The immune system is a highly complex & vitally important component of the human body. It defends us from pathogens and helps us to heal following injury. However, there are times when it can become over/under active, or simply overwhelmed.
Prolonged illness and chronic disease take its toll on our defences, as do the effects of poor diet, stress, lack of sleep and exercise.
Support immunity naturally.
Getting the basics right is absolutely essential. Diet, rest and exercise are the 3 most important things anyone can do to support a fully-functioning immune system. Eat at least 5 serves of vegetables/day, and 1-2 serves of fruit. Good quality protein is essential; this can come from sources such as chicken, fish or eggs and for vegetarians whole grains, legumes and nuts.
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep weakens immunity and is also implicated in the development of autoimmune conditions. Managing stress is very important. Try to take at least 1 hour each day to do something that relaxes you.
Nutritional and herbal medicine the immune system
There are times when extra assistance is required. Allergies, cold/flu season and gastrointestinal upsets are often unavoidable. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural remedies for these conditions. Vitamin A, C, D & all the B vitamins support immunity in many different ways, from differentiation of immune cells to promoting integrity of mucous membranes. Zinc and iron are also vital to strengthen the immune response.
There are many well-known herbal remedies used to treat everything from sore throats to intestinal infections, including Echinacea, Elder, Astragalus, Thuja, Marshmallow, Withania, & Andrographis.
Natural solutions for problems associated with the immune system have the benefit of working with the body’s own defences, and attack the problem at its source rather than just masking the symptoms.
As with all natural medicine, herbs and supplements should only be administered under the care of a qualified natural health practitioner.