Strengthening your immune system holistically is important during flu season. While herbs, nutrition, sleep and exercise are known to boost immunity, new research even shows the common cold jump starts the body’s antiviral defenses to keep the flu at bay, Yale News reports. A number of helpful herbs actively fight viral infections like flu and upper respiratory infections, and can be used to effectively promote overall health and longevity.
Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng)
There’s no one single pathway toward building a stronger immune system. A multi-pronged approach which prioritizes a rounded healthy lifestyle is key to strengthening immunity and fighting off viruses. In addition, herbs like eleuthero (also called Siberian ginseng) can give your immune system some extra support and help the body better manage stress during the flu season. In one study, factory workers took eleuthero twice daily; they experienced a 50% reduction in illness and a 40% drop in lost work days. Productivity also improved, with fewer mistakes recorded. Take one to three grams of eleuthero daily in either tea, tincture or powder form.
Astragalus is a powerful ancient herb traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to ward off colds and influenza. Primarily, astragalus increases immune function by stimulating white blood cell production. It specifically contains polysaccharides, which create strong immune cells, including T-cells, natural killer cells (or NK cells), and macrophages, which are large white blood cells that eliminate harmful viruses and cancerous cells. Additionally, astragalus stimulates immunoglobulin production to help the immune system fight infections and cancer. A typical dose consists of three to six grams daily in tea, powder or tincture form.
Goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis)
Goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis) root offers impressive immune-boosting benefits. It’s particularly effective at relieving sore throats, influenza, and upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. One of the main active compounds in goldenseal, berberine, has been found to possibly help prevent infections triggered by harmful viruses and bacteria, including the virus responsible for the common cold. Goldenseal root should only be consumed over short periods of time, and not long term. An average dose consists of four to six grams in tea, tincture, tablet or capsule form.
Herbs are an effective way to strengthen your immunity during the flu season. Astragalus, eleuthero and goldenseal are particularly powerful herbs that can keep you healthy and improve your overall wellbeing.
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