The immune system is a system made up of organs and cells responsible for protecting the body from external factors that can cause infection.
All components of the immune system are distributed in different parts of the human body and communicate with each other through connections called lymphatic vessels.
The immune system consists of:
– Specialized cells called white blood cells or leukocytes that can circulate both in the blood and in tissues. These cells are further divided into granulocytes, monocytes and lymphocytes.
– The main lymphoid organs, namely bone marrow and thymus gland, and secondary lymphoid organs, namely lymph nodes, spleen and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (tonsils, appendix).
– Proteins called cytokines. These proteins regulate various immune responses by exchanging signals between themselves to control the work of various organs and lymphoid tissues.
How does the immune system work?
A normal immune response works according to these steps:
– Potentially dangerous external substance called antigen is detected and identified,
– The immune system is activated by activating all its cells,
– The antigen is surrounded and attacked,
– The antigen is inactivated and terminated.
The organ responsible for the production of immune system cells is the bone marrow. It is produced in some types of bones in the body. The most important immune cells are the white blood cells. White blood cells are granulocytes, monocytes and lymphocytes.
Granulocytes are cells that eat all dangerous external substances and cleanse the organism. Monocytes are the purifiers of the blood. Lymphocytes, on the other hand, regulate a specific immune response. B lymphocytes, the cells that develop in the bone marrow and are responsible for producing antibodies, bind to and destroy foreign substances. antibodies andThey are T lymphocytes that coordinate the entire immune system by defeating foreign recognized cells.
Other components of the immune system belong to the lymphatic system. It is a one-way system that transports fluids from small spaces between different tissue cells, called interstitial spaces, to the main circulatory system.
The task of the lymphatic system is to forward all foreign substances to the immune system. The spleen, the main lymphatic organ where all foreign substances are introduced and neutralized, is made up of lymph nodes, which are intermediate stations in the lymphatic system where immune cells multiply to fight against a specific antigen, and lymphatic vessels, which form a true circulatory system in the Lymph carries, a clear liquid containing white blood cells.
How can you tell if the immune system is functioning properly?
When the body goes through a phase of weakness, it signals that the immune system needs support. The most common signs that the immune system is not working well are:
– Recurring colds, high fever and sore throat,
– constant fatigue, weakness and muscle pain,
– difficulty concentrating,
– herpes, allergies and rashes,
– Intestinal diseases.
There are also factors that can weaken the immune system. These are very common pathologies such as stress, colds, especially those that damage the intestinal tract. like antibioticsEnvironmental factors such as drug overuse, cold, humidity and seasonal changes, unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, insufficient night sleep, physical exhaustion and aging.
Therefore, the best weapon to ensure the body is ready for any attack is a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy and balanced diet by consuming natural foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Favor the consumption of fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits and consume foods rich in vitamin C. Stay in shape by doing at least some light physical activity. Do not use cigarettes and alcohol.
Try to limit or eliminate stress. Stress affects the number of white blood cells and makes the body more susceptible to disease-causing substances. Try to sleep well. Good sleep has a positive effect on the immune system.
10 herbs that boost the immune system
A regular life and a healthy diet are the first steps to strengthening the immune system. Apart from that, there are natural remedies that boost the immune system.
Here are 10 herbs that boost the immune system:
Research shows that grapefruit, and grapefruit seed extract in particular, has many benefits. They are useful for fighting fungi, viruses, bacteria and mold, natural remedies for colitis, stomach pain, tooth decay, nasal congestion, phlegm and sore throat.
You’ll find grapefruit seed extract in herbal medicine: rich in nutrients, it helps keep cholesterol levels in check by improving circulation and liver health.
If you are prone to colds, remember that breakfast with citrus juices is an excellent habit that can boost the immune system thanks to the vitamins and fiber found in natural and fresh foods.
2. Garlic and Onion
Onions have an antibacterial effect and, together with garlic, have an antiviral effect. For even more benefits, after cooking, you can simmer some of it in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, or eat it raw as a snack with a handful of almonds.
To cook healthy, cut the vegetables, add half a glass of water and a little oil at the end. Garlic stimulates white blood cell activity and is a powerful natural antibiotic.
100 grams of rose hips are equivalent to about 30 oranges in terms of vitamin C. It is possible to prepare tea or delicious jams with rose hips. When making tea, add rose hips to boiling water by crushing them with a teaspoon. Rosehip protects against colds, flu and fatigue.
In addition, rose hip is one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature and has detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. Note that rose hips lose most of their vitamins when dried, so it is recommended to eat them fresh.
4. Echinacea and mint
Echinacea strengthens the weakened immune system by acting on the immune system. Echinacea also has an antibacterial and antiviral effect, prevents the multiplication of bacteria and viruses and protects the respiratory tract from sore throat, cough and sore throat.
You can cook echinacea with mint to prevent seasonal diseases and soothe a sore throat.
5. Ginseng and Ginger
With its stimulating and anti-fatigue effect, ginseng is one of the most popular natural remedies in Chinese medicine. You can find ginseng in herbal medicine in forms such as dry extract, herbal tea, and powder. Various studies show that this herb has powerful anti-stress effects, increases resistance to fatigue and strengthens the body’s defenses against viral diseases.
Along with ginseng, ginger is another widely used concoction in alternative medicine. It is effective against sore throat and flu, helps fight infection.
Honey is not the only product made by bees. Royal jelly and propolis are high in energy, a valuable food to protect against seasonal diseases and to strengthen the immune system. When a sore throat occurs and the tonsils are inflamed, using a natural propolis spray directly into the oral cavity provides great relief, especially for children.
Propolis has a stimulating, healing and strengthening effect on the immune system.
7. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It helps with asthma and improves circulation and heart health. The leaves of this plant are great for making a healthy herbal tea.
It naturally helps combat seasonal ailments and is particularly good during times of exhaustion as it increases physical resistance.
8. Turmeric and Pepper
Turmeric stimulates digestion and immunity and is also a good anti-inflammatory. For colds, you can use turmeric and paprika. Make a chili ginger tea and drink 2-3 cups a day. This blend is rich in antioxidants, has an antimicrobial effect and fights germs.
Eucalyptus leaves are effective against respiratory diseases. Eucalyptus is a powerful antiparasitic, antiseptic and expectorant.
You can use a herbal tea like thyme or lavender in cases like sore throat, stuffy nose, colds. These herbs have an antispasmodic effect that can relieve mouth infections and coughs.