Boosting Your Immune System
By Drs. Rick and Jan Hanson
page 2 of 3
A number of studies have found that homeopathic remedies seem to reduce respiratory infections (through mechanisms that are not yet understood). Additionally, homeopathy appears able to help balance the immune system, decreasing both allergic and autoimmune reactions; various studies have successfully used remedies to control the symptoms of hay fever, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
While a remedy is most likely to work when selected by an experienced homeopath, you could try Oscillococcinum on your own. This is used at the beginning of a flu or a cold, and it typically comes in small vials, each of which may be divided into three to four doses. Take one dose every hour at the onset of the flu, and after three or four doses, decrease to about three doses per day.
Moderate exercise boosts white blood cells over time, but strenuous exercise - like running a 10K race - briefly lowers their levels in your respiratory and digestive systems. And massage and even affectionate touching have also been shown to increase immune system function.
Have protein at every meal. Vegetables and fruit will give you immune-boosting carotenoids and flavenoids. Minimize sugar and refined flours: studies found that consuming about two sodas' worth of sugar knocked down the effectiveness of white blood cells by roughly 50% within one hour, with residual effects lasting for several more hours. Finally, a low-fat diet with minimal caffeine has also been shown to improve immune function.
The immune system requires a full cupboard of nutrients in your body, so we'll repeat our frequent recommendation that you take a high potency multi-vitamin/mineral supplement on a full stomach (typically entailing several capsules a day to get everything you need).
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