Year Round Immune Building
Sunday, January 1st 2006
Beware of the Next Virus
Some viral infections are short lived such as colds, the flu and sore throats while others such as AIDS are lifelong. Viruses test the body's infection fighting capacity and its immune system. As a consequence, symptoms including pain, redness, swelling, heat, fever and rash often result.
Throughout history, viral epidemics have plagued humans and proven more powerful than the greatest armies. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed more than 22 million people worldwide. In the early 1980's AIDS surfaced and in the 1990's Ebola made headlines.
In the early 2000's it has been SARS and now "bird-flu" or virus H5N1 in poultry and other birds with some 60 human deaths. Is it the start of a pandemic? Should we all rush out and get vaccinated or buy Tamiflu or some or some other drug?
Theoretical Speculation about Bird Flu
The October 2005, British Medical Journal featured an editorial on the bird flu in which they state the following: The lack of sustained human-to-human transmission suggests that this H5N1 avian virus does not currently have the capacity to cause a human pandemic.
While they do go on to say the virus could mutate with an influenza. A virus and has the potential to acquire the means for rapid human to human transmission, it does not have this ability now; the preparation and warnings are entirely about a theoretical speculation.
While humans in close contact with infected birds/poultry appear to be able to be infected with the virus, it has not been shown that it can jump from human to human.
The Vaccine Theory
Vaccines pose several problems. Since viruses mutate, each vaccine injection will only be specific for the exact virus. There are hundreds of viruses known to cause colds and dozens that cause influenza. It would be impossible to get protection against each through vaccines. Only the three flu strains thought to be most likely to occur each winter are included in the current vaccine.
Pharmaceutical firms are now concentrating on creating antiviral drugs that inactivate viruses and make them incapable of penetrating healthy cells. However, these drugs are difficult to create since viruses mutate into hundreds, if not thousands of different forms.
The Secret to Controlling Viral Diseases
It is essential to build a strong immune system. Will people's immune systems be capable of dealing with this new and potentially very dangerous virus?
Dr Mumcuoglu's Ph.D. specialised in virology and immunology and her research has shown that the active ingredients in elderberries bind with viruses before they have a change to penetrate he wall of a normal cell. Her extract has been laboratory tested on seven different strains of influenza virus and was effective against every single one.
At the 6th International Congress for Infectious Diseases, researchers from Israel presented a herbal product that effectively treats the flu.
In a double-blind study, patients suffering from the flu were placed on either a herbal product containing extracts of black elderberries and raspberries or a placebo. Their treatment started within 24 hours of the appearance of flu symptoms and continued for six days. Ninety percent of those patients who received the extract were symptom free, after the first two or three days. No side effects were experienced from using the herbal product.
Any substance that produces a 90 percent success rate in the treatment of the flu is truly remarkable. The flu is viral related and the majority of the time unresponsive to both natural and pharmaceutical treatments. High doses of vitamin C and various herbs help some, but nowhere near the 90 percent that this product called Sambucus achieves.
Olive Leaf Extract has been shown effective against many viral, bacterial, fungal and yeast infections. At the first indication of an infection, cold or flu regardless of whether it is bacterial or viral an initial intensive dosage regime of 2 or 3 capsules of Nature's Way Standardized Olive Leaf Extract three or four times a day may be taken for two or three days and then the recommended dosage.
Echinacea - Boost the Body's Own Resistance
Echinacea is an exclusively North American plant group comprising nine species with some now grown virtually around the world.
Echinacea has been shown to help boos the body's own defence mechanisms and enhance or stimulate the body's own resistance. Echinacea increases the "non-specific" activity of the immune system. In other words unlike a vaccine which is active only against a specific disease, Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting infections. Unlike antibiotics, which are directly lethal only to bacteria, Echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells. Echinacea facilitates wound healing and speeds recovery from viruses. Nature's Way Echinacea has an excellent safety record and is well tolerated by most people.
There is sufficient scientific evidence, which demonstrates the potential for colostrum to assist with improvement of immune function and the potential to inhibit the entry of pathogens and viruses, such as cold and flu viruses to the body.
There is very clear scientific support for the fact that colostrum can improve the immune function of the primary barriers to entry of pathogens and viruses to our bodies.
It therefore follows that by taking a colostrum supplement there is an increase in the effective immune function of the epithelial linings. This increase in immune function is key to stopping viruses and pathogens entering our body.
Massy University researcher Christine Crooks looked at male and female runners aged 25 to 58 years, all of whom trained for the 2002 Rotorua Marathon, Fonterra's health manager, Liz McMaster, said the research suggested that colostrum might enhance athletes immunity and help to prevent upper respiratory tract infections that runners often report, typically about 14 days after marathon-type race events.
Is your immune system weakened by overwork and neglect? Whatever the case, now is the time to get your immunity into shape and here are some simple tips: eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get proper rest, reduce personal stress, dress warmly as the weather changes and fortify all seven aspects of immunity - that's right, seven - the skin, respiratory, digestive, systemic, circulatory, cellular and lymphatic. The lymphatic system is probably the most important. It is here that invaders are transported to lymph nodes where lymphocytes (killer T-cells and B-cells) identify, attack and dispose of infections. When engaged, the lymphatic system consumes a tremendous amount of energy. This is why you may feel fatigued when under immune stress. Gugulipids and Siberian Eleuthero support the thyroid and adrenal glands that provide optimum immune energy during recovery.
Reproduced unabridged from the January - March 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Immunity:
Echinacea with Astragalus and Reishi
Garlicin, enteric coated Garlic
Golden Seal Root
Olive Leaf Extract
Superior Olive Leaf
Family C Powder
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
Behind the science of Sambucol virologist developed clinically tested
Childhood vaccination: Is there a "dark side"
Improved Colostrum provides extra health benefits
Olive Leaf Extract - super immune system booster
The winter first aid kit in a bottle
System Well: Immunity boost
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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