Welcome to Whole Naturopathy

``We’re here to support your journey to optimal health, so that you can live your best life``

Follow @ Instagram

0493 294 159

Suite 1, 53/1880 Ferntree Gully Rd, Mountain Gate Shopping Centre, Ferntree Gully, Victoria


Is stress is impacting your immune system?

Whole Naturopathy / Herbal Medicine  / Is stress is impacting your immune system?
stress and immune

Is stress is impacting your immune system?

The last two years have certainly been a challenge for most of us. Whilst some people have enjoyed more time to themselves and cutting out the commute time for work during lockdowns, others have found themselves juggling work with home-schooling, lonely without social interaction, or afraid of the effects of the virus.

What does stress do?

The autonomic nervous system controls digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure, and stress plays a major role in how these functions work. It consists of two opposing modes of operation: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

You have likely heard of the sympathetic nervous system, the “flight or fight” response, where cortisol production is increased in the adrenal glands. For a short-term situation, this is helpful as it gives you the energy required to deal with the stress and promotes resilience to stress in the future. One example of this is the stress of regular moderate exercise, which has been found to improve and protect the immune system.

But long-term stress is where the problem lies. It dysregulates both the innate and adaptive immune responses. The innate immune system is a generalised first-line of defence against disease. The adaptive immune system recognises diseases previously fought and specialises defences.

Long-term circulation of cortisol increases inflammation through the body and causes tissue breakdown leading to lowered immunity. Both inflammatory and infective disease is increased with long-term life stress.

How can I reduce stress?

The parasympathetic nervous system, “rest and digest”, opposes the sympathetic nervous system, and what’s great about the autonomic nervous system is that you can have control over it. Just 10 minutes a few times a day of slow breathing exercises can increase the time your body spends in the rest and digest mode, reducing cortisol and improving your immune system. As mentioned earlier, regular exercise also helps, along with doing things you enjoy: creative activities, time with friends, time in nature, listening to music or any other activity that brings you joy.

YEP tea

YEP (yarrow, elder, and peppermint) tea has been used traditionally to both strengthen the immune system and in times of infection. Yarrow is anti-inflammatory and relaxing, elder is high in vitamin C and can reduce mucous, peppermint is also relaxing and will reduce mucous. You can use either elder berries or flowers, but I prefer the berries. You can buy these at a health food shop or organic shop.

Mix equal parts of each herb and store in an airtight container.

1 teaspoon of tea infused in 1 cup of boiling water.

Let it steep until it has cooled enough to drink.

Remove the infuser and enjoy.

Herbal medicine and nutritional medicine offer natural options for increasing resistance to stress, relaxing the nervous system, and regulating the immune system. A naturopath can make a custom mix of herbs to best treat your unique symptoms.

This advice is general in nature and not intended to be prescriptive. For individualised prescriptive advice, please see a naturopath or other health care practitioner.





No Comments

Post a Comment