SUPPORTING OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS
What is immunity? The ‘first line’ or ‘front line’ of the immune system is actually our tissues themselves. An obvious example is skin- it separates our insides from our outsides and stops the bugs getting in! Some of the other membranes in the body are inside our noses and sinuses, inside our mouths and throats and right throughout our gut. Having strong intact robust tissues and membranes is the foundation of good immunity.
The second line of defence in our system of immune response includes the white blood cells which mobilise to attack invaders and stop them spreading throughout the body. Some of these cells ‘eat’ the bad guys, such as macrophages, while others destroy them by other means, such as Natural Killer Cells (yes that’s really their name!). After these two lines of defence, the third line is the ‘specific’ forces, those cells that have been trained to identify and attack specific targets (this is where antibodies come in).
One of the main principles of Naturopathy is that “prevention is better than cure”. A good immune system is not only constantly fighting off potential invaders (bacteria, viruses etc), it also identifies and neutralises rogue cells that aren’t developing properly, such as cancerous cells. One of most wonderful things about natural medicine is that it gives us tools to improve our immunity, not just offering an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ for when infection gets the better of us.