Last Modified on Jul 25, 2014
The Immune System - Function, Issues and Treatment
Few people can fully answer the question of what is the immune system. Comprised of a host of cells, proteins, tissues and organs, the immune system is responsible for preventing and fighting infections, germs and cancer. Located throughout the body, the immune system includes the thyroid, adrenal glands, intestine and several other parts of the body system.
Several factors contribute to the function of the immune system. When the immune system becomes impaired, the body is more susceptible to infection and cancer and is typically called a weakened immune system.
Immune deficiency does not always present itself in specific or clear patters, so identifying a weakened immune system may be difficult. At any rate, several factors may suggest a weakened immune system or disorder. Frequent sickness, extensive allergies, tiredness and fatigue are all common symptoms of immune disorders. Additionally, blood infections, inflammation or infection of the internal organs and blood disorders may signal to a doctor or physician that a weakened immune system is present. Additional symptoms include digestive issues, delayed growth and slow development.
While several immune disorders are inherited, several other factors contribute to the effectiveness of the immune system. Emotional stress, physical stressors including poor sleep and athletic overtraining, environment and occupational exposure and UV and other forms of radiation may lead to a lower functioning immune system. Additionally, viral or bacterial infection, drug therapy, blood transfusions and even surgery can inhibit the function of the immune system. Dietary habits also affect immune health.
Immune System Boosters
Whether the immune system is impaired or not it is important to supplement one’s health regimen with effective immune system boosters. Active Hexose Correlated Compound or AHCC is well-researched immune system booster. Additionally, aloe vera, astragalus root, camel milk, clove oil, green tea and niacin support the development and maintenance of an effective immune system. A healthy balanced diet and lifestyle are also important for supporting immune function.
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Active Hexose Correlated Compound
- Aloe Vera
- Astragalus Root
- Camel Milk
- Clove Oil
- General Feedback
- Green Tea
- Immune System Stimulation
- Low Neutrophils
- Master Tonic
- Medicinal Mushrooms
- Muscadine Grapes
- Overuse of Antibacterial Products
- Pineapple, Apple, Grapes
- Remedies Needed
- Robert Henry's Remedies
- Serbian Recipe for Low Immunity
09/29/2011: George from Madrid, Spain: "Has anyone used AHCC to boost the immune system.. Have they found any benefits? Does it increase white blood cell count?"
EC: AHCC= Active Hexose Correlated Compound
10/11/2011: David from Melbourne, Victoria replies: "I have done a lot of research on this product and it seems it is well researched and tested to help immune systems..."
10/24/2012: Waycool from Motown, Ca/ Usa: "I have been seeking the elements required by the body to do its own healing-- the most vital of them, at least. One of these is as old as life itself, and been in use as a healing agent for a known 5,000 years. It is aloe. The research reveals this type and form of aloe to be closest to eating the plant itself, and is required for cells to do their healing, so I'm all in, when I read that!
Yet another substance that we have woefully underestimated, due to not using it in its best variety, nor in the best delivery form. That the gubmt is trying to place such products under the auspices of big pharm should tell you all you need to know, as they really do want us to have access to affordable, and readily available healing agents, right? --T."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 05/16/2013: Mesem from Manosque, France: "Astragalus Root: I was hoping this plant would help me out as I seem to develope allergic reactions so easily to pollen and whatever in the atmosphere. I took 1,350 mg (weight) astragalus capsule from well known brand and I have been now for unwell 3 days! Upset my digestive system totally and I feel very strange. I have read that this reaction is very rare; for me it was almost immediate. Can anyone tell me how I might take this powdered root without invoking the upset stomach. Have to say that I don't really want to touch it again!"
[YEA] 06/03/2009: Francine from Playa Del Rey, CA: "I have used Astragalus root, a common herb, in so many instances of low immune system and viral infections. It always works, its a lifesaver, inexpensive and worth a try."Replies
10/28/2009: Laurie from Sudbury, Ontario replies: "Please explain how you use this root, how much, I love this site but everyone posts what worked but never how, how much, how many days, nothing, so it cant help others if we dont know the details, thanks"
10/28/2009: Rob from Manhattan, New York replies: "Astragalus is a great immune boost, & tonic. You can get slices of dried astragalus root at Chinese groceries and some health-food stores. Simmer the slices in tea or soups (they'll add a pleasant sweet taste). Or buy extracts of astragalus in liquid, capsule or tablet form. Follow the dosing directions on the package. This herb is nontoxic and can be used long-term to increase resistance."
[YEA] 10/25/2011: Lori from Forestville, Nsw Australia: "I would like to know people's experience with camel milk. This website seems to have a lot of information on it http://www.MiracleMilk.com.au
I have had great results for constipation with the camels milk. Chrinic constipation resolved within 3 days.
But it apparently is good for autism, diabetes and other immune problems."Replies
10/26/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "A book I am reading right now, Deadly Harvest, says all kinds of dairy products are bad for you, no matter where the milk comes from. No idea whether this is right or wrong...."
10/26/2011: Jr from Coloma, Mi replies: "I always wonder about Kefir. Dairy is bad, but what about Kefir?"
10/26/2011: Maria from Gippsland, Australia replies: "Hi Francisca, I have also heard this and read it in many places. Many years ago I was convinced enough to go dairy free for my asthma. It was absolutely free not even a piece of cake/bread or any food that I did not know every ingredient. Young with lots of energy in those days. At that time my apparent problems were asthma which was getting worse and small amount of eczema. After about 3 months I gave it up as neither had improved at all and started getting painful legs.
My opinion now is that raw is best and some of the processed products are dead eg. Long life milk. Also due to the way farming is done dairy products lack magnesium so the more dairy we eat the more magnesium we need to take. Farmers are not paid any extra for mineral content in their produce. I am also seeing people who had no problems with raw milk now have problems (itching skin and stuffy nose) with the processed milk but who are now able to have the processed A2 milk and with no problems. Interesting that most of these same people don't have problems with small servings of cheese and real yoghurt. My girlfriends son is truly allergic to dairy if he even touches the outside of the plastic wrapper he gets an immediate rash. This is just my opinion of my personal experience and observation of some other folk."
08/19/2013: Kathleen from Melbourne replies: "There seems to be a campaign to demonise foods these days, but I object! . What is causing our problems is more to do with what mankind has done to the original foods. Pastuerising milk has made it difficult to digest (damaged enzymes) and homogenising it has enabled the, now tiny, fat particles to enter the bloodstream without proper digestion. What we call wheat, has its own manmade problems. Of course the pesticides and herbicides on all non-organic foods do nothing for our health."
[YEA] 04/27/2007: DeAun from Edwards, Missouri: "I tried the clove oil on spine to relieve chronic back pain, which I think might be caused by a virus. After a couple of days, I have experienced tremendous relief. I feel quite limber and much better than I have for years. Thanks to Ted and Earth Clinic for all you do!"
06/06/2014: Anon from N/a: "Here is a study showing what some of us here at EC have known and experienced for quite a while!
10/17/2012: Wayfarer from Modesto, Ca/ Usa: "When a person 'dies of pneumonia', was it really a 'problem' of pneumonia? Or was the pneumonia a secondary illness, which gained traction in the body, due to lowered immunity to many such diseases? Wouldn't the pneumonia likely respond well to addressing the obvious lack of immunity?
When we are busy directing our energy to treating the 'specifically named disease', focusing on the basic symptomology and the like, perhaps we are missing the obvious. Perhaps the proverbial horse has left the barn.
What if the core issue is the building-up of general immunity? Respecting, resting, and restoring soils that grow foods of greater strength, is one place to begin. Nutritional supplements, herbs, oils, exercise, sunshine, and 'focusing on the good' also have place within this 'general health-building' protocol.
Native peoples who ate raw or wild foods, including Eskimos who ate only raw meat, seemed to display great joy, super immunity, great strength, and an almost complete lack of degenerative disease --as though it was unheard of alltogether.
I think it would pay handsomely to try to get to the root of the matter, not of each of 'my diseases', but of immunity as a single-eyed goal. The core of healing is health; pursue health, not 'disease', good and not evil, and we may find we are on the right, good road, already.
We are all, ultimately, together, one. I'm so glad we're all here helping one another. There is great power in working together for good, just as with evil. It is the same principle at play. Only the results are much happiness. -('Yahsha' in Hebrew; Strongs Conc. H#3467)
10/18/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "... And with the weakened immune system comes the big C (cancer). Also fallow my post (here on E.C. somewhere) on stimulating the Thymus Gland (as it becomes progressively inactive w/ age). Also, the psychological aspect of health is very often personal FEAR. Anita Moorjani, a cancer survivor as a result of an NDE testifies that she gave herself cancer by living in fear for many yrs. After having visited the other side she came back healed and fearless, enjoying her health and life."
[YEA] 02/11/2008: Amith from Durban, South Africa: "Green Tea boost my immune system. Green Tea is the most awesome tea, recently taken the world by storm. I drink 3 cups a day, which is the equivalent of eating 8 apples according to the daily mail. Tea can also rehydrate you so can be used as a substitute for water. I know this because my pee is mostly clear. I used to get the flu 4 times a year without failure. Even during the summer. I suffered for year. ie until I Started to drink Green Tea. My energy levels shot up. I only got sick once in the 2 years that I have been taking it. I think it was the airline food and the long thirsty journey that caused my Tonsillitis. I might have even died the Doctor told me if I didn't have a strong immune system. Well anyway. I haven't been sick drinking green tea."
09/14/2010: Tommy from North York, On, Canada: "Hello everyone, From a short research I found that there is some molecules are very important to stimulate the immune system:
1- Iodide potassium stimulates macrophage activity. 2- Alpha and beta gluca are also very good immune stimulator. 3-L-arginine and L-Citrillune stimulates the murine macrophage by the production of NO. 4-lPS( lipopolysaccharide) stimulates murine macrophage activity.
The question is what is LPS and we can find them or buy them as supplement? I appreciate your help."Replies
03/20/2012: Natalie from Guelph, Ontario, Canada replies: "LPS (lipopolysaccharide) is a component of the bacterial cell wall which the body recognizes as foreign and mounts an immune response. Injections of LPS into the blood can cause an immune response much like the response your body mounts when you have a bacterial infection (anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, decreased protein synthesis). I would not recommend using this "as a supplement" as your question had suggested."
07/01/2011: Martha from New York, Usa: "Hi Ted.... Please help.... I Need your advice... I have a low immune system because my body produces low neutrophils.... I have been sick with an infection for the last 6 months and still fighting it.... What can help me to increase my neutrophils..... I have read various things like zinc, shark liver oil, lithium can help increase my count but I need your advice...."Replies
07/03/2011: David from Paris, France replies: "I have had low neutrophils over the past 7 years..... Overall my white blood count is just above the lower range. I am seeking help from anyone who can help me.... My dr seems to think I have nothing to worry about as my WBC is in the normal range.... I am stressed about it and any advice would be appreciated...."
07/04/2011: Pino from Milan, Italy replies: "I have never tried lithium to establish if it can increase neutrophils but I have purchased some and will start in the next day or two.... Does anyone know what else may help with increasing neutrophils...."
07/04/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "David, can I suggest that you research spirulina.. There are studies showing it increased white blood count.
Also here is an excellent ebook on chorella and spirulina... A must read. Everyone should be taking these "Superfoods"... they are better than supplements."
07/05/2011: George from Melbourne, Vic replies: "I have been taking shark liver oil and I feel this will help me with low neutrophils.... I will be tested in the next four months and have been taking 6 shark liver oil tablets daily...."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/06/2011: Catherine from New York, Usa replies: "I am a firm believer that stress and anxiety can affect our well being.... I notice with me when I am depressed my immune system suffers... I have been taking lithium orotate for approx 12 months and that has definitely made me more positive and increased by cell count....."
11/19/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa: "Hi Everyone, Since we are entering the holiday season and the season notoriously known for colds and flus, I thought I would put the recipe up for The Master Tonic which is known to avert these nasty things. This tonic is extremely powerful because all the ingredients are fresh. Do not underestimate its power.
Master Tonic Ingredients:
1 part fresh chopped garlic cloves
1 part fresh chopped white onions
1 part fresh grated ginger root
1 part fresh grated horseradish root
1 part fresh chopped Cayenne peppers, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habeneros... any combination of the hottest peppers available.
Fill a jar 3/4 of the way full with equal parts of the above ingredients. Then fill to the top with raw apple cider vinegar. (Remember all ingredients need to be fresh and organic if possible.)
Close and shake vigorously and then top off with vinegar again if necessary.
This tonic will take approximately 14 days to come to its full potential. Shake it whenever you walk by or at least once a day!
Strain liquid from solids with either cheesecloth or a strainer into an 8 oz. Glass. (Note: the solid ingredients retain almost the same potency as the liquid therefore, they can be pureed and used in salad dressings, as marinades, etc.)
1/2 to 1oz. , 2 or more times daily, gargle and swallow.
Keep this tincture in a dark place as light will deteriorate it. You can put the jar in a brown paper bag for the brewing and shaking process. Tinctures last indefinitely while herbs lose their potency within a year. Also, tinctures enter the body in seconds.
Cheers everyone and stay healthy! Lisa"Replies
11/21/2012: Sue M. from Worden, Il, Usa replies: "Hi Lisa.... Thanks for your formula. I had ran across something similar to yours, but it didn't have the ginger or onions. OMGosh, the stench was so strong and I could only take it a couple of times because it was so hot. I ended up throwing mine out. It was that bad. Your formula sounds way better than mine. "))
My daughter gave me a recipe that she got from her friend that works at a garlic farm. I thought I would post it along with yours. You're suppose to take a tsp at a time.... I don't think it matters how often during the day. Mine is sitting on the counter "curing".
You fill a jar (mason, pickle jar, etc. ) 3/4 full of peeled garlic cloves (my salsa jar took 7 heads of garlic). Then fill half way with honey and the rest of the jar with clean water. Shake gently to mix. Put on lid and on counter for at least a week. Gently roll the jar top to bottom, bottom to top several times every couple of days. Garlic stays in the jar."
11/21/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Sue, Thanks for sharing your garlic/ honey recipe. I think I'll give that a go. Sounds easy enough and very effective. And just so you know, the Master Tonic recipe I gave is super hot too! I'm sure that's what makes it so effective! But one recommendation is to add it to something so it's getting into your body but not so intense. You could add it to soup broth. I make my own bone broth during the cold months which is recommended by Weston Price protocol. It's very healing and soothing to the stomach. I started doing that after I had my stem cell therapy to support it. Anyway, then you could add the master tonic to it and it would give it a zing! One other recommendation is, after swallowing it down, chase it with a bit of toast with honey on it. Maybe these tips might help so you don't have to throw it out again ;) Best to you, Lisa"
11/22/2012: Sue M. from Worden, Il, Usa replies: "After I read your post, I said to myself, "duh, Sue" lol. Thanks, Lisa, will give it another try. After posting the recipe, my daughter reread the instructions and told me that you only leave the garlic/honey on the counter for a couple of days, then put it in the refrigerator. You can leave it for up to a yr. And when you feel yourself "starting to come down with something", eat the garlic cloves along with the honey. We both had to throw our batches out because ours had sat out on the counter for a couple of weeks. They might have been fine, but I thought, wouldn't it be ironic something that was suppose to help us, might make us sick. Lesson learned. "))"
11/22/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Sue, You're too funny! Well, I can easily eat the garlic cloves since I'm a big fan. I do have to say I got very carried away about a month ago. My husband and I went to one of our very favorite ramen houses where they will serve you a container of raw garlic cloves for free to add to your ramen if you wish. Of course, as usual, I asked for them. They also give you a garlic press with them. I proceeded to press garlic cloves and it just tasted so good, I kept adding more and more. Well, by that night my stomach was a wreck and it lasted well into the next day as well. My intestines hurt so bad I couldn't even eat. Lesson learned!
Anyway, as far as your recipe goes, I don't think it would have gone bad sitting on your countertop as honey is a natural preservative. I do know though, that if preserving garlic cloves in olive oil, that must be refrigerated.
Wishing you the best during this holiday season! Stay healthy Sue! Lisa"
11/24/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Everyone, Three days ago I posted the Master Tonic recipe for keeping our immune system strong especially during this time of year and the holiday season when people seem to have colds and flu all around. I wrote it all out but I know many people can be overwhelmed when just reading something like this recipe so I thought I'd give a link to a video of someone actually making it. For some, visual is easier than reading and I think this recipe is worth using. So, here is the link for the Master Tonic:
Best of health to everyone, Lisa"
[YEA] 11/28/2012: Deirdre from Atlanta, Ga: "Hi everyone! Just wanted to give feedback on medicinal mushrooms for immune support. My mother has been taking an immune support mushroom formula from the health food store for 2 years now and hasn't gotten sick. I am around a lot of children every day at our karate studio and bombarded year-round with viruses galore. I got a nasty virus in October that took a couple of weeks to recover from and a dry cough that lingered for a good month. My usual arsenal of remedies from EC didn't work this time -- h202 inhalation, Ted's aspirin cure and high doses of vitamin c to name a few. After ignoring my mother's suggestions about medicinal mushrooms now for years, I decided to give it a go. I went online to research and found a sustainably produced, immune support multi-mushroom formula with feedback from people who hadn't been sick in 4-6 years. I bought a bottle and it arrived just in time! I could feel another nasty virus kicking in last week and quickly took 2 capsules. Within 20 minutes I was feeling better. It was that fast! I took 2 more in the evening, 2 more in the morning and by the end of the next day, I was 100% back to normal. No symptoms manifested other than a bit of fatigue.
These mushrooms are now at the top of my favorite supplement list! I am taking 2 capsules every day now.
Blessings and Good Health to All!
Deirdre from EC"
07/24/2014: Jeanette from Sc, US: "I just heard about a natural immune booster called Moringa made from an African tree. It is loaded with an extremely high concentration of vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino-acids and anti-oxidants. Has anyone used this?
07/25/2014: Tina from Princeton, Nj replies: "Hi Jeanette,
I came across Moringa on Dr. Mercola's website about two months ago and recognized it as a vegetable I grew up eating in India. The leaves and the green pods are cooked into very tasty dishes indeed! Ayurveda says Moringa can be used as a preventive in 300 diseases and can be used to treat high BP, diabetes, anemia, depression, and weight loss. Indian grocery stores often carry the green pods for a few weeks during the summer and also year around in the freezer section. But no chance of getting the leaves, at least not on the East coast. So I ordered organic moringa powder from Amazon and have been using a tea spoon in my daily green smoothie. I started off slow, just 1/4 tsp at first and gradually built it to one tsp. I definitely noticed it's cleansing effects and an increase in energy. It also seems to keep me feeling full. Anyway, it's impressive array of nutritional qualities - high in amino acids, protein, and essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, not to mention high fiber, alone earns it a place in my daily diet. It also seems to be helping me lose weight but I am not sure if that is solely due to Moringa alone. I have also started taking borax, as per Bill's protocol, and it's been immensely beneficial. Hope this helps!"
[YEA] 01/16/2009: Jessica from New York, NY: "A friend of my recommended muscadine grapes because my immune system is weak. I have been taking these supplements I find that I haven't been getting sick as much. muscadine grapes also have a lot of anti-oxidants as well, I noticed it has helped keep my skin a lot clearer and smoother which gives me a more youthful appearance."