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Bella Mondos Magazine
HERB TALK


Strengthen the Immune System Naturally

Now that we are in the middle of winter season, it's imperative that we strengthen our immune system, the best and most effective way to accomplish this is by using herbs. A properly functioning immune system is absolutely vital to good health. It is the key to the healing process from the tiniest scratch - to the most complex virus. Even the aging process is intimately linked with the immune system. Compromised immunity leaves us vulnerable to disease and impairs our ability to heal properly and age well.

Signs of impaired immune function: candidiasis/yeast Infections, recurring infections, chronic fatigue, listlessness, chronic diarrhea, slow wound healing, allergies and inflammation People who have more than 2 or 3 colds or infectious illnesses per year are likely suffering from weakened immunity.

What Is the Immune System? The immune system is a complex system of interactions involving many organs and glands as well as substances such as bone marrow, white blood cells, lymphatic vessels and serum factors in our blood. Our immunity depends on all these components functioning together synergistically.

How Does Our Immunity Become Impaired? Unfortunately, modern life is full of things that tend to depress our immune systems, such as; pesticides, chemicals in household cleaners, food additives, environmental pollutants, overuse of antibiotics, poor living habits, stress, improper nutrition, chemotherapy. Also many disorders have been linked to improper immune function including thyroid deficiency, diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and pernicious anemia.

For optimal immune function we need to address any disorders that may be inhibiting immune function. We also need to take steps to avoid exposure to toxins such as pesticides and chemicals we use around the house. Try wearing gloves when cleaning to avoid skin exposure and avoid inhaling fumes from things like bleach, oven cleaners, and the like. Make sure dishes and glassware are thoroughly rinsed of any residue from dishwashing liquids etc. It's also important to get plenty of fresh air and to drink the purest water available.

Here are some herbs that benefit the immune system: (all of these herbs are available at local pharmacies).

Echinacea - Enhances lymphatic function and boosts immune system.

Ginkgo Biloba - A powerful antioxidant which increases circulation to brain cells.

St. John's Wort - A blood purifier useful in cases of Epstein - Barr virus and HIV.

Here are other steps to improve immunity:

Proper nutrition, vitamin A (vital to the body's defense system-known as the infection-fighting vitamin), Vitamin C (one of the most important vitamin to the immune system. It has a direct effect on bacteria and viruses and is needed for forming adrenal hormones and lymphocytes), Vitamin E (works synergistically with vitamins A & C as well the mineral selenium as a scavenger of toxic free-radicals), Zinc (promotes healing of wounds and boosts immune response), get sufficient sleep, don't smoke, exercise regularly, reduce stress and anxiety.

Stress triggers changes in biochemistry that suppress white blood cell activity and taxes the endocrine system in ways that ultimately result in lowered defense against infection and an impaired capacity for healing. Stress also depletes the body of nutrients. Addressing chronic stress is a very important element of bringing the immune system into balance.

I'm going to stop here; I don't want to get all stressed out, and as a matter of fact I'm going to get me a nice warm cup of dandelion tea.

By: Yvette Bush
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