As the weather changes and the days get shorter, we spend much more time inside which is the perfect vessel for spreading germs. Sugar rush from Halloween candy and the increase of alcohol and richer foods as we approach the holidays are other biggies that can quickly dampen our immune system. And lets not forget increased stress because as stress and thus cortisol goes up, it has an inverse relationship with your immune system.
How can we protect ourselves and prevent that pesky cold or flu? We know the sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose and aches and pains can definitely put a damper on your holidays so below are are some easy things you can do now, as well as things you can have on hand if you do get sick.
In past newsletters we discussed various herbs such as andriographis, mushrooms, astragalus and echinacea.
These are wonderful herbs to help boost the immune system and help your immune system fight an infection… BUT now there is more…
With our integrative and detailed blood testing, we are finding more and more autoimmune conditions in our patients. Many people have an autoimmune disorder without yet having major symptoms and thus they often go undiscovered until a lot later. By finding autoimmune conditions early, we can help balance the immune system and prevent further problems.
How does this relate to the immune herbs? The reason is that when there is an autoimmune condition, the immune system is “confused” and instead of going after infections, it actually starts attacking your own organs and tissues. This is not a good thing as you can imagine. Knowing this is very important when it comes to immune support because if your immune system is already “over” active and attacking your own tissues, raising it further to fight an infection, while it may be helpful for that infection, would also cause more of an attack on your own tissues, not good!
Many herbs that are known to “boost” the immune system such as echinacia, astragalus and most mushrooms will do just that and thus should be avoided in autoimmune conditions. The good news is that there are still very powerful and effective nutrients that we can all use to help prevent and fight infections that will not cause your immune system to over react. My two absolute favorites are Vitamin C and Silvercillin. Having an autoimmune myself, I learned this the hard way and now heavily rely on these with great success.
Vitamin C helps support the immune system without up-regulating it and fights infections by its ability to actually encapsulate viruses. The body needs adequate amounts of vitamin C for immunity but also bone maintenance, collagen formation, and a broad range of other biological functions. Ascorbic acid levels decline with age. Other factors that reduce vitamin C levels include constant stress (vitamin C helps support healthy adrenal function), smoking, illness, injury, birth control pills, estrogen for menopause, cortisone, and aspirin. Many nutritionists argue the body’s need for vitamin C far surpasses the paltry RDA recommendations. Dr. Linus Pauling, who pioneered extensive research on vitamin C, believed optimal amounts exceed 2,000 mg daily.
We love DFH’s C + BioFizz as it offers 2,500mg of vitamin C in the combined form of ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbate. Mineral ascorbates, which are buffered and therefore less acidic, can be beneficial for people who experience gastrointestinal problems (abdominal pain or diarrhea) with plain ascorbic acid.
During this time of year, its recommended to get 2000mg – 3000mg of vitamin C per day. If you feel sick, you can take 500mg – 1000mg every few hours for several days to help fight the infection quicker and get better faster.
Silversillin is our other favorite because it is an incredibly powerful, non-toxic form of silver, with zero build-up in the body. Silvercillin has been shown to provide a whole host of health benefits, from killing drug-resistant bacterial strains to inhibiting viral replication as well as stimulating stem cell production. By eradicating all types of infections, it actually helps to take the burden off your immune system which can even indirectly help autoimmune conditions.
These 2 are must-haves for every household as they super effective and completely safe for both children and adults. They can even be used in pregnancy when no herbals is allowed.