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Strengthen the immune system against flu and colds
If it gets damp in autumn, if the dry cold pulls into the coat collar in winter, if sneezing and sniffing sounds dominate the noise level in public transport, if warning messages and advertising posters give viruses and bacteria an oversized face, then at the latest we should ask ourselves how our body's immune system is actually doing. Because it depends on him whether after the next tram ride we have severe flu, a week-long febrile infection (flu infection), just a hint of runny nose or continue to be in good health. But how can we influence ourselves to support our immune system?
What are the tasks of the immune system?
The human immune system has the task of protecting us from the penetration of unwanted microorganisms, especially pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Recent research in the field of microbiology has shown that countless strains of other bacteria, viruses and fungi are involved in this process, which are tolerated and used in a kind of community because, among other things, they have an immunostimulating function. In this way, microorganisms colonize the skin and mucous membranes and protect them from infections.
Defense cells of the immune system also communicate through messenger substances, produce antibodies, store and recognize the pathogens of enduring infections so that they can react appropriately immediately if they come into contact again. A self-regulated and efficient defense system - as long as it is in a balanced state.
This balance is susceptible, for example, to an early "learning disorder" of the immune system, in particular due to an overly germ-free environment in childhood, ongoing nutritional errors (especially finished products) and overacidification, environmental toxins and heavy metal pollution, too little sleep as well as psychological and physical overload (e.g. conflicts, Revision, competitive sports). The all too frequent use of antibiotics expels the natural bacterial flora in the intestine and promotes incorrect colonization, especially with mushrooms.
Measures to strengthen the immune system
The immune system should be trained as a child by getting to know and storing as many pathogens as possible. Excessive cleanliness with "sharp" and germicidal cleaning agents weakens the function of the immune system in the long run.
A balanced, wholesome diet with a lot of untreated, fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals and vegetable fats, a moderate consumption of fish and cow's milk products, little meat and sausage products as well as the absence of industrially produced sugar and "white" flour ensures the absorption of all necessary nutrients , Vitamins and trace elements. This ensures a balance of the acid-base balance, which should be supported by at least a greatly reduced consumption of tobacco and alcohol (it is best not to do so!).
Sufficient sleep and stress relief are just as important, for example through self-hypnosis, yoga, tai chi or meditation techniques. Regular exercise, ideally in the fresh air (jogging, cycling), supplies the body with oxygen and prevents a lack of light and the associated mental distress (especially in winter).
The small, daily measures with great effect include "oil pulling" and nasal irrigation: In the detoxifying "oil pulling", a tablespoon of cooking oil is pushed back and forth in the mouth for a few minutes in the morning and then spit out. The nasal irrigation cleans and moistens the nasal mucous membranes, which makes it difficult for germs to penetrate.
One to two-year fasting and detoxification cures can be done alone or in groups under naturopathic instruction, regular visits to the sauna, alternating showers or Kneippian showers serve to harden.
Lozenges with active substances from cystrosis are suitable for temporary prevention, for example in hospitals, means of transport or schools, which prevent the penetration of viruses and bacteria into the cells (the upper respiratory tract) through mechanical action.
If the cold wakes us up
If we get caught, we can mitigate and shorten the course of the infection with the use of natural medicine, among other things. Preparations from the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) or bee pollen (Propolis) are just as suitable as microbiological preparations (probiotics). Appropriate medicines can be determined by a naturopath or a doctor. Furthermore, some home remedies for colds offer good options for supportive use. (Jvs)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Fachverband Deutscher Heilpraktiker e.V .: Red nose, big eyes, scratchy throat? (Accessed: 16.09.2019), heilpraktiker.org
- Prof. Dr. med. André-Michael Beer: Naturopathy in the cold season, MMW - medical progress, 2016, Volume 158, Issue 5, link.springer.com
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: A Pillar of Optimal Health: The Immune System (accessed: September 16, 2019), naturopathic.org