Due to the use of antibiotics, inflammatory foods, and environmental toxins, the immune system has become one of the most neglected and tarnished systems in our bodies. This is the reason people have a hard time fighting off infections, as well as the reason why so many autoimmune conditions are developing. In order to prevent and fight infections, we must support the production of the various components of the immune system as well as the release of the main cells needed to protect the body.
In this article, I will address four of the main areas to work on to completely rebuild the entire immune system.
According to Ayurveda, the first thing to be done is fasting. Fasting allows the bodies own metabolism to burn up whatever toxic waste is remaining within the body, improve the function of the bodies defense mechanisms, improve the metabolism and reduce inflammation. The best part is that this has been scientifically proven through research at the University of Southern California.
The research showed that fasting can regenerate the entire immune system and kill off any damaged parts of the immune system that are not functioning properly. Brand new white blood cells are formed by the triggering of stem cells as a direct result of fasting (1).
In other studies done on fasting, specifically on intermittent fasting, a process known as “Autophagy” was observed. Autophagy is basically a cellular process in which “waste” is removed. Broken and dysfunctional proteins are metabolized and expelled from the cells (2). In fact, the deficiency of autophagy is related to almost every auto-immune disease – meaning, the regulation of this process is crucial for proper immune function. Other studies have shown intermittent fasting to reduce the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation (3).
2. Probiotics & Prebiotics
The bacteria present within the digestive tract are literally the part of the immune system’s foundation and must be constantly replenished. The main bacteria are known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium – these are crucial for not only immune function but several digestive conditions as well. Taking a probiotic supplement is needed to rebuild the immune system and improve the intestinal barrier which protects us from unwanted microbes and toxins from entering the bloodstream. This bacteria modulate the immune system and boost the body’s ability to fight off infections (7). Probiotics can also be found in foods such as:
In addition to Probiotics (Healthy bacteria), we also need Prebiotics. These are literally the foods that nourishFoods such as garlic, onions, spring onions, chicory root, asparagus, etc – literally feed the healthy bacteria and help maintain their numbers. A supplement of this may be used as well.
3. Support Digestive Function
The prime location of the immune system is actually the Digestive tract.
The next step in Ayurveda is to strengthen, support and promote the functioning of the digestive system and its components. This is done by administering certain herbs that not only boost the digestive system but also help in regulating the process of autophagy via regulation of the hormones responsible for inducing and inhibiting it. These herbs are classified into two main pharmacological groups:
1. Digestives (Black Pepper, Long Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Black seed, etc)
2. Carminatives (Garlic, Ginger, Cardamom, Turmeric, Fennel seeds, Cumin, etc)
These herbs improve the breakdown, absorption, assimilation, and movement of food through the digestive system. They also assist in improving insulin sensitivity, which is needed for the induction of autophagy – which literally detoxifies each and every cell. These herbs also have a strong impact on the immune function via their anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic effects. It is crucial to consume anti-inflammatories as these assist in reducing and preventing autoimmunity (a state in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue).
4. Immune Boosting Herbs
The use of certain foods and herbs help increase the levels of certain immune system components such as Interferons, Natural killer cells, T-Cells, B-Cells, etc.
One of the most simple solutions for this is a herb known as Tulsi (Holy Basil). In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, Tulsi significantly increased levels of interferon-y, interleukin-4, natural killer cells, and T-helper cells (5). Tulsi is also used for treating certain infections such as the common cold and flu as well as certain oral infections.
These herbs can also be used in conditions where the immune system has become weak, such as HIV. In a clinical trial, HIV positive patients had a significant increase in CD4 cell counts when treated with another Ayurvedic herb known as Neem (6). To learn more about naturally treating HIV/AIDS, Click Here.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
In the treatment of acute infections such as the Flu and other upper respiratory tract infections, herbs like Elderberry and Andrographis Paniculata have proven to be highly effective in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms (8)(9). In addition to this, Vitamin D3 and Zinc also appear to be highly effective in treating the common cold and flu. To learn more about naturally treating the common cold and flu, Click Here.
It is imperative that the selection of a modulator is done by a doctor who understands the proper use of herbs in specific conditions.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
To schedule a consultation with me, Click Here.
by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2017
1. Sarah Knapton – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10878625/Fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study-finds.html
2. Alirezaei, Mehrdad et al. “Short-Term Fasting Induces Profound Neuronal Autophagy.” Autophagy 6.6 (2010): 702–710. PMC. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
3. Johnson, James B. et al. “Alternate Day Calorie Restriction Improves Clinical Findings and Reduces Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Overweight Adults with Moderate Asthma.” Free radical biology & medicine42.5 (2007): 665–674. PMC. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
2 thoughts on “Immune System Boosters (Evidence-Based)”
[…] The thing is, just because your immune system knows what to target, doesn’t mean it has the strength to actually fight it. It simply means that your body has a headstart in targeting the illness. It is like a commander knowing where the enemy is, but having no soldiers. This is why many people who get the vaccine, still end up getting sick. To learn how to boost your immune system, go to my article on rebuilding the immune system. […]
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