Many of you have reached out and thanked us for our recent post on our new members only section of the blog about the truth behind the Corona Virus outbreak in China. With fears and tensions growing, one of the best ways to be prepared is by boosting your immune system now, before the virus makes its way to your community.
One easy and cost effective way to boost your immunity naturally is through vitamins and supplements. Below are the top 8 best items to add to your diet to get your immune system ready for a serious epidemic.
- First, vitamin C helps with the production of white blood cells (known as lymphocytes and phagocytes) which help protect the body against infections. On top of that, vitamin C helps these white blood cells function even more effectively while protecting them from damage caused by harmful molecules, such as free radicals. Third, vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It is actively transported to the skin where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers. Studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time. What’s more, low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes. For example, people who suffer from pneumonia tend to have lower vitamin C levels, and vitamin C supplements have been shown to shorten the recovery time. My personal favorite brand of these vitamins is NOW Foods. In my personal research they have the greatest potency to cost ratio.
- Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation and even cancer. When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. Elderberries are an excellent general immune system booster. The berries contain chemical compounds called anthocyanidins, which are known to have immunostimulant effects. Is elderberry good for a cold? Research actually shows that elderberry extract is a safe, efficient and cost-effective treatment for both cold and flu symptoms. A 2016 study published in Nutrients showed that elderberry supplementation can reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold in air travelers. Travelers using this herb from 10 days before travel until four to five days after arriving overseas experienced, on average, a two-day shorter duration of their colds and also a noticeable reduction in cold symptoms. Several studies have demonstrated that elder extract is highly effective in mitigating flu-like symptoms. Specifically, the flavonoids in the elderberry extract bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus as well as the H5N1 avian influenza virus. During the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government actually employed the use of the elderberry to fight the flu. For those looking for the best possible absorption, we highly recommend Mary Ruth’s Elderberry Syrup. The liquid form digests best compared to capsules. However if you’re a pill person then Mortar and Pestle Herbs is your best bet.
- Infectious Diseases, the University of Connecticut performed a meta-analysis study that evaluated 14 studies and determined that: a) Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58 percent. b) Echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost one-and-a-half days.
Craig Coleman, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and lead author of the study, added that, “The take home message from our study is that echinacea does indeed have powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits.” As I’ve discovered, it’s one of several effective natural cold remedies.
According to Dr. Coleman, “The significance of that finding becomes clear when you consider Americans suffer from one billion colds annually and spend about $1.5 billion annually for doctor’s visits and another $2 billion annually on non-prescription cough and cold treatments.” The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that the immune system seems to be strongly influenced by the level of the echinacea dose. It appears that 10 milligrams of echinacea per one kilogram of body weight, taken daily over a 10-day period, is effective as an immune system stimulant.
In addition, the medical journal Hindawi has published material suggesting that echinacea stops viral colds. However, the most significant results of echinacea benefits with regards to the immune system were the effects when used on recurring infections. To date, research shows that echinacea probably reduces cold symptoms, but it seems its effects are more powerful once cold symptoms start.
Again, the team here are big fans of NOW Foods and their products. We highly suggest looking at their Echinacea supplement to help prime your immune system.
- Zinc has the natural ability to help the immune system function efficiently. Zinc is required for optimal function of different types of white blood cells that protect the body from illness and infection. Additionally, zinc helps in cytokine production, phagocytosis, and other immune system processes. An idea often overlooked is, a stronger immune system accounts for a healthy body and overall healthy living. You don’t need to have signs of a weak immune system before you think of boosting it, incorporate this supplement to your diet to help strengthen your immune system to work at best. For supplementation you can kill two birds with one stone with Garden of Life’s Zinc Supplements. They combine Zinc and Vitamin C into one capsule.
Oil of Oregano:
- Oregano is a culinary herb that has also been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Beyond its uses in the kitchen, you can find oil of oregano as a supplement in capsule or tincture form.This cold and flu season, oregano could support your health and help manage symptoms. Oregano exhibits antibacterial and antiviral properties and contains compounds that may help you cough less frequently. Oregano may also help keep your gut healthy by increasing the flow of bile. Some research indicates that taking oil of oregano for six weeks can kill intestinal parasites. We have two recommendations for a quality Oil of Oregano option. Both Gaia Herbs or Mortar and Pestlehave great oil capsules. However, we don’t recommend the raw oil drops as the taste is very aggressive and hard to swallow. (No pun intended)
- Essiac supplements benefit the body in so many ways! Essiac is a versatile herbal supplement that is an easy supplement to add to your daily life. Essiac’s primary benefits include a boost to the immune system and detoxification of the body. Essiac and Essiac tea is used by people all over the world for many different health problems as well as for general health and well-being. Essiac benefits the entire body in a holistic fashion. You see, when the body is treated holistically, results occur from the inside out. Because essiac addresses the root of the problem for many illnesses and diseases, long-term, permanent healing becomes possible! This is contrary to the action of most medicines, which simply mask symptoms. The truth is, many medications are just a “band-aid” to cover up the symptom – but the underlying problem still exists. This is where the essiac benefits of full-body healing and detoxification really shine. This is probably our favorite on the list. Often times we take this throughout flu season and not only does it help ward off colds and flu, but it makes many of us feel energized as well. Personally, around the house I refer to it as my “Superhero pill”. The only brand I recommend is ESSIAC from Rene M. Caisse. The bottle appears to be extremely dated, however you will never regret discovering this miracle pill.
- Probiotics are quite effective for boosting the immune system. A 2009 study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, reported that probiotic supplements had a deep effect on the immune system function in animal models. The researchers arrived at the conclusion that probiotic supplementation could fuel the immune system without adverse effects. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that typically live and grow in the gut and optimize the immune system. About 70 percent of the immune system is controlled by what happens in the gut, and friendly bacteria are the essential part of the immune system. The bacteria adjust the immune system by increasing the number of definite white blood cells. When it comes to probiotics, the studies we’ve seen show that PB8 Vegetarian Probiotics have the greatest potency for the money. My family uses the Amazon Subscribe and Save program to have it auto delivered to our home monthly and discount the price even more.
- Several scientific publications have reported on the effectiveness of spirulina in strengthening the immune system. Spirulina has a powerful nutrient known as polysaccharides – polysaccharides are widely known to be powerful immune system booster and also assisting in the prevention of several maladies. Our favorite? Pure Hawaiian Spirulina
Adding any of these 8 items to your daily routine can drastically boost your immune system and help your body naturally fight off viruses and bacteria that threaten you and your families health.
Chris Norman RN, MSN