In Australia more than 7,000 people die each year (20 every day!) from drug resistant bacteria.
The World Health Organization (March 2012) states that “Antimicrobial resistance threatens a return to the pre-antibiotic era”.
There is no question that Antibiotics can save lives, however they have been significantly overused since their discovery in 1928. The over prescribing of antibiotics and not finishing a course of antibiotics contribute to the alarming statistics above – bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment with antibiotics and this is causing lives to be lost.
There is a way out and that is through the use of evidence based herbal medicines, nutritional medicines, diet and lifestyle methods that support, modulate and enhance immune function – all of which can be prescribed and recommended specifically for you by your nutritionist & medical herbalist!
Top 6 Tips to boost Immune health:
- Drink at least 2 liters of water daily – this helps to hydrate the body and flush out toxins. Dehydration adds to your stress load, which then inhibits immune function so drink up! In the morning, on waking squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a full glass of warm water and drink this ½ an hour before you eat breakfast. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, enhance digestion and are great for the liver.
- Immune boosting herbal medicines – Your herbalist can make up a specific liquid herbal medicine just for you containing evidence based herbal medicines that are proven to boost and regulate immune function, helping your body to resist those nasty bugs and viruses on the prowl for a host to attack. One of the most well-known and effective immune herbs is Echinacea. It’s important to note that not all Echinacea products are alike so ensure you see your herbalist to guarantee that you are prescribed the right species and plant part that is rich with active constituents which are responsible for Echinacea’s amazing immune boosting and regulating actions. A recent air travel study revealed that Echinacea reduced the infection rate of overseas travellers in a group of people given Echinacea versus placebo (Tiralongo E et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012).
In all things health, including immune health…prevention is better than cure!
- Cook up some Chicken soup – There’s nothing like a bowl of hot chicken soup when you are feeling unwell with a cold/flu. Chicken soup is proven to increase white blood cell counts. For best results cook the whole chicken (bones and all) and add loads of garlic, ginger and seasonal vegetables. Enjoy this beautiful immune boosting meal all year round, but especially during the cooler months!
- Reduce refined sugar intake – Sugars act as an immune suppressant and there are clinical studies showing that the intake of sugar reduces the capacity of white blood cells to function properly. Many pathogens (viruses, bacteria and fungus) actually thrive on sugar and this strengthens them so that they become more virulent. Find out ways to cut out refined sugar without being deprived of the sweet life!
- Eat a Kiwi a day – Kiwi fruit are a great source of vitamin C, which is an essential water-soluble antioxidant that reduces histamine secretion, stimulating immune function and reducing symptoms of sinusitis and allergies. They’re in season now so be sure to get hold of these little immune boosting treasures!
- Exercise – this stimulates heat shock proteins in the body which are an essential element in maintaining good immune health! However, be careful not to over exercise and to choose an activity that you enjoy.