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Originally published December 3 2010

Use herbs to boost your immune system

by Dr. David Jockers

(NaturalNews) In many countries throughout the world herbs are used as a primary healthcare tool. Much of the therapeutic aspects of modern medicine were taken from the study of ancient herbal remedies. Unfortunately, medicine has manipulated these natural plant-based properties and synthetically altered them. This process has produced toxic and often lethal side effects. The natural herbs themselves when used correctly are able to synergize with our natural systems to enhance function, coordination, and overall balance within the body.

Herbs are never meant to "treat" or "cure" an ailment. The critical philosophical understanding is that the body's internal defense and ability to heal itself is strong enough to overcome any particular illness. Sickness comes about when the body is out of balance with its environment and unable to successfully adapt. Herbs are intended to clear up any sort of imbalance allowing the body to function optimally.

We have two major parts of our immune response. These two major parts of the immune system are the TH-1 pathway, which produces an immediate response, and the TH-2 pathway, which produces a delayed response. The TH-1 response is marked by T cells while the TH-2 pathway is built on anti-body formation and identification.

The key to a strong immune system is balance and coordination. The TH -1 system is classified by Killer T cells, T helper cells, and T suppressor cells. When we have too many T suppressor cells our immune system is too weak and we get colds/fevers/flu. When the Killers are too many or the helpers and suppressors are too little, we end up with a poorly coordinated immune response that damages our own tissue. This is commonly seen in autoimmune disorders.

When the TH-2 system is dominant the body tends to rely on it when it is threatened in any way. A common example is allergies. When we are exposed to the allergen, the TH-2 system goes into overdrive causing a massive inflammatory response. This is due to poor balance between the TH-1/TH-2 system and then a poorly coordinated TH-2 response that creates a systemic inflammatory reaction in response to a very minor threat.

Certain herbs are known to stimulate the TH-1 response while others stimulate the TH-2 pathway, and a third group helps balance and coordinate both pathways. This explains how one individual can take Echinacea and feel terrible while others see an immediate boost in their immune function. It explains why one individual can do great with coffee and green tea while others do awful with these TH-2 boosting stimulants.

The select group of TH-1 pathway enhancing herbs include Astragalus, Echinacea, Licorice root, Lemon balm, & pomegranate among others. The TH-2 boosting herbs include pine bark, green tea, grape seed, and resveratrol. Immune modulating herbs include turmeric, boswellia, and ginger and help to enhance immune coordination through the entire body.

To put this information into action you can access how you feel and what you notice after an immune pathway challenge. To do this try taking a large dose of a TH-1 boosting herb. If you feel wonderful and your immunity improves there is likelihood that you may have a pre-existing TH-2 dominance. If you feel terrible and are massively inflamed there is a likelihood you are TH-1 dominant and that you over-stimulated this pathway. Try balancing with TH-2 boosting herbs and immune modulators.

Keep a journal and see what imbalances you may have. This will give you an advanced level of knowledge of your own individual tendencies and will allow you to stay healthy and balanced throughout your life.

About the author

Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to

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