Immune boosters work in many ways. They increase the number of white cells in the immune system’s army, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better battle plan. Hmmm that sounds very combative when really the key is prevention! Here are some top herbal/supplemental boosters to prevent colds and flus this season:
1) Wild Oregano: this is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antifungal – broad-spectrum killer. It tastes terrible in a liquid form but if you get it encapsulated in green pearls it is easy to swallow – we love this herb!
2) Vitamin C/Camu Camu: This tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Doses that are effective for most healthy adults are 1000 – 3000 mg daily.
3) Vitamin D: If you have adequate blood levels it is possible to prevent any and all infections. D stimulates the production of proteins that act like natural antibiotics. Deficiency of vitamin D encourages infections, inflammation and immune system suppression.
4) Zinc: This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells and increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells. A word of caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 mg a day) can inhibit immune function. It’s safest for zinc to be 15 to 30 mg a day.
5) Probiotics: work by keeping the good bacteria well populated in your intestines. Probiotics are found in foods like yogurt, buttermilk or kefir. They not only help boost immunity but aid in optimal digestion.
6) Elderberry: extracts or syrups have been clinically proven to help people get over colds and influenza at a much faster rate.
7) Medicinal Mushrooms: Shitake mushroom is full of iron, vitamin C, protein, selenium, vitamin B3 and a great anti-viral, anti-bacterial that fights the problem at its source. The active compound responsible for this action is called lentinan. Medicinal mushrooms increase levels of interferon, the antibody that a coat cell surfaces, and prevents the entry of viruses.