Why, under the same conditions, the viruses attack certain people and not others? Because it depends on the state of their defense mechanisms. Our body is naturally reinforced against attack. Foreign substances and infectious agents (viruses, fungi, pollutants, etc.) are neutralized by the immune system’s first line of host defense.
Various factors may explain the vulnerability of the immune response: heredity, nutrition, lifestyle and behavior, the state of microflora, skin and respiratory tract, the pH (too acidic, too alkaline) etc. If the biological terrain is already weakened by disease, the risks have increased and therefore the need to rebuild its immune barrier is doubly indicated.
Cold or Flu?
The common cold, also known as coryza or rhinitis, is a benign but frequent. About 200 different viruses (most often rhinoviruses and coronaviruses) can trigger it. Nasal congestion, sneezing and sore throat are the main attributes. The flu or influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory system but much more serious and contagious.
Three types of virus are involved: A, the most virulent, B and C. The incubation period for influenza lasts 24 to 48 hours before the first physical manifestations caused by the disease – fatigue, chills, headache, joint and muscle pain, fever – are felt. The evocation of such ailments is a good introduction to prevention!
Already Affected by a Cold or the Flu?
Take a few days off in a room which is well ventilated and not too hot. Congested? Moisten the air and sanitize your nose, if necessary, with saline or seawater. At the first signs of flu, take bed rest, drink plenty of fluids and sweat as much as possible. This principle is inspired by ancient wisdom, as by fasting, liquid diet and sweat, we eliminate toxins.
1. Stop stress!
Stress decreases the immune response and capacity, interfering in the formation and action of healthy white blood cells, while increasing levels of adrenaline and corticosteroids. A state of chronic tension creates disturbances both psychological and physical. The biologist Henri Laborit studied in the laboratory how the animal’s immune system reacts according to whether they could defend themselves, run away or were in a state of total helplessness. The result of his experiments in a context where the animal can neither flee nor fight, his immune system collapse, which allows to stress to be the leading factors of the disease.
2. A healthy, lively and diverse eating
Balanced nutrition, variety, and quality controlled, rich in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients, provides vital energy reserves and stamina. Feeding on “white” (flour, bread, sugar, etc.) which is transformed and devitalized contributes greatly to block the immune response. The animal products of industrial production also induce immunosuppression. Alcohol, drugs and tobacco, lack of physical activity and rest, and pollution in all its forms are also among the factors that confuse the immune system.
3. Avoid risky behaviors
Personal hygiene is a key element of prevention. Driving forward: wash your hands regularly, the body part most exposed to contamination, be vigilant in public places and in the presence of people who are affected, drink lots of water, especially as beneficial immune factors are present in saliva, tears and nasal secretions.
4. Optimize immunity
A good cellular immune response is capable of activating natural cytotoxic capacity greatly, and can get rid or control antigens. Nutrients that are most often recommended: vitamins A, C, E and B6, zinc, magnesium, lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and L-glutathione. These nutrients enhance the action of immune cells, including macrophages and natural killer (NK for natural killer).
5. Allied Plants
Echinacea contains no fewer than seven immunostimulants and active components and multiple aspects of immune response. According to Craig Coleman, University of Connecticut, its phenols stimulate the production of cytokine, a chemical messenger in the immune system.
Among the key findings of fifteen clinical studies on its effectiveness, it is found that it retains a reduction of almost 60% risk of infection and a decrease of 1.4 days for the duration of the disease. Other choices: the Lapacho or Pau d’Arco, ginger, elderberry, the root of Eleutherococcus, goldenseal, Joe-pye weed, ginseng, chlorophyll and spirulina.