of patients ask me questions about immunity and I find that the
masses are now becoming familiar with the medical terms. But there
are a lot of misconceptions and wrong notions.
Though this seems like a new concept
and discovery in the medical field it is not. A lot of the physicians
spoke about a defense mechanism present in the body which protects
us. Dr. Hahnemann, the father of Homoeopathy, had already understood
this phenomenon and based his doctrine on this. He called it the
"VITAL FORCE". It is this vital force that protects us from disease,
hence maintaining its harmony and equilibrium is extremely essential.
WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
When God made man he thought of
every last detail and created a complex, intricate system whose
function is to guard the body from harm. The immune system is like
the army, navy, air force and secret service of the human body.
Just liked the police it patrols the entire body to keep it in check
and catch foreign invaders. It comprises of various cells and organs.
The White Blood Cells (WBC) are
present in the blood circulation and they are of different types.
Each one has its own special function. The lymphocytes are of two
T cells are again of various types
and these mature in an organ known as the Thymus. These cells circulate
in the blood and lymph for foreign invaders and they attack and
kill diseased cells they recognize. They are also responsible for
orchestrating, regulating, and coordinating the entire functioning
of the overall immune responses.
B cells mature in the bone marrow.
Bone marrow is present in the spongy tissue found in the center
of the shaft of certain long, flat bones of the body such as the
B cells produce ANTIBODIES. These
circulate in the blood and lymph streams. Their function is to attach
themselves to foreign substances to mark them for destruction by
other immune cells. Each antibody is highly specific for a certain
target. Therefore different antibodies are meant for different purposes.
Some act by coating the foreign substance to make them attractive
to the scavengers present in the circulation which will engulf the
LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND LYMPH
The lymphatic system is a highly
specialized system. It is difficult for a lay person to understand
it and how it functions but I will try to simplify it. Just as we
have arteries and veins in our body carrying blood to and from all
parts of the body we also have lymphatic vessels too. Lymphatic
vessels and lymph nodes are parts of the special circulatory system
that carries lymph.
WHAT IS LYMPH?
The word "lymph" in Greek means
a clear, pure stream. It is nothing but a clear transparent liquid
containing white blood cells (WBC) especially the lymphocytes. Lymph
bathes the tissues of the body and the lymphatic vessels collect
and move it back into the blood.
Lymph nodes dot the entire network
of lymphatic vessels and provide a common meeting ground for the
immune cells. There are other areas of the body which also contain
lymphoid tissue like the Tonsils, Adenoids, and the appendix.
HOW DOES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
The entire immune system functions
as one. As long as all its components are functioning normally and
in harmony with each other the body is well protected. Each cell
has its own part to play. As soon as a foreign substance enters
the body the immune system is alerted and it comes into action.
At first the WBC's try to capture the substance and destroy it.
The B cells are triggered and they produce special antibodies against
the substance. These also produce IMMUNOGLOBULINS. These are a vital
part of the immunity which not only protects but also remembers
the foreign substance hence if it enters again the body is ready
to fight it. Vaccination is based on this phenomenon.
When we give are children vaccines
we are actually giving them miniscule amounts of the disease producing
organism whether bacteria or virus. After these enter your body
it produces an immune reaction and the body fights against this
by producing antibodies and immunoglobulins. A special type of immunoglobulin
known as immunoglobulin G remembers this organism. In the future
if the person comes in contact with the same organism the immune
system is ready to fight it and the individual does not suffer.
But indiscriminate vaccination
also has its harmful effects therefore you must be very judicious
in what you give your child or take yourself. Please consult a proper
physician or your Homoeopath and ask them what is really required.
HOW DOES HOMOEOPATHY HELP
As I had said earlier Dr. Hahnemann
was one of the first physicians to identify the immune system. He
termed it as Vital Force which maintains the " Milieu Interior" that
is the harmony and unity of all the body functions and existence
on the whole. If the Vital Force of the individual is strong then
he is said to be healthy and will not be easily affected. He is
less prone to disease and infection. But if the harmony is disrupted
and the Vital force is not strong enough to protect the person then
he will suffer from disease. In other words if the persons immunity
is weak he is more susceptible to catch infections and suffer from
Have you ever wondered why you
are more prone to certain illnesses. Why is it that some people
are allergic to something while others are not? This is because
each individual is unique and different from the other. The same
principle applies in Homoeopathy and hence we treat each patient
on the bases of their constitution. Every human being is created
differently and will have his or her own set of symptoms which is
nothing but the expression of the diseased Vital Force. The constitutional
remedy is the one that stimulates the bodies Vital force or in other
words Immunity to act and fight against the disease. Our homoeopathic
remedies try to restore the harmony within the body and bring about
a perfect equilibrium.