Are you ready to boost your immunity and be better prepared to face any attacks from bacteria, viruses and fungi? We all need to be ready to help keep our immune system running at its very best, and that means doing a variety of things, such as following a nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep, avoiding environmental toxins, staying hydrated and practicing stress management, among other things. Among the “other things” is the use of herbal remedies that have been shown to work with the immune system.
Basics of the immune system
The immune system consists of a wide variety of players, including antibodies, white blood cells, bone marrow, lymph nodes and vessels, the thymus, the complement system (composed of various proteins that complement the antibodies) and the spleen. Its task is critical: to protect the body from damage from bacteria, fungi, physical trauma, viruses, stress, toxins from the environment and food and other villains.
Your immune system is activated by substances that your body does not recognize as friendly or as its own. These substances are called antigens, and when they bind to receptors on the immune cells, various processes can occur and result in some form of response, such as symptoms of colds or flu, inflammation, cell mutations or other reactions.
The immune system has two subsystems, called the innate and adaptive immune systems. Both work together to deal with invasive drugs, but they also work in different ways. The innate system offers a general defense against invasive substances and fights those that enter the body through the digestive system or skin.
The adaptive immune system produces antibodies that it uses to fight certain bacteria that it has encountered before. For example, if you have had measles and have recovered, your adaptive system will recognize and combat any future measles exposure.
Of course, the best way to support the immune system is to avoid all the factors that can bring it down. In real life, however, this is not possible and that is why we often bring in helpers, including herbal medicines and nutritional remedies. One of these drugs is called quercetin.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a pigment that is a member of a group of plant compounds called flavonoids. It is found in a variety of vegetables, fruits and grains, but it is also available in supplement form. Quercetin is a potent antioxidant, and a number of research studies have shown that it can help reduce inflammation, which is the root of most diseases.
What is special about Quercetin?
People take quercetin supplements for a variety of reasons, including a desire to improve their immunity and reduce inflammation, which in turn can affect a range of health concerns and symptoms. Some of the benefits that have been attributed to quercetin include the following:
High levels of free radicals, which are molecules that can cause disease and other health challenges, can result in inflammation. Both animal and human studies have shown that the use of quercetin can help reduce inflammation. In a examination, for example, women with rheumatoid arthritis responded well to 500 mg of quercetin with improvements in morning pain, early morning stiffness, and post-workout pain.
Quercetin has properties that may reduce the risk of infection. It also has “a direct regulatory effect on the basic functional properties of immune cells,” according to a study in Biocell. This flavonoid plays an important role in regulating the immune system’s response to stressors through several types of proteins called kinases and phosphatases, which are necessary for the cells to function optimally. Therefore, this flavonoid can have a significant impact on overall health.
Do you experience irritating allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, nasal drops and itching in the throat? Results of animals surveys shows that quercetin can suppress histamine and block enzymes involved in inflammation. More research is needed to determine the potential impact on humans.
Where to get Quercetin
Among them food giving quercetin are green and yellow peppers, onions, shallots, asparagus, cherries, tomatoes, red apples, red grapes, kale, red leaf lettuce, berries and green and black tea. The skin or the outer peel gives the greatest amount of this flavonoid.
Quercetin is also available as a supplement in capsules and powders, sold as one single ingredient or in formulations containing other nutrients. Some people have difficulty metabolizing quercetin alone; by adding bromelain or vitamin C to a formula, uptake can be increased. A typical dose of quercetin is 250 to 1,000 mg daily.
Maintaining a healthy immune system is important for everyone, and fortunately there is more than one way to do it through wise lifestyle choices. Use of natural supplements such as quercetin as well as probiotics, specific vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, medicinal mushrooms and enzymes can complement these choices.
This article was originally published on NaturallySavvy.com
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