The immune system is an ever talked about topic in our modern world with auto-immune conditions on the rise and kids at school getting sick every other week. It is important for everyone to know which vitamins, herbs and minerals are most essential to keep us healthy.
We have 1 child that is school age and it is important to me that she stay as healthy as possible and doesn’t bring everything home to her younger sister. We also work in health care where sick kids are coming to see us because they are sick. So how do I stay healthy during the year with cold and flu season especially since I am putting myself in the line of fire? I think this important for you to know and while you may not have a 2 year old coughing in your face, you might have the sick co-worker next to you that also covers their mouth like a two year old.
With supplements, vitamins, homeopathy and herbs all promising to help the immune system -which are the best and most valuable herbs?
Where do I start to help have a baseline healthy immune system?
Make sure you have your basic nutrients in check. This is done in our office through a vitamin analysis testing and we use Spectracell laboratories to determine the deficiencies you are faced with today. The test goes over vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and a few other important facts.
Which Vitamins are best for baseline health if I am not testing?
Without testing, this is just a guess, but we do have an idea of the most common vitamin deficiencies that occur in our country today and here is a small list:
Vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Zinc, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Gluthione, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin E. (long list huh!)
Which one is best for my immune system specifically?
Vitamin D – Does some many things and is famous for bone health and calcium absorption but it also supports immune function, brain function lung health and so much more.
Zinc – Supports immune function, enzyme function and wound healing.
N-Acetyl Cysteine – decreases inflammation, decrease muscle fatigue, liver detoxification and immune function.
What Herbs can I take if I keep getting sick that will support my immune system?
We use the term support since some herbs actually boost your immune system and this can be bad when you use them for too long they can flair up your allergies.
Elderberry – Is a powerful antioxidant that fights cold and flu symptoms while also reducing inflammation and protecting the heart. The berries and the flower are used in most preparations.
Astragalus – Is an ancient long used herb meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors. It is an adaptogenic so it addresses in this case deep cellular disease or recurrent illness as well as a cold or flu.
Arabinogalactan – Is a herb that has been consumed for thousands of years and most commonly comes from the North American Larch trees it is show to naturally improve resistant to infection by positively influencing the Natural Killer cells in our immune system.
Reishi Mushrooms – Is been commonly used once someone gets sick but they have found that it supports and improves the function of our lymphocytes to help fit and prevent infection from occurring.
Ok I have been trying to support my immune system but I still got sick what now?
If you get sick, we employ both herbs and vitamins that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral to heal your body and get you back in action.
Herbs and vitamins: Andrographis, echinacea, Monolaurin, berberine, coptis, garlic, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Zinc. These herbs we have in our office in different varying blends based on the cold and flu symptoms you have. For instance- do you have a cough and chest cold, is it sinus or do you have a high fever. Most of these herbs are given to adults or older children.
My list for the little ones is different and they may also need something in a liquid form as we don’t get good at swallowing pills till around 13 years of age.
Elderberry, Rosehips, Astragalus, Arbinogalactan, echinacea, Mullein, &ginger.
When you get sick consider reaching for an herbal biotic or going to your functional medicine doctor, Naturopath or Chiropractor if they are trained instead of taking antibiotic which destroy your gut and has other unpleasant side effects. We love seeing you and the little ones whether they are sick or well; keeping you in a healthy state is our passion.