The Immune System
While modern medicine has made significant strides in combating disease, the best medicine is prevention, which includes all methods of preventing disease processes from occurring in the first place. One of the best methods of prevention is having a strong immune system. Physical health simply cannot be maintained without a properly functioning immune system. Your immune system is intricately and masterfully designed to combat and “remember” foreign intruders using several sub-systems, such as cell-mediated immunity (including T lymphocytes), humoral immunity (including antibodies produced by B-lymphocytes) and the lymphatic system (providing a kind of continuous waste removal from cells and tissues). A weakened immune system can result in increased susceptibility to virtually all diseases, including for example, repeated bacterial, viral or fungal infections, allergies, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain. Such a weakening of the immune system can result from chronic illness, stress, emotional instability, poor diet, poor lifestyle, environmental and internal toxins, certain pharmaceutical drugs and/or constitutional factors.
What Can I Do To Strengthen My Immune System?
Eat right. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber is essential for strong immunity while a diet high in red meat, dairy products, processed foods such as desserts, bleached flour, fried foods, sodas and coffee only weaken your immune system by producing toxins and free radicals. Get regular exercise. Exercise stimulates the production of white blood cells, reduces stress, elevates mood and has been shown to decrease your chance of contracting serious diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular problems.Follow a detoxification/ fasting program as directed by a licensed practitioner. Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic can help you in this regard (see the handout entitled “Detoxification” for more details). Reduce the stress at your work and home as much as possible using methods such as prayer, meditation and relaxation with family and friends. Take certain immune-boosting herbs/ nutritional supplements. It is important to remember that such supplements should be taken as directed by a qualified herbalist because herbs taken for the wrong purpose or in the incorrect dosage can be unsafe or ineffective. At Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic we can recommend the appropriate safe herbs and supplements based on your individual needs. Most of our modern diets need to be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. All vitamins or minerals either directly or indirectly influence the immune system, with vitamin A, C, E and Zinc and Selenium playing an especially important role. Many make the mistake of using cheap vitamin/mineral complexes that are chemically synthesized or extracted and are poorly absorbed by the body. Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic recommends using vitamins/minerals that are derived from whole food/plant sources, which are easily recognized and absorbed by the body.