Defense against viruses - ensure an intact immune system
We are exposed to viruses, bacteria and other pathogens as well as foreign substances day and night. So that they don't harm us, we have a highly sophisticated immune system that is responsible for our defense. This includes the skin, the mucous membranes in the nose, throat and intestines, lymph nodes, lymph channels, immune cells, antibodies, the spleen, the bone marrow and the thymus gland.
Our defense is particularly challenged in times of increased infection. Everyone can contribute to strengthening their immune system. You can find out how this works in the following text.
Rock rose strengthens the immune system
The rock rose (Cistus incanus) was named the most polyphenolic plant in Europe by Herba historica in 1999. In November 2006, Professor Oliver Planz from the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Tübingen published a statement on findings about the antiviral effects of rock rose in influenza. Accordingly, a study in mice had shown that an extract from the gray-haired rock rose has an antiviral activity against a highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H7N7).
The Institute of Virology (VIRO) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München also examined the virostatic properties of extracts from Cistus incanus as part of a study. The scientists around Prof. Dr. Ruth Brack-Werner and Dr. Through laboratory experiments, Stephanie Rebensburg recognized that the rock rose extracts inactivate HI viruses, Ebola or Marburg viruses and prevent their multiplication. According to the researchers, the extracts block viral coat proteins, which prevents the viruses from docking to the host cells.
Even if the use of the rock rose is still not completely secured, it can still fall back on a great wealth of experience in folk medicine. Here, the plant is a proven means of increasing the immune system and treating acute infections. It is best used as an extract, in the form of tea or as a lozenge. It is essential to pay attention to selected quality. Side effects such as dizziness or nausea are extremely rare.
Fighting viruses with sun hat
The coneflower, also as Echinacea purpurea known, belongs to the daisy family. Its flower is reminiscent of the sun symbol. This means the demarcation between the self and the outside and here we are already on the subject of the immune system and defense. Its use in the treatment and prevention of acute and recurrent respiratory infections is known.
The coneflower is one of the most commonly used herbal immunostimulants. Some of its ingredients are able to activate the non-specific immune system. Studies have shown that Echinacea extract inactivates certain viruses such as influenza viruses or herpes simplex viruses. Echinacea is useful both in the prophylaxis and in the acute therapy of influenza infections.
Naturopathy likes to use the coneflower to increase defense in the form of a so-called rocking therapy. This works as follows: For four days, two to five drops of Echinacea mother tincture are taken three times a day, followed by a three-day break. This process must be repeated several times.
In general, the coneflower is not taken for a long period of time. After two to three weeks of intake, there should be a break of one or two weeks. If there is an autoimmune disease or if the patient is under immunosuppressive therapy, it is absolutely necessary to refrain from taking it.
Side effects that can result from echinacea are itchy rash, stomach pain and nausea. Anyone who is allergic to daisies should also be careful with the intake. Coneflower is available in the form of pressed juice, extract or globules.
The Taiga root (scientifically: Eleutherococcus senticosus) has its home in Siberia, North Korea and China. In folk medicine, the medicinal plant also known as "Siberian ginseng" has its main area of application in strengthening and strengthening. People suffering from fatigue, exhaustion, lack of performance and lack of concentration benefit from the application.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses the taiga root for kidney pain, impotence and rheumatic complaints, for strengthening the immune system and for sleeping problems.
Studies have mentioned preventive effects against viruses that affect the respiratory tract and for recurrent herpes simplex infections. Furthermore, the preventive effect in schoolchildren was examined. The summary of the research data says that Eleutherococcus strengthens the immune system, relieves fatigue and increases the performance of athletes. The taiga root is available in the form of capsules, tea or drops.
Strengthen your defenses with colostrum
Colostrum is a very special substance of mammals that is produced by the dams in the first 48 to 72 hours after birth. Without this milky liquid, which is released before breast milk production begins, the newly born beings could not survive. In recent years it has emerged that cow colostrum is the most suitable for us humans - both in terms of quality and quantity.
The important ingredients of the human colostrum are very similar to those of the cow. Only the animal contains much more of it. The main components of this substance are immune and growth factors. The former are important for defense, the latter ensure development and a healthy balance of body functions.
Studies indicate that colostrum stimulates but also regulates the immune system. This means that excessive immune system reactions are also calmed down. Therefore, use in autoimmune diseases is possible. Viruses have a tendency to affect the digestive and respiratory organs. Colostrum also strengthens the immune system in these areas and thus fends off the invading pathogens. The milky liquid (also called “pre-milk”) is not a medication, but belongs to the food.
Medicinal mushrooms (also called "medicinal mushrooms") are among the regulating medicines. They do not "push" the immune system, but balance, support and regulate. They belong to the adaptogenic active substances. Defense is the focus here, the body's own immune competence is to be regained.
Medicinal mushrooms have a positive effect on the acid-base balance, support the metabolism and the intestine.
All medicinal mushrooms are said to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, but each mushroom also has its own specialty, its organic area, on which it has a particularly positive effect. Prevention should primarily protect the lungs, spleen and lymphatic system. And in this the mushrooms are said to have their strength.
Special properties of medicinal mushrooms
If you look at the living conditions under which the medicinal mushrooms have to grow and live, their spectrum of effects can be better understood. They have to produce biologically active substances in their natural environment in which they thrive to survive. They also have the ability to form substances that are antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal.
They owe their ability to strengthen the immune system to the mushroom-specific ingredients, the polysaccharides and their sub-form, the beta-glucans. These are very different depending on the type of mushroom.
Medicinal mushrooms are used both preventively and in an acute state. A description of all important mushrooms would go beyond the scope here. The following lines describe four copies in more detail. All medicinal mushrooms are slightly blood-thinning. Therefore, if you are taking anticoagulants, it is best to ask a therapist beforehand.
The Reishi mushroom is a great adaptogen. It is the longest researched medicinal mushroom and is often called the "mushroom of immortality" or "king of medicinal mushrooms". Reishi regulates the immune system and has a very strong connection to the respiratory system, which can have a positive effect in the event of an attack by viruses that are related to the lungs.
This mushroom can also be used as a long-term support for the immune system. As already mentioned, Reishi has an immunomodulating effect. Caution should be exercised when taking medication to lower blood pressure. Consultation with a therapist should be carried out here before use.
The Coriolus is a fungus that mainly contains two important active substances, namely the two protein-bound polysaccharides PSK (polysaccharide-K) and PSP (polysaccharide peptide). It has a detoxifying effect on the upper respiratory tract, protects the mucous membranes, improves the activity of leukocytes and lymphocytes and has an antiviral effect. Overall, it improves the immune balance.
Cordyceps is indispensable when it comes to strengthening the immune system. It has a positive effect on lung function, has an expectorant, antitussive and anti-inflammatory effect and, like all medicinal mushrooms, has an antiviral effect. What should be mentioned here is its modulating response to excessive immune responses.
The Shiitake mushroom has been known in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a cold and flu remedy. It is also used for pneumonia. Studies have shown that shiitake extracts have, among other things, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
General measures to strengthen the virus defense
The basis for a protected immune system is the diet. It should be varied, basic and rich in vitamins and contain little animal food. Adequate hydration in the form of still water, herbal tea or green tea is essential. If you like hotness, drink a cup of ginger water or ginger tea throughout the day. Ginger is also strengthening the immune system.
Make sure you get enough vitamin C and zinc. It is best to get advice on this. Self-medication is not recommended. The right supply of sun vitamin D is just as important, but a blood test should be done first to know whether and how much vitamin D is needed. Milk-fermented foods have a very positive effect on the intestines (bread drink, sauerkraut juice, pickled beetroot, etc.). And it is well known that a large part of our immune system is located here.
Make sure you exercise enough, preferably in the fresh air. Get enough sleep and rest. Yoga, autogenic training and meditation help to relax. This is also important for a functioning immune system. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
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