An immune modulator should not be confused with an immune booster. Immune modulators regulate functioning of the immune system, maintaining a healthy level and preventing disordered immune activities. In chronic cases of allergy related conditions, autoimmune disorders and HIV infection, an immune modulator can be beneficial as part of a holistic therapy.
Allergies (eczema, hay fever, asthma) and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis arise from the action of the immune system on the body’s tissues. In allergies (immune mediated hypersensitivity), the immune cells and chemicals cause irritation and inflammation of the skin (eczema), nasal passages (hayfever and post nasal drip) and airways (asthma).
In terms of HIV infection and AIDS, the use of immune modulators may be questionable but are usually safe compared to immune boosters. In certain cases of HIV/AIDS, especially when the CD4 cell count is very low or the viral load is high, use of an immune modulator would not be warranted and an immune booster can exacerbate certain AIDS defining illnesses. In these instances, an HIV/AIDS sufferer requires anti-retroviral therapy (ARV’s or ART) and monitoring under the supervision of a medical doctor.
However immune modulators may be useful if the CD4 count is above 400 cells/mm3 and the viral load is well below 100,000 cp/ml although CD4 to CD8 ration should also be taken into consideration. The use of an immune modulator can be alternated with an immune booster in cases of HIVinfection (not AIDS) under the supervision of a qualified complementary health practitioner.
Always consult with your medical practitioner before commencing with the use of any herbal remedy.
Our recommendation for a herbal immune modulator tincture would include the following herbs :
- Urtica urens (Nettle)
- Curcuma long (Tumeric)
- Alchemilla millefolium (Yarrow)
- Solidago vigaurea (Golden Rod)
If you are using a herbal immune modulator in dried powder form, the following herbs may be beneficial.
- Astragalus membranaceous (Astragalus)
- Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)
- Trametes versicolor (Yun zhi)
Other herbs like Agaricus can be considered in the dry powder form but first verify the species of Agaricus being used as certain sub-species may be poisonous.
If you are opting for an immune modulator, consult with your naturopath, phytotherapist or related alternative health practitioner before commencing any immunomodulation therapy.