Could stress weaken your immune system?

We all know that our immune systems are very important for our overall daily well-being, but for the most part, people are still relatively unsure of how to increase or boost the strength of the immune system, and what really happens when it is decreased in sensitivity. When you add to this that a lot of people don’t understand the problems that our everyday lives could have on it, there is a recipe for disaster that much be quickly amended.

It is already known that a lack of sleep can cause a reduction in the strength of the immune system, to the point where sleep deprived animals often died as a result of bacterial infections. However, are there other factors that could lead to the decline of our health and daily well being? And can these things be stopped?

Stress is a major factor is every one’s life these days – if we are not currently stressed out, we are thinking about how stressed out we could be, or worse, were! Stress is a term very commonly thrown around, and it would seem as if it were taking over our lives. For the most part, a little bit of stress never really hurt anyone, and in fact, it could even be said that it helps us to cope with certain situations in a new and improved way. However, increased stress over larger periods of time could lead to a massive decline in our well being and health, and recent studies have shown that this could be because of the huge impact it has on our immune systems.

It has been shown that the state of mind that you are in has a massive impact on your state of health and those that regularly suffer with stress also have a tendency to fall prey to many other conditions, such as the common cold, flu, cough’s and more. As we have mentioned, a small amount of stress is actually good for the body. When a person becomes stressed, a hormone is released called cortisol. This hormone has anti-inflammatory properties that also helps to encourage the growth and repair of damaged tissue and cells, and on top of this, actually helps to control a problem where the immune system actually produces excessive white blood cells, which can actually be as bad for your daily wellbeing as not producing enough.

Regular stress or stress that goes on for longer periods of time means that the cortisol hormone is in your body for much longer than it should be and in excessive amounts at the same time. This then slows down the production of a few other compounds that are vital for the body, one of which is prostaglandins. These prostaglandins do many good things around the body, which is why the reduction of production is bad – they helps to strengthen the immune system, promote anti-inflammatory activity, help to dilate blood vessels and more.

Another reason why increased cortisol levels are bad for your immune system and daily wellbeing is that the good cells in your blood that help to fight off diseases and infections are reduced, which is why you become more susceptible to chronic and everyday complaints, and when you add that to the fact that sleep patterns are disturbed with excess stress levels, you are a circle that is impossible to break, and could leave you feeling very ill indeed.


Medicinal mushrooms – Old fashioned medicine with a modern twist?

We all know that mushrooms have been used for many years for their medicinal purposes, but still the importance of the mushroom is very often overlooked, in much the same way that their delicious flavors are still not commonly well known. It has been shown in various clinical and scientific studies that mushrooms do have medicinal purposes, and can actively assist in fighting off infections, many killer diseases, and even just give a little helping boost to the immune system when used in the correct manner.

There are plenty of ways that you can encourage mushrooms in your diet without having to throw them in a stir fry or stick them on a kebab stick on the barbecue. There are various infusions that you can buy, as well as teas and even capsules that contain the food source in supplement form. It has been said that all three of these ways are incredibly useful to the body, but the capsules are often seen as the fastest working, with the better benefits.

The basis of medicinal mushrooms is down to the fact that fungi has been shown to have some serious bacteria-fighting power, and at the same time, the capability to fight off tumors at the same time. The latter in fact, has been shown in over one hundred different species of mushroom to help the fight against tumors in so many places, especially the lungs, the esophagus, and even the stomach lining.

One perfect example of the medicinal mushroom is the chaga mushroom that is very well known about scientists and holistic medicine enthusiasts for its anti-cancer properties. Apparently, it contains the highest amount of antioxidants and stimulates the growth of them in the body to the maximum potential. These mushrooms are also said to boost the immune system, help to get rid of worms, reduce any inflammation and infections/disease of the stomach and even treat cancers of the digestive tract alongside breast cancer, and cancer of the uterus as well. One great bonus that the chaga mushroom is said to offer is to those that suffer with HIV/AIDS – it has been reported to lower and reduce the symptoms that often accompanies this life threatening condition.

Another type of mushroom that has been reported to have many medicinal characteristics is the Cordyceps mushroom. Just like the chaga mushroom, Cordyceps can help with many body-based problems such as various cancers, help to boost weakened immune systems, and even treat other conditions such as lymphoma while at the same time helping to boost the endurance of a person. AT the same time however, and somewhat differently from the chaga mushroom, Cordyceps can also help with the mind in the way of concentration, as well as breathing and breathing-related conditions. Usually in a tea form, Cordyceps can also come in a soup based form, as well as being used in various delicious dishes that you would happily serve up to your family.

The case for medicinal mushrooms has been fought for many years, with many holistic enthusiasts and scientists raving about the properties that they contain. With more and more health food stores jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, it would appear that these mushrooms are now being used in conjunction with more modern forms of medicine, giving us more opportunities to fight off the conditions that once were considered to be life threatening.