By Roger French, Health Director, Natural Health Society
The Federal Government’s medical advisers appear to have forgotten some of their elementary training, and
this is that our bodies have powerful defences against pathogenic microorganisms – our immune systems.
However, our immune systems are only fully effective if they are strong. If they are weak, then we may well
be susceptible to some nasty infectious disease.
For the immune system to be strong, the body as a whole needs to be strong, that is, healthy.
Orthodox medicine knows this. Harvard Medical School states, “Following general good-health guidelines is
the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy (Harvard
Health Publishing, Sept. 2014)
A strong immune system
A healthy body and mind – and therefore immune system – depend on the usual factors with which we are
so familiar. Namely:
- An abundant intake of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Adequate, but not excessive,
protein, abundant fibre, and a balance between acid-forming and alkali-forming foods. In short, a diet high in
fresh vegetables and fruits (in that order), to the extent of about three-quarters of total food intake.
- Regular exercise, both aerobic and strength exercise.
- Fresh air and sunshine. Sunshine in small doses daily, and never sunburn.
- Adequate sleep, rest and relaxation.
- Minimising exposure to toxic man-made chemicals
Nutrition is especially significant for the immune system. As Harvard Health Publishing says, “Scientists have
long recognised that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious
diseases”. The inevitable deficiencies in at least some essential vitamins and trace minerals is known as
‘micronutrient malnutrition’. It tends to be more common in elderly people, partly because such deficiencies
have accumulated over decades.
The Harvard Medical School also endorses the role of exercise in immunity: “Just like a healthy diet, exercise
can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system.”
Similarly with stress, Harvard states that modern medicine recognises the close relationship between mind
and body, and that a wide variety of illnesses are linked to emotional stress.
Ignoring the above aspects of a healthy lifestyle means that not only can we expect to have impaired
immunity, but also ‘toxaemia’ at some level. A state of toxaemia is the result of a build-up of metabolic
wastes (from food) and an accumulation of toxic chemicals.
The puzzle essentially solved
Applying these requirements to the COVID19 pandemic, it is easy to see why some people become
seriously ill and a tiny proportion die. It is extremely significant that a large majority of infected people have
only mild symptoms or none at all. In other words, this situation which puzzles people, including many
doctors, is readily explained when we understand the full picture instead of being focussed solely on
avoiding the potentially dangerous virus.
Most Australians eat nothing like enough fruit and vegetables and eat disproportionate quantities of the acid-
forming foods – those rich in protein, refined carbohydrates and fat.
Worse still, some people consume a lot of junk foods which exacerbate the toxaemia and the compromised
For most of us now, with or without the above problems, there is the stress caused by the Government’s
‘draconian’ restrictions. Severe financial hardship and a huge amount of worry can be caused by losing your
job. It can be even worse for small businesses. Imagine having spent, say, $50,000 in fitting out a new shop
only to find that suddenly there are no customers.
We are all being told that we must stay in our homes except for going out to buy food or other goods, going
to work or visiting a doctor or for certain other needs. For people living alone, this can be akin to solitary
confinement. For families, it can still be extremely frustrating. A vast number of studies have shown that
loneliness and social isolation can have very destructive consequences. In fact, some researchers consider
that prolonged social isolation can be as harmful as smoking. Wow – that’s bad!
Creating a strong immune system through healthy lifestyle can be supported by supplements and herbs.
Critical vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals which are critical for the immune system to function at its best include vitamins A, C,
D and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium.
A former Centers for Disease Control chief recognises the usefulness of vitamin D from sun exposure and/or
supplementation in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection through strengthening immune function.
(Mercola.com, 7 th April 2020)
Even in the conventional treatment of existing disease, the value of vitamins C and D are being recognised.
Dr Mercola reports that seriously ill coronavirus patients in New York state’s largest hospital system receive
1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C three to four times a day, in conjunction with other conventional
treatments. He adds that vitamin C at extremely high doses kills pathogens, including viruses.
To boost your immune system, the following are seven of the most powerful herbs and spices. The list is
taken from ‘Healing Herbs and Spices to Boost the Immune System’ by Kendra Lady.
When considering taking herbal remedies, it is wise to consult a trained naturopath or herbalist.
It helps encourage healthy cell growth, promotes a strong upper respiratory system and provides numerous
antioxidants that boost the immune system. Echinacea works by stimulating the immune system to produce
natural killer cells It can be consumed in the form of a capsule, liquid or tea.
This rhizome contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes which target cold viruses and soothes a sore and
scratchy throat. It has powerful pain relieving properties. It’s pretty safe, but pregnant women shouldn’t ingest
more than two grams of dried ginger per day.
This rhizome, closely related to ginger, contains the active ingredient, curcumin, which provides its
characteristic orange-yellow colour. Curcumin eases inflammation, resists infections and improves overall
health including that of the immune system.
It is important to note that the seeds, stems, leaves and roots can be toxic to humans, but the berries contain
anthocyanidins which support a healthy immune system. It can be consumed as a tea, syrup or supplement.
When this this pungent bulb is cut or crushed, a compound called allicin is released. This has potent anti-
bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It is thought to stimulate the immune system and boost the
efficacy of white blood cells. Garlic can help prevent chest infections, particularly when eaten raw. Dietary
doses of garlic are pretty safe.
Ginseng, specifically Panax ginseng, contains high levels of antioxidants that can boost the immune system
and also promote a healthy respiratory system. There are a variety of ginseng supplements on the market.
stimulates infection fighting white blood cells and is good for immune system support.
This eighth spice (from another source) contains an active ingredient, cinnamaldehyde, which has anti-
bacterial and anti-viral properties. Cinnamon is also high in immune-boosting antioxidants.
NOTE THAT no supplement or herb is a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. These can help, but they won’t