Our immune system is made up of both individual cells and proteins as well as entire organs and organ systems. The organs of the immune system include the skin and mucous membranes, and the lymphatic system. Your skin and mucous membranes act as a physical barrier and are the first line of defense against pathogens entering from outside the body. The primary lymphatic system is composed of bone marrow and the thymus; Secondary are the lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, and certain tissues in various mucous membrane layers in the body such as in the bowel. It is in these organs where the cells of the immune system do their actual job of fighting off germs and foreign substances when the immune system does not function properly, complications arise. Some issues are less pervasive, such as pollen allergy, while others are extensive, such as genetic disorders that wipe out the presence or function of an entire set of immune cells. Immune deficiencies may be temporary or permanent. Temporary (acute) immune deficiency can be caused by a variety of sources that weaken the immune system. Common infections, including influenza and mononucleosis, can suppress the immune system. Autoimmune disorders (lupus and RA) and sepsis are two serious (chronic) immune dysfunctions. Ayurveda identifies the importance of the connectivity of the immune system to the other body systems and emphasizes how this is critical to the health of the whole body.
ABOUT SOMESH N. KAUSHIK, ND, BAMS, MPH, MPA, E-RYT 500
With over 35 years of experience as an Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Kaushik’s medical training is extensive. He is one of the most experienced Ayurvedic physicians in North America and is the recipient of the Dhanwantri Award, his profession’s highest honor. Dr. Kaushik recently founded the Institute for the Advancement of Ayurvedic Sciences, a research and teaching institution. He is the owner and chief medical practitioner of Dr. Kaushick’s Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic in Cross River, NY.
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