Featured in: Health  |  March 25, 2020

Immune Chart

Everyone’s looking for ways to maintain a healthy immune system nowadays, and there are a lot of strange ideas popping up on social media. What you need, however, is solid information.

In a world full of microbial bad guys, it’s good to know there’s a good guy in your corner: your immune system. This set of interrelated cells and substances rush to the scene when there’s trouble brewing, bringing the fight to whatever might want to attack your body.

While nothing can guarantee that you will stay healthy, you can keep attackers at bay by eating right, exercising consistently, getting enough sleep and finding a stress relief method that works for you. In addition, the following natural remedies may provide a boost to your immune system.

 

Herb

What It Is

What It Does

Andrographis

Andrographis paniculata, native to eastern and southern Asia, has been used for respiratory and immune system support throughout the world

Long used by traditional Indian and Chinese healers to treat fever and sore throat; modern research has found it to have anti-infective properties

Arabinogalactans

A type of fiber found in plants and fungi; one source used in supplements is the Western larch (Larix occidentalis)

Helps stimulate immune-system components, especially natural killer (NK) cells; has reduced incidence of colds and boosted vaccine response in studies; may help reduce ear infections in children

Astragalus

Astragalus membranaceus, also known as milk vetch root; long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditionally used for frequent colds, shortness of breath and fatigue; has been shown to heighten the activity of immune cells in a “resting” state in addition to encouraging immune cell proliferation

Echinacea

Also known as purple coneflower, often grown in gardens; several Echinacea species have shown medicinal qualities

Used as an antimicrobial by 19th-century Eclectic practitioners; analyses of clinical data support echinacea’s use in the treatment and prevention of upper respiratory infections

Garlic

Allium sativum L., used in cultures around the world as a culinary and medicinal herb

Extracts have demonstrated antimicrobial and immune-stimulant properties; also found to support overall well-being, including cardiovascular health

Green Tea

Camellia sinensis, native to southern and eastern Asia; source of all beverages labeled “tea,” including green tea; its strong antioxidant activity has been used to promote inflammation control

Long valued by Chinese healers for its many medicinal properties; EGCG, tea’s main component, has been found to fight bacteria, fungi and viruses; also available in extract form

Maitake

Grifola frondosa, a large, edible mushroom also known as “hen of the woods” for its ruffled appearance; has been long prized for its healing properties

Appears to stimulate a wide variety of immune-system components, among them macrophages, cells that engulf and digest microbes, and NK cells; has shown anti-cancer effects

Olive Leaf

From the same tree, Olea europaea, that produces table olives; native to the Mediterranean area, it is so well known for healing properties that it has taken on religious significance

Traditionally used to ease fevers; contains oleuropein, which fights bacteria and viruses; acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; has also been found to lower glucose and blood pressure levels

Shiitake

Lentinus edodes, an edible mushroom native to the Far East and now cultivated commercially

Contains amino acids and B vitamins; helps stimulate the development of immune system cells; also helps to lower cholesterol levels and fight tumors

Vitamin A

Fat-soluble nutrient in animal products such as eggs and dairy; precursors in produce such as carrots and pumpkins

Initially called “the anti-infective vitamin” because of its importance to immune function; also crucial to proper eyesight, gene regulation and fetal development

Vitamin C

A water-soluble nutrient also known as ascorbic acid; found in a variety of produce including citrus fruit and tomatoes

Stimulates a number of immune cells and helps protect them from free-radical damage; also an essential cofactor in numerous enzymatic reactions within the body

Zinc

A nutritionally essential mineral found in shellfish, beef and other red meats in addition to legumes and nuts

Required for proper development of immunity factors called T cells; even mild deficiency has been linked to impaired immune function; also vital for neurological and reproductive health

 

NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for help in designing a supplementation program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

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