- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Fight Cold & Flu Season Naturally
Mother Nature's Medicine Cabinet
Cold and flu season is upon us and those of us with kids, or who teach young children know exactly how easy it is to end up getting hit by viruses all winter long. Thankfully, there are several extremely effective, all natural ways to boost your immune system making it much more difficult for viruses and bacteria to wreak havoc on your health.
Allicin from Garlic
One of the most potent antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, all-natural antibiotics found in nature is garlic. Garlic contains allicin which is a naturally ocurring compound that protects the actual garlic bulb from pests. When consumed, allicin protects our immune system from the kind of "pests" that can make us sick...like viruses and bacteria. It's important to note that garlic can quickly lose the healing properties of allicin when cooked, crushed, or left out for too long. Therefore, while adding garlic to your diet has its own great health benefits, finding a high quality supplement that contains allicin, like Alli-Ultra, is the most effective way to maintain your health.
Oil of Oregano
Another wonder cure from nature is Oil of Oregano. Hailed for centuries as an amazing curative, the oil distilled from the leaves and flowers of the oregano plant holds naturally occurring antibiotic properties. One of the most effective compounds of oregano oil is carvacrol which has been clinically shown to help destroy the outer cell membrane of bacteria which then allows your immune system to fight off the bug more effectively. Oil of Oregano has also been shown to be very effective in helping your body fight stomach bugs and parasites. At the first sign of a cold or stomach upset, take a few drops, or a capsule of Oil of Oregano twice a day.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract is another fantastic, natural immune booster. It's been lauded as being one of nature's most powerful antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic supplements. Extracted from grapefruit seeds, this organic liquid contains some of the highest levels of bioflavonoids and antioxidants found in nature. It also contains hesperidin which aids in stimulating and boosting immune function. High levels of Vitamin C, tocopherols, sterols, and trace minerals make Grapefruit Seed Extract a virtual cornucopia of wellness. Taking a few drops a day at the start of cold & flu season will help your body win the war over the sniffles!
Long used in Europe for maintaining optimal health and by Native Americans to treat and cure respiratory illnesses, elderberry extract, also known as sambucus, is a fantastic tonic for preventing colds and flu. Chock full of Vitamins A, B, C, bioflavonoids, amino acids, carotenoids and quercetin, elderberry syrup acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and powerhouse anti-viral supplement. As an added plus, the syrup tastes has a delicious tart and sweet taste, making it the perfect health boosting tonic for even the pickiest of patients!
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive Leaf Extract works hard to keep your immune system ready to take on any viruses or bacteria that may come its way with its high levels of oleuropein. Oleuropein is a powerhouse polyphenol that has disease fighting and anti-inflammatory properties which effectively bolster your immune system. High levels of antioxidants found in the extract also aid your body in defending itself from oxidative stress and free radical damage. The fact that Olive Leaf Extract works great as both a preventative and as a curative supplement makes it the perfect addition to your holistic medicine cabinet.
Since our immune system is largely based in our gut, probiotics are essential for good health and a bulletproof immune system. Probiotics help maintain optimal levels of intestinal flora which allows your immune system to work effectively. Basically, the good bacteria in your gut pushes out the bad bacteria which in turn keeps you healthier and less prone to infection. A good probiotic supplement, found in the refrigerated section of your local health food store, is the best way to ensure that you are getting the most active and beneficial strains. If you prefer to get your probiotics from food, some great alternatives to probiotics in capsule form are kombucha tea and organic kefir. Commercially prepared yogurt and yogurt drinks normally don't contain high enough levels of probiotics to make a difference in how your body fends off pathogens.
Healthy Supplements for a Healthy You!
These are all wonderful, effective, all-natural supplements for maintaining optimal health even during the most germ laden time of the year. Incorporated into a healthy lifestyle that consists of good sleep, exercise, plenty of hydration, and a wholesome diet low in processed foods and sugars, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well your immune system is able to win the battle against cold and flu season year after year!
As with any new supplement, make sure to ask your health care practitioner if these immune boosters could contraindicate with any medications you may currently be taking, if you have known allergies, or if you are pregnant or lactating.