We do hear all the time terms weak immune system, immune system deficiencies, boosting immune system. But do we know what really the immune system is? Frankly speaking, I forgot a lot of information about immune system, which I have learned in high school, taking skin care lessons and energy healing classes. I found a great article in The Herb Quarterly. I hope it will help you to understand your body and defend yourself against diseases.
Herbs for a Healthy Immune System
Immune System 101
The immune system works on several ways. It creates a barrier that attempts to prevent harmful organisms from entering the body. If an organism does break through, it then tries to detect and eliminate it before it can reproduce. In the event that the organism starts to multiply, the immune system goes into action to destroy “offspring” as soon as possible.
Most people don’t think of their skin as being part of the immune system, but it is the first defense against intruders. In fact, the skin produces anti bacterial compounds that kill some microorganisms on contact. Then there’s the saliva in your mouth, the tears that coat your eyes, and he mucous lining in your nose – all barriers that protect you. Each produces chemicals to repel bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables. Aggressors that get past these defenses have to face powerful acid in the stomach and protective bacteria in the gut, both of which have roles in destroying harmful microorganisms.
So how do herbs come into play? They help support these processes in a variety of ways.
Key Immune-System Helpers
Within your body, several organs and systems play important defensive roles:
- Thymus gland: Situated between your breast bone and your heart, this tiny gland aids in the maturation of certain white blood cells.
- Spleen: This organ filters the blood, looking to eliminate foreign cells.
- Bone marrow: This flexible tissue, found in long bones, produces new red and white blood cells.
- White blood cells: This category of cells includes T-cells, B-cells, lymohocytes, macrophages, NK (natural killer) cells, leukocytes, phagocytes, and others.
- Antibodies: Y-shaped proteins produced by white blood cells, these bind and disable specific toxins.
- Complement systems: Like antibodies, this system comprises a series of proteins. Manufactured in the liver, complement proteins cause bursting of foreign cells, which then signals to phagocytes to remove the cell.
- Hormones: The immune system produces several hormones. Generally known as lymphokines, each has specialized duties.
The Herb Quarterly Longevity Herbs and Tonics
Keep your skin in great shape with facials and organic cosmetics. Protect yourselves from excessive dryness with humidifier; you will help your eyes, throat, nose to fight bacteria and viruses. Make sure that you do not disturb your stomach PH balance because as they say “Most of the diseases start in the gut”.
We also found a very interesting article in Opra magazine for December, 2012. The reader asks the question “If you feel a cold coming on, should you drink tea or orange juice?”. And the doctor answers, “There’s no question that tea is the better choice. Yes, orange juice has vitamin C, but it may actually suppress your immunity and make you more susceptible to colds because of its high sugar content. According to one study, when you consume 100 grams of carbohydrates in the forms of glucose, fructose, sucrose, orange juice, or honey, you significantly reduce the function of white blood cells that contribute to a healthy immune system. So while it’s important to drink lots of fluids, stay away from fruit juices. Plus, hot tea clears the nasal passages. Pour a cup – and get your C from a vitamin.”
P.S. The Herb Quarterly is a great gift for someone who wants to change their lifestyle and go organic and holistic.
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