It’s that time of year again (at least for the northern hemisphere!) when it is recommended to boost your immune system for the winter months ahead. In the UK, there is continued encouragement from the conventional medical community to have the flu jab.
For those who are seeking a healthy, natural alternative without side-effects, take a look at these options below:
Boost your immune system with Nutritional therapy
Eating a healthy diet goes a long way to maintaining a healthy immune system. Eat foods rich in plant antioxidants (lots of fruit and vegetables), dietary fibre, lean protein and essential fatty acids. Avoid refined sugars, processed foods, fried foods and any known food allergens or intolerant foods.
Key nutrients to consider to boost your immune system include vitamin C, vitamin A & D (think cod liver oil), zinc and probiotics.
Vitamin C in particular helps to boost your immune system and reduces the severity and duration if a cold or flu does take hold. In addition, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables including vitamin C rich broccoli, peppers, parsley, kiwi fruit, oranges & berries.
Take a vitamin D supplement if your levels are low. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy immune function. Be guided by your naturopath or doctor on dosage, usually 1000iu as a minimum for an adult is required to boost your immune system.
Since your gut bacteria plays a significant role in immune health, take a good quality and high strength probiotic daily.
In cases of chronic viral infections and lowered immunity, clinically trialled beta 1,3/1,6 glucan with shiitake is an excellent combination that activates macrophages (fights infection) and boosts the immune system. Such a combination is found in BetaMax by Biomedica, available at the Ilkley Healing Centre.
Herbal Medicine – nature’s answer to maintaining a healthy immune system
Echinacea reverses immune ageing
Our immune system ages as we age. This includes our ‘innate immunity’ – our first line of defence. Natural Killer (NK) cells which are part of our innate immunity, decline in number and function with age, and this is thought to be one factor behind the increase of various cancers with ageing. So if we could sustain the enhancement of NK cells, this may help reduce frequency of deaths with advancing age. Echinacea has been proven in clinical studies to reverse this immune ageing.
So make sure you are stocked up with MediHerb’s Echinacea Premium to maintain optimum immune health this winter. To dispel the myth, you can safely take Echinacea all the time as a great preventative! It really does work and helps to reduce the risk of catching colds and flu!
I would also like to remind you and dispel some myths about Echinacea. Firstly, it is a very effective herb for the maintenance of your immune system and can be safely taken as a preventative all year round. Secondly, it will not ‘wear out’ your immune system!
Quality and dose of Echinacea is important. Ensure the Echinacea you take is from the root of the plant, preferably the angustifolia and/or purpurea species. This is where the active chemicals are found which work with your immune system. A recommended dose is either two 1200mg tablets daily or 5mls of a 1:2 liquid extract daily as maintenance for immune health. A higher dose may be prescribed for acute symptoms.
The best Echinacea on the market is MediHerb’s Echinacea Premium – both in tablet and liquid form. Available from the Ilkley Healing Centre or from your local naturopath if you are in Australia or the U.S.
Other herbs for immune health
If you have been unlucky and a cold or flu has taken hold, for a quick recovery take MediHerb’s Andrographis Complex 2 tablets up to 3 times a day. You should be right as rain within a few days!
Other effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral herbs include thyme, golden seal, licorice, cat’s claw, olive leaf, astragalus, rhodiola and St John’s Wort high grade to name a few.
Book yourself in for an ‘MOT’
Book a bioresonance consultation to determine any nutrient deficiencies, pathogenic involvement (e.g. active or latent virus, bacteria, parasites), microbiota imbalances (e.g candida, SIBO and leaky gut), heavy metals etc. BICOM Bioresonance,a registered medical device, provides an accurate and sensitive test method that can assist in indentifying such possible reasons for poor immunity. What’s more, BICOM Bioresonance offers an impressive and effective therapy option to support our immune health for both adults and children.
And of course, don’t forget common sense!
- Wash your hands: Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has a cold or flu only has to sneeze onto their hand and then touch the telephone, the keyboard, a cup or a glass for infections to spread.
- Get fresh air: A regular dose of fresh air is important.
- Always wear warm clothing when moving from a warm to a cold environment, as inadequate protection from these sudden changes in temperature can lower resistance to infection. Keep your thymus gland (located behind your sternum) covered – wear a scarf!
- Think positively…….your mind is very powerful.
- Relax: keep in mind that relaxation is a learnable skill. Just 15 minutes a day of relaxation will keep nasties at bay.
Clinic and Dispensary
The Ilkley Healing Centre stocks a comprehensive range of MediHerb herbs and practitioner quality supplements. Individual prescriptions are tailored to your needs. Book an appointment today to have your health concerns addressed.