Human immunity is the interface or dance between the individual and the world and could be viewed as a relationship with the world on all levels, what foods are being eaten, who are we surrounding ourselves with at work or play. Ones’ mental patterns, emotional well being and whatever their spiritual beliefs are all have an impact on the immune system.
On a physical level the first line of defense is the healthy terrain of our skin, mucus, tears, saliva and stomach whose function is stop the germs entrance into the body. However sometimes the pathogens get in and this is when herbs can have a powerful and beneficial effect on the immune system by assisting the body‘s internal response to help eliminate or suppress the unwanted pathogenic germs. Echinacea, garlic, and oregano are just a few to mention that work in this way.
Another group of herbs called adaptogens are used to increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress on the immune system and the entire body. Astragalus, Reishi mushroom, America Ginseng, Ashwagandha and Licorice are some common adaptogenic herbs. If you are experiencing a lot of stress and keep getting every cold or flu that goes by or your allergies are driving you crazy this may be a time to consult with a herbalist or natural practitioner. They can help you strengthen your immune system and navigate the many herbs available.
This brings us to the autoimmune disorders which are an entirely different issue. Some conditions that fall into this category are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, cancer, AIDS, psoriasis and many more. Obviously a discussion of help for these dysfunctions is too large a scope for this article but new understandings are happening daily and herbs and complementary therapies can be of some help. The image of our immune system as a dance between our inner world and our outer world appeals to me more than a line of warriors constantly trying to defend me. astragalus root Feels more in balance with this beautiful planet that we call home!
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