What is the Immune System?
Every day, we are faced with a multitude of bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other dangerous pathogens (germs). However, our bodies are equipped with an effective immune system to ward off these threats. Without it we would be extremely vulnerable to illness, disease, and infection.
The immune system is essentially our key to good health, and comprises many different levels and functions. The outer barrier of our immune system includes our skin and mucus membranes. These structures are our body’s first line of defense, and are designed to keep bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that can cause our body harm from penetrating our systems.
The inner immune system is more complex. Our bodies are full of cells designed to fight disease by bonding with foreign entities and destroying them. Among the most well-known of these are lymphocytes, white blood cells, and T-Cells. These unique cells are what allow us to naturally fight and ward off serious infections. If functioning properly, strong immune system health should be able to fight off most disease.
Problems for the Immune System
Occasionally, a weakened immune system is caused by illness, lifestyle habits, or environmental factors. We also often find that certain times of the year and seasonal changes bring with them a wave of catchy illnesses or allergies that makes the immune system more vulnerable that usual.
Since prevention is always better than cure, it makes sense to support the immune system to guard against potential further health concerns, from the common cold to more serious illnesses like cancer. Drug treatments often rely on antibiotics, which do the work of our immune system for us.
The extended use of antibiotics can actually cause them to stop working effectively and can contribute to a weakened immune system. Since our immune system has relied on their assistance for so long, it has become weak itself, and therefore unable to fight off infections.
For our immune systems to flourish, we need to ensure that we care for both our physical and emotional health. Therefore it is essential that we adopt the necessary lifestyle, nutritional, and hygiene changes that help our bodies to function at optimal levels.
Immune System Support
There are a number of ways to boost the immune system, which include regular exercise, sufficient sleep, a healthy balanced diet, stress management and good hygiene habits. In addition, there are many herbal and homeopathic remedies that have been shown to have a very powerful effect on immune system health.
Natural Remedies for the Immune System
Natural herbal remedies have been used for centuries due to their tonic effect on promoting immune system health, used either as a preventative measure to avoid getting ill, or as a recovery measure to increase the body’s ability to fight off disease and infection. Holistic medicine works under the premise that illness is not caused by viruses and bacteria, but by weakened immune systems.
The ingredients are specifically chosen for their ability to address the root causes and not the symptoms in isolation. Herbs such as Echinacea purpurea and Astragalus membranaceous have become famous for their antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, as well as their ability to boost the body’s natural immunity. Other herbal ingredients known for their immune strengthening abilities include Viscum album, Hypoxis rooperi (extract of African Potato), and Olea europea (extract of Olive leaf). Remember to source herbal remedies from a reputable company, as therapeutic dosage and ingredient quality is important when using herbal medicines.