There is one word to describe the immune system. Complicated. The immune system is interactive with many other body systems including the lymphatic system, they elimination system, the circulatory system, the digestive system and more. The immune system is our first and last line of defense against pathogens (things that create disease). Its basic function is simple – to recognize pathogens, mobilize resources and eliminate. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, fungi, pollen, toxic pollutants, cancer cells, and dead cells. Some pathogens result from mutated cells and waste material that the body was unable to eliminate. Meaning that the immune system relies heavily on our elimination system to keep things flowing!
Strengthen your Immune System by Incorporating these Daily Actions:
- Eliminate stress – Stress raises the body’s cortisol levels. Even a slight increase in sustained cortisol levels may compromise the immune system for up to 18 hours. People under a great deal of stress are more susceptible to illness and feel tired most of the time. Get plenty of exercise, eat healthy meals (refrain from skipping meals) and get plenty of good rest (especially between 10PM – 2AM).
- Air and water: Drinking pure water helps the body’s eliminations system and the elimination system helps the immune system by keeping dead cells from clogging up the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Fresh air free of pollutants is very important to the immune system. Deep breathing adds oxygen to all body systems including the immune system.
- Immune-suppressing food: Caffeine in excess raises the body’s cortisol levels and should be moderated. Sugar, even in amounts as little as one teaspoon per day, may suppress the immune system. Avoid sugar when your immune system is compromised.
- Avoid antibiotics: Antibiotics destroy harmful bacteria in the body but they also destroy the beneficial bacteria in the gut that is required for optimal health. A large percentage of the immune system resides in the intestines in the form of billions of healthy bacteria that feed on bad bacteria and excess fungus and yeast. So antibiotics may help short term by killing bad bacteria but they hurt long term by killing good bacteria and weakening your immune system.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Inflammation is one of the first responses to an infection or irritation by the body’s innate immune system. The injured cells trigger inflammation to try to keep the pathogens from spreading and to promote healing of the damaged cells once the pathogens are removed. A healthy immune system quickly responds to inflammation and eliminates pathogens so the body can heal and resolve the inflammation. An unhealthy immune system that can not quickly respond may lead to chronic unresolved inflammation which can lead to autoimmune disorders. So it’s best to keep our immune system healthy and happy!
Oil Support for Your Healthy Immune System
See the video above for essential oils and supplements that support a healthy immune system!