Immunity

Natural immunity is something we’ve all heard of, and want to know

more about. It’s a major buzz-word of the health awareness

movement because it represents an alternative to chemotherapies,

radiation and surgery, vaccinations, hospital convalescence,
untreatable chronic fatigue or degenerative diseases, and a host

of other unpleasant, expensive options on today’s medical
industrial menu. This essay will give basic parameters for

wellness through immune support, as well as a brief introduction

to three special modalities, namely nutritional supplements,
botanical medicine and hydrotherapy.


The Basics

  1. Rest
  2. Work balanced by Play
  3. Healthy Diet including plenty of Fresh Water.

Get plenty of rest. Most people need 8 hours of sleep each day.

Make it a habit to get to bed 8 hours before your alarm clock is

set to go off. That way you’ll at least be more or less
horizontal for the full 8 hours… In our culture most people

work, work, work, then maybe, if there’s time, do a little play.

This is just not right. Think about how it would be to play an

hour for every hour you work. Maybe you’d have to give some of

that extra income that’s going to pay off credit cards jammed with

possessions you may or may not still need or use… Maybe the
extra playtime would render you so efficient at your work, because

of added mental clarity and a light-hearted, healthy enthusiasm

for life, you’d actually earn more per hour and not lose income
at
all! Indoor play is fine, but outdoor play is excellent. Deeply

absorb the smell of a rising wind. Feast your eyes on a
mountain top panorama. Walk in forests. Remember Nature. Commune

with Her… Get lots of clean water — 64 ounces daily. Carry

fresh water in your car and a smaller quantity in your purse or

day pack. Stay hydrated. If you feel thirsty, you’re already

dehydrated. Drink lots of water especially when coming down with

a cold or infection. It is important to provide the body with

clear fluids to flush out the toxins. Dilute fresh vegetable
broth, herbal teas or juices are also excellent to ward off flus

or fatigue but they cannot replace pure clean water. While
Seattle tap water is relatively high quality it is chlorinated
and
may contain more than desirable levels of heavy metals and
microbes. Please consider using a water purification device.

Reverse osmosis or distillation under the boiling point are the

two best options. Also, please just say no to iced water. It
is
very hard on our stomach and in fact, sits there drawing in energy

until it’s at body temperature. When you’re eating out, remind

the waitperson before they bring your water. Another part of

healthy diet is to LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE to less than 50 grams per

day. The average American consumes 150 g/day of simple sugars,

and this does include fruit (fructose). Sugar inhibits white
blood cell function (which is cleaning up toxins in the blood)
by
50% for 2 to 5 hours after consumption. Sugar also competes with

Vitamin C to get inside the cells. That means that taking Vitamin

C doesn’t help much if you’re also taking sugar.


Protect your natural defense system — starting with the skin.

Keep the skin clean and intact as much as possible. Be kind to

your mucous membrane tube (mouth to anus), which is the interface

with the outside world. Remember that what you put into your
mouth turns into your body. Protect your lungs: don’t smoke!

Protect your heart by eating a low-fat diet and getting adequate

cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking. Protect your

emotional and spiritual well-being by taking regular quiet time

for yourself, and expressing your needs, your ideas and your
dreams!


Nutritional Supplements

By quirk of nomenclature we can actually refer here to the ABC’s

of immune enhancement. Let’s start with good old Vitamin C. C
is
a natural inhibitor of cellular destruction wreaked by foreign

antigens, from viruses to particles of undigested food. Vitamin
C
improves the ability of blood cells to engulf and excrete toxins.

The best way to take Vitamin C is in powdered form, which is
readily digested and then available for immediate use. Good
juiceable food sources of C are dandelion leaves, watercress,
nettles, alfalfa, cayenne (as seasoning), kelp, parsley,
raspberries, strawberries and papayas. Vitamin C is depleted by

antibiotics, aspirin and other pain relievers, coffee, cortisone,

smoking anything, stress, DDT, burns and high fevers. The B
vitamins help to reduce the load which stress puts on the body,
as
well as preserving the integrity of the nerves and nervous
responses, such as reflex actions. A lack of B vitamins has been

repeatedly shown to cause depressed immunity. Food sources of
B
complex include parsley, comfrey and red clover. Most other B

vitamins are also high in alfalfa. B 12 must be supplemented in

strict vegetarians. B vitamins are depleted by sleeping pills,

insecticides, estrogen (the “Pill”), sugar and alcohol.
Vitamin
A, which in it’s precursor form is called “beta-carotene,”

increases the number of helper-T cells in the blood.
Bioflavonoids (which cause the coloration of yellow and orange

foods) are an example of beta-carotene and are found in chicory,

watercress, garlic, parsley, squash, oranges and yams. Vitamin
A
is depleted by fluorescent lights, mineral oil, coffee, alcohol,

all kinds of drugs, excessive intake of iron and lack of available

protein in the body. We don’t need much protein — 5 ounces daily

is plenty — but we do need to be able to digest it. Which brings

up two “Z” supplements at the other end of the alphabet.
These
are ZINC, the trace mineral, an important co-factor in most
digestive enzymes, and (EN)ZYMES themselves, the delicate dynamos

which alone deserve volumes of discussion. If you eat more than

you need to in order to feel “satisfied,” or ever notice

undigested food particles in your food, consider consulting with
a
natural health care physician for a good source of PLANT (not
animal) enzymes.


Botanical Medicine

My favorites in immune enhancement are a combination of Echinacea

angustifolia, Hydrastis canadensis (Golden Seal) and either Galium

aparine (Cleavers) if the congestion is in the head, lungs or
upper body, or Phytolacca (Poke Weed) if the congestion is in the

pelvis, gut or lower body. Echinacea is known to neutralize
viruses and activate the body’s “natural killer” cells.
Hydrastis
is very healing to mucous membranes, which, as stated above, means

the entire tube from mouth to anus. Galium promotes lymphatic

pumping and draining, particularly of the head, neck and armpit

nodes. Phytolacca stimulates the T and B blood cells crucial to

immune functioning. WARNING! Phytolacca is toxic at relatively

low doses, and may only be administered under the guidance of a

physician knowledgeable in plant medicine.


Hydrotherapy

In the 1850s “hydropaths,” or physicians and lay persons
trained
in the use of water therapies, were the single largest group of

health care practitioners besides standard, blood-letting, mercury-
administering medical doctors. The water-cure movement, which

originated with Father Kneipp in Germany, enjoyed 50 plus years

of vogue in the U.S. with many well known advocates from writers

such as Edgar Allan Poe and Harriet Beecher Stowe, to famous 7th

Day Adventists and Abolitionists. One of the central tenets of

hydropathy was that the patients become responsible for their own

health care. The hydropath aspired to empower the patient with
a
recognition of their own wisdom. Cold water was considered the

universal elixir for disease… “God accomplishes his most
divine
work through the simplest agencies.”


Why water? Water is available readily almost everywhere and it
is
not in any way foreign to our system. Water has chemical, thermal

and mechanical properties. It is essentially nontoxic except
in
places where it doesn’t belong. It is the universal solvent.
It
can hold heat or pull heat away from the body. Water can be
therapeutically applied in the form of bath, spray, whirlpool,

vaginal douche, colonic irrigation (also ear and nose lavage),
and
of course, beverage.


One of the tried and true standbys of Naturopathic Medicine is
the
use of “constitutional hydrotherapy” which employs alternating
hot
and cold towels to an affected area of the body. For example,
a
chest cold will benefit enormously from applying first hot, then

ice-cold towels or compresses to the bared chest. The technique

calls for 3 minutes of hot followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of

cold. This sequence is repeated at least three times, and always

ends with cold. The easiest, preventive, form of hydrotherapy
is

to chase your morning hot shower with all cold water for at least

30 seconds and make sure to thoroughly cool the armpits, genital

areas, head, hands and feet. These are centers of lymphatic
drainage. To embellish the treatment, firmly tap your upper
central chest just under the notch at the base of the throat, to

invigorate the thymus gland. This will actually keep you warmer

on a winter’s day because of the circulatory stimulation. By the

same principle one can achieve excellent results in bringing down

a fever, especially in children, by applying frozen cold cotton

socks to the feet and covering them with dry wool socks. This

will stimulate circulation in the lower extremities by requiring

the feet to pull down heat, drawing it away from the head. Put
a
feverish kid to bed with this double sock routine and their sleep

is guaranteed to be more restful. Be creative! The basic idea

of alternating hot (3 minutes) with cold (30 seconds to 1 minute)

can work with sauna to cold plunge, 2 hip-bath tubs, running water

from 2 faucets on a sprained wrist or ankle, etc.


Experiment with these health tips. You know best what your body

really wants. The best way to distinguish a healthy craving from

an unhealthy one is how whatever you decided to ingest makes you

feel an hour later. Check it out…


One final observation in immune enhancement: Please don’t let

other people run your life. Your friends and family may be

threatened when you start to make some changes for the better.

Food and health are highly emotional issues. Identify your
stressors, and get them down to a bare minimum. Let go of people

who can’t support your total awakening. Make a commitment to

know thyself. And, best of all, stay light!


References

All anecdotally supplied, or from personal lecture notes, by Susan

Cayleff, Ph.D., Doug Lewis, N.D., Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., and Jeffrey

Zavik of Immuno Laboratories.


Avatar Written by Emily Kane ND

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