The immune system provides a buffer against respiratory infections by producing a protein called an antibody. The immune system produces this in response to an attack launched on the body by a foreign substance called an antigen. If the immune system is not in working order, particularly virulent antigens, such as viruses, can breach the body’s defensive barrier.
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When this happens, the virus in question attacks cells within the body, which can produce a range of symptoms.
A sustained attack can cause complications, such as pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs that can prove fatal.
The world is currently being dealt a harsh lesson in the importance of maintaining a robust immune system.
COVID-19, a new virus and disease that belongs to a family of respiratory infections called coronaviruses, has proven to be particularly severe in people with weakened immune systems.
It is not known exactly how to protect yourself against the virus but there is enough evidence to make the case for keeping your immune system fighting fit to minimise the harm posed by the virus.
The virus is spread in cough droplets and produces symptoms similar to other respiratory infections, such as common cold and flu.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that have been proven to alleviate the severity of respiratory infections, such as the flu.
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One such remedy is drinking echinacea tea, which is extracted from the leaves of the echinacea plant.
Research has found that drinking echinacea tea is effective in shortening the duration of flu-like symptoms.
Furthermore, studies have shown that echinacea can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and reducing its duration by one to four days.
Taking echinacea regularly may also influence the flu vaccine to be more effective at staving off the disease, according to one study.
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How does it help to combat a cold?
Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections.
Other ways to boost your immune system
Drinking echinacea tea should be incorporated into an overall healthy lifestyle.
According to Harvard Health, following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
The health body explains: “Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies.”
The health site suggests there are eight key components that make up a healthy lifestyle.
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimise stress.
Coronavirus’ impact on the immune system – what we know so far
Scientists say they have identified how the body’s immune system fights the COVID-19 virus.
Research published in Nature Medicine journal shows people are recovering from the new virus like they would from the flu.
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