Blood – our vital and dynamic life force 




The human body is fuelled by the approximately 5 litres of blood that circulates through the system approximately once every minute. Blood is composed of 55% plasma and 45% cells. The plasma component is biochemically equivalent to sea water. There are 3 major kinds of cells: red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.

Red blood cells live for 4 months in the circulation. They are the most abundant cells in the blood. They carry oxygen via the arteries to nourish all the cells in the body. During their passage through the capillary bed (the tiniest blood vessels) they release the oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide to be returned to the lungs via the venous system. The red cells also pick up food that has been digested, absorbed and assimilated. They carry the basic nutrient components to the myriad of cells in the body so that our organs and tissues are nourished.

Platelets are the tiniest cells in the blood but are the second highest in number. These tiny dynamos are responsible for blood clotting. Their life span is 2 weeks.

White blood cells are the circulating immune system. There are 5 types of white blood cells. They do most of their work in the tissues and use the blood stream as a means to getting to where they are needed. The neutrophil is the most predominant cell in the blood – it is the first cell to respond to an infection and it lives for 2 weeks. During it’s life span it will keep the blood and the tissues clear of bacteria, virus’ and fungus. The second most abundant white cell is the lymphocyte. This type of cell that takes care of long term immunity and can live up to 20 years. There are 3 types of lymphocytes – T and B cells and natural killer cells – antibodies are produced by the lymphocytes. Also present in the blood are monocytes (they clean up what the neutrophils can’t handle), eosinophils (numbers may be increased with allergies and/or parasitic infections) and basophils (these cells release histamine).

How wonderful that every 4 months you have a new blood supply! By doing small things each day you can ensure that the blood is healthy – drink lots of water; eat your green veggies and breathe slowly and deeply all the way down into the abdomen.