Stinging Nettle, Walnut, Echinacea and horseradish are powerful native plant helpers that strengthen our immune system in different ways.
They deliver the appropriate tannins, have an immuno-modulating effect, are anti-inflammatory and strengthening. With the ideal tea recipes and tinctures bends the duration of infection (such as colds and flus) can be shortened.
When the cold wave rolls in in winter, many people think about how to protect themselves from illnesses. This is not only restricted to winter, also the ongoing globalization and climate change puts our immune system in constant challenge. Through this worldwide exchange, even the smallest microorganisms and germs are transmitted via airplanes, ships and rail traffic. Therefore, climate change ensures that foreign pathogens can spread to new climate zones!
Who thinks of their body's defenses when they are on a holiday trip...?
OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM – A COMPLEX MASTERPIECE
Our skin and our mucous membrane are our first line of defence. The mucous membrane lines the inside of the body, but is in contact with the outside world as soon as we breathe or eat something. In doing so the inner intestinal mucosa is also counted as part of the outer barrier. They must be intact and function properly in order to protect us from diseases and germs. To seal the mucous membrane, in naturopathy, medicinal plants containing tannins are used, like for example if you suffer from a gastrointestinal infection with diarrhea as a symptom. To ward off pathogens, our barrier also includes body fluids, such as hydrochloric acid in the stomach or antimicrobial substances that are in our saliva and in the tear fluid. This barrier can be breached through open spots on the gums.
With medicinal plants this process can be well supported and avoided. The tannic Bloodroot (Scientific name: Sanguinaria) or Chamomile can support wound healing and closing of the barrier. This is also part of the innate immune system and the so-called complement system.
Occurring inflammatory reactions such as redness, swelling and pain are relieved with naturopathic medicine's active ingredients, such as those in Stinging Nettle or Rosehip.
When it comes to the immune system, special antibodies are produced after first contact with certain pathogens such as the influenza A virus. These antibodies bind to the so-called antigens according to the key lock principle. This is how our immune system kills pathogens. Certain cell types from the group of white blood cells are responsible for this task: the T-lymphocytes and the B-lymphocytes, those with the plasma cells for the formation of antibodies. Antibodies are special proteins that remain in the body after an infection. For this reason one falls ill only once, for example, with childhood illnesses, the antibodies induce lifelong immunity.
THE INTESTINES: WHERE OUR DEFENSE IS
The intestine fulfills a special key process. On the one hand an intact mucous membrane ensures that foreign organisms cannot enter into the body; and on the other hand we find here a training camp for our white blood cells, which are formed, among other things, in Peyer's Patches and be differentiated. Peyer's Patches are flat Lymphoid follicles that are found in the small intestine and with all around 70 to 80 percent of the defense cells in the gut make up our entire immune system. Consequently most of our defenses are in the gut. That means also that an intact intestinal flora protects us from illnesses such as colds. By consuming lots of green vegetables, aromatic herbs, eat fresh fruit and wholegrain products, we deliver our helpful intestinal bacteria the necessary nutrients. The intestine is also closely connected to our brain – both organs communicate via hormones.
MICRONUTRIENTS: IT DEPENDS ON THE DOSIS
Our organisms need a smooth process for all the variety of micro-nutrients that
support the construction of cells. These include minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Particularly important to our immune system is vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium,
vitamin E, iron and especially secondary plant compounds, such as those found in wild herbs, berries and green vegetables. It makes little sense, to just take a lot of vitamins and especially vitamin C and zinc to prevent colds, if fundamentally, a severe deficiency of micro-nutrients prevails! The reason for this would be, for example chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis fibromyalgia.
In recent years we have seen a steady increase in these diseases. Other causes are chronic pain or stress. That's why it is useful to the body to have a balanced diet that makes up the missing micro-nutrients. It is important, however, to determine the right amount of nutrients so that an overdose is avoided! For example, a too high dose of selenium can be poisonous.
STRENGTH THROUGH THE POWER OF NATURE
There are many approaches to maintaining our health, where the immune system is supported. First of all, it makes sense to know what symptoms we have, because there are many medicinal plants that we can choose from to help. Some plants are immuno-modulating, such as Echinacea, where others have a strong antibacterial or antiviral effect. Agrimony also helps with mucosal sealing.
Mother Nature has a multitude of treasures in store for us if we know how to use them properly. Numerous plants have not yet been researched at all, many studies on it
their effects are incomplete or serve exclusively one-sided interests. Here slumbers for this reason still great potential of natural as well as very effective medicines, possibly also against antibiotic-resistant germs!
An antibiotic consists of only one active substance, and a bacterium learns to become resistant to that specific substance. The number of such resistant germs is growing steadily because we so care less with the incredibly valuable drug that is antibiotic.
Plants in nature are made up of many Substances that work together as a whole. Its composition is constantly changing, depending on location, climate, solar radiation and soil conditions. This makes it much more difficult or even impossible for bacteria to develop resistance. It consequently makes perfect sense when we boost our immune system - wherever possible - with plant power!
Strengthen and ease infections in everyday life with naturopathic and herbal treatments so that antibiotics can remain effective in the event of an emergency. Many plants possess antibacterial and antiviral powers, that support our defence.
Part 2 coming soon