Healthy Ojas - Essence of Vitality

Posted by Lala Naidu on

Ojas is a Sanskrit term that can be translated as “vigor” or “essence of vitality.” Also described as the essential energy of our immune system, ojas is said to originate in the heart, pervading the entire body, giving sparkle to the eyes, glow to the skin, and immunity to the cells. Dr. David Frawley an authority on the yogic sciences and who’s teachings I respect greatly writes this about ojas Ojas is not a physical substance, but the sap of our life energy that exists on a subtle level in the body.”. As you may have come to know, wisdom traditions including Ayurveda, offer great insight and understanding of the subtle layers of existence, which for the modern mind can be hard to grasp.

Ojas is created by the body through the proper digestion of food – ojas is the concentrated essence of all the Dhātus or bodily tissues. When ojas is low, we are more susceptible to developing both mental and physical diseases, which, with time, can turn into chronic, degenerative diseases. Short-term effects of depleted ojas include low energy, fatigue, and lack of motivation.

If our ojas is weak, our health, our spirit, and our energy diminishes. Ojas is depleted by emotions like anger, fear, worry and unprocessed emotions, overwork, artificial environments, lighting, excessive sexual activity, stress, processed foods, refined sugars, stimulants, alcohol, caffeine, and lack of sleep.

Over a lifetime, ojas gets depleted and many diseases of old age reflect low ojas. Premature aging is said to be a result of low ojas.

In clinic, it’s important to determine the patients levels of ojas to determine a suited treatment plan. Someone with very low ojas is not suited for panchakarma, as the cleansing would likely deplete the organism further.

Signs of Healthy Ojas


  • A glowing complexion
  • A sparkle in your eyes
  • Physical strength
  • Ample energy
  • Sharp sense organs
  • No aches and pains
  • Robust health and immunity
  • A sense of lightness in your body and mind

Mental and emotional:

  • Mental clarity and focus
  • Ample vitality
  • Creativity
  • A profound sense of well-being
  • Happiness and joy

Signs of Low Ojas


  • Dry skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Muscle pain and/or joint pain
  • Heaviness of body and mind
  • Impaired bodily functions
  • Fatigue
  • A tendency to get sick frequently

Mental and emotional:

  • Mental confusion or fuzziness
  • Lack of focus
  • A consistently negative attitude
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and/or loneliness

How to Build Ojas Through Your Diet 

According to Ayurveda, food is medicine, and as we’re starting to paint the picture of – ojas represents strength and vitality, and when talking about food we’re looking for tonifying or building qualities such as sweet, heavy, unctuous, cool, and smooth with examples like ghee, raw cow’s milk, almonds and dates. Local, fresh organic vegetables and whole grains are ojas-building, too.

Foods To Eat

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Dates, Figs
  • Sweet potatoes, Yams, Turnips
  • Leafy greens
  • Zucchini
  • Nuts, especially soaked and peeled almonds
  • Mung beans, organic, sprouted tofu (Wildwood brand)
  • Whole grains

Also consider trying the Ayurvedic formula Chyawanprash, an immune-boosting herbal jam that includes ojas-building ingredients like ashwagandha, ghee, and honey, plus the vitamin C–rich amla fruit. Chyawanprash is not for everyone as it is high in sugar, so first consult with your health care provider. Chyawanprash can easily be found online.

 Lifestyle Practices to Build Ojas

  • Awareness practices like sitting and walking meditation

  • Deep rest and relaxation like Yoga Nidra (guided meditation)

  • Communing with nature, earthing, gardening, indoor plant and flowers

  • Mindful eating, see my video “Sacred Act of Eating”

  • Knowing your capacity, be careful not to overwork and over-exercise

  • Prana-rich nutrition – foods that are fresh and juicy

  • Rasayana herbs and tonics also known as adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Chayavanprash, gudduchi

  • Ayurvedic tonifying therapies like abhyanga and sirodhara

  • Cultivating healthy relationships

  • Clean living space



Ayurvedic Therapies Healthy habits Herbal medicine Menopause Nutrition Vata pacifying Women's Health

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