Strengthen the Immune System Naturally


"Among the most exciting applications of herbal medicine lie in treating abnormalities of the immune system. Clinical studies have shown that various herbal products are effective in treating allergies, asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Herbal medicine also has a unique potential usefulness in balancing the immune system in cases of chronic infection, preventing the immune system from turning on the body and causing destruction."

~Phyllis A. Balch, CNC Prescription for Herbal Healing

A healthy, properly functioning immune system is absolutely vital to good health. It is the key to the healing process from the tiniest scratch - to the most complex virus. Even the aging process is intimately linked with the immune system.

Compromised immunity leaves us vulnerable to disease and impairs our ability to heal properly and age well.

SIGNS OF IMPAIRED IMMUNE FUNCTION

CANDIDIASIS/ YEAST INFECTIONS

RECURRING INFECTIONS

CHRONIC FATIGUE

LISTLESSNESS

CHRONIC DIARRHEA

SLOW WOUND HEALING

ALLERGIES

INFLAMMATION

People who have more than 2 or 3 colds or infectious illnesses per year are likely suffering from weakened immunity

WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?

The immune system is a complex system of interactions involving many organs and glands as well as substances such as bone marrow, white blood cells, lymphatic vessels and serum factors in our blood. Our immunity dependson all these components functioning together.

HOW DOES OUR IMMUNITY BECOME IMPAIRED?

Unfortunately, modern life is full of things that tend to depress our immune systems.

PESTICIDES

CHEMICHALS IN HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS

FOOD ADDITIVES

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS

OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS

POOR LIVING HABITS

STRESS

IMPROPER NUTRITION

CHEMOTHERAPY

Also many disorders have been linked to improper immune function including thyroid deficiency, diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, reheumatoid arthritis, lupus and pernicious anemia.

For optimal immune function we need to address any disorders that may be inhibiting immune function. We also need to take steps to avoid exposure to toxins such as pesticides and chemicals we use around the house. Try wearing gloves when cleaning to avoid skin exposure and avoid inhaling fumes from things like bleach, oven cleaners, and the like. Make sure dishes and glassware are thouroughly rinsed of any residue from dishwashing liquids etc. Even though they're more expensive, consider buying nontoxic cleansers. Take steps to ensure that the soaps and shampoos you use are made from the most natural ingredients possible. (Aubrey Organics is a good option.) It's also important to get plenty of fresh air and to drink the purest water available.

HERBS THAT BENEFIT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

ASTRAGALUS - A powerful antioxidant which protects the liver from toxins, boosts the immune system and generates anticancer cells in the body.

ECHINACEA - Enhances lymphatic function and boosts immune system.

GINKGO BILOBA - A powerful antioxidant which increases circulation to brain cells.

GOLDENSEAL - An antibacterial which strengthens the immune system and cleanses the blood. (Don't take internally for more than a week at a time or if pregnant.)

ST. JOHN'S WORT- A blood purifier useful in cases of Epstein - Barr virus and HIV.

OLIVE LEAF - Effective against numerous viruses, bacteria and fungi. It has been used in the treatment of people with viral illnesses such as Epstein-Barr disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Herpes and AIDS.

SPIRULINA - Aids in protecting the immune system and cleansing toxins from the body. Though technically a nutrient, not an herb, spirulina is a naturally digestible food that helps protect the immune system and aids in mineral absorption. It helps balance blood sugar levels and supplies nutrients that help the body cleanse and heal.

Other herbs that enhance the immune response are

BAYBERRY,FENUGREEK , HAWTHORN, HOREHOUND and RED CLOVER .

~Herbal Formulas~

Herbs often work best when used in combination with other herbs. There are contraindications for certain herbs if you have an auto-immune disorder. Consult a good herbal book or work with an herbalist to create a blend appropriate for your needs.

~ CLEANSE THE LIVER ~

The liver is our primary detoxifying organ and must be functioning optimally for proper immunity.

Herbs which are useful in cleansing the liver include BLACK RADISH, DANDELION, and MILK THISTLE.

~Other Steps to Improved Immunity~

Proper Nutrition

In addition to using herbs to strengthen and balance the immune system it is important to supply the body with adequate nutrients.

Vitamin A Vital to the body's defense system - known as the infection-fighting vitamin.

Vitamin C Probably the most important vitamin to the immune system. It has a direct effect on bacteria and viruses and is needed for forming adrenal hormones and lymphocytes.

Vitamin E Works synergystically with vitamins A & C as well the mineral selenium as a scavenger of toxic free-radicals.

Zinc Promotes healing of wounds and boosts immune response.

Germanium A trace element which benefits the immune system.

Get sufficient sleep.

Don't Smoke

Excercise Regularly

Reduce Stress and Anxiety.

Stress triggers changes in biochemistry that suppress white blood cell activity and taxes the endocrine system in ways that ultimately result in lowered defense against infection and an impaired capacity for healing. Stress also depletes the body of nutrients. Addressing chronic stress is a very important element of bringing the immune system into balance.

About The Author

Cori Young is an herbalist living in the Pacific Northwest.


More Resources

Anxiety & Panic - Two Steps to Take Before the Healing Process Begins
Anxiety sufferers are usually at a loose end after trying methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Techniques, Hypnosis, Sessions with psychologists, Meditation, Herbal Alternatives and probably the most popular of them all is Medications such as anti-depressants and Benzodiazepine's.Now I was no different to any other sufferer, I was pulling my hair out in the hopes of one of these alternatives would kick in and free me of this dreadful nightmare that I lived, day in and day out for years.
Sun Chlorella and the Benefit
Sun Chlorella is referred to as the Green Magician due to the amazing healing powers of sun chlorella and its benefit of chlorella. Also known as the 'Super food', sun chlorella is packed full of the benefit of chlorella! Chlorella contains the highest levels of chlorophyll of all earth's foods and has many benefits of chlorella.
Alternative Fibromyalgia Therapies
Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disease that is effecting more and more people, as increasing numbers of patients are being diagnosed with this disorder. What is fibromyalgia, and what are some alterative therapies and treatments for this often-times debilitating disease?Fibromyalgia is defined as a chronic musculoskeletal disorder with symptoms of widespread and persistent muscle and soft tissue pain, fatigue, and tenderness in several key points of the body such as the neck, shoulders and hips.
How To Lower Cholesterol Without Prescription Drugs
Don't accept that prescription just yet. In most cases it's possible to take control of your cholesterol naturally, without the use of prescription drugs.
Using Psyllium For Relieving Constipation
If you have asthma, do not take or use psyllium. Some people with asthma have had allergic reactions to psyllium and the powder from psyllium can cause an asthma attack.
Natural Healing For The Body
Back-to-Nature AromatherapyBack-to-nature is a new health initiative by people living in modern society. Aromatherapy, which stems from natural plants, has also became a favourite in modern day living.
Neuro Emotional Technique
NET or Neuro Emotional Technique is one of the newer "power therapies" and stress reduction techniques that along with TFT (Thought Field Therapy), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) have become popular in the last ten years. These therapies seem to work quicker than traditional talk therapies.
Do-Sa-Do: Square Dancing and Mindfulness
When I was 12, one of my best friends was a square dancer. Twice a week, her family would pile into the Country Squire station wagon and head to the Grange Hall, where they'd gather with their square dancing club for an evening of music, friendship and do-sa-do.
Bois De Santal: The Source of Tranquility
The near extinct bois de santal has a sensual and exotic scent that gives an elevating experience for those who use it. The oil extraction process of the sandalwood is lengthy; the tree has to be about 30 years old before the process can take place.
Constipation and Toxicity
Having regular constipation can lead to some serious illnesses. Fecal matter should move through your colon easily and in a given time.
Getting into The Zone with The Alexander Technique
Have you ever attempted to perform a simple act and completely failed? From completely mistiming a shot to losing balance at a crucial moment, the outcome may have fallen short of our intention and expectation. In contrast there are times when everything goes just right, every act is carried out to perfection with little perceived effort.
Alternative Medicine is Holistic, Western Medicine is Reductionist
The major difference between alternative medicine, or what I'll call holistic health, and Western medicine, is in approach.A Western doctor, or MD, sees his duty as searching out disease, diagnosing it, and treating it.
10 Essential Food Safety Tips For AIDS Sufferers
Persons with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) areespecially susceptible to illness from food-borne pathogens.Because they're at higher risk for severe illness or death,affected persons must be vigilant when handling and cookingfoods.
Quit Smoking
Consider this:Already since 1972, over 60 million people in the USA alone have successfully quit smoking!At one stage over 60% of the adult population was addicted to this drug. Today it is 28% and dropping.
What Happens During a Pain Relief Visualization Session
A visualization session is an hour-long conversation with your subconscious about what visualization statements you may be able to use to help relieve your pain. Here's how the session works.
Healing Through Stories
Stories are powerful. How many times have you heard a childbeg, *Tell me a story.
Bling Therapy - Healing with Gemstones
From jeweled necklaces to ankle bracelets, and all the tops and bottoms in between, we suddenly see Bling on every one and every thing! You instinctively knew that something about diamonds and rubies made you feel good when you first saw them sparkle on your friends, and they made you feel even better when they were shining on you.However, did you know that many of the gemstones we have come to know and love as Bling could actually heal you both physically and emotionally? Yes, now you can justify owning gems in every color because more and more evidence is surfacing that they can actually heal you.
Why is Prevention So Important?
One of the least known and least practiced aspects of medicine is prevention. If you look at a list of medical specialists that have evolved in our system of western medicine, you will not find a Doctor of Preventive Medicine.
Injured Athletes and Acupuncture
I have always been amazed at the clinical results that I have seen with injured athletes and acupuncture. For a while, my wife and I worked closely with a number of athletes from a world championship athletic team, the Santa Barbara Condors At the world class level, these athletes would be compared to world cup soccer players in the way their body is used and abused.
Eucalyptus: The Way to Smoother Breathing
The eucalyptus is a popular Australian remedy that was first introduced to the world by the aborigines as a treatment for many kinds of ailments. Its uses range from treating wounds, suppressing colds, relaxing the mind to repelling insects.

More Alternative Information:

Related Articles

Natures Way To Relieve Arthritis Pain
PINEAPPLE AND PAPAYASMedical authorities say that pineapples and papayas can relieve arthritis pain.Research shows that pineapples and papayas have potent anti-inflammatory properties from high levels of bromelain and papain, which are natural enzymes.
Five Simple Steps For Treating Heel Pain
If you experience a sharp pain in your heel at the first step in the morning, chances are you have plantar fasciitis (plan * tar fash* ee * I * tis). "Plantar" means the bottom of the foot.
Organic Bedding and Organic Mattresses by Prescription Only?
Effective January 1, 2005, California law requires all mattresses contain chemical based fire retardancy for "public safety". This law may become national within a year, and is under consideration by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Alternative Medicine vs Conventional Medicine - Pt 2
In Part 1 we discussed the fact that alternative medicine (so called) was being used in ancient times long before conventional medicine came on the scene. It is interesting to note that there were not so many diseases plaguing mortals in those days.
Why Air Purifiers Are Not Always The Answer To Indoor Air Quality Problems
Air purifier filters are not always the answer to air quality problems.Solving the problem is a much better approach than masking the symptom.
Superfood or Superfad
I have been reading a lot lately on the subject of anthrocyanins. Anthrocyanin is a pigment found in many fruits and vegetables but especially in berries.
Wild Medicine and Tansy Cakes
It started with the Tansy cakes. I had to ask myself 'Why would anyone eat anything so utterly disgusting in taste'? Chrysanthemum Vulgare is a common perennial in the British Isles and the name Tansy is said to be derived from the Greek 'athansia', meaning 'immortal'.
5 Simple Steps For Ridding Yourself Of Back Pain
Millions of people suffer from back pain unnecessarily when there is actually a very simple solution, according to Jesse Cannone , certified personal trainer and back pain specialist. "Unfortunately, many people are led to believe that back pain is normal and were all supposed to experience it.
Treatment Options for Hand and Foot Eczema
There are many kinds of eczema, and too few people who can tell you how to cure them. Scientists are trying get a better handle on the causes of such eczema as hand and foot eczema, but they may still have years to go before they find a tested and sound way to prevent the condition.
Dandelions! This Common Weed is a Wonderful Spring Tonic
Those Glorious Dandelions! Taraxacum officinale (composite family)Spring is coming! Starting about this time every year I find myself craving bitter flavors. My body is longing to cleanse itself of toxins accumulated over a long winter of holiday indulgence, rich foods and various colds & flus.
Home Remedies, Treatment To All Ailments By Herbal Homemade Remedies
Given below the list of Best Home Remedies for all common diseases and conditions. Try these effective home remedies for a few days and see the results.
The Origins of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, which involves the use of essential oils to treat various ailments, has been used by healers for thousands of years. Although its origins are difficult to trace, the use of aromatherapy goes back at least 4,000 years, possibly beginning with the ancient Egyptians, who were known to have used aromatic botanicals in many different ways.
Herbal Products
HERBAL PRODUCTS are comprised of herbal care remedies, such as ointments like Tea Tree ointment. Tea Tree ointment has the ability to help and cure dermatitis, excema and fungal infections.
Snoring - A Small Change Can Make A Big Difference
We all know how annoying snoring can be, both for the snorer and the partner. The effects and seriousness of snoring are becoming more apparent with snoring being linked to conditions like high blood pressure and coronary disease.
Holistic Methods: Color Therapy and Aura Soma in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The human body is recognized as a series of colors, detectable only in the last fifty years with the technology of Kirlian Photography. The colors relate to the body's subtle energy fields, known as auras and chakras.
Kundalini Questions
Alex Wrote;"What is the difference after the kundalini awakens, and how do you know if it did?About 25 years ago I was sitting alone by a creek in the morning, not formally meditating (which I've never done), just watching the water flow.Suddenly there was an extremely intense ball of energy that formed at the base of my spine, buzzed there for a bit, then shot up my spine and 'exploded' in my head and 'out my eyes' and turned what I saw into a sort of mosaic made of the colors of what was there, but not the exact forms anymore.
Quit Smoking
Consider this:Already since 1972, over 60 million people in the USA alone have successfully quit smoking!At one stage over 60% of the adult population was addicted to this drug. Today it is 28% and dropping.
How to Prevent Snoring?
Snoring is noisy breathing through the mouth and nose during sleep. It can occur when you are breathing in or out.
Suffering from Osteoarthritis? Acupuncture to the Rescue
Keeping in tune with our commitment to providing the latest, medical breakthroughs, I recently had the rare pleasure of speaking with Professor Jorge Vas Ruiz, (Subdirector of the Master University of Acupuncture, ACMAS Huangdi located in Sevilla, Spain) regarding acupuncture's effectiveness on osteoarthritis of the knee.For over 8 years, Professor Ruiz and his team of elite professors have investigated the effectiveness of Acupuncture treatment.
How to Treat Your Liver Right
The liver has many functions, but the one I will concentrate on is its ability to neutralize toxins we eat. The liver is responsible for making sure that nutrients reach your cells and blood is free of toxins and pathogens.