Your Immune system
The immune system has one basic functions - it is the sole responsibility for keeping the body free from unwanted particles. These particles can come from a number of external sources
v Infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi
v Dust from pollution which enters the body through our respiratory and digestive tracts and also through our skin
v Particulate matter arising from dead cells in our body, such as red blood cells.
It is the function of the immune system to remove these particles as efficiently as possible. If this system is weakened and not functioning effectively, there is a tendency for these unwanted and potentially toxic particles to accumulate.
Vitamins to stimulate the immune system
Vitamin A where is it found? Liver, dairy, and cod liver oil provide vitamin A. Vitamin A can also be found in supplements.
Arginine where is it found? Dairy, meat and poultry, and fish are good sources of arginine. Nuts and chocolate also contain significant amounts of this amino acid.
Cysteine where is it found? The body can synthesize cysteine from methionine and other building blocks. Cysteine, the amino acid from which NAC is derived, is found in most high-protein foods.
Histidine where is it found? Dairy, meat and poultry, and fish are good sources of histidine and the other amino acids.
Beta Carotene what does it do? Beta-carotene is a substance from plants the body converts into vitamin A; it also acts as an antioxidant and an immune system booster. Other members of the antioxidant carotene family include cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene. However, unlike beta-carotene, most of these nutrients do not convert to significant amounts of vitamin A.
Herbal Supplements to stimulate the immune system
Echinacea - Improves T-Cell recognition of unfriendly antigens. Enhances the process of phagocytosis (destroys pathogenic materials). Has an anti-inflammatory property. Activates fibroblasts. Stimulates the production of healthy new tissue. Acts as a natural antibiotic and anti-viral agent. Can also be used for recurrent ear infections, Mouth ulcers, Sore throats, Gingivitis, Infections, Influenza, Vaginitis and Yeast infections. Do not use for more than 4 consecutive weeks without a break of similar duration
Devil's Claw - Anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic properties. A bitter effect on the gastro-intestinal tract. Do not take if your area/ or may be pregnant.
Eleutherococcus - (ginseng) Acts at glandular level controlling hormone production. Exhibits adaptability behaviour balancing stimulant and sedative properties. Enhances protein metabolism. (Excellent for post viral fatigue and during stress)
Garlic - Anti-microbial agent. Enhances immune activity. Cardio-vascular effective. Lowers cholesterol levels. Supportive of lowering blood pressure, fighting influenza and yeast infections
Elder - This herb is effective against colds and 'flu. It increases the non-specific resistance to infections in much the same way as echinacea
Urticalcin - (the stinging nettle) to be used for excema and skin rashes. Also can be used as a diuretic and for arthritis
Luffa complex - Very affective in allergic rhinitis and other hayfever type conditions. Reports show that was effective in 73.3% of people suffering from hay fever and 88.9% of those suffering from household dust allergies
Green Tea - Reduces platelet aggregation and lowers blood pressure. Also been shown to lessen the risk of cancers of several sites. Stimulates the production of several immune systems cells and have antibacterial properties - even against the bacteria that cause dental plaque
Feverfew To be used as a preventative for headaches and Migraines. (Do not self diagnose migraine. Consult your doctor if you suffer from unexplained or persistent headaches). Also can be used for Rheumatoid arthritis.