The immune system is our internal warrior. It fights for us, even when we sleep, literally, or especially when we sleep. It defends us against the micro-organisms that cause disease. Depleting our immune system of the necessary winning ingredients is similar to weakening an assured champion. In order to be victorious on a constant basis, immunity needs to be maintained.
Since it is not an organ, but a system, and there are no measurements of immune function except a healthy life, the one guaranteed and proven way to boost it is by living a wholesome lifestyle:
- Think positive and uplifting thoughts
- Be kind to others
- Eat fresh and organic food in a balanced diet
- Drink a lot of water, with electrolytes and minerals
- Exercise or walk daily
- Abstain from smoking
- Sleep well at night
- Wash hands frequently to avoid infections
- Try to lead a balanced life, free of excessive stress
Those are some of the few and moderate steps we can take to prevent and fight sickness. There are, however, simple things that can be done to revitalize our internal warrior system. One is Vitamin C. The other is Echinacea. If you search the internet, you will find studies that attempt to disprove the effectiveness of these two immune boosters, especially coming from more traditional branches of medicine, by stating that the jury is still out on Vitamin C and Echinacea. Renowned nutritionists, naturopath doctors, and alternative medicine professionals, on the other hand, stand on the effectiveness of these two.
Now, it is not just any Vitamin C supplement that will do the trick, mainly because most store-bought supplements do not originate from citrus foods and other Vitamin C-rich sources. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi discovered Vitamin C in the 1930’s and won the Nobel prize for helping patients with the serious scurvy disease. By concentrating whole foods rich in Vitamin C, such as lemons, limes and red peppers, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi noticed a significant improvement in the health of the patients. Upon trying to isolate ascorbic acid, the one compound that he considered responsible for the beneficial results, he noticed no scurvy symptoms alleviation. In other words, ascorbic acid is not the complete Vitamin C. There are other compounds found in the natural Vitamin C-rich foods such as bioflavonoids, among many others. So traditional medicine studies that administered the standard ascorbic acid Vitamin C may not necessarily have achieved the effects positively propagated by the alternative medicine community.
One of the best ways to infuse pure and wholesome Vitamin C into the body is by squeezing two organic lemons in a glass of warm water, first thing in the morning, before eating. Not only the body will receive a jolt of fresh citrus coupled with potassium but, contrary to popular belief, the lemon will help eliminate acidity. Even though lemons are an acid fruit, upon consumption they metabolize and become alkaline. There are numerous benefits to this simple ritual, if performed daily, the main one being the consistent intake of Vitamin C. Although the dosage is not as high as the recommended daily intake or RDI, the fact that a fresh, live-food source is being administered first thing in the morning is of great significance. Upon arising, very much like your mind, all of the organs in the body are waking up, in other words, they have processed all of their eliminative functions and are now ready to receive input in the form of nutrients. The worst thing to do is drink a cup of coffee or any other processed drink or food. Feed your body fresh nutrients first thing in the morning and watch your overall health, mind and body, improve.
If you need to increase the Vitamin C dosage, please look for natural sources rather than super-market bought. There are tablets made directly from organic, natural sources such as Camu camu or Acerola.
Now, echinacea is one of the strongest immune stimulators known to man. It helps promote your body’s immune system response to disease, illness and infection, including the common cold, flu and other communicative diseases. It promotes the synthesis of immune cells and chemicals associated with the immune response. The best Echinacea is in the form of tincture, and it is usually combined with other immune strengthening agents such as garlic, pau d’arco, cayenne pepper, etc. A few drops a day, especially when fighting symptoms of cold, will help revitalize the immune system. There are different opinions as to whether Echinacea should be taken on a daily basis or not. Because it is a wildflower and a product of nature it will not be nearly as harmful as much of the food consumed in fast-food or chain restaurants. However, different people react differently to food and herbs. For instance, one of my closest friends is allergic to garlic, a powerful natural form of antibiotic. She would never be able to take the Echinacea tincture with the garlic formula. Obviously those allergic to lemons would also not consume the lemon and water formula. As always, consult with a nutritionist or naturopath to determine the best personalized alternative for immune health.