Blog

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Are you one of those people that suffers year after year with recurring infections? Do you feel that your immune system might not be working correctly? Then maybe this article might help you….

Your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms, but sometimes for a variety of reasons our immune response or system can fail or be weakens.  What if it was possible to intervene in this process and make your immune system stronger? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

Weak ImmuneSystem

The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response.

Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these lifestyle choices:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Plenty of fresh air
  • Stress management – Stress less

Eating To Boost Your Immune:

Malnutrition impairs immune function. French fries, soft drinks, processed foods, high sugar foods don’t build strong white blood cells, in fact they can hinder your immune system. Its diets high in fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts that promote immune health, presumably because they’re rich in nutrients the immune system requires. Adequate protein intake is also important.

Your diet is vital in strengthening your immune system. Sadly, too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. You can’t just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals derived from wholefoods over time.

The Role of Stress:

When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands churn out epinephrine (aka, adrenaline) and cortisol. While acute stress pumps up the immune system, grinding long-term stress taxes it. For instance, psychological stress raises the risk for the common cold and other viruses. Less often, chronic stress can promote a hyper-reactive immune system and aggravate conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease. Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation produce positive changes in the immune system. Massage has shown to improve immune function in studies.

Sleep:

Sleep deprivation activates the stress response, depresses immune function and elevates inflammatory chemicals (which cause you to feel ill). Chronic sleep deprivation raises the risk of the common cold.  In one study, men and women who habitually slept less than seven hours a night were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.

Probiotics:

Consume Friendly Bacteria – Beneficial microorganisms colonize our intestinal, lower urinary and upper respiratory tracts. They battle with bad “bugs” and enhance immune function. You can consume such bacteria in the form of live-cultured products such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotic supplements, available at natural food stores, may reduce the risk of antibiotic-induced diarrhoea, viral diarrhoea, vaginitis and respiratory infections.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Studies link deficiencies of zinc, selenium, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, D and E to reduced immune function. But scientists have yet to pinpoint exact levels of these nutrients for optimal immune function, much less whether dietary supplementation optained from over the counter products really helps.  A varied, plant-based wholefood diet and a good plant based multivitamin supplement should help. Remember supplementation only works best when it supports a good healthy diet, it can’t replace a bad diet. Vitamins & Minerals are best utilised when obtained from a wholefood sources in their natural state.

Vitamin D plays a number of roles in promoting normal immune function. Vitamin D deficiency correlates with asthma, cancer, several autoimmune diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis), and susceptibility to infection (including viral respiratory infections). Because few foods contain much vitamin D, your best bet is to regularly spend short periods of time in the sun, and to take supplements in northern climates during the colder months.

Herbal Help:

A long list of medicinal plants/herbs contain chemicals that enhance immune system activity, including Echinacea, eleuthero (also called Siberian ginseng), ginseng (Asian and American), Astragalus, garlic, and shiitake, Reishi and maitake mushrooms.

Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake and Reishi contain beta-glucans (complex carbohydrates) that enhance immune activity against infections and cancer and reduce allergies (cases of inappropriate immune system activity). While studies have focused on purified mushroom extracts, fresh shiitake and maitake mushrooms are delicious sautéed in a little olive oil.

Garlic is the favourite choice of many. In addition to boosting the immune system, it’s anticancer and antimicrobial against a variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Key ingredients don’t survive cooking, so add a clove or two of raw, minced garlic to meals just before serving. Mixing garlic with olive oil or parsley helps with the strong garlic taste.

Immune Boosting Tonic

Immune Boosting Tonic

Immune Boosting Herbal Tonic:

In the clinic we use an Immune Boosting Tincture to great effect. It combines many herbs together such as Echinacea, Astragalus, Burdock, Plantain, Barberry, Garlic, Irish Moss Siberian Ginseng, and Red Clover. As we said earlier, your Immune system is a system with many different body part involved and each of the herbs have their own role in helping to maintain and strengthen the different body parts and organs.

Home-made Fire Cider:

Making your own home-made Winter Tonic and taking a spoonful daily is a great way to keep the winter sniffles at bay, you can find the full recipe for this immune boosting drink HERE. Warning, this is a powerful tonic to boost your immune system naturally.

SPECIAL AUTUMN OFFER: €20 OFF Herbal Medicine Consultations

Details HERE

If you suffer from recurring infections during the winter and would like to know more about how herbs might help naturally you can contact the clinic on 085-2157479 or email mike@themasterherbalist.ie

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail