Immunity is a vast and confusing universe that we have been flung into in recent times by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is one portion of this universe that is a quiet oasis, where immunity is built and nurtured by simple everyday foods produced in Indian backyards and farmlands for centuries.
Like ghee, one of the first foods given to a new mother and her infant. Packed with Vitamin A, Omega-3 and fatty acids, a spoon of ghee a day is recommended by today’s diet gurus to aid digestion, give us energy and improve muscle movement.
Or the ‘Rama-Lakshmana’ of immunity: turmeric and ginger. Turmeric, or haldi, is revered for its antiseptic powers, and ‘haldi doodh’ has long been the cure for a variety of ailments, from fever to insomnia. And the therapeutic prowess of ginger is no less mighty—known as the ‘maha-aushada’, or ‘great medicine’, it has extraordinary digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Or rice, the staple food across India. Certain varieties of rice have medicinal properties, like Nivara, which is used to treat rheumatism, arthritis and neurological problems. It is also made into ‘kanji’, to ward off colds and fever.
Then there is jaggery, which helps prevent respiratory problems and anaemia. Amla, rich in that essential immunity booster, Vitamin C… The list is a long one. We have even figured out that water, when stored in and drunk from the right utensil, can play a great role in immunity building.
The product of long years of study, close observation and practical experience, this book discusses the basic concepts of how the immune system works, what builds it and sustains it, what destroys it—and then explains how immunity is served up in all sorts of delicious, sustainable ways through easily available and familiar food and spices. This invaluable book should find a place on every family’s bookshelf, to be referred to by grandmothers and Gen Z fitness freaks alike.