Can all-natural herbs provide immune system balance and support for immune system health? Scientific studies say “yes.”
During COVID, more people have arguably paid attention to their immune system health than ever before. One thing that’s essential to understand: we need a strong immune system throughout the year, not just during a pandemic or flu season. Every day, our health is threatened by potentially dangerous new viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Immune system balance is fundamental for our survival.
The immune system constantly monitors harmful material that enters our bodies. In a paper published in Essays in Biochemistry, Lindsay Nicholson says, “Most of the time an encounter with something new is harmless, but the small fraction of times that it is not can be very dangerous indeed. An effective immune system must be able to [distinguish] self from non-self and distinguishing harmless non-self from dangerous non-self.”
She further notes, “As part of a defence against a potentially dangerous environment, each individual develops their own unique immune system, which acknowledges only itself. Everything that is not recognized might be a threat.”
The immune system task at hand is immense and immensely important. To that end, understanding how we can support immune system balance can be key to overall immune system health.
Benefits of Immune System Balance
Immune cells are often divided into innate response cells and adaptive immune response cells. Innate immune response cells detect and respond to pathogens. They include:
- Phagocytes, such as macrophages and monocytes
- Dendritic cells
- Mast cells
Adaptive immune response recognizes specific pathogens and remembers them during future exposures. T cells play a pivotal role in recognizing and coordinating the adaptive immune response. T cells are subdivided into cytotoxic cells and T helper cells. B cells are responsible for the production of antibodies and immunoglobulin.
The body benefits from immune system balance that is usually deployed during the invasion of harmful signals or pathogens. As part of a process of recognition, coordination, and resolution, some immune response activities may result in swelling, redness, pain, and fever.
Immune System Balance
The immune system serves as a frontline defense against viruses, fungi, bacteria, and diseases. The human body faces more than 60,000 germs every day. If your immune system is weakened, you may experience frequent illnesses resulting from attacks by these pathogenic germs.
Some of the signs of a weakened immune system include:
- Frequent stomach upsets
- Delayed wound healing
- Frequent infections
Nutrition plays a vital role in strengthening immunity. According to the Harvard University School of Public Health, adequate nutrition improves immunological outcomes and helps the cells initiate effective immune responses against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful signals. The immune system requires more energy, which is derived from both endogenous and exogenous sources. Dietary components such as macronutrients and micronutrients can help develop and optimize the functioning of a balanced immune system.
Clinical evidence also suggests a correlation between intense exercise and improved immunity. Innate immune cells may respond to moderate exercise by strengthening the immune system. Staying indoors for too long can make our bodies feel sluggish. Alternatively, taking a walk and taking appropriate dietary supplementation may improve the functioning of white blood cells.
In short, immune system balance can help to:
- Fight pathogens
- Combat bacteria, viruses, and fungi
- Fight foreign materials in the body
- Prevent disease infections and re-infections
Herbal Teas and Extracts for Immune Health
Two of the most powerful herbal teas and extracts for immune system balance and immune system support are Cistus incanus and Phyllanthus niruri.
Cistus incanus, also known as Rock Rose, offers significant immune support and scientifically proven relief of cold and flu symptoms. Cistus incanus may have an inhibitory effect on the multiplication of viruses, which can be help during cold and flu season. For many, Cistus incanus may ameliorate cold and flu symptoms in about two days after drinking the first cup.
Cistus incanus is among the best-studied herbs for immune health because it shows potent and broad antiviral activity against viruses that cause life-threatening diseases in humans. In addition, the tea has powerful antibacterial and biofilm-breaking qualities. Studies suggest that it targets outer surface proteins, preventing the primary attachment method in biofilms. This action may also reduce the virulence and reproductive ability of the pathogen.
Phyllanthus niruri has antiviral, antimalarial, and antibacterial properties that support balanced immune system function, strengthening weak systems and calming overactive ones. It helps the body avoid damaging inflammation and auto-immune diseases. It supports a healthy microbiome, selectively inhibiting the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria without affecting gut-friendly flora.
Also known as Chanca Piedra and Stone Breaker, Phyllanthus niruri has 100+ bioactive compounds. Best known for helping to eliminate kidney stones, it’s also used to address a variety of chronic illnesses. As it turns out, the same actions that help with chronic illness may help your body stave off the flu or a cold. Essentially, Phyllanthus niruri blocks the RNA and DNA transferase, slowing or even stopping bacteria and viruses from multiplying and allowing a more balanced immune system to deal with the remaining invaders.
Cistus incanus and Phyllanthus niruri are also two of the six powerhouse extracts in our ShieldsUp! Immune Support Kit. The kits also include Rosa rugosa (Rose Hips), Laricifomes officinalis (Agarikon mushroom), Torilis japonica, and L-Lysine. All six extracts are packed individually so they can be taken separately or together.