Have you ever dreamed of having your own private bodyguard.
Well that is what your immune system is for you!
Let’s start with a quick reminder of what is the immune system.
The immune system* is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders. These are primarily microbes (germs), tiny, infection causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. *http://www.imgt.org/IMGTeducation/Tutorials/ImmuneSystem/UK/the_immune_system.pdf
Our immune system is spread throughout our body and it involves many types of cells, organs and tissues.
Immune system can be categorized in two types:
1. Non-specific defenses or innate immunity include physical or chemical barriers, mucous membrane, cellular defense and body acute phase response to invaders.
Physical barriers is for example the skin that secretes oily substances (fatty acids such as oleic acid) or glands secreting enzymes that can break down wall of certain germs.
Mucous membrane linings such as repiratory mucus (phlegm), genital fluids or gastrointestinal lining such as hydrochloric acid, strong enough to kill many germs
Cellular defense such as for example some type of white blood cells called phagocytes or macrophages chewing up invading organsims.
Or natural killer cells who do not attack invading organism directly but instead destroy the body’s own cell that have either become cancerous or been infected with a virus.
The body’s reaction to invaders can be fever which is believed to be helpful in eliminating infections because most bacteria grow optimally at temperature lower than normal body temperature.
Of course, fever is good if it’s controlled and regulated, instead of taking immediately anti-inflammatory drugs but this is another story.
Finally, let’s get personnal here but it could also be diarrhea or vomitting which is the body’s natural response of expulsing micro-organism.
Human body is such an incredible machine
2. Specific defenses or aquired immunity develop throughtout our lives when we are exposed to diseases
When the body senses foreign substances (called antigens), the white blood cells (lymphocytes) work to recognize the antigens and get rid of them if they come back to attack again.
The are two kinds of lymphocytes : B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes.
B because they are developped and matured in the Bone marrow. T are developped in the bone marrow as well but get matured in the Thymus, a small gland behind the breastbone.
B lymphocytes are like the military intelligence system of the body, they find their targets and send defenses to lock onto them. T cells are like the soldiers, they destroy the invaders that the intelligence system finds.
White blood cells circulate in the body in blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels that parallel the veins and arteries.
They are stored in different places in the body, which are referred to as lymphoid organs. These include the following:
⦁ Thymus — a gland between the lungs and just below the neck.
⦁ Spleen — an organ that filters the blood. It sits in the upper left of the abdomen.
⦁ Bone marrow — found in the center of the bones, it also produces red blood cells.
⦁ Lymph nodes —small glands positioned throughout the body, linked by lymphatic vessels.
These details may be important when talked about the lymphatic drainage massage as it stimulates the production of white blood cells and the evacuation of germs.
So now let’s dive into the main subject we are concerned of which is finding ways to improve your immunity. These are all advices and you don’t need to take them all at once. Always refer to your doctor or your naturopath.
⦁ Echinacea purperea is known to be one of the major plants improving your immunity. It’s a major immunostimulant plant so I would advise to take it for a duration of 3 weeks then stop and continue further notice as advised with your doctor or naturopath.
Precautions : Avoid if you have an auto-immune disease. Do not take on the first trimester of pregnancy
⦁ Lapacho (pau d’Arco), comes from a tree that grows in Central and South America. Known for it’s fantastic medicinal properties. It stimulates the immune system, is anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic as it eliminates toxins.
It has also the benefit to fight excess candida infection in your gut and inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that grows in your difestive tract which has a tendency to attack your stomach lining causing ulcers.
1 teaspoon of the inner bark, boil 3 min in water and let it infused 10 min, filter and drink
Precautions: Do not take on the first trimester of pregnancy.
⦁ Eleutherococcus roots or siberian ginseng is an adoptogen which means its substance is considered to help the body adapt to stress.
Furthermore, it has proven antiviral effect*
*Antiviral activity of an extract derived from roots of Eleutherococcus senticosus.
Precautions : for people having high blood pressure, diabetic condition, pregnant or breatfeeding women
⦁ Thyme leaves : antiseptic for ear, nose throat, as well as for gastro-intestinal ad urinary track. Support the adrenal glands and helps prevent drop of blood pressure
⦁ Elderflower (fleur de sureau noir) : anti-inflammatory, expectorant, anti-viral. Help raise temperature to get rid of toxins
⦁ Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum, Cassis) : major anti-inflammatory plant excellent for prevention, help seasonal allergy as well.Regulate immune system so may be taken if you have an autoimmune disease. Best under the form of gemmotherapy – safe for children and pregnant woman.
⦁ Rosehip (Rosa canina, Eglantier, Cynorrhodon) : rich in vitamine C, has an affinity for upper respiratory infections. Regulate immune system so may be taken if you have an autoimmune disease. Best under the form of gemmotherapy – safe for children and pregnant woman
Several studies have shown positive effect of fasting on regulating your immune system.
Check the studies of Prof. Valter Longo, H. Shelton, P Carton
Not advised for pregnant woman or elderly people
For prevention from October to end April : Influenzinum 15CH to be taken once a month or/and Serum de Yersin 15CH – 10 granules of each (www.schmidt-nagel.ch)
Take a contrast shower*: at first sign of a cold or flu, give yourself a « hot then cold shower ». The sooner you do it, the more effective it is. This treatment increases the number of circulating white blodd cells and prevent a full-blown infection. *https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/news/item/id/10901/t/17-tips-for-fighting-a-virus-
⦁ Turn the water as hot as you can tolerate
⦁ After a few minutes, turn the cold water on. Start with a mild contrast. Jumping up and down and rubbing your skin while in the cold water will help. Leave the cold on for about for about 30 seconds. Never leave it on so long that you actually feel chilled. This will have indesirable effect (if you feel chilled, turn the hot water back on until you feel warm, then try a shorter application of cold or milder temperature)
⦁ Repeat this contrast shower three time, ending with a cold. Dry yourself and go for bed rest for at least one hour. Repeat this treatment 1 to 2 times daily.
Can be completed with self massaging your body with essential oils (see aromatheray treatment below)
If you are interested in hydrotherapy, you can check out other method such as :
« We have much more control than we think. But we have to expose the body to natural elements, such as cold and take it out of its comfort zone. It’s a positive stress. It makes the body and mind work» W. Hof
Bains de Salmanoff
Bains dérivatifs de Louis Kuhne ou méthode de France Guillain
If symtoms of flu are already at its peak :
⦁ Try eat as much as lightly possible and plant based diet
⦁ Avoid processed food, sugar and allergens.
⦁ Avoid nicotine, sugar other drugs. These ingredients can destroy immune function.
⦁ Stay hydrated, drink more water and put away soft drinks. Time to soothe yourself with warm home cooked chicken soup, herbal tea, loads of water
There is a lot of chicken soup recipes on the web, it is important to slow cooked the chicken for at least 2-3hrs if you can even up to 4-5 hrs in order to benefit of the minerals, amino-acids & micro nutrients… It helps with congested noose & throat and reduce inflammation associated with a cold. Don’t forget to add extra garlic, oignon and ginger if you love those.
My favorite chicken soup that my mom used to cook when I was sick : Arroz Caldo, which is basically tons of garlic lightly fried in olive or coconut oil, organic chicken, ginger and oignon, add 1 cup of rice, stir fry, then add chicken broth, let it simmer at very low heat for 2-3 hours then add your favourite vegetables (mushrooms or greens) at the end. Bon appétit !
⦁ Herbal tea recipes *
30g Tilleul bractée
20g Cannelle écorce
20g Echinacée racine
20g Sureau fleur
10g Girofle clou
*Mes 1000 ordonnances phytothérapie – Michel Pierre & Caroline Gayet
4 tablespoon for 1 l of water, bring to boil let it infused for 5-10 min, drink throughout the day before 7pm. 3 weeks/month
⦁ Classic herbal infusion for respiratory infection : Tisane de 4 fleurs (Bouillon blanc, tussilage, coquelicot guimauve)
⦁ Honey and Propolis
⦁ Eliminate dairy products, which aggravate mucus-related symptom
⦁ Herbs and spices : such as curcuma, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper…
⦁ Pineapple core is sometimes more effective than a coughing syrup. Pineapples contain Bromelain which can combat infections. Slow juice pineapple core and add to your smoothie or in your ginger infusion.
⦁ 1000mg of vitamin C in the morning – 500mg in the afternoon
⦁ Vit D either in food or in supplements : studies have shown that in our latitudes, most of us are deficient in vitamine D. Besides promoting healthy bones and teeth, Vitamine D has a major role in supporting immune system, regulate auto-immune disease, influence the expression of gene involved in cancer developement.
At least 400UI/day*–ideally during 6-9 months from September to May – consult your doctor or therapist
⦁ Zinc between 10-15 mg*/day during 3 months. *Ma bible de l’herboristerie – Michel Pierre, Caroline Gayet
⦁ NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), precusor to glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in your body. Studies shows that it heps with chronic respiratory infection. 2 x 600mg daily (not for pregnant woman)
See articles*Attenuation of influenza-like symptomatology and improvement of cell-mediated immunity with long-term N-acetylcysteine treatment.
Sore throat :
⦁ Gargle with saltwater 1 teaspoon in a 1 cup of warm water
⦁ Or use Colloidal Silver (Argent colloïdal) : it fights bacteria and viruses present in mouth -> don’t drink, gargle mouth thoroughly 3 times a day
- Take Cu-Or-Ag, maintain the liquid under the tongue for at least 1-2 minutes, 3-5 times a day (safe for children and pregnant women)
- Rubus Fructicosus with Rosa Canina for respiratory insufficiency (safe for children and pregnant women)
- We need to work on 3 axes properties which are expectorant & antiviral ORL (ear, noose, throat) + global systemic antiviral+ immunostimulant.
« Embaumement pijama *» recipe : Pick one of the essential oil below for each properties, mix …** drops of each essential oils in oil for skin such as argan, jojoba, olive, almond oil … rubb whole body (except eyes and inside ears) after a warm shower or a hot and cold shower. Advise to do before sleeping.
Expectorant & antiviral ORL essential oils: Eucalyptus radiata, globulus, ravintsara or cajeput
Antiviral systemic (works on the whole body) essential oils : Ravensare or Tea tree or Palmarosa
Immunostimulant essential oils: Epinette noire (Picea mariana) or sapins (abies alba)
To boost effect of the 3 essential oils you have chosen above, you can either apply under the foot : Cannelle de Ceylan, Girofle or Thym a thymol – to be applied solely under the feet because they are skin sensitive.
If you are interested in aromatherapy, Marc Ivo Böhning created a protocol using essential oils against coronavirus, check his website at aromarc.com
*Aromatherapy courses at Epidaure – teacher Marc Ivo Böhning
**Please refer to your therapist or naturopath for the use of essential oil may be harmful for your health if taken on a long term. Not advised for pregnant woman or children below 7 years old.
For nasal congestion :
⦁ Use a neti pot with salin water (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-use-a-neti-pot)
⦁ Eau de quinton nasal spray
Manual therapy :
Foot Reflexology :
Keep the « vital energy » flowing. It is an ancient healing modality that works on the concept that there are reflexes or points on the feet that relate to every organ, gland, and part of the body. The foot pressure sends energy flowing through a person’s body until it reaches the area in need of healing. The body heals itself. It’s very efficient and results are very rapid to show.
Lymphatic drainage massage :
Your lymphatic system is responsible for initiating immune response. This system picks up waste and toxins from your body’s cells and carries it away with lymph fluid. It also distributes fluid and nutrients throughout the body. The lymphatic system assists in draining off excess fluids and proteins left behind by capillary circulation activity.
Lymphatic drainage massage helps circulating white blood cells and drains toxic buidup causing tissue inflammation.
And finally but not the least !!
Mycotherapy is the application of mushrooms with therapeutic properties in human health.
Mushrooms* are rich in a particular polysaccharides beta-glucan, which have the benefit of modulating the immune system on a active or passive mode depending on what your body is at need.
Beta-glucans can be found in oats and certains berries such as gogi berry but are prevalent in mushrooms
One of my teacher*used to say that mushroom therapy will be the futur as it is super effective to fight viral diseases. They are the bazooka tools in case nothing is effective.
Mushrooms has the advantage to be taken all year around.
Here are some of the most known mushrooms against viral infections :
Coriolus versicolor, Chaga, Ganoderm lucidum or Reishi, Shiitake, Maïtake.
Please consult your therapist or naturopath for posologie.
*Mycotherapy course at Epidaure, Teacher Sandra Neri
If you are interested in this subject : please consult studies of Dr Bruno Donatini or Paul Stamets
I could not end this presentation without speaking about the gut health since more and more studies show now the link between your gut and the immune system but not only, as it has an impact on your overal heath as well, on the physical and mental level.
Fighting off low grade inflammation and gut health is obviously linked with a proprer function of the immune system but this is such a complex subject which requires maybe another article…
There are still so many more ways of improving our immune system, a lot has still to be be discovered and I surely did not think of all still …but I will try to improve this presentation everytime I think about something new to share with you guys.