In the last few months there has been a lot of talk about stem cells and the immune system. A lot of patients ask me questions about immunity and I find that the masses are now becoming familiar with the medical terms. But there are a lot of misconceptions and wrong notions.
Though this seems like a new concept and discovery in the medical field it is not. A lot of the physicians spoke about a defense mechanism present in the body which protects us. Dr. Hahnemann, the father of Homoeopathy, had already understood this phenomenon and based his doctrine on this. He called it the body's "VITAL FORCE". It is this vital force that protects us from disease, hence maintaining its harmony and equilibrium is extremely essential.
IMMUNE SYSTEM ? When God made man he thought of every last detail and created a complex, intricate system whose function is to guard the body from harm. The immune system is like the army, navy, air force and secret service of the human body. Just liked the police it patrols the entire body to keep it in check and catch foreign invaders. It comprises of various cells and organs.
The White Blood Cells (WBC) are present in the blood circulation and they are of different types. Each one has its own special function. The lymphocytes are of two types
T cells are again of various types and these mature in an organ known as the Thymus. These cells circulate in the blood and lymph for foreign invaders and they attack and kill diseased cells they recognize. They are also responsible for orchestrating, regulating, and coordinating the entire functioning of the overall immune responses.
B cells mature in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is present in the spongy tissue found in the center of the shaft of certain long, flat bones of the body such as the pelvis.
B cells produce ANTIBODIES. These circulate in the blood and lymph streams. Their function is to attach themselves to foreign substances to mark them for destruction by other immune cells. Each antibody is highly specific for a certain target. Therefore different antibodies are meant for different purposes. Some act by coating the foreign substance to make them attractive to the scavengers present in the circulation which will engulf the unwelcome substance.
The lymphatic system is a highly specialized system. It is difficult for a lay person to understand it and how it functions but I will try to simplify it. Just as we have arteries and veins in our body carrying blood to and from all parts of the body we also have lymphatic vessels too. Lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes are parts of the special circulatory system that carries lymph.
WHAT IS LYMPH?
The word "lymph" in Greek means a clear, pure stream. It is nothing but a clear transparent liquid containing white blood cells (WBC) especially the lymphocytes. Lymph bathes the tissues of the body and the lymphatic vessels collect and move it back into the blood.
Lymph nodes dot the entire network of lymphatic vessels and provide a common meeting ground for the immune cells. There are other areas of the body which also contain lymphoid tissue like the Tonsils, Adenoids, and the appendix.
IMMUNE SYSTEM WORK? The entire immune system functions as one. As long as all its components are functioning normally and in harmony with each other the body is well protected. Each cell has its own part to play. As soon as a foreign substance enters the body the immune system is alerted and it comes into action. At first the WBC's try to capture the substance and destroy it. The B cells are triggered and they produce special antibodies against the substance. These also produce IMMUNOGLOBULINS. These are a vital part of the immunity which not only protects but also remembers the foreign substance hence if it enters again the body is ready to fight it. Vaccination is based on this phenomenon.
When we give are children vaccines we are actually giving them miniscule amounts of the disease producing organism whether bacteria or virus. After these enter your body it produces an immune reaction and the body fights against this by producing antibodies and immunoglobulins. A special type of immunoglobulin known as immunoglobulin G remembers this organism. In the future if the person comes in contact with the same organism the immune system is ready to fight it and the individual does not suffer.
But indiscriminate vaccination also has its harmful effects therefore you must be very judicious in what you give your child or take yourself. Please consult a proper physician or your Homoeopath and ask them what is really required.
Homeopathy for boosting Immunity
As I had said earlier Dr. Hahnemann was one of the first physicians to identify the immune system. He termed it as Vital Force which maintains the " Milieu Interior" that is the harmony and unity of all the body functions and existence on the whole. If the Vital Force of the individual is strong then he is said to be healthy and will not be easily affected. He is less prone to disease and infection. But if the harmony is disrupted and the Vital force is not strong enough to protect the person then he will suffer from disease. In other words if the persons immunity is weak he is more susceptible to catch infections and suffer from an illness.
Have you ever wondered why you are more prone to certain illnesses. Why is it that some people are allergic to something while others are not? This is because each individual is unique and different from the other. The same principle applies in Homoeopathy and hence we treat each patient on the bases of their constitution. Every human being is created differently and will have his or her own set of symptoms which is nothing but the expression of the diseased Vital Force. The constitutional remedy is the one that stimulates the bodies Vital force or in other words Immunity to act and fight against the disease. Our homoeopathic remedies try to restore the harmony within the body and bring about a perfect equilibrium.