The immune system is one of the most complex systems in our bodies. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it does not recognize the difference between what is self and non-harmful to what is non-self and harmful. When this happens the body starts to make T cells and antibodies. It then directs it against self antigen in its own cells and tissues. This results in healthy cells and tissues being destroyed and then the body is left with problems to perform important functions.
Well there is so much that still needs to be understood about these conditions, there are many new insights with the much needed research that is taking place in this field. Some theories arising from these studies include insect bites, environmental toxins, viral infections, unknown infections, even diet and trauma, as various triggers.
Yet regardless of the cause, the immune stimulates an assault on its own self which creates a state of chaos in the body, often causing a chronic cycle of inflammation and tissue damage as a result. Also, loss of function in various parts can be experienced. According to a 2015 study, autoimmune disease classification has varied over time, and they are more common in women than in men but over half of them are rare (1) .
Examples of autoimmune conditions: Crohn’s disease (CD), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS), Asthma, and ulcerative colitis (UC).
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms vary in relation to the condition however here is a generalised list of what many experience:
- Inflammation and/or pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
- Redness and/or skin rashes
- Low-grade fever
- Trouble concentrating
- Tingling and numbness (mainly in hands and feets)
- Aching muscles and/or sore joints
- Hair loss
Multiple organs are involved and autoimmune conditions can become progressively deteriorating conditions.
How it affects everyday life
Depending on the condition, depends on how it affects everyday life. Some people can get on with it, experiencing all the symptoms but no-one around them would know that there is anything wrong with them. While some conditions are extremely debilitating and life can be a struggle.
Many clinical studies have demonstrated that herbal medicines are effective in many autoimmune conditions such as allergies, asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. These studies (for example:2,3,4) often look at the role of the herb in autoimmune disease and the mechanisms of the herbs’ action. For example, In 2020 a paper was published which reviewed Paeoniae radix alba (the root of Paeonia lactiflora). They noted its many uses historically as well as through scientific research. They concluded that its ‘folk medicinal value in the treatment of autoimmune diseases has now been verified.’ 5
As with all chronic conditions, herbal medicine’s treatment approach is multifactorial, matched to the multiple layers of the conditions. Herbs are effective in relieving many of the symptoms and help the body to deal with the stress that autoimmune conditions cause. From reducing inflammation, repairing tissue damage, dealing with infection to giving emotional support as well as allowing the herbs to work on an emotional level.
How long is the Average Treatment?
It is difficult to determine how long it will take any individual to start seeing results, it usually depends on the following:
- How you react to herbs
- Your compliance to taking the herbs and making the recommended changes
- How long you have had the condition
- The severity of the condition
What you need to do?
Please be prepared that it takes time for the herbs to work. Herbal medicine does not work like pharmaceutical drugs. They often require some time, especially as they tend to work gently and subtly. This is not a quick fix.
Please be willing to work with me, take the medication as prescribed and make the changes which are attainable as well as practical.
How I will help you
Make a treatment plan by creating short term and long terms goals
Identify areas in your life that may be negatively impacting your health.
Give you practical and attainable changes, with lots of support along the way.
Emotional Support along this journey, helping you to help keep on track.
1.Hayter S.M. and Cook M.C. Updated assessment of the prevalence, spectrum and case definition of autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity Review, 2012, 11(10):754-765, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2012.02.001
- Eken A, Cakir M, Karayigit MO, Altuntas HD Schisandrin B and Alantolactone ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. J Immunol 2020, 203(1). 160.12
- Martinez Y and Mas Dairon. Role of Herbs and Medicinal Spices as Modulators of Gut Microbiota. 2020. DOI:10.5772/intechopen.91208
- Mahmoodi M et al, Beneficial effects of Thymus vulgaris extract in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: Clinical, histological and cytokine alterations. 2019, Biomed & Pharma 109:2100-2108, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2018.08.078
- Jiang H et al, Total glucosides of paeony: A review of its phytochemistry, role in autoimmune diseases, and mechanisms of action. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2020, 258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.112913