Natural Ways to Rev Up Your Immunity by ProQuest


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									Natural Ways to Rev Up
Your Immunity
By Linda Woolven

H    aving a healthy immune system can make all the difference
     to your health and the number of illnesses you succumb to.
Viruses are all around all the time, yet only some of us catch
them. Why? Because if your immune system is strong, it will
fight them off before you get them; whereas, those whose sys-
tems are not as strong will get sick more frequently.
    Conventional medicine tries to kill everything to prevent
you from getting sick but does little to help the overall immune
system. Natural medicine, on the other hand, tries to strengthen
the overall system so that you can fight illnesses off, no matter
what kind they are. It’s like a pond that is infested with malaria
mosquitoes. You can spray the pond and kill the insects, but the
pond is still stagnant and the mosquitoes will come back. But if
you drain the pond and clean the water, then it won’t matter if
the mosquitoes come back because the pond is no longer a good
place for them to live and breed.
    That works for your immune system too. Strengthen it and it
won’t matter what you come into contact with: You’ll have a
better chance of fighting it off.

Some Simple and Effective
Ways to Avoid Getting Sick
    What you eat or don’t eat can make all the difference to a
weakened immune system. To prevent illness, drink plenty of
fluids – dehydrated mucous surfaces are a better breeding
ground for viruses – but avoid sugar and sugary fruit juices.
Sugar depresses immune functions. This depression happens
because glucose and vitamin C compete for transport sites into
the white blood cells (one of your body’s main defenses against
illnesses). Increased levels of sugar decrease vitamin C levels                                                                   Shutterstock
and may result in a reduction in white blood cell function. Even
fruit juice, like sugary orange juice, can depress immune func-
tion: Studies show that sugar of all kinds impairs the ability of
white blood cells to kill bacteria and that it weakens the immune
system and competes with vitamin C.
    As well as avoiding sugar, it is equally important to avoid          Herbs can also help to support your immune system. Here
dairy and other mucous forming foods like gluten, especially if      are some of the most effective.
you’re susceptible to illnesses like colds and sinusitis. These
foods create a mucousy surface and allow bacteria and viruses        Goldenseal
to thrive.                                                               This herb is native to North America and was used exten-
    In addition to watching what you eat, pay attention to other     sively by First Nations people. It was primarily used to soothe
bodily needs, such as rest. Go to bed early and stay there if you    the mucous linings of the respiratory, digestive and urinary
are not feeling well. During deep sleep, strong immune enhanc-       tracts, and for both allergies and infections. One of the compo-
ing compounds are released and many immune functions are             nents found in goldenseal, berberine, has been well studied and
greatly increased.                                                   found to be a powerful antibiotic, as well as an immune

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enhancer. It exerts a wide antimicrobial activity effective            have been over three hundred studies on echinacea’s immune
against bacteria, protozoa and fungi, including staphylococcus         enhancing properties. Since some active parts of the plant are
species, strep, chlamydia, salmonella, entamoeba histolytica,          water soluble and some are better extracted in alcohol, a product
giardia, candida, trichomonas and many more. According to              that combines both the fresh
Michael T. Murray, N.D., goldenseal actually exerts a stronger         juice and an alcohol extract is
action than the antibiotics that are commonly used in the treat-       best, using both species of plant
ment of some of the diseases that these pathogens cause. Also,         and the above ground portion of
unlike chemical antibiotics, which stimulate the growth of the         the plant as well as the root.
candida yeast, berberine inhibits its growth. It also not only kills       Research conducted in 1978
bacteria, but it prevents bacteria from sticking to host cells and     in Germany confirmed that
gaining a hold. Goldenseal promotes blood supply to the spleen,        echinacea is able to stop bacteria
releasing immune compounds. It also enhances macrophage ac-            and viruses from causing infection and many other studies have
tivity. Macrophag
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