symptoms of constipation are-
- Severe abdominal pain and bloating
- Excessive flatulence
- Rectal pain while passing stools
- Loss of appetite
- Body feels heavy
- Acidic belching
Ayurvedic medicine for children's constipation
Ayurveda states that if there is any undigested food in the system or any toxins, they will begin to accumulate in the large intestines and the stomach. This process can impair the functioning of the digestive tract. If the gastrointestinal tract is not clear, then the body cannot perform a smooth bowel movement. Hence, this blockage can lead to constipation.
You can provide your child with effective Ayurvedic medicine, if they suffer from constipation or you can follow some of the helpful remedies listed below:
- Increase your fiber consumption, especially vegetables and fruits
- Apples and bananas are known to be natural laxatives and are fiber-rich as well
- Hydrate yourself by drinking 7-8 glasses of water. Try have warm water during winters and room temperature during summers
- Try to have a mid-morning soup when you can, maybe a carrot and spinach soup
- Daily morning and evening walks, help with bowel movements; especially if they are done for 20-30 minutes
- Consume whole grain products and a handful of nuts, daily
- Avoid refined carbs like white bread, white rice, pizza, pasta, and so on
- Stay away from food that is high in protein like cheese, soybeans, and red meat can cause constipation. If you have to eat these foods, try incorporating them with salads and drink loads of liquids as well
- Ensure that you consume fresh and warm meals, this will enhance the digestive speed as well
- Try avoiding cold foods like ice cream because they can slow your child's digestion
Swarna Prashana is an ancient Ayurvedic practice adopted to increase immunity, psychological and physical development in children starting from newborns till tweens up to the age of 16. In this process swarna bhasma (gold ash) is mixed with honey and medicated ghee (the herbal formulation of the ghee contains brahmi,vacha and shankupushpi which provide the essential immunity building nourishment). Speak to our Ayurvedic experts to know more.
Benefits of Swarna Prashna
- Enhances the immunity
- Improves memory and intellect
- Improves digestion and clarity of speech
- Helps children with autism, learning difficulties and hyperactivity
Before a child reaches the age of 5, his/her eyesight is still in development and needs to be protected. Restrict the use of mobile phones, computers and TV as the blue rays emitted from the screen may affect the retina and with overexposure, can cause myopia and astigmatism later. From a food perspective, a rich vegetable-diet like including carrots ,mangoes,yellow pumpkin, spinach can help strengthen eyesight of your little on as they continue to grow.
Parents need to provide Ayurvedic medicine for children's growth, and they can also give them herbal food supplements that boost their health. There are a number of formulas that are developed by Kerala Ayurveda, specifically for kids. When your kid turns four or five, you will have to start them on herbal powders that will enhance their thinking capabilities and provide strong brainpower. This powder will also provide them with mental clarity, boost their resistance towards stress, and also balance their emotions as well.
You can even give your kids Amrit tablets in the morning because they have the potential to reduce toxins within the body and also have natural sources of vitamin C.
As mentioned before, a good sesame seed oil massage for your child is an excellent way to increase the natural immunity and help them sleep better.
If your child is experiencing a cough and cold, then you can ease their suffering by giving them Ayurvedic medicine for child cough. Anything that is organic and is lying around your house can have a medicinal use that is if you know how to use it. Many Ayurvedic home remedies include a blend of spices and herbs that are commonly found around your house, and they help cure common symptoms and prevent any ailments that your child may suffer.
Some common ingredients that can cure cough and cold are clove, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, fennel seeds, turmeric, rock salt, ginger, honey, garlic, basil, mint, and onions. Ayurveda also recommends teaching your child meditation and breathing exercises, and you can even provide them with some aromatherapy and cleansing therapies as well.
You can try simple home remedies and Ayurvedic medicine to relieve cough and cold symptoms, and also prevent your sickness from getting worse. If you let the disease go untreated and let it manifest without treating it, then your child will have to incur specific treatments from their doctor.
A healthy diet and workout regime can help reduce the symptoms and severity, and it will also not aggravate the condition as much.
It's essential that you keep your child's digestive system healthy because Gastro Intestinal problems can lead to many diseases. If these diseases are left untreated, then they can manifest in the worst way possible. The GIT is the pathway that connects from your mouth to the stomach and intestines. When food enters the food pipe, it travels through many organs like the esophagus, stomach, large and small intestines, and finally expelled through the rectum. This path allows the food to break down and the nutrients to get absorbed by the body. If your child doesn't have a healthy GIT path, then they will experience difficulties like gastritis, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, and so on.
Your child's immunity depends on their gut health as well, and Ayurveda practices promise a cure for all digestive problems; the timespan will last for a few months.
What is Gastritis?
This experience is caused due to the inflammation of the stomach lining. Bacterial infections and constant use of prescription drugs, like aspirin, can cause the gastritis condition. Children will experience severe discomfort, and they will feel nauseous and bloated as well. You will have to give them food that is rich in flavonoids and find natural remedies that will fight the Pylori infection. Your child should stay away from spicy food, aerated drinks and caffeine, and maintain the best hygiene to combat the bacterial infection.
Bonus: Tips for a refreshing massage routine for your little one
Using Ayurvedic baby massage oil can help keep your baby calm, rejuvenates their tissues, and promotes healthy circulation as well. A refreshing Ayurvedic massage is also known as Abhyanga, and it's known to be incredibly relaxing to a child's nervous system and benefits their mental health. The herbal oil provides a protective layer on the body that creates an external buffer for the nervous system against anything that can happen throughout the day.
An Ayurvedic baby oil combination that is a favorite among many parents includes sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and ghee. All you have to do is massage a quarter of the cup into the child's skin, hair, and scalp. You can warm the oil by setting the container in lukewarm water, and this method helps the skin absorb the oil better.
Hopefully, this post helped you know the importance of providing your child with a natural and holistic lifestyle and tips on how to increase immunity in children in India.
1. Which Ayurvedic medicine is best for the immune system?
One of the best Ayurvedic medicines to promote a strong and healthy immune system is the Amla. It’s a powerful anti-aging and Rasayana herb that packs vital nutrients, antioxidants, and Vitamins. It supports digestion, helps maintain blood glucose levels, and is a natural rejuvenator. Supplements that contain Amla such as Chyavanaprash support a healthy immune response.
2. Which baby oil should I use to massage my child?
The best baby massage oil is Kerala Ayurveda’s Bath & Massage Oil. It can be used for both infants and toddlers. The benefits of this baby oil is that it ensures normal blood circulation in the body, helps nourish your baby’s nervous system, and strengthens the muscles, thereby, promoting healthy growth and development. Made with all natural ingredients, your baby will love being massaged with this gentle oil.
3.Do Ayurvedic immunity boosters promote appetite in children?
Yes! If your child does not have strong immunity, their appetite may start to get affected, which can cause more health problems. Intake of Ayurvedic immunity supporting herbs can aid the normal functioning of the body and promote appetite. Ensure that you give your child nutrient-dense meals and limit their consumption of processed foods.
4. Do Ayurvedic supplements have any side effects?
Since Ayurvedic supplements are made from natural ingredients, they are quite safe, especially when you follow the dosage and take the formula in the right manner. Side effects are not a common case, however, if you are pregnant, lactating, or have serious health issues, it is recommended that you consult an Ayurvedic doctor before consuming anything new.
About Dr. Aishwarya Mohan
Dr. Aishwarya Mohan’s knowledge in the practice of the Kerala Ayurveda System of Medicine spans multiple specialties and domains. Over a stellar period of 14 years, Dr. Aishwarya has lent her expertise in the field of Infertility, back pain and cervical spondylitis, psoriasis, allergic rhinitis, women’s health and autism. Before joining Kerala Ayurveda’s team of experts, she has in the past, worked with SNV Ayurveda, KVG Ayurveda, Kottakkal Ayurveda Shala and Ayurvedagram.