Scientists have known for years that it is possible to improve the functioning of the immune system. The conventional medical approach has been to use expensive, proprietary drugs, including concentrated cytokines such as interleukin and interferon. Holistic healers, on the other hand, have adopted a more nuanced approach using natural substances to:
- Stimulate and strengthen the immune system
- Fight infection
- Strengthen tissue against assault by invading microorganisms
- Stimulate macrophage capability
- Increase T-cell production and protect helper T-cells
- Complement the action of interferon and interleukin-1
- Promote increased production of cytokines
Natural immune boosters are not only safer than their pharmaceutical counterparts, but they have fewer side effects and are, surprisingly, often more powerful.
Under normal circumstances, the immune system 1) responds to foreign organisms by producing antibodies and stimulating specialised cells which destroy the organisms or neutralize their toxic by-products; 2) watches over all of the cells of the body to ensure that they are not abnormal (cancerous). A properly functioning immune system is actually the first line of defence against cancer.
The secret to a good natural immune tonic:
- Complementary herbal immune enhancers that build immunity across the board, in multiple ways.
- Meaningful doses of a select few herbs, not small doses of a large number of herbs. You want efficacy from each herb you use, not a large number of herbs on a label used at insignificant doses.
- Use only the highest quality herbs, not the cheapest. When it comes to your health and your immune system, you want only high quality ingredients used in any formula you use.
An over-active immune system can be just as problematic as an underperforming one. Many autoimmune disorders are the result of your immune system doing too much, eventually attacking healthy cells and tissue in your body. In the world of natural healing, immunomodulators are thought of as nutraceuticals that can “intelligently” regulate your immune system, boosting a weak system or calming down an overactive one. If a person with low immune function takes an immunomodulator, it will help raise their immunity. Likewise, if a person with a hyperactive immune system takes the same immunomodulator, it will tend to calm their immune system down and normalize it.
Most flu’s kill people who have weak immune systems by eventually opening the door for pneumonia, which is what actually kills them. But swine flu, avian flu, and most notably, the great flu pandemic of 1918 are quite different. They don’t kill through pneumonia. They kill by unleashing a cytokine storm, which means that it is your own immune system that kills you. And this means that the most vulnerable are not the very old and the very young but healthy adults and pregnant women, people who have very strong immune systems. And that can mean that the stronger your immune system, the greater the danger — the exact opposite of standard flu strains. This another reason for using a natural immunomodulator.
Other factors can impact the immune system indirectly
- How good can your immune system be (taking all the supplements in the world) if your colon is packed with kilograms of old faecal matter? A substantial portion of the immune system then has to combat the effects of self-toxicity. Clean up your intestinal tract, and you free up your immune system.
- There are beneficial bacteria that manufacture potent immune boosters such as transfer factor and lactoferrin in the intestinal tract. Using a good probiotic can substantially boost your immune system by increasing internal production of a number of powerful immune factors.
- Taking systemic/proteolytic enzymes between meals relieves stress on the immune system by helping to eliminate Circulating Immune Complexes from the body.
- Proper diet and nourishment boost the immune system. Each and every immune cell in the body is manufactured from the food one eats. A nutritionally deficient diet means functionally deficient immune cells.
- Full spectrum antioxidant formulas boost the immune system in multiple ways. Just one example is curcumin. A study published in Immunological Investigationsproves that curcumin can increase white blood cell count by some 50% in just 12 days — not to mention circulating antibodies by some 512 times in the same timeframe.
- Cleaning out the liver with a good liver detox program improves your liver’s ability to produce immune factors and remove bacteria from the blood. Cleaning out the blood with a good blood cleansing formula and balancing your blood’s pH with alkalinizing formulas or high pH water also helps to improve immune function.
- Along with immune boosting formulas, one will want to use natural pathogen destroying formulas that are specifically designed to improve immune function and directly destroy invading pathogens.
- Negative thoughts can kill. Likewise, practicing some mental relaxation techniques and visualizations can result in a dramatic increase in immune function — virtually overnight.
- One of the primarily benefits of regular exercise is an optimized immune system.
If you want your immune system to run at peak level, you need to think holistically. Supplements are good and often necessary, but equally important is having all your body systems working in the background to move your immunity up or down as needed. The bottom line is that you don’t have to chase the next hot “magic bullet” to build your immunity as long as you have optimized all of your major body systems.