The Best Defense
Types of Immunity
Your immune system is a fascinating feature that runs on such perfect automation you generally can go months and months without giving it a second thought. It is akin to your very own force field, warding off germs and pathogens and negotiating their exit before you even realize they've invaded. Immunity comes about through innate and acquired means. Innate immunity is that which you were born with, passed on from your mother's womb and through her breast milk. Acquired immunity can be done so through either natural or artificial means. Naturally acquired immunity is that which you receive once you have come down with an illness caused by a particular virus or bacteria. Once your immune system encounters one of these undesirables, it produces antibodies to mitigate the foreign pathogens. Artificially acquired immunity is what is said to be attained from vaccines.
Your immune system is a collection of organs and cells produced by them. There are so many functions of the body that assist in immunity, but the key players are the Thymus, Lymphatic Nodes and Vessels, Spleen and Bone Marrow. The Thymus gland is located near the heart and it prepares T cells, which are lymphocytes that perform essential immune response. The soft inner webbing of our large bones are the production ground for white blood cells. White blood cells are crucial in immunity, as they fight infection. Lymph nodes and the lymphatic vessels which connect them, work together to move stagnant secreted fluids back into circulation and to filter out dead cells and impurities. The spleen is where our old or corrupted red blood cells are removed from service. The spleen also sorts through various pathogens and collects the information from them which is used to create lymphocytes according to need. it really is a fascinating process. Aren't you so grateful for its automation?
Problems in the immune system
If the immune system is not performing up to par, it is because it has become either under active or overactive. An under active immune system has become weakened or is missing a key component and is incapable of producing an adequate response to invaders. Obviously, this can be dangerous and result in frequent illness and general weakness. Equally problematic, though, is an overactive immune response. Allergic reactions are the result of an overactive immune system. A third phenomena is autoimmune disease. An autoimmune response isn't a measure of how great or how slight the reaction, but rather describes the body's defensive mechanisms attacking its own cells. Friendly fire, if you will. Examples of conditions caused by autoimmune disease are Diabetes Mellitus (type 1), IBS, Eczema and Psoriasis, Lupus, Ciliac's and a host of others. An immune system with compromised function is highly problematic and tends to only become more so without some nurturing.
Give Yourself a Boost
If you want to be sure your force field isn't slacking, there are some steps you can take to start improving your defenses today. There are some threats to your own immunity that are not foreign invaders. The most detrimental forces are those of mental and emotional stressors like fear and worry. While identifying that as so may only produce more of the same, there are ways to tend to your emotional body that will help you feel better. First, get plenty of sleep. Sleep is when we heal. it is when we are completely relaxed and offer no resistance or friction to natural processes. Once you wake up, move. Find a way to move your body. If you are inclined to workouts, do those. Play a sport. Dance. Just move. If you have let a sedentary lifestyle creep in, and exercise sounds overwhelming, go for a walk. Yoga and Tai Chi are also excellent for low impact stress reduction. Moving your body helps with lymph drainage and blood flow, crucial elements in immunity. Staying hydrated is essential. Your body needs plenty of water to help move all fluids through the circulatory process. Numerous formulas are available to guess how much water intake a particular person needs; but for most the answer is - just drink more. If your urine has color to it, you need more water. When you get hungry, eat your colors. colorful fruits and vegetables tout immune building complexes like Vitamins A and C, all the Bs, and much more. It is also highly beneficial to reduce sugar intake for immune building purposes. If you have a sweet tooth, try indulging in fresh fruits, dark chocolate and yogurt. Don't deprive yourself, just love yourself a little bit more.
Herbs for Immunity
God's medicine cabinet hosts a bounty of powerful herbs useful in both building immunity, and fighting infection. Stand-outs in this field include:
Elderberries - These tart little wonders contain an incredible compound called Anthocyanidins, which is a known immunostimulant. Studies have also determined them to have powerful antiviral, antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
Astragalus -This incredible herb helps is a favorite in traditional Chinese medicine. Its roots contain known antiviral, antibacterial and adaptogenic properties. Additionally, they increase the production of immune cells and help with the prevention of colds.
Echinacea - This herb has been used for centuries to boost the immune system. The anti inflammatory and immune stimulating effects help open up airways and alleviate symptoms. This herb can also help address viral and bacterial infections.
Oregano - An absolute must have for every home natural medicine cabinet, oregano offers a wealth of benefits. It contains thymol and carvacrol, both of which are highly antifungal and antibacterial. Carvacrol has the incredible ability to reverse viral infections, allergies, tumors, parasites and inflammation.
Ginger Root - One of the natural oils from in his herb is ginger which helps suppress fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.
Garlic - Among its notable properties, this bulb has shown to have broad spectrum antimicrobial might. It can also reduce the risk of cancer, and is incredible for heart health. The allicin contained in garlic reduces hypertension and helps curb hair loss.
Reishi - Literally a magic mushroom, as it is an adaptogen. This means it has the ability to bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate the immune system. This mushroom is known to be an incredible immune booster, energy booster, and mood booster. It is high in antioxidants and can improve heart health and support blood sugar control. It can reduce body weight and prevent weight gain and fat accumulation. This mushroom can also help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Maitake - Studies have shown this mushroom to possess the following medicinal properties: anti-bacterial, anti-candida, anti-tumor, anti-viral, blood pressure moderator, blood sugar moderator, cholesterol reducer, immune enhancer, lungs/respiratory support**. It also can help with weight loss! Maitake is also one of the best sources of Vitamin D! This mushroom is packed with so many benefits!
Now that Fall is beginning to blow in, it is the perfect time to tend to your immune system. Some of our favorite formulas for keeping your defenses intact are available here
Relax, you've got this!
- Roots to Remedies