How can ayurveda help enhance immunity in children?

Jun 17, 2023 | Ayurveda


Building a strong immunity in children helps them cultivate the habit of looking after their immune system health as adults. In children their immune systems are still developing and strengthening it will serve them through adulthood. Enhancing a child’s immunity allows them to enjoy a full and active life in the knowledge that their bodies are able to fight germs, bacteria and viruses for quicker recovery.

Importance of a strong immune system in children

A healthy immune system gives children strong immunity which provides them with the best chance of fighting of viruses and build up natural defences. They get fewer health problems and are able to recover quicker. Wounds heal faster when a child has a strong immune system, and they tend to feel less tired while enjoying healthier hair, nails and skin.

How can Ayurveda help in enhancing immunity in children?

Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system that uses a holistic approach to nurture the mind, body and spirit for balance to create balance. According to ayurvedic teachings spanning over 3000 years the way to good overall health is prevention rather than just treating symptoms. It is this same approach that ayurveda takes towards building a strong immunity.

The emphasis is on the digestive system and creating a robust agni or digestive fire which helps balance the dosha or life forces namely vatta, pitta and kapha dosha. These are created by combinations of earth, air, fire, water and space – each human has a dosha combination unique to them which should stay in balance.

For child’s immune system to be strong and healthy ayurveda advises a healthy diet and supportive lifestyle to maintain balance within the dosha and the nervous system. Stress is a major deterrent to our immune systems which is why basic self-care has such a positive immunity boosting impact.

Factors affecting immunity in children

There are quite a few factors that can cause weak immunity in a child from infections to stress and anxiety to excess sugar intake and lack of sunlight exposure during the day. An unhealthy diet and lack of movement can adversely affect kids’ immune systems.

Using ayurveda to enhance immunity in children

Ayurvedic tips and practices provide a practical approach to increase immunity in kids through simple and flexible adjustments that can be easily incorporated into daily life. When done gradually it becomes a lifestyle habit that a child will be able to adjust and carry on into adult life.

Providing a balanced diet

A child’s diet helps increase immunity as it ignites agni which clears excess dosha to regain balance and increase immunity power. It is important to consult an ayurvedic practitioner to get a diet plan that is tailored to your child’s requirements. Adding basil and/or tulsi leaves to meals is considered important in ayurveda because of their powerful medicinal properties. Adding oils like sesame oil to dressings or using it to sauté meats and vegetables is good because it provides healthy fats while fighting inflammation. Foods that generally help with promoting immunity functions include:

  • Fish oil
  • Leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Brightly coloured vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spices

Daily routine and lifestyle practices

Lifestyle habits and daily routines play a big role in a child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Getting adequate hours of sleep is important and establishing a night routine and a daily timeframe for bed will help your child fall asleep and enjoy a deep replenishing sleep. As with adults exercise and physical activity are essential for children because it improves their cardiorespiratory fitness, controls weight, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and builds strong bones and muscles. Morning sunlight is very beneficial for children and outdoor time should be included in a daily routine.

Supporting children’s emotional health and mental wellbeing

Stress and anxiety have a detrimental effect on the immune system and ayurveda teaches that parents and guardians should be active in maintaining a calm and stress free environment for their kids. Sadly, there is research that points to the effects of stress and anxiety on the immune system which has as adverse effect on the body. Parents and guardians need to provide activities that will help children focus on more positive things. They should also talk to the children and create an open communication flow that will encourage children to discuss and share their worries openly.

Stress management

Incorporating daily yoga and breathing exercises will help immensely with stress management. There are different yoga flows which children could experiment with which helps them get movement as well as mental clarity and strength. Helping children allocate time for reading, painting or listening to music will also help them with easing mental stress.

Ayurvedic herbs and formulations

In ayurveda ojas or vigour is the essential energy that promotes wellbeing and health in the human body and is energy that enable important secretion in the body. It is when there is a deficiency in our ojas that stress and anxiety are able to take a firm hold which is why ayurveda advices the use of ayurvedic herbs and formulations that can be used in home remedies to boost immunity. These herbs can be mixed with warm water, sweetened with honey and drunk as an herbal tea or added to cooking for the child to benefit and be protected from catching infections.

  • Neem
  • Tulsi
  • Ashwagandha
  • Ginseng
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Echinacea
  • Black cumin

These are just some of the popular herbs used to boost immunity and wellness. Ask an ayurvedic practitioner how best to incorporate these into your child’s diet.


Ayurveda promotes lifestyle adaptations and habits to maintain health and wellness. By taking measures to look after your child’s immune system strength you can help your child lead a healthy and vigorous life full of energy. From ancient times ayurveda has been providing people with a holistic and natural approach to gaining and maintaining good health. It is not difficult to adapt these teachings into your lives to enhance immunity and will hopefully be a practice your child will carry into adulthood for continued benefits.