The GUT has more neurotransmitters ( the chemicals that the brain makes when it thinks) than does the brain. So between our hearts and our guts, we get the TRUTH!
Tag Archives: gut
The Immune System
The Lymphatic System
About the Immune System
The immune system, which is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs, defends people against germs and microorganisms every day. In most cases, the immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. But sometimes problems with the immune system can lead to illness and infection.
The immune system is the body’s defence against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. The cells involved are white blood cells, or leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.
Leukocytes (white blood cells) are produced or stored in many locations in the body, including the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. For this reason, they’re called the lymphoid organs. There are also clumps of lymphoid tissue throughout the body, primarily as lymph nodes, that house the leukocytes (white blood cells).
The leukocytes (white blood cells) circulate through the body between the organs and nodes via lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. In this way, the immune system works in a coordinated manner to monitor the body for germs or substances that might cause problems.
The two basic types of leukocytes are:
- phagocytes, cells that chew up invading organisms
- lymphocytes, cells that allow the body to remember and recognize previous invaders and help the body destroy them
A number of different cells are considered phagocytes. The most common type is the neutrophil, which primarily fights bacteria. If doctors are worried about a bacterial infection, they might order a blood test to see if a patient has an increased number of neutrophils triggered by the infection. Other types of phagocytes have their own jobs to make sure that the body responds appropriately to a specific type of invader.
The two kinds of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. Lymphocytes start out in the bone marrow and either stay there and mature into B cells, or they leave for the thymus gland, where they mature into T cells. B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes have separate functions: B lymphocytes are like the body’s military intelligence system, seeking out their targets and sending defences to lock onto them. T cells are like the soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
= T Cell = B Cell
T- cells = A type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is at the core of adaptive immunity and the system that tailors the body’s immune response to specific pathogens.
Immature T cells (termed T-stem cells) migrate to the thymus gland in the neck, where they mature and differentiate into various types of mature T cells and become active in the immune system. There are several different types of mature T cells. Not all of their functions are known. T cells can produce substances called cytokines such as the interleukins which further stimulate the immune response. T-cell activation is measured as a way to assess the health of patients with HIV/AIDS and less frequently in other disorders.
T cell are also known as T lymphocytes (white blood cells). The “T” stands for “thymus” — the organ in which these cells mature. As opposed to B cells which mature in the bone marrow.
Here’s how it works:
When antigens (foreign substances that invade the body) are detected, several types of cells work together to recognize them and respond. These cells trigger the B lymphocytes to produce antibodies, specialized proteins that lock onto specific antigens.
Once produced, these antibodies continue to exist in a person’s body, so that if the same antigen is presented to the immune system again, the antibodies are already there to do their job. So if someone gets ill with a certain disease, like chickenpox, that person typically does not get ill from it again.
Although antibodies can recognize an antigen and lock onto it, they are not capable of destroying it without help. That is the job of the T cells, which are part of the system that destroys antigens that have been tagged by antibodies or cells that have been infected or somehow changed. (Some T cells are actually called “killer cells.”) T cells also are involved in helping signal other cells (like phagocytes) to do their jobs.
Antibodies also can neutralize toxins (poisonous or damaging substances) produced by different organisms. Lastly, antibodies can activate a group of proteins called complement that are also part of the immune system. Complement assists in killing bacteria, viruses, or infected cells.
All of these specialized cells and parts of the immune system offer the body protection against disease. This protection is called immunity.
CRAMPBARK –VIBURNUM OPULUS
The cramp bark quickly reduces releases overly tense muscles in the gut and bowel which have contracted due to unbalanced digestive enzyme activity. Once the muscles relax and the tension and bloating reduces, digestive enzyme activity will more readily regain better activity. Additionally crampbark is soothing to the nerves and a calm mind makes for better digestion.
MILK THISTLE SEED – CARDUUS MARIANUS
As a premier liver herb; milk thistle is able to normalize most liver functions and thus hugely help stomach and digestive enzyme function. It’s highly protective effect on the liver helps optimize general liver function which is fundamental to effective digestion.
MARIGOLD FLOWER – CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
Is useful for chronic digestive infections on an immune level and also as a very competent anti-inflammatory herb. It can soothe and repair tissue that is damaged and upset by a range of digestive disorders from ulcers to gastritis and other painful inflammatory stomach disorders.
FENNEL SEED – FOENICULUM VULGARE
Has the ability to ease wind and bloating caused by ineffective, weak and hampered digestion. It can additionally stimulate appetite and relieve stomach pain. It is famous for being the main component in many colic formulae for babies.
MEADOWSWEET HERB– FILIPENDULA ULMARIA
Is useful for symptomatic relief of indigestion and other upper gastrointestinal conditions due to its calming influence on either a underactive or overactive digestive system. With its balancing pH abilities it is able to deal with either of these stomach acid production imbalances. It’s protective and demulcent properties protect the gut and assist ‘leaky gut’ and other problems.
TURMERIC ROOT – CURCUMA LONGA
Is a prime digestive, which stimulates enzyme production and soothes the stomach due to its very powerful anti-inflammatory components. It does this by protecting the stomach itself from its own acidity excesses and any invasive and destructive microbes e.g. bacterial, fungal or viral. This buffer will also help repair the stomach lining and help redress ‘leaky gut’ problems. Turmeric is also able to attack and disarm a range of microbes, which will prevent a build up of un-beneficial flora, which is often the negative product of a weak stomach.
WILD YAM ROOT – DIOSCOREA VILLOSA
A premier anti-inflammatory herb to relieve spasm, cramps and muscle strain, a vital role in this formula and much-needed to soothe and relieve pain. Also known as colic root to the Aztecs and used in Chinese medicine as a stomach tonic.
OLIVE LEAF – OLEA EUROPEA
Will fight a wide range of microorganisms which can attack, weaken and impair the stomach and all its functions; from virus to fungi, from bacteria to flukes, and the diseases they encourage. For 4-6 thousand years olive has acted as a broad spectrum anti-microbial plant capable of aggressive attack mechanisms.
SCHISANDRA BERRY – SCHIZANDRA SINENSIS
Strongest asset for the digestive system is twofold; it has 5 flavours, which gives it the ability to influence digestive enzyme production like none other. It is also a profound recuperative tonic making it a master choice for recovery from low energy and restoring vitality and general well-being.
ARTICHOKE LEAF – CYNARA SCOLYMUS (see info sheet)
Increases the production of bile (a chologogue) by up to 60%, helping and assisting in the digestion of fats; its bitter compounds activate the liver and gallbladder in order to do so.
GENTIAN ROOT – GENTIANA LUTEA
Its bitter constituents stimulate the production of saliva and a balanced range of gastric juices. It is helpful for many symptoms of faulty digestion to and will retrain the pancreas, partly due to it’s bitter components. It tones and tunes the appetite, assisting the stomach, liver, gallbladder and bile production.
CHAMOMILE FLOWER – CHAMOMILLA RETUTICA
Is renowned as a stomach settler and soother, relaxing and balancing in turn the whole body. It also beneficially influences the circulation and nervous system. Chamomile is dully a natural probiotic as it regenerates positive stomach and bowel flora which is vital where overly opportunistic microbes have imbalanced stomach flora. Ideal for children.
WORMWOOD HERB – ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM
Assists feeble digestion by its bitter action and improves liver and gallbladder congestion by stimulating bile and gastric juices. Highly useful in small quantities to provoke and strengthen.
CINNAMON – CINNAMOMUM ZEYLANICUM
Is a warming herb used as a traditional remedy for supporting and strengthening weak digestion. It also supports unbalanced blood sugar levels by nourishing the pancreas. The cinnamon essential oil motivates production of many important digestive enzymes.
GINGER ROOT – ZINGIBER OFFICINALIS
Is helpful for digestion nausea, wind, bloating and colic. Anything that can be a miss with a struggling digestive system is calmed and soothed by ginger. It is warming, anti-nausea andrelaxing to an irritated and tense gut.
BROMELAIN – (from Pineapple)
Found in high concentrations in the pineapple stems; bromelain is an enzyme capable of digesting proteins. Excellent anti-inflammatory too. It has activity in the stomach as well as the small intestine. It has been shown to be an adequate replacement for pepsin and trypsin (enzymes produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein) in cases of deficiency and has been used to heal gastric ulcers (promoting healing).
MARSHMALLOW – ALTHEA OFFICINALIS & SLIPPERY ELM – ULMUS FULVA
Calm and soothe the mucus membranes. Both plants have rich mucilage (a gluey thick substance produced by some plants that acts as a membrane thickener) properties – making them ideal gastric and bowel repair and anti inflammatory herbs. Slippery elm causes reflux stimulation in the nerve endings in the GI tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production can help to Protect the GI tract against ulcers and excess acidity.