What is Immunity?
The general meaning of immunity is exemption or protection of something. It could be exemption from anything either as an obligation or penalty. When we talk of immunity with reference to physical health, it means the capability of the body to naturally protect itself from diseases and illnesses by fighting against bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work in collaboration to defend the body against the attack of foreign invaders.
The amazingly complex system remembers and knows millions of different enemies and can target them whenever they attack and thus protects the body. The system is like the defense system of a country to protect it externally and internally. A strong Army, Air Force and Navy guarantees to defend the country against the enemy’s attack and thus keeps the country safe and stable. A crippled force, on the other hand, does not have the ability to defend the country’s borders and maintain peace internally.
The immune system works on the same principles. Its job is to protect the body from any harm by foreign invaders to keep it fit and healthy. A stronger immune system ensures healthy body while a weaker immune system is unable to protect the body effectively from illnesses. When infections attack, the stronger immune system fights the bacteria, kill them and restore the body to its earlier pre-attack point. If an attack is too heavy for the immune system to handle and reverse it, we might need external assistance in the form of antibiotics. The downside of taking antibiotics is that it kills the healthy bacteria along with the harmful ones. Regular intake of antibiotics weakens the immune system overtime and the body starts depending on external help. The stronger the immune system is, the better the health and vice-versa.
What happens when the immune system becomes weaker?
There are so many reasons that an immune system may become weaker. These may include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Obesity or being overweight
Age is the number one enemy of making the immunity weaker. However, it does not mean that an older’s person immunity is weaker than a relatively younger person. It all depends on several factors as mentioned above. People with healthy lifestyle may have slower rate of deteriorating immunity while those with unhealthy lifestyle may have much faster rate of deterioration. According to the Harvard Publications, there is hardly any evidence that a set of things can make the system stronger as the immune system itself is very complex and is dependent upon many factors. However, it is generally agreed that exercise, healthy diets, stress free life, and proper nutrition may make the system stronger.
How Does Black Seed Boosts immunity?
Dr Ekkadi and Dr Kandil investigated the effects of Nigell sativa in 1986 in Florida. The study involved a group of volunteers who were administered 1 gram of black seed twice a day. The study concluded that black seed boosted immunity and the seed could be used to play a role in the treatment of diseases associated with immune deficiency like AIDS and cancer. Another study was conducted at the College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. The study was conducted by a team in 1993 led by Dr Basil Ali. They team concluded that the use of black seed or its oil was highly useful in boosting the general well being and immunity system of the body.
Experts at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh conducted a study in 1997 in which they compared the anti bacterial effects of black seed with the effects of 5 anti-biotics. The five antibiotics were nalidixic acid, gentamicin, cotrimoxazole, ampicillin and tetracycline. The researchers concluded, the black seed was more effective than the anti-biotic against bacteria such as V.Cholera and E.Coli. The German scientists also confirmed the antibacterial properties of black seed.
Honey, especially active Manuka honey, is anti-bacterial and helps the body against the attack of different types of bacteria. Alternative therapists believe that when honey and cinnamon is taken with black seed oil, it rejuvenates the immune system.
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