Working with the Immune System to Strengthen Our Body’s Defenses

by Connie Hernandez, ND

We’ve all been told that the immune system is the body’s first line of defense against disease.

A closer look suggests that the immune system enables the body to distinguish what’s part of itself from non-self, self-harmful, or innocuous entities.

When immune function is weak, the body is unable to recognize hostile influences and mount an effective defense. In autoimmune diseases, the body mistakenly identifies aspects of itself as non-self and attacks them.

Immunity begins in the womb with the maturation of the thymus gland which is responsible for supplying the hormone thymosin, which in turn helps develop white blood cells known as T lymphocytes.

The job of the T cells is to help all of the body’s cells recognize bacteria, viruses, and foreign tissues. Deranged T cells are a cause of autoimmune ailments.

Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND

As we age, the thymus gland shrinks and even disappears, leaving our bodies less able to fend off infections and more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases.

The thymus gland is associated with the energetic center known as the heart chakra. A fundamental spiritual lesson we learn when we expand the energies of the heart chakra is the joy of freeing ourselves from an over-emphasis on protecting the self against the not-self. An expanded heart serves as a powerful channel for the universal love that sustains all creation.

“Thymus” comes from the Greek word thumos, meaning “heart” or “soul.” In yogic science, the heart center is associated with certain breathing exercises. Simple exercises such as alternate nostril breathing promote a state of balance in the autonomic nervous system, which we experience as a systemic calming that profoundly benefits the immune system.

Colors, sounds, and essences that vibrate in harmony with the heart chakra are beneficial to all of the organs and tissues within the heart chakra’s energetic domain – lungs, diaphragm, heart, and thymus.

The healing color for the heart chakra is green, which color therapies use to increase bodily immunity, influence blood pressure and heart conditions, harmonize body processes, and build tissue.

There’s a growing interest in medicine in methods that may regenerate the thymus gland, such as stem cell transplants, cellular reprogramming, and chemical compounds.

While thymic glandulars and T cell support formulas are available, our clinic has found great benefit in a thymic protein product called ProBoost Thymic Protein A. Our patients report fewer infections, quicker recovery, and a reduction in post-viral fatigue while following the ProBoost protocols.

Certain nutrients may address issues correlated with the body’s immune response.

  • Low serum levels of Vitamin D are linked to a number of cancers, autoimmune diseases, and susceptibility to respiratory infection.
  • Vitamin C is a known anti-inflammatory and antiviral.
  • Zinc and Vitamin A are essential to a healthy immune response, as is N acetyl cysteine (“NAC”).
  • Botanicals can play an important role in supporting immunity. Botanicals that normalize the body’s core temperature make us less vulnerable to assaults on the immune system.
  • Ashwaganda promotes the conversion of thyroid hormone, raises the body’s core temperature, and supports the HPA axis (hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal).
  • Ashwaganda and other adaptogenic botanicals such as Rhodiola support the body through their antiviral and/or anti-inflammatory activity. In addition, Rhodiola supports the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in their systemic nerve-related immunity.
  • Green tea and curcumin are perhaps the most popularly known, and very efficacious, anti-inflammatory and anticancer botanicals.
  • Other very effective anti-microbial botanicals include Oregano Oil, Cat’s Claw, Olive leaf extract, Andrographis, and many more.

Need help for optimizing your immune system? Give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Connie: 650-961-1660.