The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.

Immune Enhancement-

The immune system is a complex system responsible for protecting the body from infections and the development of cancer. Enhancing immune function is the most important way to prevent colds, flu, other infections and cancer. The immune system consists of the lymphatic vessels and nodes, the spleen, thymus and tonsils, the white blood cells, other specialized cells and a variety of chemical factors. Enhancing or restoring optimal immune function requires a comprehensive approach. Understanding the factors which can contribute to enhanced or depressed immune function is important to optimizing immune function. Stress is directly related to depressed immune function since it increases the output of adrenal hormones which inhibit white blood cells and shrink the thymus gland. Stress also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, the immune system functions better under the stimulation of the other part of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic system. Positive emotions have been shown to enha nce immune system function, also sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and normal weight. Nutritional factors needed for a healthy immune system include adequate protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, and all of the Bís, the minerals zinc and selenium and carotenes. Sugar and alcohol both depress immune function. Breastmilk is vital for the optimal development of the immune system. Breastfed babies have fewer infections and allergies and larger thymus glands than their formula fed counterparts.

Echinacea- polysaccharides in Echinacea are known to stimulate the immune system. Liquid extract- 1/2-1 teaspoon one to three times a day. Dry herb in capsules-500-1000 mg one to three times a day. Standardized extract (3.5% echinacosides)- 150-300 mg one to three times a day

Other herbs- astragalus, licorice, goldenseal, panax ginseng,

* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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