Building Immunity

The last decade alone has seen an influx of infectious diseases and virulent strains increasingly unaffected by conventional treatments. Overuse and abuse of antibiotic medicines and antibacterial products have turned the war on germs into a war on humankind as once-common bacteria and viruses mutate to new levels of resistance. According to an article in Science (August 1992), “doctors in hospitals and clinics around the world are losing the battle against an onslaught of new drug-resistant bacterial infections and other diseases that are costly and difficult, if not impossible, to treat.”

You may not be able to avoid the onslaught of bacteria, viruses and other germs capable of wreaking havoc in your body. However, you can take the offensive by revving up your immune system so your body can more effectively resist whatever diseases come your way.

Running on Empty

Everyday life is full of encounters with any number of pathogens and foreign substances that can infiltrate and attack your body. Your immune system defends your body against these invaders. An intricate network of cells, tissues and organs, your immune system fights back by detecting and destroying any substance that doesn’t belong in your body.

But when your immune system is compromised, a breakdown occurs that can make you more susceptible to diseases and infections. Physical, psychological and social factors ranging from sustained stress and environmental toxins to poor diet and lifestyle choices can leave your body running on empty. For example, high cholesterol and alcohol can suppress immune activity that fights infection, and sustained stress affects hormone levels that regulate immune functions. Refined sugars and excess natural sugars can weaken your immunity as well. According to a 1977 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking 24 ounces of sugary soda depressed infection-fighting white blood cell activity by 50 percent for about five hours after consumption.

Fortunately, nature has provided plants that can enhance and restore immune function. Scientific studies are verifying the immune-boosting and antimicrobial actions of botanical medicines and their synergistic mix of plant-based chemicals that may help prevent diseases from colds to cancer.