I’m continuing through the explanation of your endocrine system which leads us to the THYMUS gland…
This gland is made up of two identical lobes and it is located anatomically in front of the heart and behind the sternum. Histologically, each lobe of the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule.
Doctor Norman Walker Sc., in his book Become Younger; had an interesting take on what the role and responsibility of the thymus gland and how it affects who we become. Which is why I chose to include it in this post.
“This glands function is able to change during our different stages of growth and age. From Infant up to the age of about 18 months, this gland is what is responsible for breaking down the casein and other elements in mother’s milk, which enables the body to assimilate and utilize the milk or its equivalent. After 18 months of age it undergoes functional changes of a remarkable nature. Until puberty and the beginning of adolescence the thymus gland is involved in the development of the sex glands.
As we enter into adolescence, it becomes an important factor in the higher and broader expansion of one’s character and emotions. If the activity of the thymus in the development of the sex glands has not abated at this time, the individual keeps growing until he is taller than average. On the other hand, if the sex glands develop too soon, and the thymus is diverted too fast to the next change in its activity, the individual ceases to grow and remains below the average height.
Also in adolescence, the thymus acts as a balance between the higher and lower instincts. It is then controlled by the will, by the mind and by the desires of the individual, until maturity is reached. This period is the most critical in everybody’s zone of development. Therefore, what we are exposed to mentally during this period is beyond important. To an extent it depends on the severity of the discipline applied to the individual. It is the foundation upon which the future integrity and honesty of the individual is based. If he is allowed to go about his way of life, unbridled, undisciplined and uncontrolled, the thymus gland will become flabby in texture and in years to come he will find himself on the lower, if not the lowest, plane of consciousness. Could this account for so many adults today who struggle with low levels of self-esteem?
At this period in life the thymus works in close relation with the pineal gland, the spiritual gland When discipline is slack or lacking we find youngsters gravitating toward juvenile delinquency, hoodlumism and crime. To develop the character, integrity and honesty of future generations, parents must come to realize that children of all ages, NEED affection and understanding, as well as the right kind of nourishment. The development of these two highly important character building glands, the thymus and the pineal, rest entirely in the hands of the parents. When children and adolescents grow into dependable and honorable citizens even though they were allowed to grow up without guidance, they have done so in spite of lack of discipline and guidance and because of an inherent higher intelligence than that of their parents.”
We also know that the thymus plays an important role in our health working in tandem with the immune system especially during the adolescence years. As we age the thymus gland begins to shrink in size, I believe this occurs because our immune system works from memory once it has done battle with specific virus’s and germs that it’s contribution is not needed near as much as during our growing years. However, it is still an important gland as we age therefore incorporating some much needed support is encouraged!
The thymus gland is responsible for manufacturing T lymphocytes (T cells) which are a critical component of our immune system.
Are there remedies in nature that we can use to help strengthen and support our thymus gland? I believe there definitely are:
- Arginine (click here to purchase) retards the growth of tumors and cancer by enhancing our immune function. It increases the size and activity of the thymus gland, which manufactures T lymphocytes (T cells), crucial components of the immune system. It is also good for liver issues like cirrhosis and fatty liver because it aids in liver detox by neutralizing the ammonia. It may also reduce the effects of chronic alcohol toxicity. (I recommend taking an amino acid supplement that offers a balance of all the amino acids when it comes to needing to supplement L-Arginine) Food sources of L-Arginine include: carob, coconut, gelatin, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, wheat and wheat germ.
- Barley grass (click here to purchase) contains small amounts of calcium, iron all the essential amino acids, chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and is loaded with many minerals, plus enzymes. This food heals stomach, duodenal, and colon disorders as well as pancreatitis, and is a good and effective anti-inflammatory. (click here to purchase in a combination powder for smoothies, great way to get into the kiddo’s)
- Black Current Oil (click here to purchase) Black Currant Oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) along with other important polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Fatty acids are involved in many bodily functions, such as maintaining body temperature, insulating nerves, cushioning and protecting tissues and creating energy. These essential fatty acids are precursors of prostaglandins, which must be present for functions involved with blood vessels, maintaining arterial pressure already within the normal range, metabolizing dietary cholesterol, activating T-lymphocytes, protecting against platelet aggregation and other functions.
- Echinacea Purpurea (click here to purchase) Active compounds in echinacea include polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils and flavonoids. Several laboratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, have antioxidant activity and help support a healthy inflammation response.
- Vitamin A& D (click here to purchase) Vitamin A is essential for maintaining good vision and promoting normal growth. It is necessary for the health of epithelial cells and is required for the digestion of protein. Vitamin A is essential for lactation, reproduction and the formation of steroid hormones. It is used to form the cells lining the digestive, respiratory, reproductive and urinary tracts and in all tissue linings of the body. Vitamin A is best absorbed when taken with oil or fat. It occurs in animal tissues as retinol but in plants as carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
Vitamin D works synergistically with vitamin A. It plays a role in absorbing and regulating calcium and phosphorus. This vitamin helps the body synthesize protein. It is vital to the health of the nervous system and kidneys.
- Zinc (click here to purchase) This is one of the most over looked minerals when it comes to folks supporting their immune system. The trace mineral zinc is involved in hundreds of important functions in the body, including sugar metabolism, DNA formation, protein metabolism and energy production. It is also needed for the growth and development of bones. Pregnant and lactating women require extra zinc. More zinc is found in the body than any other trace element except for iron. Relatively large amounts are found in bone and muscle. It’s also prevalent in the prostate and retina.
Eating healthy and including more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine as well as a variety of raw nuts, beans, whole grains and lower animal meat consumption is a wonderful way to improve the over all health of our endocrine system as a collective whole.
Stay tuned because the next stop in the story of our endocrine system will be the Pancreas.
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC.