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Keeping your immune system healthy

With the nation in self-isolation, and concern around Coronavirus, it’s never been more important to care for your health, and especially your immune system.

Coronavirus, or to give its official name, COVID-19, is a key concern across the world, and the British Naturopathic Association has offered some important tips on how you can keep healthy and ensure your immune system is fighting fit.

The organisation explains that COVID-2019 is a new strain that begins as a common cold with fever, lethargy, cough and difficulty breathing. Additional symptoms may include sore throat, nasal congestion and swollen adenoids. In some people, especially those that are already immune compromised, have respiratory diseases (COPD etc) or are elderly, it can rapidly cause respiratory symptoms, including viral pneumonia.

The following guidelines may be beneficial in supporting general health and wellbeing, with the best approach for all disease being immune support. First, it is imperative to begin with a solid foundation: ensure a balanced diet with immune boosting foods, manage your stress levels and get plenty of good quality sleep.

Vitamin, minerals and herbs for immune support include:

  • Vitamin C: Increases production of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Lymphocytes are generated by the immune system to defend the body against all pathogens and foreign matter.
  • Zinc: This mineral is incredibly necessary for development of the immune system’s T-cells, as well as decreasing inflammation. Vitamin A and zinc are synergistic, with zinc helping to mobilise vitamin A from the liver.
  • Echinacea: Due to macrophage and natural killer (NK) cell activity, this is effective in preventing colds and ‘flus.
  • Elderberry: Especially effective against the influenza virus by stimulating antiviral properties and immune responses.
  • Oregano: An essential oil, oregano is antimicrobial and also stimulates the immune system.
  • Probiotics: The good bacteria in the gut microbiome provide the body’s first line of defence against foreign invaders. As such, they provide a wide variety of immune responses, including activation of macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, T-cells, and release of cytokines (chemical messengers of the immune system).
  • Bee propolis: Propolis is effective especially against gram positive bacteria and kill eradicates viruses, fungi, any type of bad microorganism.