Our Immune System - The Key to Healthy Living

Our immune system is the army within us.  Our defense striving to keep us safe from attack.  The world we live in is full of viruses, parasites, bacteria and more, all looking to take us down.  Daily we encounter forces that we are usually not aware of because the attack was successfully fought off.  How does the immune system work?  What can we do daily to ensure that this complex system remains strong and ever vigilant?  Download is available below, including some recipes that help with general immune health, stress and to relax.

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Our immune system is the army within us.  Our defense striving to keep us safe from attack.  The world we live in is full of viruses, parasites, bacteria and more, all looking to take us down.  Daily we encounter forces that we are usually not aware of because the attack was successfully fought off.  How does the immune system work?  What can we do daily to ensure that this complex system remains strong and ever vigilant?

Cells of the Immune system

The cornerstone of the immune system are the leukocytes or white blood cells.  The cells are stored in the spleen (our blood filter), thymus (gland between the lungs), lymph nodes (glands found throughout the body) and in bone marrow.  The white blood cells have two main types: Phagocytes and Lymphocytes.  Both works together to look for and fight off pathogens (any disease producing agent, especially a virus, bacterium, or other microorganism) that have entered our bodies. 

Phagocytes make up the innate immune system which provides a general defense against pathogens mainly fighting against bacterial infections. 

Lymphocytes make up the adaptive immune system that targets pathogens that the body has come in contact within the past. 

Phagocytes are cells that absorb pathogens by surrounding them and breaking them down.  There are several types.

  •          Neutrophils - the most common and is highly destructive to microorganisms.
  •          Macrophages - A versatile cell that continually looks for and attacks pathogens, also removes dead and dying cells.
  •          Mast Cells - a multi-functional cell that defends against pathogens and helps to heal wounds.
  •          Monocytes – largest white blood cell that destroys bacteria and ultimately develops into macrophages.

Lymphocytes are the white blood cells that learn from past experiences and develop the ability to recognize past pathogens while producing a defense against them.  They are produced in the bone marrow and come in two forms.

  •          B cells - they stay in the bone marrow producing antibodies to fight off attacks and alert the T cells when a previous invader returns.
  •          T cells – also known as killer cells as they are the ones sent out to destroy compromised cells while communicating with other lymphocytes to the attack.

Immune System

The immune system works by being able to distinguish between what is supposed to be part of our body and what is not.  When the system identifies a foreign substance, it determines the correct response.  A substance that creates a response from the immune system is termed an antigen.  Antigens are bacteria, fungus, virus, or toxin. But it can also be one of our own cells that is faulty or dead.

When an antigen is found, a B lymphocyte begins to create antibodies (a special protein designed to lock on to a specific antigen).  The role of the antibodies is not to kill the antigen but to mark it for the T cells to find and attack.

There are many things that we can do to help our immune system stay strong, get plenty of sleep, follow a proper balanced diet and have a holistic approach to healthy living of which essential oils are a part of.  Next time we will review when your immunity fails and the proper care of our internal army and the oils that help make that army strong. Until then, I have included some recipes that help with general immune health, stress and to relax (download at the bottom of the page).

References:
virtualmedicalcenter.com
Battaglia, S.  The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy; Third Edition The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2017
Tisserand R. Young R.  Essential Oil Safety, second edition.  Churchill Livingstone, UK, 2013
Sheppard-Hanger S. The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual.  Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, USA, 2000
Caddy R. Essential Oils in Colour.  Amberwood Publishing, UK, 2005
Lawless J. The encyclopedia of Essential Oils.  Element Books Limited, GB, 1992
Caddy R. the Essential Blending Guide.  Amberwood Publishing, UK, 2007
Weaver W.W. Sauer’s Herbal Cures.  Routledge, UK, 2001
World Wide Web Encyclopedia Britannica. USA, 2014
Photos attribution – iStock Photos
LabAroma.com
AromaWeb.com
Safety Considerations:
        Do not take essential oils internally.
        Do not apply to eyes, sensitive areas or mucous membranes.
        Do not apply undiluted to skin (for directions on proper dilution refer to an aromatherapy text).
        The information on this website is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
        Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not use essential oils without first consulting a healthcare provider.
        The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA.
        You should not use this information for treating a health problem or disease or to make a self-diagnosis.
        Contact your Health Care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem.
Information and statements regarding Kelley products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition or disease.  All information, content and product descriptions contained within this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute advice given by a pharmacist, physician, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information for treating a health problem or disease or to make a self-diagnosis.  Contact your Health Care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem.
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    Our Immune System -  The Key to Healthy Living

    Our Immune System - The Key to Healthy Living

    Our immune system is the army within us.  Our defense striving to keep us safe from attack.  The world we live in is full of viruses, parasites, bacteria and more, all looking to take us down.  Daily we encounter forces that we are usually not aware of because the attack was successfully fought off.  How does the immune system work?  What can we do daily to ensure that this complex system remains strong and ever vigilant?  Download is available below, including some recipes that help with general immune health, stress and to relax.

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