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The strength of immune system determines our ability to resist daily onslaughts by harmful organisms and protects us from the growth of abnormal cells.
The strength of immune system determines our ability to resist daily onslaughts by harmful organisms and protects us from the growth of abnormal cells. Sometimes the immune system fails to activate itself quickly enough to outpace the reproductive rate of a certain bacteria, or the bacteria is producing a toxin so quickly that it causes a permanent damage before the immune system could eliminate the bacteria. In these cases, it would be better to help the immune system by killing the offending bacteria directly.

Symptoms of a lowered immune system include dry skin, headaches, tiredness, aches and pains, weight imbalance, disrupted sleeping patterns and sickness. Following are some ways to help yourself by boosting your immune system:

Drink lemons

Lemon is an ideal food for restoring acid-alkali balance. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or adding it to tea, salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps maintain the body's pH that supports healthy bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more acidic environments.

Use essential oils

Aromatherapy i.e. inhalation of essential oils has proven itself to be a safe and effective way of protecting and enhancing immune system. Essential oils contain hundreds of molecules that work together to kill viruses and bacteria. Unlike drugs, viruses do not develop resistance to essential oils. For this reason, oils can be more effective at beating cold and flu than drugs and they continue to work long after a virus would have developed resistance to antibiotics.

The way to use aromatherapy to enhance the immune system begins with using essential oils like chamomile, lavender, and tea tree oil that help you to relax. These can be heated to form a vapor, used in massage oils, or as we are seeing often now, put into aromatherapy candles.

Oregano is one of the most popular essential oils for treating a wide range of diseases from cold and flu to warts. It is considered as “hot” oil (as it heats up and tingles) and should be used cautiously. It should not be applied to the face or throat without diluting it first with pure olive oil or fatty oil. Oregano is best applied on the back, shoulders, and the bottoms of the feet. Cinnamon is hot oil that is great for boosting the immune system and has been shown to support the pancreas and digestive system. Frankincense is a powerful essential oil known to be a powerful bacteria and virus fighter. It is widely used for its ability to boost the immune system. Peppermint and Eucalyptus oils clear the respiratory system and ease breathing. They are safe to apply on the skin.

Have a good night sleep

Sleep is linked to balanced hormone levels (including human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol), keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant and healthy skin. Human body may need anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night depending on individual needs.

A body that isn’t well-rested is less effective in fighting germs and in getting appropriate sleep levels. Sleep researchers in Germany vaccinated volunteers against hepatitis A infection, divided them into two groups, and ensured that one group had plenty of sleep while the second group was kept awake for 24 hours. Four weeks later the well-rested group had nearly twice the antibody level than the sleep-deprived group and showed a much stronger immune response to the vaccine.

Eat right food

Studies have linked a number of foods and nutrients to the strengthening of the immune system: 
 
  • vitamin C (citrus fruit, broccoli)
  • vitamin E (nuts, vegetable oils, and whole grains)
  • garlic (also a natural antibiotic)
  • zinc (beef, turkey, beans, oysters, crab)
  • bioflavenoids (fruits and vegetables)
  • selenium (chicken, whole grains, tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, garlic, egg yolks, sunflower seeds, brown rice)
  • carotenoids (carrots, yams)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed oil)
A typical immune-boosting diet includes the following per day: five servings of fruit and vegetables, seeds, cold pressed oils, garlic, rich protein foods and whole grains. Eating small meals every few hours minimizes excessive intake and boosts your energy levels. Many herbs and spices such as turmeric, origanum, coriander, basil, mint, rosemary and cayenne pepper have antioxidant properties. Vitamins and minerals should be consumed through food, rather than through supplements, because the body absorbs nutrients from food more effectively. You may take supplements, since many people find it difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals from their diet.

Drink enough water

Drinking plenty of water is important too. Our bodies lose three liters of water daily through urine, perspiration and breathing. Too little fluid in our body inhibits the efficient working of the blood and lymph systems which reduces energy and contributes to a sluggish feeling. Eight to ten glasses a day is recommended. This will help flush out toxins from the kidneys and is often one of the top suggestions for boosting immunity.

Stop smoking

Smoking is devastating to the immune system because it destroys cilia, tiny hairs in the nose and lungs that help to catch foreign invading viral cells. Even if you breathe second-hand smoke, your cilia can take a beating that will translate to less disease-resistance.

As smoking directly affects our respiratory system, it contributes to coughs and colds. When you stop smoking your immune system begins to improve after 30 days.

Stop drinking excess coffee

Stay away from large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Coffee can do serious harms to your immune system and your health. It robs the body of minerals and vitamins, and causes dehydration. If you drink coffee, make sure you add an additional two glasses to your water intake per cup of coffee. A mineral supplement also helps to offset caffeine's damage.

Avoid sugars

Avoid sweets and other junk foods. Sugar can make white blood cells (which are essential in protecting against infection) sluggish and can reduce the ability to fight germs by 40%. Junk food is also nutrient deficient and it can actually rob the body of nutrition. Don’t consume these foods, especially when you're fighting a cold or flu. Instead eat lots of fresh, organic veggies and fruits.

Spend time outdoor and exercise

Most of us spend 90% of our lives indoors, inhaling dubiously filtered air and other people's germs, so you must go outside for some fresh air.

Regular, moderate exercise can boost your body's self-defense system. It supports the immune system by decreasing stress hormone production. It can make a noticeable difference to your health and happiness by releasing endorphins. Even if you go for a 30 minute walk every day, this alone will provide you with more energy, increase metabolism, improve heart, bowel and lung functions which will further benefit your immune system.

Nurture yourself

Make sure to take out time for yourself, and to spend some time with friends. It is great to indulge yourself in a massage, a hot bath, or an energy work session when you feel like having one. Our bodies respond to our emotions - if you are stressed and anxious, it can manifest as a sore throat or a cold. It is imperative to pay attention to warning signs of sore throat or exhaustion so that you can prevent them from getting worse. As the mind influences the body, so laugh, meditate, play music, and stay happy.

De-stress

Stress depletes the body of many essential nutrients including the immune boosting antioxidants. Stress also makes it difficult to get over a cold or flu. So try to control your stress levels with daily relaxation techniques.

So, start off slowly with the above steps and introduce a new one daily or weekly. It will boost your immunity and will eventually make you feel fit and full of energy.
  • naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/10_ways_to_boost_immune_health
  • www.health24.com/dietnfood/The_immune_system/15-3853-3861,40107.asp
  • naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/essential_oils_fight_cold_and_flu
  • www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/3647.html