Our immune system is having defense mechanism that helps us fight against diseases and by improving our immunity we can tackle many infectious diseases including COVID-19. Our immune system has the power to detect harmful bacteria and viruses that enter our body – these cells, also referred to as antigens, attack them by producing ‘antibodies.
White blood cells, otherwise referred to as WBCs, are the supreme warriors of the immune army. Different sorts of WBCs fight together against any foreign element that harms our body; these include – B-cells, T-cells, helper T-cells, killer T-cells, and memory cells. With age, however, our immune system stops functioning to its maximum potential, implying that older adults are more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Because the number of immune cells lessens, the communication among them gets hampered. As a result, they take longer to react to harmful bacteria and can’t defend the body efficiently. The T-cells within the immune system have a function of ‘remembering’ the harmful antigens to be ready to fight against them better within the future. As we age, the assembly of T-cells reduces. Vaccines require newer T-cells to work.
With the onset and therefore the rapid spread of the worldwide pandemic, Corona, or COVID-19, the ones that are presumably to be affected are seniors. This virus is more deadly for people with lower immunity and chronic health conditions. In such a case, older adults must pay more attention to improving their immunity. A more robust immune system would imply better chances of preventing or fending off the virus, and better chances of recovery albeit the disease has been contracted.
It is additionally called community immunity and herd or group protection. Herd immunity happens when numerous people during a community become resistant to a communicable disease like COVID-19 that it stops the disease from spreading. This will happen in two ways: many of us contract the disease and in time build up an immunologic response thereto (natural immunity). Many of us are vaccinated against the disease to attain immunity. Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 isn’t a simple task and it’s unlikely that it’ll come soon, the sole hope that is still is that of herd immunity by way of natural means, boosting one’s natural immunity and general protective mechanisms to reinforce the body’s ability to resist a COVID-19 infection and improve recovery afterwards. The goal of herd immunity is to forestall others from catching or spreading COVID-19
Considering allopathic drugs of unknown efficacy (such as Favipiravir, Ritonavir, Lopinavir and Remdesivir) are being tried to treat COVID-19, additionally because the Indian Council of Medical Research’s decision to issue guidelines for hospitals to administer Hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against COVID-19, an equivalent courtesy should be extended to time-tested herbal preparations containing phytopharmaceuticals, minerals and vitamins with plausible mechanisms of action and with far fewer side effects. Even though there are more than 13 experimental vaccines in clinical trials among the 140 being developed to combat Covid-19, the World Health Organisation has identified the candidates developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Moderna Inc as the front-runners.
Studying infection trends in India, most of the coronavirus cases are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. Patients would recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by the doctors. Once community spread of the new coronavirus begins, alternative medicinal systems could help mitigate the severity of clinical outcomes and perhaps even help prevent deaths. Thus, doctors and public health officials have focused on good nutrition, reducing stress and physical activities to create general immunity; these are often complemented with traditional, phytotherapeutic medicines and non-medicinal practices.
Natural Immunity Boosters:
There are plenty of foods, fruits, and vegetables that may naturally enhance our immune system. one among the simplest ways to enhance our immunity is to have a healthy and wholesome diet, fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D and Zinc are good for reinforcing immunity. These include mushrooms, green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, avocados, peanuts, almonds, spinach, eggs, dairy, milk, and plenty of more. Every kind of berries, in conjunction with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like beans, flax seeds, and even some nuts are often consumed to strengthen immunity. Vitamin B6 available in green vegetables, chicken, salmon, tuna fish is significant to supporting biochemical reactions within the immune system. a number of the immunity-boosting herbs are garlic, black cumin, curcumin, andrographis and licorice. Exercise regularly – This helps in blood circulation and keeps the heart healthy and body relaxed. Sleep adequately and stay hydrated. This practice is one among the simplest ways to spice up immunity naturally. Smoking and excessive drinking weaken our immune system and thereby need to quit.
Accordingly, Ministry of AYUSH recommends the self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health with above natural items. But we should always remember that there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that any of them can protect against COVID-19, albeit a number of them may have antiviral properties.
Though aiming to achieve herd immunity naturally may be dangerous according to WHO, but no alternate is available except to depend on natural immunity at present till the proper vaccines are developed. Thus, regular usages of natural immunity boosters will definitely strengthen our innate immunity and thereby may develop herd immunity to fight COVID-19 pandemic and may protect many of us. In present scenario, these are the sole alternative available to us as of now to stay ourselves safe from COVOD-19 infection.
Sources of Information:
- Medscape Medical News © 2020.
- IMPPAT database: https://cb.imsc.res.in/imppat.