Immunity is the body's power to protect itself against harmful foreign substances. Know the herbal remedies to improve immunity.
Immunity is the body's power to protect or defend itself against harmful foreign substances or fungi, viruses or bacteria. Foreign substances include non living substances such as toxins, chemicals or drugs that may lead to serious complications in the body, if our immune system fails to function properly. In other words, immunity protects the body against both living and non living particles.
Our immunity responds to antigens that are proteins making up the cell surfaces of viruses, fungi or bacteria. Foreign substances may also contain antigens. Immunity destroys the substances containing antigens. It may be of the following types:
- Innate - Innate immunity is the power of defense with which we are born. It forms the first line of defense against disease causing germs and substances. It is also known as non specific immunity. Instances of innate immunity include cough reflex, enzymes in tears, enzymes in skin oils, skin, stomach acid, bacteria trapping mucus.
Acquired - Acquired immunity is the power one acquires with exposure to various antigens. Our body constructs a defense system that is specific to that antigen.
Passive - Passive immunity develops due to antibodies that have their origin in the body of another person or animal. In new born babies there is passive immunity which they get from their mother through the placenta. Passive immunity may be imparted through injections of antiserum which contain antibodies from the body of other people on animal. Injections given for hepatitis exposure and tetanus antitoxins are examples of passive immunization.
Our immune system comprises of white blood cells, B type and T type lymphocytes and complement proteins and interferon. Some components work individually while others work collectively to defend the body against foreign substances. Our immunity may at times give out an inflammatory response while functioning. This happens when body tissues get damaged due to bacterial attack, trauma, heat, toxin or some other cause. The damaged tissues give out chemicals that cause blood vessels to release fluids that result in swelling of tissues. The fluid severs further contact of body tissues with the harmful substances. Immune system disorders occur when the immune response is either lacking or inappropriate or excessive. Immune system disorders include allergies, autoimmune disorders, and immunodeficiency disorders. Vaccination is a way to trigger or expedite the functioning of immune system.
Herbal Remedies to Improve Immunity
Echinacea is an excellent herb for strengthening immune system. It helps in producing white blood cells, T cells, interferon, and other important immune cells that fight disease causing organisms intensively.
Astragalus stimulates the non specific immune system. It is a safeguard against common cold. It increases interferon production, a chemical that defends cancer.
Goldenseal has berberine alkaloid that has strong antibiotic properties. It helps to fight against inflammation. It is a cure for strep throat, bladder infections, diarrhea, shingles, conjunctivitis, respiratory infections etc.
Garlic has immune boosting properties and also purifies blood.
Licorice extracts strengthen immunity
Fennel is good for immunity.
Ginseng too strengthens immunity
Nettle improve the immune system
St John's wort is also an immunity improving herb.
Login to add comments on this post.