The Immune System
The Immune system is the body’s defence mechanism. It is a series of organs, glands, and tissues that protect the body against disease by identifying and killing pathogens, parasites and viruses. In a healthy immune system the pathogens and waste are eliminated from the body’s healthy tissues and cells. The pathogens and waste are carried out and eliminated through the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, and intestinal lining after being exposed to antigens. Disorders in the immune system can result in disease. Immunodeficiency occurs when the immune system is less active than normal, resulting in recurring and life-threatening infections.
Antibiotics & Other Challenges to the Immune System
The Immune System when it is not in peak condition can fail to operate as well as it should. Normal flora are bacteria, that live in and on the body with, usually, no harmful effects to us. Some are termed friendly and are a necessary part of digestive function. The bacteria can become a health issues when they overgrow in the body in systems they are not meant to be. Two examples are (a) staphylococcus living on the skin can gain entry to the body through small cuts/nicks/lesions. (b) Some antibiotics, in particular clindamycin, kill some of the bacteria in our intestinal tract.
Antibiotics are powerful agents. However they are not always successful at completely eliminating the targeted pathogens. The pathogens are able to “hide” in what is known as biofilms and are not affected by the antibiotics.The pathogens adapt to the antibiotics and develop an immunity. Often the pathogens are able to propagate even more fiercely after the antibiotic schedule is complete. Biofilms must be eliminated to regain one’s health. Some other challenges that weaken a healthy immune system include:
- Poor Sleep
- Sedentary Lifestyle (lack of exercise)
- Infections If the infectious bacteria, virus, pathogens reproduce at a rate beyond the control of the immune system.
- Toxic Colon
- Emotional, Physical and Mental Stress
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Strengthen the Immune System
- Detox Cleansing Treatments When the body’s various organs and systems are clean the body’s Immune System works efficiently. When these systems are toxic or stressed the body’s immune system can also fail and can lead to serious internal diseases. This large section examines the health and maintenance of organs through cleanses.
- Proper Sleep Sleep deprivation and poor quality of sound sleep increase the likeliness of illness. This is in part due to the impairment of the immune system. This post examines sleep and health and has several suggestions for getting proper sleep.
- Proper Exercise Exercising will boost the circulation of lymph and help boost the immune system. This post examines different exercises effect on lymph system health and cleansing.
- Preventing Infections Lesions that manifest in Morgellons sufferers are susceptible to infection. If the bacterial invasion is minor, the immune system soon dispatches the invader, and the system returns to normal. This post examines the methods to prevent infections.
- Reduce Stress Stress is a normal survival instinct but continual stress can affect one’s health for the worse. This post examines the negative role of stress in dealing with Morgellons and lists many stress relievers.
- Proper Nutrition Vitamins & Minerals. The functioning of the immune system, like most systems in the body, is dependent on proper nutrition. Specific foods may also affect the immune system; for example, fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in certain fatty acids may foster a healthy immune system. This posts describes healthy immune system building diets. It also examines many herbs and supplements that are needed for optimal health.
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Boosting the Immune System
A whole body approach to health includes boosting one’s Immune System. This includes getting the right amount of sleep, adopting an exercise program to increase circulation, understanding and aiding the body’s response to infection. It also is crucial to cleanse and maintain the colon to have regular bowel movements. Importantly one must adopt a positive frame of mind and work to eliminate external sources of stress, including exposure to toxicities. Proper nutrition also pays a big part in supporting the Immune system and organic herbs discussed briefly here can be added to one’s regiment to support the Immune system when it is overloaded. Herbal supplements will also aid the Lymph and Digestive System. These steps are to bring about health and improve the body’s ability to fight disease. Developing an understanding of all of these factors is essential to boosting and strengthening one’s Immune System. Good health is sure to follow.
Herbs That Strengthen The Immune System
- Cat’s Claw Several studies have found alkaloids in cat’s claw that stimulate the method by which white blood cells defend the body. In addition, it has significant anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties.
- Echinacea According to National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, by Steven Foster and Rebecca L. Johnson (National Geographic Society, 2006), “Laboratory and animal studies suggest Echinacea contains active substances that stimulate the immune system to counter bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, reduce inflammation, strengthen blood vessels, destroy free radicals, increase active white blood cells in circulation, stimulate production of interferon (a natural antiviral substance), and prevent sun damage to the skin.”
- Elderberry This herb has been shown to very strongly stimulate the immune system, most especially through boosting antibody production. This is especially true for upper respiratory infections, and according to Prescription for Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch (Avery, 2002), “has shown some activity in preliminary trials against [several] viruses.”
- Asian Ginseng – There is some evidence that Asian ginseng may boost the activity of certain white blood cell types, which might help to stimulate immune system effectiveness.
- Siberian Ginseng (aka Eleuthero) – According to Pres. for Herbal Healing, eleuthero is “an immune stimulant that is especially useful for preventing infection during times of intense physical activity and prolonged periods of stress.” In addition, it seems to especially target the stimulation of T-helper and natural killer cells, which might make it a good candidate for some autoimmune disease sufferers.
It may be advantageous to find an herbal immune system supplements with these herbal ingredients.