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Understanding the Immune System for Winter Wellness

Ever wonder what your immune system is actually made of? Learn how the body responds to foreign invaders and what you can do both internally and externally to support winter wellness in this revealing encore presentation. Nancy Angelini is National Science Educator for Source Naturals and Planetary Herbals, with more than 15 years (and 1500 lectures!) in the natural products industry.

The immune system runs all throughout the body and includes various organs and glands that work together to keep the body balanced:
  • The immune system is a network of cells that defends the body from foreign invaders.  It includes protective barriers such as the skin and all mucus membranes, which are used as transport vehicles by the body to rid it of any foreign materials.
  • The immune system begins in the bone marrow where stem cells are formed and from there, all red and white blood cells.
  • The spleen is important because it brings blood into contact with white blood cells called lymphocytes. Any foreign invader will activate the lymphocytes by their presence.
  • The thymus gland is where T-lymphocytes are proliferated and is also a part of signaling and orchestrating immune defenses.  It is likened to a crossing guard at an intersection and cross-walk.
  • Lymph nodes are found distributed around the body to filter and destroy bacteria.
Prevention is key to keeping the body healthy throughout the season:
  • Wash your hands for at least 10 seconds in warm, soapy water. Public health studies have demonstrated that doing this simple task can reduce the spread of germs.
  • Consider getting a longer night’s rest during the months when there is less light.  Longer, deeper sleep helps our bodies to recover and build even in the lack of exposure to sunlight.
  • Science shows that emotional and physiological stress significantly impacts the immune system. Reducing stress allows the body a rest from stress hormones and creates more support for repairing and renewal.
Supplementing with combination immune formulas is beneficial during the peak season:
  • Cayenne, ginger and garlic encourage sweating to help cool the body.
  • Elderberry has been an effective seasonal remedy for hundreds of years in Europe.
  • Research shows Echinacea’s ability to support immune function, specifically through the increased activity of macrophages.  These scavengers make sure foreign matter is destroyed and help rid the body of debris.