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Imagine yourself as a sailor in the middle ages, traveling by boat across a great ocean to discover new lands. As you travel, the skies grow dark and the waters start to get choppier and the waves grow taller. Soon the light rain turns to a torrential downpour as your craft is overtaken by a tremendous storm. The clouds crack with thunder and lightning and your ship sways and buckles with each toss and turn of the sea. You quickly move from one side of the ship to the other to slacken and tighten the ropes, busily trying to steady the vessel for the next rush of wind, the next swell of whitecaps. In this dangerous and scary experience, you may make a quick but heartfelt prayer to the god of the ocean, known since antiquity as Neptune.

Working with the archetype of Neptune means being able to navigate the water realm, to maintain balance and fluidity in the face of difficulty and trial. When adverse conditions come our way, the wisdom of Neptune helps us to bend and flow through problems and maintain a deep resiliency and strength, no matter what the struggle. In medical astrology, Neptune is connected to the immune system. The immune system is comprised of a network of lymph glands and vessels that help protect us from disease and illness. By nourishing our immune system, we strengthen our ability to throw off toxins and withstand physical and emotional stress. Like the sailors in the boat, we gain the ability and skills to navigate stormy seas and travel through difficult weather.

In part one of this series, I discussed the use of faith, visualization and aromatherapy for strengthening the immune system. In this article, I want to outline some herbal and nutritional ways of augmenting and nourishing our immune system.

Herbs for Your Immune System

Echinacea: Echinacea has become tremendously popular and is one of the main herbs people buy for first aid throughout the country. Echinacea has antibiotic and anti-bacterial qualities that make it one of the first herbs people use at the initial signs of a cold or an infection. Echinacea works in two different ways. The first way is to fight illness directly by inhibiting the hyalurinodase enzyme, which causes the spread of bacteria. The other way is to encourage the growth of white blood cells, which boosts the immune level and helps the body to fight off illness.  

Astragalus: This Chinese herb has long been known for its ability to strengthen the immune system and to help fight off colds, flu and disease. This is an especially good herb for those who are weak and disabled and need a strengthening and building tonic. Astragalus builds energy levels, improves the digestion and nourishes the lungs, allowing the body to heal itself more easily.

Reishi mushroom: This fungus is one of the most powerful immune system tonics in the world. Known as an adaptogen, reishi helps us to adapt to stress and ward off its negative influence on our health. Reishi also helps alleviate allergies and food sensitivities often associated with Neptune. Like Echinacea, reishi promotes the growth of white blood cells in the body. It is specifically noted for its ability to help with immune system disorders such as AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome and bacterial and viral infections.

Diet for a Healthy Immune System

In the modern world, it is difficult to avoid the emphasis on fast food, caffeinated beverages and sugar. This type of diet, however, leads to some of the greatest health problems in the world, including cancer and a host of immune system illnesses. For those of us with a strong emphasis on Neptune or Pisces (Neptune’s ruling sign) in our charts*, there can be a greater sensitivity to food that is harmful and injurious to our immune system. That is why it is especially important to choose a diet that will help balance and strengthen our immunity. Here are some basic ideas for a good immune system building diet:

Eat whole foods, choosing from a variety of grains and vegetables.

Include seaweeds such as dulce, kelp and hijiki to enhance immunity.

Drink plenty of uncontaminated water to flush toxins through the system.

Avoid eating late at night.

Avoid alcohol and drugs.

Avoid processed and pesticide-laden foods.

Avoid caffeine, sugar and other stimulants that depress immunity.

Conclusion

Neptune has the effect of making us more susceptible to toxins in our diet and in our environment. Like the sailors overwhelmed by stormy weather in rough seas, these toxins can leave us weak and unbalanced. To help navigate these seas, it's important to learn the skills to avoid storms and fight off bad weather when it comes. With proper care and nourishment, we can strengthen our immune system so it stays vital and healthy and is capable of fighting off illness and dis-ease. Using some of the techniques from the previous article including prayer, visualization and aromatherapy, along with a good diet and strengthening herbs, we can help optimally protect and augment our health and immune system. These natural methods help us to avoid the negative aspects of Neptune while harmonizing with the positive influences of this ancient sea god. Good health to you!

Notes

*Neptune may be strong in your chart in terms of your health if it is in one of the angular houses (the First, Fourth, Seventh or Tenth), or if it is in the Sixth House of health. Neptune is emphasized if it conjoins or makes a strong aspect (angular relationship) to the Sun or Moon. Neptune is also powerful if there are many planets in Pisces in the chart.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Keyes, B.S., is an astrologer, herbalist and plant spirit medicine practitioner. His writing has appeared in The Mountain Astrologer and in numerous Llewellyn almanacs. Jon has written a book entitled 'Guide to Natural Health, The Horoscope as a key to Ancient Healing Practices'. Jon is available for readings and can be contacted at jon_keyes@msn.com. Go to Jon's web site at jonkeyes.com

Send an email to the author.

For more information about Jonathan Keyes, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Jonathan Keyes:

  • Your Health and Neptune: Part 1   12/12/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   3/13/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   2/27/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   1/26/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   11/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/15/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/1/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   9/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/16/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/2/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/18/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/4/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/17/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/4/2001
  • Pluto, Your Health and Herbs   4/30/2001
  • Pluto and Your Psyche   4/16/2001
  • Your Health and Saturn Part 2   11/13/2000
  • Your Health and Saturn   10/30/2000
  • Michael Stipe Shuns the Spotlight   9/16/2000
  • Michael J. Fox   8/21/2000
  • Animals and Astrology Part Two   7/3/2000
  • Animals and Astrology   6/12/2000
  • The Astrology of Stones Part 2   5/15/2000
  • Astrology and Stones   5/1/2000

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