A recent post on FB asked how to help the immune system. Beyond taking probiotics to beef up the naturally occurring or missing beneficial micro-organisms that line the gut, eating toxic free food, and drinking lots of good clean water, here are some of my recommendations (after working on the writing of a book on the immune system for a couple of years):
Remember the lymphatic system in the body contains many cellular immune components and a liquid circulating, collecting toxins and things, which need to circulate in order to work. So, if you don’t get up and move around about every hour, and get the muscles working (which pump the lymph through the body, it doesn’t have a pump like the heart for blood) you don’t get the benefit.
So, though about 80% of the body’s immune system is in the microbiome of the gut (friendly micro-organism – probiotics, and prebiotics – the fibers these micro-organisms eat) the immune system depends on the cleansing aspect of the lymph. Lymph is a thick liquid that circulates around every cell in the body – which draws away the metabolic waste and toxins coming out of every cell. Without that, the cells clog up with toxins and stop functioning optimally.
So, keep moving. Drink enough good water to flush out the metabolic waste and help the kidneys detoxify.
Don’t smoke or intake a lot of toxic stuff like too much alcohol, GMO food, antibiotic laden meats, or breathe bad air if at all possible. These impact the immune system’s ability to work.
Helping the immune system function properly are the things which are doubly important now that we have viral load in the environment.
Exercise can be strenuous – like running, walking, bicycling, gym workout, swimming, etc. Or you can get on a rebounder (mini-tranpoline) and gently bounce a few minutes every hour if you know your immune system is compromised.
Otherwise, just get up, walk around every hour for a few minutes, and let the body circulate lymph.
There are some herbs which help the lymph circulate better. A tincture of ‘Cleavers‘ – a wild herb growing low to the ground in much of the Southeast – is one of the most important ones. (Here are a few more that help the lymphatic system drain:
https://herbalismroots.com/herbs-promote-lymphatic-drainage/) Right now it is coming up all over my garden as springtime is when it shows up.
You can collect it, make the tincture yourself, let it steep for about a month, shaking it regularly, strain the plant matter out of it, and put it in a dark glass container. A dropper-ful a day is what I put in my coffee every morning.
You can also make a massage oil with some of the herbs listed above, only making oil instead of alcohol extract tincture, and encorporating it into your formula. Massage is particularly good if you have swelling because the lymph is what draws away the excess liquid of inflammation. Use it to massage the area pushing from lower on the body towards the center of the body to help the lymph drain in that direction, especially for extremities like the arms and legs. For the head move it with massage from the face down the neck towards the heart.
For a greater understanding, check out these sites: http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/issue/15-how-to-detoxify-and-heal-the-lymphatic-system