9 Natural Immune Boosters

January 17 2014 | Immune Health

A vital immune system can mean the difference between a pleasant winter and a miserable one. Do your part to help your body stay strong with help from these gifts from Mother Nature:

Related Post: 23 Facts About the Immune System and 14 Ways to Strengthen it

1. ECHINACEA

The root and leaves of this purple coneflower have been used for centuries by American Indians and Europeans to boost immunity. Echinacea triggers the body’s white blood cells to attack unwanted invaders. According to research, it can significantly increase the body’s white blood cell count. Specifically, this herb increases the body’s count of T-cells, interferon, interleukin and immunoglobulin.

2. PROBIOTICS (FRIENDLY FLORA)

Believe it or not, your gut is a key part of your immune system. And eating plenty of friendly bacteria (probiotics) helps strengthen your immunity!

A recent study published in Postgraduate Medicine found that women who took a daily probiotic had higher levels of T-cells. T-cells are special white blood cells that support the immune system. So say “Yum!” to yogurt or get crazy for sauerkraut. But check the labels. Some yogurts offer very minimal amounts of friendly flora. Consider taking a quality probiotic supplement.

3. VITAMIN C

Many of us hit the orange juice or eat extra oranges or grapefruits during the winter months. Citrus and other red fruits and veggies (red peppers, strawberries and even leafy greens) contain vitamin C, which helps protect and support the immune system. It also strengthens the cardiovascular system, supports eye health and more.

4. VITAMIN D3

Long-cherished for its support of the bones, vitamin D3 (the sunlight vitamin) is opening eyes for its immune-system benefits. Researchers are studying this nutrient to find out how it helps support immunity. It appears to help regulate the function of lymphocytes (an important type of white blood cells), the production of cytokines (another key white blood cell) and the activity of macrophages (protein messengers vital to immune function).

5. GARLIC

This flavorful and aromatic member of the onion family stimulates the production of important white blood cells. Garlic also helps quench free radicals in the bloodstream. It even supports heart health.

6. ELDERBERRY

The western U.S. and Canada are home to the Sambucus nigra or elderberry. Its properties have been studied by many scientists, and for good reason! It contains principals that stimulate the body to make cytokines, a type of protein molecule that enhances the immune system’s response to attacks. This dark-colored berry also contains powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins.

7. MUSHROOMS

Most people think of mushrooms as a flavor enhancer or use them to bulk up a dish. But some mushrooms offer much more than that. Researchers have found that reishi and cordyceps mushrooms contain chemicals that offer a host of immune benefits, including boosting the immune system and offering lung support. And, guys, it may help with prostate health as well!

8. ZINC

This essential trace mineral supports the body’s immunity and aids with nerve function. Zinc seems to work the best when taken at the first sign of concern.

9. OLIVE LEAF

Hold the pimientos. We’re talking about olive leaf here, not cocktail garnishes or pizza toppings. The leaves of this Mediterranean staple offer a powerhouse of protection against unwanted invaders. Olive leaf contains a bitter compound called oleuropein that also provides fabulous support to the circulatory system. And it battles free radical damage.

4 TIPS TO KEEP IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG:

 

  1. Minimize stress. 
  2. Stay active. 
  3. Eat a healthful diet. Steer clear of sugary and high-fat foods, which can slow and/or weaken immune response. 
  4. Socialize. People with friends have stronger immune systems than those who feel alone. Of course, try not to socialize with people who are sick ;)

 


4 OTHER Ways to Support the Immune System

January 28 2013 | Immune Health

For the immune system, things like Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc, Elderberry, Vitamin D, etc. is common knowledge. But there is much more that can also help the immune system work efficiently.

Here are 4 other ways to support the immune system. They include supplements that help the lymphatic system, thyroid, spleen, and something else that helps stimulate the immune system into action by producing macrophage, T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells and cytokines. 

 

Lymphomax

Lymphomax is a blend of reported blood-purifying, cleansing and supporting herbs for the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Mullein helps promote natural respiratory function. Lobelia contains lobeline, an ingredient that helps stimulate the respiratory system, which supports breathing function. Plantain may help protect the liver against cellular damage due to its antioxidant effects, and it helps maintain the lymphatic system. Cleavers (also known as clivers) has reported diuretic, astringent and tonic effects. This herb is used historically to cleanse the lymphatic and other glandular systems. Red root is traditionally used for supporting the lymph system. It contains components that help make the body environment more acceptable to microorganic balance.

Ingredients:

Mullein leaves, bayberry root bark, clivers aerial parts, plantain leaves, alfalfa aerial parts, chamomile flowers, echinacea root, yarrow aerial parts, garlic bulb, red root, lobelia aerial parts and chlorophyll.

 

Thyroid Support

Thyroid Support is a blend of nutritional and herbal supplements specially designed to nourish the thyroid gland and to support the actions of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones regulate many body functions, including oxygen use, basal metabolic rate, cellular metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.

Ingredients:

Vitamin B6, zinc, copper, manganese, l-tyrosine, kelp leaves and stems, thyroid substance, nettle leaves, protease blend, pituitary substance and hypothalamus substance.

Immune Stimulator

Immune Stimulator provides powerful support for the immune system. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system into action. By tricking the body into thinking it's being attacked, they increase the production of macrophages, T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells and cytokines, all of which strengthens the body’s natural defense system.

Arabinogalactan stimulates natural killer cell and macrophage activity. It also helps increase Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus flora, two beneficial types of bacteria. Rich in protein and immune-enhancing transfer factors, colostrum supports the immune system of the newborn. It also helps protect beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract to bolster defenses. Reishi and maitake mushroom are thought to boost immune activity, increase the activation of natural killer cells and activate macrophages. Cordyceps increases T-cell and B-cell activity, important to immune response.

Ingredients:

Beta-glucans, arabinogalactan, colostrum, cordyceps mycelia, reishi mushroom mycelia and maitake whole mushroom.

Spleen Activator

When you want to restore strength to the body, the best place to start is with the digestive and circulatory systems. Proper nutrient absorption and an efficient transport system allow the whole body to be more easily strengthened. Spleen Activator is based on the remarkable effects of both ginseng root and licorice root. Both are considered key glandular nutrients. Ginseng is world renowned as an anti-aging supplement, and licorice aids both digestion and adrenal function. These two plants are favored more than any other in the entire Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia. Fifteen other herbs support these functions and add their own benefits to magnify or balance all others in the formula.

Ingredients:

Concentrated extract of ginseng root, astragalus root, atractylodes rhizome, hoelen sclerotium, dioscorea rhizome, lotus seed, chaenomeles fruit, citrus peel, galangal rhizome, ginger rhizome, hyacinth bean, licorice root, magnolia bark, tang-kuei root, typhonium rhizome, cardamon fruit and zanthoxylum hull of seed.

 

 


23 Facts About the Immune System and 14 Ways to Strengthen it [Slideshow]

September 13 2012 | Body System Health | Immune Health | Respiratory Health

The immune defense system is the most diverse and fascinating of all the body systems. It's extremely complex and intricate. To help support your immune system, it's important to understand first how it works and the natural ways your body fights off disease and foreign invaders.


The Best Cold and Flu Remedies During Flu Season

November 9 2011 | Immune Health

Natural homeopathic medicine in quick-dissolving lozenges!

Remedies for Flus SeasonJust as the seasons change to fall and winter, the flu season begins while our bodies go into immune-battle mode to fight germs and stay healthy. Almost invariably we begin searching for the best cold and flu remedies as many of us catch a cold and experience sore throat, stuffy nose and coughing.

Minimize your cold and flu “down time” with Zinc Cold & Flu lozenges. The mineral zinc is an effective cold and flu treatment because it boosts the immune system. It also coats the mouth and throat, preventing some germs from taking up residence there. When unwanted invaders can’t get a strong foothold in the mouth or throat, they often struggle to proliferate, and you come off conqueror.

Zinc Cold & Flu homeopathic lozenges feature zinc gluconate and zinc acetate (2x). They dissolve quickly and are easy for children to take. For best results, use at the first signs of cold and flu symptoms to help reduce duration, severity and minor discomfort of cold symptoms.


Colloidal Silver Benefits from Silver Shield

October 4 2011 | Immune Health

Colloidal Silver for Immune HealthColloidal silver benefits include reducing exposure to disease-causing agents and can be used as an internal remedy for immune system support. Silver Shield, a colloidal silver product, has been proven to effectively combat health issues caused by anthrax, yeast, food poisoning, fungal infections of the skin, bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory infections, pink eye and more.

Proven by in vitro testing, the colloidal silver in Silver Shield helps rid the body of invasive microorganisms. This is done when the colloidal silver ingredients disable the enzymes that are metabolizing oxygen for harmful bacteria and viruses.

Many turn to antibiotics to combat invasive microorganisms attacking the immune system. Antibiotics often solve the problem, but can prove harmful in other areas. Most antibiotics attack all bacteria, both good and bad, minimizing the good bacteria found in the colon required for healthy digestion and adequate immune support.

The colloidal silver in Silver Shield benefits the immune system in similar ways antibiotics do. However, because Silver Shield is processed in the kidneys it is likely that it does not affect the population of beneficial bacteria in the colon—keeping the immune and digestive system strong and healthy.

Silver Shield has been tested for safety and effectiveness. It is non-toxic and does not contain any heavy metal contamination that many other colloidal silver supplements do. Nature’s Sunshine observes a strict quality control process to verify the atomic absorption of Silver Shield. As a result, the product delivers fine, particle-sized silver colloids with 99% bioavailability. Many other popular colloidal silver products were tested and deliver only 15-65% colloids with bioavailability.

Boost your immune system with colloidal silver. The quality of Nature’s Sunshine’s Silver Shield product surpasses the market standard for colloidal silver supplements. Give your body the strength it needs to combat the harmful bacteria and viruses we face every day.


Garlic—A Natural Way to Boost Your Immune System

November 19 2010 | Immune Health

Garlic

Garlic has been present in many cultures for thousands of years in more ways than just as a flavoring for a tasty pasta dish. Roman soldiers used to gobble down cloves of garlic before battle in hopes that its power would give them the heroic strength to conquer. Damsels in distress used to arm themselves with garlic to keep vampires away. We know that the Egyptians used garlic as a means of commerce with fifteen bulbs matching the price of a slave.

Aside from these more frivolous uses of garlic, there is one ancient use that still holds true today—garlic’s ability to strengthen the immune system. Sanskrit records show that garlic was used for medicinal purposes as far back as 3000 BCE. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, recommended garlic as a remedy for infections, digestive disorders and even cancer.
 
Until Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, garlic was a treatment for many illnesses. But Flemmings discovery brought on what some may call the antibiotic binge of the 20th century medical field, quickly pushing garlic to the ranks of the “poor man’s” medicine. However, as the public looks for more natural ways to boost the immune system, garlic is creeping back into the forefront of immune system strengtheners.

This member of the onion family contains three particular organosulfur compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent blood clots. Clinical studies show that they even strengthen our immune system’s cancer-fighting abilities.

From fighting off the common cold to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, you can’t go wrong with garlic. As garlic is known as the “stinky rose,” most are aware of the detrimental effects garlic breath can have on our social life. So you’ll be happy to hear that there are many ways to receive all of the health benefits garlic has to offer in more subtle ways—garlic supplements. Give your immune system the help it needs with an added boost of garlic strength. And don’t forget to check out our list of garlic supplements:

Capsicum & Garlic w/ Parsley (100 caps)
Garlic (100 caps)
Garlic Oil (60 softgel caps) 
Garlic, High Potency, SynerPro (60 tabs)


The Immune System – The Body’s Weapon Against Disease

November 15 2010 | Immune Health

Why Do We Get Sick?

Because the world lacked the understanding of the immune system, until Hippocrates, civilization believed the causes of illness were the results of angry gods, bad karma or even magic. Hippocrates turned away from these superstitious notions for answers moving us closer to identifying the immune system. He hypothesized people get sick because of an imbalance of bodily fluids such as blood and phlegm.

However, the enlightenment of the Renaissance brought more curious minds to attempt another scientific explanation of the causes of illness. Paracelsus, a Renaissance man known for his research regarding these causes, concluded that many factors play a part in making people feel “under the weather.”  He explained that the environment, poisoning, genealogical inheritance, emotions and a person’s spiritual state could all be factors making people sick, thus taking us strides closer to what we now know about the immune system.

Since Paracelsus’ time we’ve come a long way in understanding the cause of both infectious and non-infectious diseases. We know that infectious diseases are contagious as they are contracted from an external source. Non-infectious diseases can stem from genetics, lifestyle or even harmful chemicals and are not contagious. We also know much more about what the body needs to combat these illnesses. For example, we know that without a healthy immune system, our bodies can fall victim to every type of disease.


The immune system is made up of several components—both external and internal. Starting with the skin, nose, eyes and mouth, the body puts up a thick guard against outside invaders. Moving inside, the body is armed with anti-bacterial tears, mucus and saliva—all ready to kill outsiders.

Even with the body’s heavily armed defense system, we still seem to suffer the effects of disease. That’s because immune systems cannot fully function without our help. We need to make sure we get lots of rest, stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and most importantly, give our body all of the vitamins and minerals it needs—especially immune boosting vitamins. Next time you get sick, or better yet, before you get sick again, consider what you’re doing to help your immune system stay strong.


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