As much as we cherish the arrival of fall, with its kaleidoscope of colors and warm, oversized sweaters, we're all too familiar with its less enchanting side — the dreaded sniffly season. Yes, autumn might bring pumpkin-spiced everything and the coziness of oversized scarves, but it also ushers in a host of unwelcome visitors: the flu and an array of pesky viruses, all just waiting for an opportunity to put a damper on our autumnal revelry.
But worry not, beauties, for we have a secret weapon against these autumnal miseries — the immune system! It's our personal fortress, our trusty shield against the onslaught of sneezes and sniffles. And while immune boosters can be a year-round ally, there's no time like the present to fortify your defenses with some of our favorite weapons in the war against germs. So, grab your pumpkin spice latte, snuggle up, and let's dive into the exciting world of our personal favorites when it comes to immune-boosting superstars!
Astragalus: The Unsung Hero
First up, we have the unsung hero of the immune-boosting world: astragalus. This root, with a name that sounds straight out of a Harry Potter novel, has been a stalwart defender against illnesses in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Astragalus is like that trusty, well-worn scarf you can't bear to part with; it supports your immune system and keeps you cozy on chilly days.
Astragalus is believed to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which play a crucial role in fighting off infections and illnesses. It's also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, positively impacting overall health and aging. Finally, Astragalus is considered an adaptogen, which means it may help the body adapt to stress and restore balance, potentially reducing the harmful effects of stress on the body.
You can take capsules or tablets, but we prefer tinctures, which are liquid extracts of astragalus. They are easy to take by diluting a few drops in water or another beverage. This form allows for more precise dosage control, amazing preventative care and faster absorption.
Chlorophyll: Mother Nature’s Magic Elixir
While you may associate chlorophyll with photosynthesis, this green elixir is not just for plants. Packed with vitamins and minerals, chlorophyll does wonders to cleanse your body and boost your immune system. It's alkalizing, antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory effects. Jenette's favorite travel companion for years, this youthful elixir comes in raw liquid form or infused with peppermint, if you don't like the raw plant taste;) Jenette personally mixes it into 2 ounces of Aloe Vera and 2 ounces of unfiltered organic apple juice and can never taste the chlorophyll. Or it can be as easy as dropping into your morning smoothie!
Dandelion: The Humble Weed that Packs a Punch
Don't let the status of dandelions as common garden weeds fool you. These little wonders are a powerhouse of immune-boosting goodness. Rich in vitamins A and C, dandelion leaves can help you fight off those bothersome bugs and keep your health flourishing. Our favorite way to consume dandelion is in the form of tea, plain or with a touch of honey. Loose-leaf tea is always best and more potent. One of our favorite tea brands that acts as herbal skin care for our insides, is Tea for Tabitha!
Elderberry: The Berry with a Rich History
Elderberry, with its dark, mysterious allure, is like the James Bond of the immune-boosting world. It boasts a rich history of use in herbal remedies and, thanks to its flavonoid content, can help fend off cold and flu viruses with flair and sophistication. Whenever possible, we prefer all-natural remedies from the health-food shop to ward off flus and colds, but there's a product you can get at pretty much any drugstore that works wonders for respiratory illnesses: Sambucol Black Elderberry Original Syrup. Host Defense (see below) also offers their Elderberry Plus Syrup boasting mushroom mycelium to bolster the immune system, support respiratory wellness, and lung health.
Host Defense Mushrooms: Nature’s Fungus Among Us!
Mushrooms are more than just a pizza topping. Certain varieties like reishi, shiitake, and maitake can rev up your immune system instantly. Our favorite brand to get our shrooms is Host Defense Mushrooms. While all their certified organic, non-GMO project verified, vegan, and gluten-free products are great for the immune system, they offer an array of supplements specifically for immunity.
Among them are their Stamets 7 Extract, which features seven species to “support an engaged and balanced immune response,” and the MycoShield Citrus Spray. The latter is so easy to take. Just apply three pumps of spray into your mouth and swallow — twice per day. We love their entire line for products that improve nerve function and support mental clarity, memory, and focus. Brain fog, anyone?
Jenette and her family swear by any mushroom collab with Stamet and Host Defense, they have kept them all super healthy and vibrant over the years and these herbs are sure to never disappoint. If you have yet to watch the Fantastic World of Fungi, now is your time for some new documentary excitement!
Propolis: Nature’s Antibiotic
Propolis, also known as "bee glue," is like the bees' secret recipe for a healthy hive. This resinous substance is rich in antioxidants and has natural antibiotic properties. It's like having a tiny, efficient bodyguard protecting you from harm. Propolis has been used in traditional medicine for eons.
It is believed to have immunomodulatory effects, meaning it may help regulate and support the immune system, potentially enhancing the body's defense mechanisms against infections and diseases. Propolis lozenges are great for soothing throat irritation. Propolis has also been known to fight off viruses, including herpes on the face. Jenette recommends getting propolis internally and topically for 30 days to truly fight off any virus, cold sore or compromised immune system. If you can safely ingest honey, you can probably ingest propolis, but we always advise checking first with your healthcare provider if you're allergic to bees.
Olive Leaf Extract: Liquid Gold for Your Health
Olive oil isn't just for drizzling on salads; it's a Mediterranean treasure packed with heart-healthy goodness. The polyphenols in olive oil are like your personal army, ready to battle those nasty viruses. But today we are talking about Olive Leaf Extract. Derived from the olive plant, the extract has been used to treat infections and bolster immunity, especially when it comes to respiratory illnesses. You can ingest it as a capsule, tea, or tincture. We like the phyto-caps from Gaia Herbs. They work magic into your system quickly and efficiently.
Oil of Oregano: Nature’s Green Defender
Finally, we have oil of oregano. With its slightly spicy kick, it's like the fiery dragon guarding your castle. It's known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a worthy ally in your quest for a healthier immune system. Oil of Oregano is often taken in conjunction with olive leaf extract to help the body fight off infections. We like to take it in the form of capsules and purchase at any reputable health food market.
We also always recommend purchasing your herbs, tonics and elixirs in glass whenever possible. This gives them more protection, preventing any microplastics from seeping into your herbs, as well as making them more potent and lasting longer!
So, there you have it, our lineup of favorite immune boosters to help you triumph over the sniffly season. Embrace these natural allies, and you'll be sipping your pumpkin spice latte with the confidence that your immune system is as cozy as your favorite sweater.
If you are considering using these natural remedies for immune support or other health purposes, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide guidance on appropriate dosages and discuss potential interactions or side effects. Here's to a healthier, happier, and germ-free cold season!
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