Short vs. Medium vs. Long Term Immunity
Your immune system. A lot goes into the fantastic functioning of the human body to fight off invaders and more.
We can divide the immune system in several different ways. There’s the nonspecific or innate immune response.
Then there is the specific or adaptive immune response. The latter, here, is further subdivided into the humoral and cell-mediated branches.
Perhaps we’ll talk about those another time.
But in this article, I want to keep it a bit simpler and give another frame that may be useful in thinking about immune health.
And that is as far as the timeframe is concerned.
Short-Term Immunity (Days)
In the short term, we might think of a specific invader, a pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria attacking you.
We can think about this in terms of Germ Theory.
Here we identify the germ as a harmful bacteria or virus; thus, we want to use something specifically antibacterial or antiviral to deal with it.
Thus, for short-term immunity, we can talk about two things. There is prevention in which the invaders cannot get a foothold in your system.
This is ideal and related to the longer-term functions!
And if such invaders do get a foothold in your system, your body needs a short-term response to mobilize and fight off the infection.
All of this can happen in a matter of days.
It depends on which invaders we’re talking about, but Elderberry is something that we offer at Lost Empire Herbs that best fits into this category.
Studies have shown that it may help stop people from getting sick from the common cold in the first place and, if they do, lessen the intensity and duration of symptoms.
Medium-Term Immunity (Weeks to Months)
Compared to the short term with Germ Theory, it may be best to think of Terrain Theory for medium-term immune system response.
This is super important for prevention.
If your terrain is such that an invader cannot get a foothold, then you’re not likely to get sick in the first place. In that way, you get short-term benefits.
But you don’t change the terrain overnight! You can think of this in terms of gardening or ecology.
Setting up the landscape for what you want can take weeks or months. (For big projects, sometimes much longer…which is why Terrain Theory also applies to the long term.)
Some of the other human body systems may more strongly come into play here. Inflammation and oxidation are essential.
The nervous system and hormones are both involved in your stress response.
Our best offering in this regard is our new Chiron Immunity Tincture.
It is a well-rounded formula to make your body more adaptable, specifically in the immune system. It’s to help upgrade the terrain that is your body.
Let’s use an example of one of the herbs in Chiron, Elecampane. According to classic usage, Elecampane appears to be best with more sustained use than in acute conditions.
One example of this may be a cough that lingers. Have you ever been sick and had a cough that wouldn’t go away even a month later?
Here we need to strengthen the lungs, in other words, to rebuild the terrain, to change things. And that is something Elecampane is excellent for.
Long-Term Immunity (Months to Years and Beyond…)
When we’re talking about the long term, I’m thinking about chronic issues and disease. Most notably, here are two things: cancer and autoimmunity.
For autoimmunity, for whatever reason, your immune system is confused. While it usually attacks invaders, here it has identified your cells as ‘the bad guys’ and wage war.
Understand that this is a complex thing that may have various causes. Diet is always implicated (certain cross-reactive foods get through a leaky gut).
Microbiome dysfunction. Viruses embedded in your system (herpes, Epstein-Barr, HIV, etc.) that can lay dormant or flare up may also be implicated in at least some cases.
And, of course, the wide variety of disruptive chemicals, heavy metals, and more in our environment causes all sorts of downstream effects.
For cancer, understand that cells going cancerous is a regular and natural occurrence.
We all have cancerous cells within us! If things are functioning optimally, these will be identified by the immune system and taken out (apoptosis, aka programmed cell death).
When the cancerous process is allowed to go on, we eventually arrive at tumors and a cancer diagnosis.
Many of the same culprits discussed for autoimmunity are also involved in cancer, just in a variety of different and complex ways.
So when I’m talking about long-term immune system support, I also like to think about immune system intelligence.
Intelligence to tell the difference between me and not me (in terms of autoimmunity) and intelligence to better detect and handle damaged and deranged cells early on.
In my mind, medicinal mushrooms are beneficial here. They help to build immune system intelligence.
While each mushroom is excellent in its unique ways, for this, I especially like Mushroom Alchemy.
There is evidence that the synergistic blend of mushrooms may have even more significant effects.
At the very least, it will be a broader spectrum in that each mushroom does slightly different things.
Understand a Multi-Layered Approach to Immunity
This timeframe approach to immunity may help you to understand your needs better and, thus, what herbs support you.
All of the above is overly simplified but used to help instill these ideas.
This may be why we see some poor reviews for Mushroom Alchemy because of some misunderstanding of how best to use different herbs and formulas and, thus, expectations unfulfilled.
Margie said, “I was taking this to build up my immune system, and I’m sick. That was after one whole bottle, but I’m on my second one now. It tastes horrible!”
While some people report immediate benefits, the mushrooms are often more subtle in their effects.
They’re not likely to help you deal with your acute cold now. Compare that review to this one from Kahroliné di Passero.
“I love this mushroom alchemy tincture! From the first day, it began working (after almost a year of taking an inferior mushroom blend from some other company).
It’s been a couple of months, and I feel like I couldn’t get sick even if I wanted to! My skin feels tauter and clearer as well!”
The best results come from taking medicinal mushrooms long term.
I’ve been taking them for over a decade now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And I use that short and medium-term support as needed too.