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Supporting Strong Immunity through Nourishment
The role of a healthy diet in preventing illnesses is often overlooked, especially by the allopathic medical society. Medical doctors do not study nutrition in med school and believe in chemical therapies, not in food for healing. Rarely do you see the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommending natural, organic foods or herbs to fight infections! The human body is constantly making new cells in every organ and tissue of the body and must get the proper support nutrition to do this effectively. Healthy cells will produce new healthy cells; weekend cells will produce even weaker cells. Nutrition is what fuels this process and the immune system’s strength and ability to fight infection depends on high-octane, wholesome nutrition. The use of herbs and other Mother Nature-made products can boost immunity when needed and are more in harmony with the human body.
Herbs to Support the Immune System
Herbs can be used proactively to avoid illnesses and support immunity and also used during the illness to help boost immunity and reduce the symptoms. I do encourage you to use caution and even consult an herbalist if you are considering making herbs a big part of your health care plan. While raising my five children, I rarely used anything that would interfere with the natural immune process but my children were born natural, breast fed for 2-4 years, raised on home-cooked nutritious foods, raised with chiropractic care and were the healthiest children I knew! Herbs can be much like medications and caution is advised when implementing them into your healthcare plan.
Here is a general list of herbs and other things that are well known to boost immunity:
- Garlic: Known to have many medicinal properties and is readily available. I love to use fresh crushed garlic cloves in salads, soups, casseroles and I rub the crushed cloves on my meats before cooking…I over-dose on garlic! You can also find garlic pills and capsules in the health food stores. Be sure to get high-quality product.
- Oil of Oregano and Oregano Supplements: Oregano has immune system stimulating effects, is high in antioxidants, and is considered an anti-fungal, anti-parasite, and also anti-bacterial.
- Echinacea: Often used by people suffering with upper respiratory tract infections but is also used when suffering with a cold or when feeling run-down.
- Elderberry: A powerful antioxidant with immune boosting properties.
- Olive Leaf Extract: A very potent oil that is a real infection fighter! Contains several flavonoids that are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and assist in processing antioxidant activity in the body. This potent oil is taken orally in drops or can be given in capsules.
- Goldenseal: The Native Americans used this herb to treat digestive problems, skin and liver conditions, eye irritation and diarrhea. This herb was used by early European settlers. It is a bitter that stimulates the secretion of bile and has strong antibacterial, anti-fungal activity.
- Milk Thistle: This herb cleanses and detoxifies the liver and can actually reverse some liver disease. I use it pro-actively 2 – 3 times a year between seasonal changes to detoxify my body of toxic build-up in the liver. Liver function is important in maintaining healthy immunity.
- Uva Ursi: The leaves of this small shrub have been widely used as a diuretic, astringent, and antiseptic for centuries. Uva Ursi soothes, strengthens, and tightens irritated and inflamed tissues. Used in combination with other herbs it is a strong immune booster.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract: Good for skin or fungi bacterial infections, good for treatment for ear infections (added to oils) and treating sore throats or tonsillitis (dilute in warm water)
- Double Helix Water: Research proves that DHW in cream form and in drops is helping the body to repair and heal from many ailments. Dr. Lo (inventor) is using it to help children with autism and getting amazing results. (See JoinAutismStudy.net)
Vitamin and Mineral Support
In today’s world where good wholesome foods are often difficult to find and eat on a daily basis, vitamin and mineral supplementation is very important. Even if a person is eating all organic veggies, grass fed beef and free range chicken, they still could be lacking in some essential vitamins and/or minerals. Too little in the diet may decrease resistance to infection. Also, I recommend that everyone use Himlalayan Pink Salt because it contains up to 84 trace minerals. I use salt all the time and feel good about it!
Your Specific Needs
I am a big advocate for specific testing to determine what vitamins and minerals you may be deficient in. Everyone’s vitamin and mineral needs are uniquely differently; supplementation for one person may be too much for another person. There are inexpensive tests for Vitamin D deficiency available through your local laboratory. For people who are not well, fighting chronic illness and children with autism and other chronic illnesses, I strongly recommend finding a holistic physician who can work closely with you. (To learn more about specific testing, contact Karen Hubert, my personal liaison for testing information at (843) 813-5833.
Quality and Delivery to the Body
The quality and the delivery process of the supplements is very, very important. Most people’s digestive system is so unhealthy, lacking in the proper flora and backed up (constipation) that they are not able to digest, assimilate or absorb the vitamins and minerals they take. Most get eliminated with little or no benefit. I personally am very selective about the vitamins and minerals I use and recommend to my family. I am a fan of liquid minerals and liquid vitamins because they are easily digested and absorption is far superior to that of pills. Email me for additional information.
Here are some well known immune boosting vitamins and minerals that may help avoid influenza infection this list will help you understand how important it is to eat several serving a day of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables:
- Vitamin A: Found in bright colored foods like orange and red-colored fruits and vegetables and also found in dark green vegetables. It increases the number if immune cells, their function and their activity in the body so very important in the fall season.
- Vitamin C: Like Vitamin A, it is found in dark green vegetables, colorful vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli and avocado’s and citrus fruits. Many doctors recommend supplementing daily with 1000 to 2000 units or more depending on your tolerance levels. Increase if fighting any illnesses. (too much will cause loose bowels).
- Vitamin D3: This is the sunshine vitamin that our body makes when we are in the direct sunlight. In the winter months, most Americans are sun-deprived and worse yet, they use sun screens full of toxic chemicals! (Not Good!). The only way to get Vitamin D3 is by getting 80% of the body exposed to direct sunlight for at least an hour a day. Since that is not possible for most people, it is critical that you take a VitaminD3 supplements. Many doctors recommend 5000 unites a day, especially in the winter months.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin makes a powerful protein that attacks bacteria and viruses. Very good at supporting immunity and available in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is also antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory and it stimulates the immune system.
- Minerals: Imbalance in Minerals (on the cellular level) is one of the basic contributing factors leading to diseases and immune system weakness. I recommend Eniva Liquid minerals because they are in a pre-digested state and absorbed into the cell upon contact! Eniva minerals are in their elemental state, uncontaminated and of optimum molecular size for complete cellular assimilation. They are monoatomic, sub-micron and in most cases angstrom (1/10,000th of a micron) in size allowing for not only total body absorption but for efficient cell assimilation. (emineral.info)
- Trace Minerals: Because of poor quality of soil, we are also lacking in the trace minerals. I recommend “pink” Himalayan salt from the mountains in Pakistan. This wonderful robust tasting salt is packed full of 82 trace minerals that are difficult to get in other ways. I use this salt freely with no guilt because I understand the role salt plays in cellular health and wellness. I encourage you to buy it in bulk so you never run out! You can now find this salt in most health food stores or on the internet. White table salt (sodium) is what we all should avoid because it has little benefit to the body and can cause many health issues.
- Zinc: This mineral is needed to produce white blood cells which fight infection and help facilitate the healing process. It can be found in oysters, crab, beef, pork, poultry, beans, and nuts. Many people have depleted zinc and need to supplement.
- Colloidal silver: Silver is a natural antibiotic agent and is used in many applications. There are several way to use silver and the research is extensive!Talk with the people selling the silver for recommended use and there are many blogs on the internet about ways to use silver.
Probiotics and Immune Health
The intestinal track (gut) is a very important part of natural immunity. 80% of the immune system is in the gut. When the gut flora (healthy bacteria) is not in balance or is disrupted, the results will affect the whole body, especially the immune system. This is a huge problem in our society. The over-use and abuse of antibiotics is the main reason for gut problems in children and adults. When a person/baby is on antibiotics, the good flora and bacteria in the gut are killed off upsetting the delicate balance. This is often when hostile bacteria get a foot-hold, set up colonies and take over the gut. Constipation is a sign of gut imbalance and must be addressed in order to express optimum health.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are ingested that are intended to re-introduce the necessary good bacteria/flora to the gut. Over time, the healthy good bacteria will help to bring balance back to the gut. Not all Probiotics are the same. The microorganisms must get through the stomach acids and reach the intestine without being destroyed. I am a firm believer in the use of Probiotics for gut/immune health and found one product that will withstand the stomach acids, Theralac, by Master Supplement. Probiotics come in many forms and I encourage you to do your research to find the one that best supports your health goals.
Children and Probiotics
Probiotics for most children can be a wonderful part of their health plan. I know parents who sprinkle the Probiotic powder on the babies tongue at night before bed. Some children take them in liquid forms but many physicians say that you can give babies these friendly microorganisms without hesitation.
Essential Oils have been around since ancient times and can be very powerful in supporting a clean environment and immune support. Here is a general list of oils that are specific to influenza and also your home environment:
- Eucalyptus Oil: Very effective in treating cough and bronchitis.
- Peppermint Oil: Great for upset stomach, cramps, irritable bowel syndrome-IBS.
- Wintergreen Oil: Helpful in treating back pain, rheumatism , fever, headaches, and sore throats.
- Frankincense Oil: Used in blended massage oil or diluted in the bath for colds, coughs, bronchitis, rheumatism, chilliness, poor circulation and exhaustion.
- Lemon Oil: Contains anti-fungal properties, is good to use in the home environment and diluted lemon oil can also be used to clean minor cuts, boils, and burns, and oral sores.
- Thieves Oil: This well known oil is a blend of several oils that will help to boost the immune system and should be part of everyone’s arsenal of prevention! It will help many ailments and also will kill airborne bacteria to stop the spread of illness. The legend about 4 thieves in 15th century England who used a blend of clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary, as well as other protective aromatics to guard their health while robbing plague victims.
Essential Oil Bath: For a wonderful soaking bath here is a blend of oils that will sooth the body and refresh the soul:
- 2 drops Eucalyptus Oil
- 6 drops Frankincense Oil
- 3 drops Blue Cypress Oil
- 6 drops Spruce
- 15 drops Ravensara (is antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral) o 1 drop Wintergreen
Chiropractic…The Body Tune-up
Just like your vehicle, the human body has a frame and moving parts and requires occasional tune-ups! This is one very important part of health promotion that so many people do not understand and neglect. All the function for every organ, tissue and cell in the body comes from the master-electrical system called the nervous system. The nervous system is housed and protected in the bones of the scull and spine. From the birth process forward (traumatic births, C-sections, forceps and suction) the delicate boned of the spine can be misaligned and put pressure on the tiny nerves that exit through the spinal bones and connect the body to the nervous system. It takes very little pressure (the weight of a dime on your palm) on those nerves to “reduce the function by 60%”! Babies and children need to be checked for these misalignments (subluxations) on a bi-weekly basis so that they are given the greatest opportunity to maintain and grow a healthy body and immune system! I raised all my five children under chiropractic care and now I am proud that both of my daughters are now practicing chiropractors!
New research indicates that the nervous system and the immune system work cooperatively. If you have low resistance to illness, most likely you need to boost your immunity via nervous system…chiropractic. Ideally, the two systems do a wonderful dance keeping you healthy. If you do something to hinder the immune system (vaccines, drugs etc.) you may hinder neurological development. Stimulation in one system drives development in the other. This new area of science is called, NeuroImmunology and doctors are now beginning to identify how vaccines disrupt this delicate balance resulting in neurological deficits. It is no wonder we have a whole generation of children suffering with ADHD, autism, learning problems, seizures and depression.
Exercise and Movement
The old saying, “If you don’t use it you will lose it” is so true! Movement will help flush lymphatic waste, exercise the heart and lungs and keep the muscles strong and vibrant. Weather it is going to a gym, playing a sport, doing aerobics in your living room or talking a yoga class, movement is an essential key to staying healthy and detoxing the body’s sludge. In the process, you will encourage a healthy immune system and overall health.