Posted by: renaissance2wellbeing | December 3, 2010

Bolstering the Immune System (September ’10)

               Bolstering the Immune System  

 By all these lovely tokens, September days are here, With summer’s best of weather, And autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt
Jackson, September, 1830-1885            

As we enter the final days of summer, hotter days are on the decline, and cool-fall-days lie ahead. It won’t be long before nature sheds her mortal coil, exposing her leaveless limbs. Before we know it, Thanksgiving and the Holidays will be upon us, as we enter another winter. Some early predictions for the coming winter indicate, a milder winter in the east and south, but the pacific North West won’t have it so.  

But the Farmers Almanac gives a slightly different perspective.   

Alas, its early days yet, so let’s enjoy the nature-fall.  

               Important:Information on this  years Flu-Vaccines!  

Now that vacations are over, September ushers in a new school year – time to hit the books. Fall means flu-season is around the corner, and flu-shots not far behind. If you are debating about getting a flu-shot, you can read my newsletter from last year,” To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate – that is the Question.”  

Important: this year’s flu-vaccine is a combination of the flu-vaccine and H1N1 vaccine (swine flu vaccine) – you won’t have a choice in getting one or the other. 

For more information on vaccines, visit the National Vaccine Information Center and read their updated, “Vaccine Ingredient Calculator”. (Watch the video on how to use it).  

Could this be a Prelude for this year’s Flu-vaccine?  

A recent news-article from Australia where winter has ended and flu-season is winding down, notes they halted vaccinations (Fluvax) because of adverse side-effects to children, such as: convulsions, febrile seizures, vomiting and fevers.

A snippet from a Reuters article about the shipment of vaccines for the US market noted,  

“And U.S. officials said they were changing the labeling on a vaccine made by Australia’s CSL Ltd (CSL.AX) because it appears to have caused a higher than usual rate of seizures in children.”

Furthermore, the CDC is recommending that everybody be vaccinated for this year’s flu-season.  

The bottom line on vaccinations is to inform, and educate yourself. Then, you can make the best choice possible.  

So how can we protect ourselves against the coming flu-season and health in general? The key is to strengthen our immune system.  

Recipe of the Month:  

Maple Fruit Compote with Honey-Ginger Toasted Nuts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4                                                                                                

Ingredients:

2-3 apples

2-3 peaches or pears

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup raisins

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup walnuts, or nuts of your choice

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons honey  

Directions:

1. Wash, core and chop fruit into slices or chunks.                                 

2. Place in a large saucepan with 1/3 cup of water. Add the maple syrup and raisins.  

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

4. Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook for another 10 minutes, until soft.

5. While fruit is cooking, place chopped nuts in a skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring often for 5 minutes.

6. Drizzle honey over the nuts and add ginger, but keep stirring since the honey can easily burn.

7. Top warm fruit with toasted nuts and enjoy!

                      Bolstering the Immune System!                    

Good humor is a tonic for the mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burden. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment. -Grenville Kleiser                                                           

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine  

In preparing for cooler days and the coming flu-season, it would be prudent to bolster the immune system. Needless-to-say, having a strong immune system is our best defense against viruses, bacteria and pathogens. Ideally we should not wait to get sick to strengthen the immune system, but take steps on a daily basis. This month’s newsletter looks at natural ways to support the immune system. 

What Weakens the Immune System?  

To strengthen the immune system, not just for flu-season but overall health, entails making healthy lifestyle choices in regards to nutrition, sleep, exercise, and dealing with stress constructively.  

However, before we look at ways to strengthen the immune system, let’s look at what weakens it. The following contributing factors impair the immune system:  

  • Eating a unhealthy diet (of processed and refined foods), especially:
  • Refined sugars (severely compromises the immune system). 
  • Vitamin D deficiency (many people are deficient)
  • Mishandling emotional stress
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Lack of exercise
  • Or any combination of the above  

Most of us are aware of these, so it is important to give them the attention they deserve. As we move into cooler months, when colds and flu’s are prevalent, it’s incumbent on us to bolster our immune systems.  

Vitamin D the Super Immune Booster  

One of the best ways of strengthening the immune system is with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an amazingly effective antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.  

Unfortunately by winter, most people’s Vitamin D levels have dropped significantly and are deficient. Our best source of Vitamin D comes from direct sunlight. However, this is not practical during bleak winter days. An alternative way of getting Vitamin D-3is oral supplementation. In order to prevent colds and flu’s, an adult typically needs on average, 5000iu daily. Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, taking too much can be toxic, which is why you should check your levels. The Vitamin D test is called the 25 hydroxy D test. Optimal levels are 50-70 ng/ml.  

Nutritional support for the Immune System  

  • Eating a healthy diet of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Consuming healthy proteins: pastured eggs, organic chicken or wild salmon, beans.
  • Essential fatty acids (Omega -3’s): Krill oil, fish oil, Flax seed oil.
  • Coconut oil
  • Mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, which contain beta glucans (which have immune-enhancing properties)
  • Garlic, a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Herbs and spices with high ORAC scores: Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves. 
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut,etc.   

Lifestyle Choices  

As noted in last months newsletter, drinking plenty of fresh, clean water is essential for optimal function of every system in the body, in addition to:

  • Getting plenty of restorative sleep is needed to prevent viruses from taking over the body.
  • Incorporating daily exercise creates resistance to illness. It is been found that moderate levels of exercise, reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting the immune system.
  • Laughter helps you cope with stress, relieve tension, and boost your   immune system.  

Finally there are emotional stressors, which can predispose one to infection. Dealing with life stresses and unpredictability in a constructive way, lessens the strain on the immune system.  

By incorporating these lifestyle choices, bolsters ones immune system – there is less likelihood of getting sick, or ill. As the old adage goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.”   

       Natural Products  to Boost the Immune System  

                                                       Greg Ciola   

The Immune system is composed of 22 different components.  

  • T- Cells
  • B- Cells
  • Natural Killer cells ( NK cells )
  • Macrophages
  • Lymphocytes
  • Leukocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Interferon
  • Gamma Globulin
  • Interleukin 1,2,3,4
  • Other White Cells  

All of these must be orchestrated like a symphony in order to maintain optimum immunity. The only thing that protects us from infections, viruses and other chronic illnesses is our immune system. We can’t build immunity and shield the immune system with vaccines and poisonous pharmaceutical drugs. We can only modulate the immune system through natural methods.  

It is incumbent on us to keep it as strong as possible and the following list, are some of the most powerful and effective natural enhancer for the immune system used in alternative medicine.

Oregano oil

It has been used for thousands of years as an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic. Good for colds and flu.

Colostrum

This is the first fluid secreted by the mammary glands of mammalian mothers in the first days after giving birth- It contains high levels of protein and growth factors, as well as immune factors. It is one of the most powerful immune boosters in the world. The best Colostrum comes from New Zealand cows.

Olive Leaf Extract

This fights all types of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites and is good for virtually all infections and diseases.

Propolis  

This resinous substance which bees derive from trees and mix it with beeswax – It is used as a health shield for the beehive, and has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. It has been used for thousands of years as an immune booster.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

This contains citricidal, a natural compound synthesized from the seed and pulp of grapefruit. This product has been proven highly effective in protecting the body during cold and flu season.

Colloidal Silver

This product has been around for centuries and is reported to be one of the few things that protected people during the height of the Bubonic plague.

Royal jelly

It is fed only to queen bees and contains over 100 nutritional properties and has long been know to strengthen the immune system.

Bee Pollen

Plant pollen that bees harvest and predigest — Excellent for people with allergies and also strengthens the immune system.

Aloe Vera

This product contains high amounts of mucopolysaccharides, which kicks in the immune modulators to fight disease.

Homeopathic Remedies

There are some excellent homeopathic remedies that help build immunity and ward off the cold and flu, which can be found at your local health food store, or seek out a homeopathic specialist in your area to custom blend formulas specifically targeted to your immune system.

Mushroom extracts 

(Shitake, Reishi, D-fraction maitake) These have excellent immune boosting properties. Shitake increases T-Cell function, Reishi has anti-tumor properties, and Maitake enhances the activity of key immune cells known as T-helper cells or CD4 cells.

Echinacea

It is an excellent herb for the immune system and the lymphatic system, and has been shown to be very effective when it is cycled for one to two week periods throughout the cold and flu season. Early use of Echinacea at the onset of a cold or flu could help drastically diminish the duration and severity of illness.

Vitamin C

Helps prevent free radical damage and has antifungal and astringent properties. High doses of Vitamin C throughout the cold and flu season can help tremendously, to ward off infection.

Garlic

Has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties and has long been used to fight off and prevent cold and infections. Use three to four cloves on a salad or crushed onto bread, when your immune system is in a weakened state.

Cayenne Pepper

It is used for a litany of health problems – Cayenne pepper heats up the body, improves circulation and helps ward off colds, sinus infections, and sore throats. It should be used daily during the cold and flu season.

Probiotics

Help to maintain and rebuild intestinal flora. Flora plays a key role in keeping the immune system functioning optimally.

Essential Fatty acids

Good fats like omega- 3s and omega-6 play a major role in cellular health. Good fats also help to bring nutrients into the cell and discard waste. EFA’s also contain high amounts of antioxidants which help to protect your immune system.

Oxygen Supplements

Virtually all microorganisms are anaerobic, meaning they survive predominantly in the absence of oxygen. When the body’s blood oxygen is normal and the cells have adequate oxygen it is nearly impossible to get sick. There are many good products to choose from than can be added as drops to your water.

Essential oils

There are many essential oils like Frankincense, Myrrh, Spikenard, Rose oil, Thieves ™, and others that provide tremendous immune system protection. They have been used for thousand of years (often noted in the Bible). They can be diffused through aromatherapy or applied to your skin and feet.

Zinc

Is essential mineral that promotes healthy immune system and fights free radicals? Zinc lozenges haven been reported to be effective in reliving symptoms of the common cold and reducing the duration of colds.

Water

Water is very important to keep your body properly hydrated, and be sure to consume significant amounts of water to adequate flush out toxins and hydrate your cells.

Rest

It is important not to get run down during the cold and flu season and to get at least six to eight hours of quality sleep at night.

Overall

All of these immune boosting products can help you tremendously, but a healthy diet and regular exercise cannot be overstated. You can’t eat an unhealthy diet, and expect these remedies to be effective. Sugar and sweets should be avoided at all costs, especially during the cold and flu season, as sugar severely weakens the immune system and is the fuel that foreign invaders feed on.

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