|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
How You Can Support Your Immune System
Media coverage of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has incited fear among the American public, emptied Chinatowns all over North America and stopped much of the travel between the U.S., Toronto, Canada, China, Taiwan and southeast Asia. While SARS is an urgent concern for the World Health Organization, a larger worry on the horizon for the world health agency is the flu-the long awaited influenza pandemic.
The flu pandemic has historically occurred at 25-30 year intervals and its destruction has been cataclysmic. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, for example, killed more than 40 million people worldwide (670,000 Americans alone). The most recent flu pandemic struck 35 years ago and killed more than 4 million people. SARS, by comparison, has caused less than one thousand deaths and is much less infectious. Dr. Klaus Stohr, the head of the influenza program at the World Health Organization who is also leading the agency's fight against SARS said in a Wall Street Journal interview, "We are not prepared for the devastation of a flu pandemic? SARS will be something to smile about," he said.
Regarding the likelihood of a major flu pandemic striking in the near future, Albert Osterhaus, a Dutch scientist involved in pandemic preparedness in Europe said in the same Wall Street article, "It's not a matter of if, but when, this will happen. I am far more scared of a flu pandemic than I am of SARS." The flu, SARS and other communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are the twenty-first century's major heath challenges.
Overcrowding and global travel have increased the risk of diseases spreading unchecked. However, the real threat lies in a virus's ability to undergo small changes or mutations that evade people's natural immunities or commercial vaccinations. Similarly, the widespread use of antibiotics in poultry and meat producing industries has enabled bacteria to become stronger and more resistant. According to some critics, even our current medical practices of over-prescribing antibiotics may contribute to the rise of "super-bugs"!
When these "new" microbes strike, they move quickly and wipe out victims, leaving a wide path of destruction. The West Nile and Ebola viruses, for example, both have at least a 90% mortality rate.
Don't panic. You can prevent or minimize your chance of contracting infectious diseases both at home or while traveling. Some of my recommendations are common sense:
Wash your hands frequently
Sometimes you cannot help but travel on airplanes, meet with someone who may appear to be sick, eat out at a restaurant or be in a crowded place. Therefore you must make sure that your immune system is functioning at a peak level. This involves avoiding activities that would weaken or deplete your immune system and engage in immune strengthening and supporting actions. Below I have outlined a checklist of things to avoid:
Stress and negative emotions
Many people who were exposed to SARS, Ebola, the West Nile virus or the flu virus never came down with the infection. The reason is simple: Their immune systems are much stronger and better equipped to fend off the viruses than those who came down with the illnesses. I have outlined below actions to strengthen your immune system:
Reduce stress and maintain equanimity
Extensive studies of ways to strengthen the human defenses have been carried out for centuries in China, producing a wealth of knowledge on Chinese herbal medicine and its effect on the immune system. While there is currently no cure for SARS, the Chinese Government Health Authority recently released its recommendations for preventing SARS. These recommendations consist of Chinese herbal medicine formulations as prophylactic agents against SARS. They are herbs that have been found to contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and have immune boosting qualities. Some are effective in increasing the white blood cell production in your body (they are your defense troops), while others increase lymphocyte activities such as killing foreign invaders, etc. Fundamental principles of Chinese medicine are, of course, "Treating disease before its occurrence", and "Strengthen the defenses to prevent sickness."
The recommendations are listed below:
Lu Gen (reed root), Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle flower), Lian Qiao (forsythia fruit), Chan Yi (cicada shell), Jiang Chan (silkworm), Bo He (peppermint), Gan Cao (licorice)
Cang Zhu (Chinese atractylodes rhizome), Bai Zhu (white atractylodes rhizome), Huang Qi (astragalus root), Fang Feng (siler root), Huo Xiang (patchouli), Sha Sheng (silver beech root), Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle flower), Guan Zhong (dryopteris root)
Guan Zhong (dryopteris root), Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle flower), Lian Qiao (forsythia fruit), Da Qing Ye (Isatis leaf), Zi Su (perilla leaf), Ge gen (Kudzu root), Huo Xiang (patchouli), Cang Zhu (Chinese atractylodes rhizome), Pei Lan (ornamental orchid), Tai Zi Sheng (pseudostellaria root)
Persons whose jobs (health workers) or relations may bring them into contact with someone with potential SARS are advised to take the following formula:
Da Huang (Chinese rhubarb root), Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle flower), Chai Hu (bupleuri root), Huang Qing (skullcap root), Ban Lan Gen (Isatis root), Guan Zhong (dryopteris root), Cang Shu, Yi Yi Ren (Job's tears), Huo Xiang (patchouli), Fang Feng (siler root), Gan Cao (licorice)
We cannot rely on the government or a world health body to protect us from communicable diseases, nor should we. In a world grown ever more connected and fast-paced, the risks of disease transmission are greater with each passing day. However, individuals have the ability to protect themselves and loved ones by being proactive in ensuring optimal health and immune function. As frightening as the prospects of SARS and the flu pandemic are, we are far from being helpless. With the steps that I outlined above you can take minimize weakening your immune system and increase your immune functions. You do not have to be a sitting duck waiting for the inevitable to happen.
About The Author
Dr. Maoshing Ni, a Licensed Acupuncturist and a Diplomat of Chinese Herbology, is currently in general practice at the Tao of Wellness Clinic in Santa Monica, California. The Tao of Wellness Clinic is one of the oldest in Los Angeles, established in 1976. (310) 917-2200. Dr. Maoshing Ni is also the publisher of Points Newsletter, found at http://www.acupuncture.com.
McAuliffe issues executive order to improve state nutrition - University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
Brain Foods Make You Think Differently for Back-to-school
Students might start thinking a little differently, once they learn about brain foods, and how they can help their concentration and make their school work easier.The most important meal of the day is breakfast.
Did you know that there might be poison in many of your favorite foods found on grocery store shelves everywhere? Breads, crackers, cookies, energy bars, tortillas, frozen pizza are just a few examples of these dangerous foods. The poison in these items is called partially hydrogenated fat, often referred to as trans-fatty acids.
The Danger of Curbing Hunger Artificially
Unhealthy eating is a harmful problem in America, and contrary to a very outdated perception, this harm is not limited to those who suffer from obesity. In reality, according to the Directors of Health Promotion and Education, the majority of Americans exhibit unhealthy eating habits, with just over one in four women and only one in five men claiming to eat the minimum five daily servings of vegetables and fruits[i].
Learn About Diet Nutrition Physique
Diet nutrition physiqueToday, learning about diet nutrition physique isn't all that difficult any longer. The truth of the matter is what should you do about your overall health and well being? If you're concerned about you weight and physique then a little different twist on things are in order.
Sleep for Joy
Better sleep = better metabolism. I have been saying it for years - since my own experience of being stressed out, overworked and under-slept and not able to lose weight but just recently this fact is getting a good amount of press.
Body Calling: Maintaining Excellent Health
Our bodies are truly incredible machines. What makes cells healthy? What causes disease? Scientists are discovering the answers: Keep human cells healthy and fully functional and with out degeneration.
Alkalize Your Way to Better Health
Today we're shifting our focus from wealth to health. First of all, I am not an expert.
The Wonderful Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is now recognized as one of the healthiest in the world consisting as it does of large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, nuts, seeds, omega-3 rich oily fish, olives, and olive oil and being comparitively low in dairy products and red meats.The people of the Mediterranean region, particuarly Greece and Spain, are very fortunate to live in an area where naturally healthy food is readily and cheaply available.
Try a Slow-Carb Habit
Carbohydrates - found in grains, breads, pasta, and sugar, as well as vegetables, fruit, tofu, beans, and dairy - provide the body with the most efficient fuel for energy production and brain activity. They're nutritionally essential, a principle currently downplayed by the "low-carb craze".
The Tibetan and Chinese health Secret: If you read one health report a year, this should be it!
It seems as if the health of America is failing. One million Americans will die of circulatory disease this year.
Acid and Digestive Disorders: Breaking the Vicious Circle
THE RISKThe primary symptom of acid reflux is obvious to those who have it. During the digestive process, acid flows up into the throat and causes a burning sensation.
Is Your Food Aging You?
Did you know that the food you eat could be prematurely ageing you? Science has made some amazing discoveries in the last decade in nutrition. We really should be taking note of what we put in our mouth because more than ever, "we are what we eat".
Relieve PMS with the Food Diet Changes
Almost every woman suffers with premenstrual syndrome at one time or another. The symptoms are familiar: mood swings, cramping and bloating, trouble sleeping.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Essential Fatty Acids are oils, omega-3 and omega-6, that you can find, in certain amounts, in all oils that you can purchase in most the health food and regular grocery stores. These fatty acids are called essential because you cannot create them in your body and your cells use them every day.
Blueberries and Their Role in Cholesterol Control
Our bodies need cholesterol. We use cholesterol to produce vitamin D, hormones, and certain acids that help us digest fat.
Glycemic Index of Foods
All carbohydrates are not the same. Generally it is assumed that simple carbohydrates are not good for health as they increase blood glucose levels rapidly, and complex carbohydrates are good because they have a slower effect on glucose levels.
Did You Start Your Life With Enough Probiotics?
Why does disease begin in the digestive tract? Yourdigestive tract is your first line of defense when it comesto your health. This is because of the good bacteria thatresides there.
What is the Cause?
The question most people think they need an answer to is what is the cause of their this or that? Many people pay it lip service, but what is cause really? Going with the bucket analogy, what is the cause of one of the symptoms or diseases not being covered by water, or being expressed? Could it be that water is leaking out of the bucket through the holes? Which hole is the "cause" of the symptoms or disease being expressed? That is kind of a trick question.It is not just one hole that causes a symptom or disease to be expressed.
Reading Labels:Understanding Fiber, Fat, Carbohydrates, Etc
Since 1994, food manufacturers have required the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include food labels on all packaged food items. Labels can be a tremendous help in controlling our diets-but only if we understand them.
Reasons to Eat Organic Food
Your healthOrganically grown fruit and vegetables are not covered in a cocktail of chemicals - even after washing, a conventionally grown apple may have 20 chemicals on its skin.Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables contain more water and less vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants than organically grown produce.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.