Adequate sunlight is essential to a strong, healthy immune system. In treating Epstein Barr, the virus that causes glandular fever or mononucleosis, sunshine should be part of your treatment program.

The benefits of sunlight have been known for thousands of years as a healing agent. Both Hippocrates and Pythagoras wrote about the healing powers of the sun. Even ancient temples were dedicated to healing people through sunlight. Ailments like TB, bone diseases like rickets, wounds and general convalescence were all prescribed sunlight. Today many of the leading sanitariums and health resorts around the world recommend sunlight to promote healing.

Studies show that exposing the body to sunlight or even ultraviolet light from an artificial source increases the number of white blood cells - the body's primary defence against infections like Epstein Barr. Sunlight has also been shown to improve your mood and regulate your sleep patterns - both which can be problems in Epstein Barr sufferers.

If you have sore, aching muscles then sunlight can improve the circulation to your skin and ease some of your discomfort. I know that when I was in the midst of my Epstein Barr, I had chronically cold hands and feet, which would improve after a stint in the sun.

One side effect of mononucleosis can be jaundice - a yellowing of the skin and eyes due to an accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is usually due to liver involvement. Jaundice improves when the body is exposed to natural sunlight.

So how much sunlight is enough when treating Epstein Barr? While we all need to be "sun-safe", many people get nowhere near the amount of sunlight they need for optimal health. It is estimated that 90% of westerners spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Unfortunately windows and wearing sunglasses can block some of the sunlight's wavelengths from reaching our retinas and nourishing the brain and body. Similarly wearing sun-block will stop the absorption of the sun's rays. Even in Australia where we have no problem with lack of sunshine, I am seeing patients who have been diagnosed with low levels of vitamin D, which indicates a lack of sunlight absorbed by the skin.

I recommend my patients get a daily dose of 30 minutes of sunlight onto their skin. Early morning or early afternoon sunlight is best if you live in a hot area or at a high altitude. Avoid midday sun.

You don't have to sunbake - going for a walk or hanging the washing out in the sunshine is fine. Try to expose at least 15% of your skin - roughly equivalent to your face and arms to the sunlight. The idea is to get enough sunlight that you don't burn. If you get burnt you have overdone it and damaged the skin.

Research shows that for people living in colder climates, for example Tasmania, up to 2 hours of winter sun may be necessary to achieve adequate vitamin D production. If you live in an area where you get long, dark or cloudy winters with no sunshine, then full spectrum lighting can be installed in your home and work place to mimic the health benefits of direct sunlight.

Studies have shown that dark-skinned people need even more sunlight to synthesize adequate vitamin D. As well, obesity, kidney disease, and aging could affect the body's ability to turn sunlight into vitamin D.

We have all heard the stories of keeping out of the sun because of the risk of skin cancer. Too much sun exposure can cause permanent damage, and you do need to be careful. However, research is now showing that safe exposure to sunshine is good for your health. So much so that optimizing your sun exposure may be one of the most important steps you can take in treating Epstein Barr and supporting your long-term health.

The sun is a powerful natural support for your healing system and for treating Epstein Barr. Please aim to enjoy it safely for the best therapeutic effects.

Author's Bio: 

Qualified Naturopath Elizabeth Noble BSc. Dip Nat Ther, has over 16 years experience in helping thousands boost their immunity and regain their health.

She specialises in treating patients with Epstein Barr (the virus that causes glandular fever or mononucleosis), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and immune disorders. Elizabeth's therapies include the use of vitamins, minerals and herbs, an immune-boosting diet, cleansing the body, aromatherapy, massage, graded exercise and stress reduction.

Elizabeth is the author of the e-book "Nature's Amazing Mononucleosis Cures" and the producer of an Epstein Barr blog and podcast series. If you are suffering from Epstein Barr and want to relieve your fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands and aching muscles then make sure you visit