WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM
- Astragalus promotes resistance against disease and appears to help restore normal immune function for cancer patients. It is also a powerful antioxidant and protects the liver from toxins. Caution: Do not take astragalus in the presence of a fever.
- Echinacea has profound immune-enhancing effects and anti-viral activities.
- Other herbs that are used to boost the immune system protecting the body against infection and disease include dong quai (angelica), garlic, ginger, quercetin, Reishi mushroom, Shiitake mushroom, and seaweed such as Irish moss, blue-green algae, brown algae, and chlorella.
- Goldenseal acts as a “blood purifier”, exhibits immunostimulatory activity , and has antibacterial properties. Caution: Do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than a week at a time, and do not use during pregnancy. Do not give goldenseal to children under two. Do not use goldenseal without consulting a physician if you have had heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, a stroke, or high blood pressure or if you are allergic to ragweed.
- Red clover improves overall health, relaxes the body and helps fight against cancerous growths.
- Licorice (glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid) possesses anti-viral and immunostimulatory properties. Caution: Do not use licorice on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row, and avoid it completely if you have high blood pressure.
- Panax ginseng possesses immunostimulating properties. Caution: Do not use in large doses during an acute infection. Highly concentrated ginseng can inhibit some immune function.
- Ginkgo biloba improves blood supply throughout the body and is a powerful antioxidant.
- St. Johnswort is a natural blood purifier and fights viral infections such as HIV and Epstein-Barr virus.
- Suma is a tonic and has been used in treating debilitating viral infections such as Epstein-Barr disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Milk thistle helps to cleanse the liver of dangerous toxins and helps regenerate liver cells. The liver is the organ of detoxification and must function optimally.
- Foods that may stimulate immunity include yogurt, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, foods rich in beta-carotene, a vegetarian diet, a low fat diet
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water, diluted vegetable juices, soups and herbal teas.
- Foods that may lower immunity include a high fat diet, especially polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as corn, safflower, and soybean oils, excess consumption of sugar, alcohol, and consumption of allergenic foods
- Maintain healthy weight, obesity is associated with decreased immune status
A well balanced diet is a more natural source of nutrients and it is best to get as much as possible from food. If you are not eating a varied mixture of the main food groups or foods high in a certain nutrient needed for your health situation then make up the remaining through vitamin and mineral supplementation.
- Vitamin A: 5,000- 10,000 IU. Caution: Do not take vitamin A in sexually active women of child bearing age unless effective birth control is being used due to possible birth defects at high dosages
- Vitamin C: 500 milligrams three times a day. Caution: Doses of vitamin C larger than 1,200 milligrams a day can produce diarrhea in some people.
- Vitamin E: 400 IU. Caution: If you are taking anticoagulants, you should not take vitamin E supplements
- Bioflavonoids: 1,000 milligrams
- High potency multi-vitamin/mineral formula with extra B vitamins: as directed on the label
- Zinc: 15-30 milligrams. Caution: Do not exceed a total of 80 milligrams daily from all supplements. Taking over 80 milligrams of zinc daily can weaken the immune system
- Beta-carotene: 8,300-10,000 IU. Caution: Do not take if you are pregnant. Note: Recent studies have cast doubt on the benefits of getting beta-carotene through supplementation. The best way to take beta-carotene into your body is through foods high in beta-carotene, such as carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, papaya, mangoes, and sweet potatoes.
- Iron: 18 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 2-50 milligrams
- Vitamin D: 400 IU. Caution: Do not take vitamin D supplementation without your doctors approval if you have heart or kidney problems
Healthy Lifestyle = Healthy Immune System
8 steps to healthy living:
- No smoking
- Increase intake of green vegetables
- Regular meals
- Maintain desirable weight
- Sleep more than 7 hours of sleep at night
- Regular exercise
- Vegetarian diet
- balanced and varied diet
In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs