Drug testing

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


Avoid touching your face


Eat well-cooked foods


Maintain a distance from someone who is sick


Avoid crowded and poor ventilated places

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


Sleep deprivation


Overwork and over-exhaustion


Diet high in sugar, caffeine and refined products


Under or over-exercise


Frequent use of antibiotics, steroids or immuno-suppresant drugs

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


Get plenty of rest and sleep


Pace yourself at work and in your life


Eat a healthy diet consisting of high fiber, low fat and at least nine servings of vegetables and fruits each day


Moderate daily exercise including cardiovascular and light weight training


Avoid drugs and chemicals whenever possible


Take herbs and vitamins that have been shown to optimizing the immune system

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.

info@taoofwellness.com

In The News:

A sea lion made a “splash” in San Diego, California, this week.
If you live in Virginia and have spotted a black bear as of late, an acorn storage this fall may be to blame, wildlife experts say.
A mysterious painting hidden for centuries at the Tower of London may be a self-portrait of the famous adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh.
If you live in the Sunshine State, beware: the puss caterpillar has made its seasonal return in Florida. And while this fuzzy creature may look soft, experts are warning to stay away.
Skywatchers are in for an experience that’s literally out of this world: a full moon, known as the Hunter’s Moon, will take place on Wednesday. 
Researchers have discovered what they say is the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea.
A dog’s life expectancy and risk of developing serious illnesses have been linked to the color of their coats.
Maybe it is hip to be square. 
Alien life might be purple.
Researchers say active fault lines on Mount Hood could potentially trigger a 7.2 magnitude quake that could reach Portland.

The Role of Nutrition in Martial Arts, Police, Military Personnel

For a considerable amount of time, nutrition has not played... Read More

Fat Burning Compatible Foods

Fat burning compatible foods seem to be a popular topic... Read More

Do You Need Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Do you need omega 3 fatty acid in your diet?... Read More

Discover How to Grow Your Own Source of Vitamins, Fiber, Proteins, and More

Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a... Read More

What is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is the production of food using all natural... Read More

Protein, Carbs and Fat: Learn How to Diet with Macronutrients

Weight loss plans are almost always trying to get you... Read More

The Macronutrient Balancing Act

Finally, dieters and healthy eaters everywhere have reason to rejoice,... Read More

Seven Secret Agents That Can Help You Live To 120

You know about Vitamins A,C, D, E ,and the B's... Read More

Guerilla Health Tactics: 5 Snappy Rules For a Healthier, Happier You

The subject of health care itself often seems plagued with... Read More

Foods Can Lower Cholesterol and C-reactive Protein

If you have high cholesterol, the American Heart Association's low-cholesterol,... Read More

Helping Your Immune System Win The War Against Disease

Just as our country is currently engaged in a war... Read More

Eating to Gain Mass

This is usually the forgotten element of most mass programs.... Read More

Choosing Organic for Health

We come from a society where growing organic and just... Read More

4 Important Facts You Should Know About Whey Protein

Are you concerned about taking care of your body before... Read More

Cherries - A Natural Joint Pain Killer

Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules are a nutritious, all-natural alternative... Read More

Oregano: Nature?s Antibiotic and Antiseptic

Many of us sprinkle oregano on our pizza and stews... Read More

Time Line of the Development of GlycoBiology and GlycoNutritionals

1880s - Characterization of monosaccharides by Emil Fischer.1952 - Fresh,... Read More

How Good Is Your Health?

It is a question we must ask ourselves continually if... Read More

Food Sources That Boost Glutathione Naturally

Copyright ? 2004 Priya Shah Glutathione, the body's... Read More

Children Get Constipated, Too

Do you notice your child putting off going to the... Read More

Health and Nutrition

The Health and Nutrition Industry has come about as peoples... Read More

Trade In Your Diet For A Lifestyle!

Dieting is a pain. I think basically everyone would agree... Read More

Learn the Basics of a Successful Low Cholesterol Diet

Understanding What a Low Cholesterol Diet isBasically, in order to... Read More

Vitamin and Mineral Facts

Vitamins & Minerals are essential to sustain life. Its what... Read More

Personal Wellness Program

Having a personal wellness program has become a concern for... Read More

wholesale led bulbs led manufacturers Pete's produce ..