Immune system, weak
The immune system is
most crucial as a defense system. It is able to recognize, destroy and
eliminate many different types of foreign invaders and cancers
throughout the body. We go about our everyday lives oblivious to the
protection it continually renders until we become sick. Illness itself
is not always a sign of a weakened immune system, but rather of
recurrent or lingering infections. Some specific symptoms of a weak
immune system include constant fatigue, swollen glands, colds and sore
throats. If the symptoms are pronounced and accompanied by weakness or
weight loss, have a professional check-up for a proper diagnosis.
Although the immune
system is exceedingly complex, there are some simple factors that can
weaken it. Excessive physical and emotional stress, including
depression, are common underlying problems. Chronic, severe or
long-lasting illness, and surgery, can leave the defense system
exhausted and make convalescence particularly slow. Poor and inadequate
diet interferes with the normal function of the immune system. Empty
calories in highly processed foods and sweets not only fail to provide
nourishment, but are also harmful. Obesity, poor physical condition and
lack of activity are other contributing factors. Many medications,
especially cortisone and antibiotics, affect the defense system
adversely, particularly when they are taken for long periods of time.
The immune system is also sensitive to toxic substances including
excessive alcohol and heavy metals. Individual constitution plays a role
and those with a weaker system must work harder to keep their immune
Sugar hinders the
body's immune system and makes the body vulnerable to infections and
allergies. The shape, activity and number of white cells are adversely
affected by heavy sugar consumption. Sugar is the single most underrated
cause of immune impairment. One study showed that eating 3.5 oz. of the
simple carbohydrate that exists in sucrose, glucose, fructose, honey and
orange juice significantly reduced the ability of white blood cells to
engulf and destroy bacteria. In contrast, 3.5 Oz. of starchy, complex
carbohydrate had no effect. Yet another test revealed that eating 75
grams of glucose depressed the white blood cells responsible for
producing antibodies that protect against infections.
Supplements and herbs
A wide array of
nutrients are needed to provide additional support to a healthy diet.
Most people are familiar with the importance of
vitamin C for colds. This vitamin improves the body's resistance to
disease. It strengthens white blood cells which fight infections. It
also keeps viruses and bacteria from multiplying.
Bioflavonoids taken with vitamin C enhance the performance of this
vitamin and improve its absorption. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids should
be taken on a daily basis to improve overall resistance to infection. In
acute infections, the need for vitamin C increases, so the dosage can be
B vitamins, in particular
pantothenic acid, play a role in antibody and white blood cell
production. Supplements containing acidophilus and other friendly
bacteria re-establish healthy intestinal flora. These flora are
necessary for the immune system, to fend off parasitic and fungi.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a must for anyone with a low immune system
after using antibiotics, as antibiotics kill this important flora.
Zinc is instrumental for immune system function. Vitamin A also
improves immune system response, whether or not a deficiency exists. It
can even help counteract a suppression of the immune system.
Beta-carotene and vitamin A have anticancer properties, act as
antioxidants and stimulate the immune system. They are particularly
helpful for respiratory problems, because they serve an important
function in the mucous membranes.
Vitamin E helps the immune system, especially as an antioxidant. The
elderly often need more of this vitamin.
supplements good for boosting the immune system are garlic and citrus
seed extract. Garlic is an excellent antibacterial, antiviral and
antifungal agent. Citrus seed extract is an excellent germ fighter for
fending off colds and infections.
green food supplements like wheatgrass or barley grass, spirulina and
chlorella are rich in nutrients that build blood and tissues. They also
detoxify the system and combat inflammation. They are most effective
when taken regularly for several months. Essential fatty acids are vital
to the body and immune system. Cold-pressed oils, such as evening
primrose oil, should be added to improve overall health.
Vitamin and mineral
deficiencies will weaken the body's resistance to disease. A common
deficiency is iodiner, resulting in a low thyroid condition and poor
body's resistance to disease and increase performance by increasing the
function of the elimination organs, including the intestines, kidneys,
skin, lungs and the liver.
stimulate the detoxifying process of the eliminating organs. These
include stinging nettle,
Echinacea, Korean white ginseng, fir, and pine shoots, thyme
and juniper. Fresh juices made from any of these herbs will purify the
blood and the immune system tremendously. Take 1-2 tbsp. three times
daily for four weeks.
the immune system by stimulating the white blood cells to increased
activity. The cells destroy bacteria and viral infections and break
down decaying and toxic matter. Take 1 capsule three times daily, or
take 15-30 drops of Echinacea extract in liquid every three hours for
two to five days. Repeat after two weeks, if required.
Blend 2 tbsp. each
of dandelion root,
licorice root, couch grass root and loveage root. Make a
decoction of 1 cup of water to 1 tbsp. of mixture. Drink warm, 1 cup
in the morning and 1 cup in the evening for three weeks to expel
toxins and build immunity.