Microorganism like bacteria or infective particles like the viruses are the usual causative agents behind infections in the human body. However, it must be mentioned that an exposure to pathogenic germs or microorganisms by itself does not necessarily result in infection and the appearance of consequent and tell tale symptoms in the human body. Furthermore all microorganisms are not necessarily the agents that bring on infections and diseases. The ability and capability of the body's immune system is a very important factor, in whether the infection once started will develop in the body.
An idea about the importance of the immune system in a defensive role in the body can be by turning to the immune function page which has detailed information about the immune system, and its role during the onset of infection and disease. In this regard other topics can also give a lot of information, these topics include the ones on common domestic infections such as the common cold and the topic on sore throat. More severe diseases like influenza, the topic on the cough. Topics on specific infections in defined areas of the body like the one on ear infections, the one on urinary tract infection, the topic on specific diseases due to organisms like the yeast infection and the fungal caused common condition of athlete's foot. The topics on the origin and treatment of cold sores, the topic on the HIV virus and AIDS, on shingles, and on various pathogenic parasites will all give you some idea of what the immune system does during infection from an external source.
The vulnerability of the body to infection is greatly increased due to psychological factors like the presence of stress in an person, as a lot of nervous disorders and stress can depress the functioning of the immune system. Therefore dealing with stress and its management assumes importance where infections are concerned. The rise of infections in the human body can also be checked through physical activity and exercise increases the natural white blood cell activity in the immune system. Being physically fit therefore will lead to the prevention of most common infections.
Supplements and herbs
The first line of defense in the body or the first natural barriers to infective agents in the body is the integumentary system-i.e. the skin and the mucous membranes, these two are the fences that microorganisms have to penetrate in order to infect a human host. There are other factors important to the likelihood of infection, the chance of infection's increase when there is a deficiency of vitamin A. Immune system function and optimal performance can ward off infections effectively to this end; supplements of the essential mineral zinc in moderate amounts may be beneficial. Therefore as far as patients with recurring infections are concerned, supplementation with zinc tablets is often recommended, and this opinion and treatment methodology is held by some nutritionally oriented doctors. The dosages that such doctors typically advise are about 25 mg of zinc per day for adults and lower doses in children, all the dosages will of course depend on the weight of the person.
Viral infections can be prevented by supplements of the vitamin C, which possesses anti viral properties and actions in the body; it can also greatly minimize the effects of infections and reduce the severity of infections like the common cold. Invading bacteria in the body can also be eliminated using Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements, this is a species of the ‘friendly' bacteria found in yogurt, it manufactures acids in the body that is anti bacterial in action.
The length and duration of infection and the effectiveness of short-term immune system reaction can be promoted when the herb Echinacea is used as a supplement. The natural and well-known antibiotic property of the garlic comes in handy when dealing with infections of all kinds.
The immune system is also modulated and buffered by immune system bolstering substances such as many complex polysaccharides found in astragalus and maitake mushroom, this special ability can be put to great effect when dealing with infections. Laboratory research shows that pau d'arco is a fungicidal and can be used in the treatment and prevention of all types of infections caused by fungus or fungal derivatives. The anti-bactericidal properties of the sandalwood tree can be utilized, and its essential oil can be used as a lotion for topical application.
Traditional use has also been made of different herbs where infections are concerned, as a lot of herbs seem to possess an ability to boost the ability of the human body to resist infection. Some of these traditional herbs and plants are berry plants like the elderberry, the herbal beverage known commonly as green tea, the species of the wonder herb ginseng including the American ginseng and the Asian ginseng. As anti infection agents use has also been made of the eleuthero, the ashwagandha and the ligustrum herbs, other traditional herbs that have been utilized for this purpose also include the lomatium and schisandra herbs, also effective is the Oregon grape, the rosemary, the blue flag and the usnea herbs.
All of the homeopathic remedies given below are effective where a person's resistance to infection is poor, the homeopathic remedies below will boost the immune system response in the individual and enable the body to respond in a timely manner to all causes acute infections.
Aconitum napellus is to be used as a homeopathic treatment option in people where the infection brings on sudden fever and inflammation within the body. These physical symptoms can also come about because of a traumatic experience or due to the person being exposed to the wind and cold. Psychological symptoms in such people may be manifested in anxiety and fearfulness, wherever such symptoms are present during infection, aconitum napellus is to be prescribed.
Belladonna is to be used with persons in whom the symptoms of the infection include physical signs such as redness and swelling in the body, a throbbing and pulsating sensation and a high temperature. The affected individual may be extremely sensitive to light and this may be accompanied by flushing and redness in the face, along with a sensation of heat on the face, even though the other parts of the body like the feet and the hands stay cold. During the occurrence of fever, the person may not feel thirsty at all. The patient gains some relief from cold compresses used topically on the skin, and will greatly worsen when moved or jarred about.
Bryonia is to be used as a treatment option in people with infections who have a very strong reaction to motion and being moved, such a reaction immediately implies that bryonia should be the ideal cure. The infected person does not wish to be moved and prefers to stay stock still and in the same position. Other signs and symptoms in the patient can include the appearance of a fever with chills, the presence of a very dry mouth, and thirst. Tearing sensations and pain may be evident in local infections, and the patient will dislike being moved about, the person will show improvement if some pressure is applied in a stable way.
- Calcarea carb.
Calcarea carb. is to be used in people with infections who display very little stamina and seem to tire rather easily. Perspiration may set in on the region of the head while asleep, and the feet may feel hot, even though the person may be cold and sluggish in movement, with cold feet and clammy hands. Some of the common physical signs that come about in such patients include eruptions on the skin, the presence of a sore throat and infections of the ear, the lymph nodes may be swollen, colds may appear frequently. Recurrent colds, ear infections and teething problems seem to characterize children who require this particular remedial measure.
Calendula is a topical homeopathic remedy to be utilized in the treatment of cuts, scraped skin, and skin eruptions, as a preventative measure against possible infection and as a therapeutic treatment for external infections. The remedy is commonly used as an ointment or a tincture derived from the un-potent herbal form. The potent form of calendula can also be effective against infections or against boils when taken as internally.
- Ferrum phos.
Ferrum phos. is to be used as a measure in all cases of inflammations that comes about in the early stages of infection in the affected individual. It may check the possibility of an infection settling in on a person if it is used sufficiently in advance, that is at the very first sign of a cold or sore throat, which are often the first signs of infection. Infections in the body of a person, which are accompanied by a general weariness and weakness, high temperature and thirst as symptoms, followed by cheeks that are flushed pink along with a moderate pain and some swelling can be remedied through the use of this substance.
Graphites is to be prescribed and used as a homeopathic remedy in all cases of infections in persons, where the symptoms are manifested in the skin. The skin tends to crack and is otherwise unhealthy, crust may form and there may be a honey-colored discharge that oozes out from the skin. The other physical symptoms that the person may display include recurrent earaches and colds, the skin around the eyelids, the nose and sinuses, and the ears may be affected, and impetigo and herpes simplex are usually present. The person may additionally show some emotional signs such as an inability to concentrate, a feeling of sluggishness and may move about very slowly. Graphites is to be used in all such cases as a homeopathic measure against the infection.
- Hepar sulf.
Hepar sulf. is to be used to treat infections in person who display some typical psychological signs, such as an extreme sensitivity and vulnerability during the illness and on being exposed to drafts of air and cold weather. The infection may be manifested physically in the appearance of eruptions on the skin which may produce an offensive pus, or a discharge with a cheese like smell, other infections may set in on the ears accompanied by sore throat, and even sinusitis, or a condition like bronchitis. Pain is often intense and felt in all the regions of the body where inflammation has set in; these areas are typically very sore and sensitive. Boils and an inflamed tonsil may also be present.
- Mercurius sol.
Mercurius sol. is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in infected individuals who have an acute sensitivity to fluctuations in temperature, other signs may include the presence of an offensive breath, and swelling in the lymph nodes. Other signs may include drooling while asleep, and a predilection towards night sweats. Provided that the other symptoms are present, Mercurius as a remedial measure is effective in all infections that affect areas of the body such as the sinuses, the ears and the throat, infections of the skin and in infections of the gums in a person.
Silicea is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in all cases of infections present in individuals where the symptoms may include an emotional factor such as nervousness and sensitivity, very little and poor resistance to the infection accompanied by a low energy level. The lymph nodes may swell up, recurring colds may be present, and sore throat is common, other conditions may settle in which includes tonsillitis, sinusitis and bronchitis over the duration of the infection. The very common physical signs, which are apparent in this case, are the appearance of boils on the skin, abscesses in the teeth and a susceptibility to infections in any wounds present on the body. Perspiration during the period of sleep is often seen in such people, even though the person may always feel cold. The appearance of fungal infections is also seen, this may often be accompanied by sweating in the feet, that produces an offensive odor.
Sulphur is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in all cases of infections in people where the onset of infection has very specific physical manifestations. These include inflamed mucous membranes with redness, and irritation accompanied by a burning sensation, additionally the membranes may produce an offensive odor and discharges, which are foul. Commonly, inflammation may set in on the region of the genitalia and along with other skin problems like eczema, and acne on the face and the body, the appearance of boils is typical, and lymphangitis may also be manifested. The patients often worsen from warmth and after bathing, as these aggravate the symptoms of the infection. Recurring infections and conditions, that persist over a long period of time are treatable using this remedy, other conditions such as colds, other diseases and things like bronchitis that have been neglected are also relieved using this treatment.
Other beneficial herbs