Herbal Remedies for Immunity Support
When it comes to protecting your body from pathogens, nothing beats good hygiene practices. However, some exposure to unwanted nasties is unavoidable, and sometimes our immune systems need an extra helping hand. You have probably heard it all before, so let this be a reminder for you; stress, endurance-based exercise, lack of sleep and age can all contribute to weaken our immune systems and leave us more prone to infection. But fortunately, there are a number of natural supplements that have been shown to be successful in supporting the immune system, especially if it has been compromised.
Below we have listed out what we have been using at Verve Blends to support our immune systems this winter.
Astragalus has been shown in certain studies to have Immuno-stimulation properties. Certain flavonoids and saponins unique to Astragalus are thought to have considerable free-radical-scavenging abilities. Furthermore, Astragalus has natural antibacterial properties and may enhance the activity of certain enzymes which play an essential role in activating particular white blood cells utilised by the body's natural immune response. Traditionally Astragalus has been used to strengthen the immune response against upper respiratory infections such as the common cold, though is thought to be better as a preventative herb rather than reactive (i.e. better at protecting from infection rather than helping fight an existing infection).
Holy Basil has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is thought that incorporating Holy Basil in the diet helps rid the body of pollutants, which is why many regard Holy Basil as the ultimate detoxifier for the body. At least one study has shown a correlated effect on influencing an increase in certain proteins (cytokines) that play an important part in the body's immunity, following supplementation of Holy Basil. Holy Basil perhaps has preventative and reactive abilities when helping support the body fight disease.
Holy Basil and Astragalus are contained in Verve Blends – VIBE powdered adaptogen supplement.
Other herbs/vitamins/minerals that may help our immune systems:
The Echinacea plant and root have been shown to stimulate the immune system. In particular, supplementing on Echinacea may increase white blood cell production, particularly those cells necessary for fighting infection. Certain studies have shown when Echinacea has been taken at the first signs of a cold infection that the infection's severity and length may be reduced. In that sense Echinacea may have more reactive benefit when fighting infection rather than protective.
Isolated Vitamin C is a heavily researched supplement which is why there are many approved claims that can be marketed and one of the reasons why it is one of the number one selling supplements globally. But that is not say Vitamin C has been over-hyped, in fact it does help our immune systems in numerous ways. In short summary, Vitamin C is necessary for the production of certain white blood cells needed for a proper immune function. It is also a decent anti-oxidant helping protect cells from damage from free-radicals.
Unlike the natural herb supplements on this list, you most likely are already getting a good dosage of vitamin C in your daily diet.
Zinc is an essential element/mineral necessary for adequate human health. Zinc is necessary for many bodily functions, but specifically in terms of the immunity, zinc is in part necessary for the activation of particular enzymes that can breakdown proteins in viruses and bacteria.
Zinc is a mineral common in most western diets and supplementation is rarely necessary. A doctor via a blood test is able to determine whether vitamin and mineral deficiencies exist.
Garlic has natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal attributes. In particular a compound "allicin" contained in garlic appears to have antibiotic characteristics. Adding garlic to your diet may also enhance the ability of certain types of white blood cells in terms of their ability to fight infection.
Thanks for reading, we wish you all the best for your journey towards greater well-being.