What Is the Immune System?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. It is made up of special organs, cells and chemicals that fight infection (microbes). The main parts of the immune system are: white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and the bone marrow. These are the parts of your immune system that actively fight infection. The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognize and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.
What Does the Immune System Do?
Your immune system is your body's defense against infection and illness. It recognizes the cells that make up your body, and will try to get rid of anything unfamiliar. It destroys germs (bacteria and viruses) and parasites, and works constantly to protect your body’s health. The body is bombarded daily by pollution, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. The immune system is what protects your body from these harmful invaders and helps you stay healthy.
How Does the Immune System Work?
When the body senses foreign substances (called antigens), the immune system works to recognize the antigens and get rid of them. B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are triggered to make antibodies. These specialized proteins lock onto specific antigens and stay in the body, that way, if the immune system encounters that antigen again, the antibodies are ready to do their job to destroy the antigen. That's why someone who gets sick with a disease, like chickenpox, usually won't get sick from it again.
Although antibodies can recognize an antigen and lock onto it, they can't destroy it without the help of another type of lymphocyte known as T cells. T cells destroy antigens tagged by antibodies or cells that are infected or somehow changed. T cells also help signal other cells (like phagocytes) to do their jobs.
These specialized cells and parts of the immune system offer the body protection against disease. This protection is what we refer to as “immunity.” The human body has three types of immunity — innate, adaptive, and passive:
- Innate immunity: This is the innate immunity and general protection that everyone is born with. For example, the skin acts as a barrier to block germs from entering the body, and the immune system naturally recognizes when certain invaders are foreign and could be dangerous.
- Adaptive immunity: This type of immunity develops throughout our lives as we are exposed to diseases, germs, and infection. It is the immunity that develops as the immune system records the microbes it has defeated.
- Passive immunity: Passive immunity is gained from another source that supports the body’s immune function and protects the body from illness. For example, antibodies in a mother's breast milk give a baby temporary immunity to diseases the mother has been exposed to.
What Weakens the Immune System?
Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of rest, unhealthy organisms in the gut, harmful medications, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unhealthy environments, stress, depression, anxiety—all of these can lead to a weekend immune system, and thus make the body more susceptible to illness.
How Do You Improve the Immune System?
Just as the factors listed above weaken the immune system, their opposite will strengthen it. Good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate rest, good gut bacteria, healthy environments, mental well-being, and avoiding exposure to harmful toxins, pesticides, and medications will support the health of the body and help to keep the immune system strong.
There also various herbs that can help to naturally improve the body’s immunity to infection and disease. Our Immune Response formula was specially formulated to give the immune system extra support with powerful herbal ingredients that are not found in regular food. This herbal extract is most commonly used during the cold & flu season, and has also been found to be especially effective for seasonal allergies.
Herbs Included in our Immune Response formula:
Burdock Root—Native to northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows abundantly in the United States, Burdock Root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Traditionally, it was most commonly used as a diuretic and a digestive aid, as well as to purify the blood. Recent evidence has found that burdock root can remove toxins from the bloodstream and promote circulation.
Suma Root—Commonly referred to as Brazilian Ginseng, this Amazonian herb has been used by indigenous tribes to treat a variety of conditions, including a tonic for energy, to boost sexuality, treat anxiety and ulcers, and more. Today, it is recognized as a potent adaptogen, which helps the body better adapt to stress. This herb has many properties including immune support, cell oxygenation, inhibiting tumor growth, and lowering cholesterol.
Chinese Astragulus—This herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has many known health benefits, including immune-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. Astragalus is believed to prolong life and has long been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as fatigue, allergies and the common cold. It’s also used against heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.
Olive Leaf—Olive leaf extract is a powerful herb with many therapeutic uses. It protects the digestive system and nervous system, reduces inflammation, is antimicrobial, and is rich in antioxidants. Olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of an olive plant. It contains an active ingredient called oleuropein, which is thought to contribute to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract.
Venus Fly Trap—This carnivorous plant has many medicinal uses and is a powerful immune booster. It stimulates the immune system, has anti-tumor and antispasmodic (relieves spasm of involuntary muscle) uses, and plumbagin, the chief active ingredient in this plant, has been used in the treatment of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as solid tumors.
This potent herbal formula has been carefully designed to support your body’s natural immune response, which is how your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful. Our team has mastered the art of herbal extraction, making each drop of this formula extremely effective. A single serving of this therapeutic formula is equivalent to drinking many cups of tea, due to the concentrated active ingredient extracts. We use the highest quality sources from all over the world, which are either wild crafted, collected fresh, homegrown in Idaho or shipped overnight capturing top medicinal properties from fresh live plants. We do our own processing in small quality controlled batches to achieve the highest and best quality of herbal extractions.
The immune system is a complex system that works day and night to protect you from illness. There are many factors that help to improve the immune system, and there are many that weaken it. Though the immune system is complex, taking care of it is actually quite simple. The body has certain needs that help it to function optimally, and by giving the body what it needs to function, it can do its job effectively. So, ensuring that you have a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, sleep well, and avoid toxic chemicals, pesticides, and excessive stress, can help your immune system function at its best.
We can also boost our immune system naturally through the support of nature’s top immune-boosting herbs, such as the herbs contained in our Immune Response formula. The immune system is what protects the body against infection and illness, so it is essential that we take care of our immune system so we can stay healthy and strong.