The immune system is found throughout the body, such as the cells, tissues and organs. Its primary role is to provide a defensive barrier against foreign invaders. These invaders often come in the form of viruses, which infect cells.
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Viruses attack certain cells in your liver, respiratory system, or blood, causing a number of symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Underlining the importance of keeping your immune system healthy, the current coronavirus outbreak sweeping across the globe has proven to be a deadly enemy to people with weakened immune systems.
While it is known how to protect yourself against the virus, the emerging data once again highlights why a robust immune system is essential.
Evidence suggests you can supercharge your body’s defence network by including particular items in your diet.
One promising area of focus has been on the role essential oils play in supporting your immune system.
One promising oil is eucalyptus oil. The essential oil, which is extracted from the leaf of the eucalyptus, may stimulate an immune system response, according to findings published in BMC Immunology.
Specifically, the researchers found that Eucalyptus oil could enhance the immune system’s phagocytic response to pathogens in a rat model.
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Phagocytosis is a process where the immune system consumes and destroys foreign particles.
Another review found that eucalyptus oil has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
These properties have historically been used to treat the common cold.
The review suggested that inhaled or oral eucalyptus oil and its main component, 1,8-cineole, may safely fight viruses and respiratory problems such as bronchitis.
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Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), causing them to become irritated and inflamed.
It is worth noting that eucalyptus is also used to create a cool compress to reduce fever.
Other key ways to support immune system
You should not rely on one single remedy to charge your immune system, however.
As Harvard Health points out, following general health recommendations is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
“Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies,” explains the health site.
It recommends the following:
- 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 important advice
While it is vital to keep your immune system healthy, during the current pandemic the NHS is advising everyone to adhere to the recommended hygiene advice to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus.
The most important measure is to wash your hands regularly with soapy water for 20 seconds.
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