How to Naturally Boost your Immune System – Using Herbs and a little Common Sense

An efficient and balanced immune system is the key to maintaining good health. It immune-tri-systemprotects us from diseases, allergies and slows down the aging process.

A strong immune system depends upon:

Nutrition feeding your body a healthy, well balanced diet . 

Energyregular exercise and massage

Attitude a positive attitude, good mental health

immune-bodyOur immune system is made up of a team of organs working together mainly made up of the skin, bloodstream, digestive and lymphatic systems.

  • Skin helps our immune system by acting as a huge detox organ eliminating toxins and impurities from our bodies.
  • Blood and circulatory system helps are immunity by cycling out wastes from the blood into the digestion and lymphatic systems for proper elimination.
  • Digestive system is a complex system that involves our stomach, large and small intestine, gallbladder, pancreas and liver.  Inside the lining of our intestines contains good bacteria that helps us digest waste and boost our immunity.  Adding a probiotic supplement or a yogurt to your diet keeps up the good flora population.
  • Lymphatic system is a network made up of lymph nodes and vessels, the spleen and thymus gland that produce lymphocytes which destroy and eliminate invaders.

What contributes to sickness? Unhealthy lifestyles, poor health habits and toxic environmental conditions can compromise and weaken our immune system leaving us susceptible to infection.

Immune system enemies are:
-poor nutrition-low vitamins A & C levels in the body
-stressful lifestyles
-lack of sleep
-smoking
-excess alcohol, caffeine, drugs, sugar, food additives, pesticides and pollutions.

cold-and-flu-season-300x240The signs of low or imbalanced immunity are apparent in those that are excessive or frequently sick. Chronic illness can cause allergies, food intolerances, auto immunity, digestive problems, fatigue, soreness & poor skin.

We can boost our immunity by adding healthy foods, herbs & teas to our diet & healthy lifestyle habits.

Eating a Healthy Diet. Eat foods high in vitamins A, B complex, C and E; high in SpicesZinc, Calcium and Selenium, green leafy veggies and berries. You don’t have to rely solely on vitamin supplements. Herbs are food and contain many vitamins and minerals. Acerola & Rose Hips are high in vitamin C. Barley & Wheat grass powders are a great protein source packed with nutrients and can be added into smoothies. Green Tea, Green Rooibos, Hemp Seeds are power packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Good personal hygiene habits.  They are very important in preventing and spreading disease. Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom, handling raw meat or animals/pets.

Clean environment.  Keep living areas cleaned regularly, keep dust levels down.  Clean kitchen and bathrooms regularly. Keep both lids of the toilet down when not in use. Store tooth brushes in the medicine cabinet or in a drawer.Keep work place spaces, desks, and your telephone, cleaned regularly-especially if others share it.  Viruses and parasites can live for several hours on non-living objects.

laughing-animals-13Healthy Outlook. Have a Positive outlook on life. Laugh, and laugh a lot! Spend good times with friends and loved ones.

Prevention. Enjoy life in moderation. Practicing preventative health habits can be free and in most cases herbal remedies and teas are less expensive and better for you than over the counter pharmaceuticals.

 

Herbs for Colds and Flu

cold_and_flu_virus_compositeThe Common Cold is a minor viral infection usually caused by a type of Rhinovirus. Typical Symptoms are sore throat, headache, cough, congested head & sinus/nasal, watery discharge, sneezing, low grade fever & muscle aches & soreness and general weakness & low energy.

The Fluis a viral respiratory infection, caused by a type of influenza virus; may be a type A or B strain if from an animal. The Symptoms are the same as for colds, except more sudden & more severe.Know when to see a Doctor!*

Bacterial          Infection                vs.             Viral               Infection

Local to area                                     Widespread/systemic

Stays where initiated                          Spreads  all  over

Short high fever                                Persistent low grade fever

Mucous  is thick,sticky&colored                         Thin,    clear   mucous

Difference-cold-flu

TreatingColds/Flu

Those more susceptible to colds/flu: smoke,high stress levels, chronic lung illness &people with decreased immunity.

1.Treat Symptoms-Drink teas & use steam aromatherapy. Take baths with essential oils and Himalayan pink salt (see blog) or Epsom salts.

2.Increase Immunity. Increase your Vitamin C intake (dont take EFAs during colds/flu); take immune enhancing herbs as teas, tinctures or capsules. Dress warmly.  See my blog on How to Enhancing your Immune System.

3.Flush Out Mucous. Chicken soup really works, feed a cold starve a fever. Drink fluids & herbal teas (avoid sugar). Dont suppress coughs,use expectorants. Flush used tissues into toilet, avoid spreading to others-stay home if you are contagious.

PRE-CAUTIONS: Dont give aspirin to children showing viral infections, as this could develop into Reye Syndrome which is potentially fatal.

 cold-and-flu-season-300x240See a Doctor if you are experiencing*:

  • Heavy Chest congestion or Wheezing (could develop into severe illness).
  • Persistent Fevers above 102?F for more than 3days.

 

Try to avoid mucous increasing foods, sugar, dairy products & EFA supplements (oil holds virus in mucous) during the flu.

Be active during a cold to move the mucous out of the body and feed that cold.For the Flu,rest is best and starve a fever.

 

echinacea-purpleHerbs that are Immunity Boosters Astragulus (longterm), Cayenne, Cinnamon, Echinacea (shortterm), Eleuthero,Garlic & Onions,Licorice, Olive Leaf (long term), Pau DArco, Reishi, Shitake & Maitake Mushrooms, Thyme, Usnea

 

Herbs for Sinus & Fevers Boneset, Chamomile, Chinese Chrysanthemum, Elderflower, Ephedra (use with caution), Honeysuckle Flower, Nettle, Peppermint,  Sage, Spearmint, RoseHip, Yarrow

 

tea-pot-steaming

Herbs for Lungs & Sore Throat Angelica, Anise, Catnip, Coltsfoot, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Ginger, Goldenrod, Horehound, Lemon Balm, Lungwort, Mullein, Pleurisy Root,  Schisandra, Violets, Wild Cherry Bark

Essential Oils Cypress, Eucalyptus

Try my tea and capsule formulas to help build your immune system and help find colds.  Find them in my ApothoKerri section on http://blog.thepondpad.com  I also make customized formulas

References:

PDR for Herbal Medicine

The Complete German Commission E Monographs

The Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra

Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray

Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch

Herbal Defense by Robyn Landis & Karta Khalsa

Questions? Just ask at:

blog.thepondpad.comemail:herbalelements@comcast.net

Disclaimer: The following information is intended for educational purposes. Always consult with your health care professional when needed.