The human body is a marvellous creation and functions in a highly synchronised and balanced way. Disease results when this balance is disturbed either due to infections, inflammations, trauma, autoimmune diseases, tumours. Whatever the reason, with any of these, the body has a strong immune system, which reacts to these changes and tries to ensure that balance is restored as quickly as possible and with minimal effect on overall bodily function.
While most of us have a natural tendency to do so, some have it weaker. This makes them more prone to infections and they take more time to repair and restore health. However, there are a number of supplements which can help to strengthen the immunity. These can be used with the consultation of a professional, and this can help improve overall health.
Homeopathy obviously fits into the class of therapeutic methods that augment the body's own defenses. A microdose of a substance heals the symptoms in large dose. Homeopathic medicines are both considerably smaller and safer in dose and more individualized to the person they are being used to treat.
Although homeopathic medicines are thought to stimulate the body's own defenses, how they do so remains a mystery. Homeopathic medicine do not simply stimulate the body's immune system to treat ill people, for they can also calm it when this is necessary for the healing of the individual.
People with auto-immune ailments suffer because their body's immune system is over-active and it attacks the person's own cells, not just bacteria, viruses, or foreign substances. Homeopathy believes that “like cures like.” So in treating a disease, what it does is use small amounts of the substance that is known to induce the disease. This way, similar symptoms are induced and the disease is treated. Some of the most common homeopathic medicines are-
Allium Cepa: With winter setting in, more and more people are prone to developing a runny nose, nasal congestion, and teary eyes. So, with winter still around the corner, using allium cepa (small onion) helps build immunity by easing these symptoms. Keeping 3 to 5 pellets of this compound under the tongue can help control nasal congestion.
Oscillococcinum: Popularly known as Oscillo, this contains very small amounts of duck liver and heart. When used on the first couple of days with the onset of flu-like symptoms, this helps the body aches and fatigue disappear. It is proven to be safe, effective, and helps prevent further attacks of similar symptoms.
Gelsemium: Obtained from the vine Gelsemium sempervirens, this is useful to build immunity towards cold and flu symptoms. Keeping it under the tongue also helps relieve symptoms if they are already present and controls further attacks of flu-like symptoms.
Silica: This is responsible for stimulating the production of macrophages. These are a type of cells, which are essential for eating up bacteria and foreign bodies. It, therefore, helps improve immunity and fight infections.
While some people refer to most homeopathic medicines as immune stimulating, they are in fact immunomodulatory. Whether a person has an autoimmune disease or repeated infections, homeopathy can be used. A detailed discussion with a specialized homeopath would be the first step to identify what is the right compound to use.