These are unprecedented times that are leading many of us to check our cupboards to make sure we are stocked up on favorite herbal remedies and supplements that will support our immune systems during the coronavirus threat.
While many of us are spending more time at home, let’s put on a pot of bone broth to simmer. A nice hot mug of broth supports our immune system by providing our white blood cells with essential lipids like alkylglycerols (also found in colostrum and breastmilk) and important electrolyte minerals like potassium. Bone broth makes a great snack or light meal and can help us avoid poor food choices and sugary impulse items that can suppress immune function. You can supercharge your immune support broth by adding organic herbs like thyme, oregano, garlic and ginger. Use herbs from our bulk department that are organic and handled correctly for maximum potency.
If I could only stock two things in my vitamin cupboard they would be Vitamin C and Vitamin D. These vitamins are relatively inexpensive yet powerful in their influence on immunity. Vitamin C, since it is water soluble, can be taken multiple times a day at varying doses depending on your needs. Vitamin D is fat soluble and may be best taken with meals. It can also be stored up in our fat cells and released as needed into the bloodstream. We produce Vitamin D naturally in the summer months when the sun shines on our skin. It is thought that one of the reasons we have a cold and flu season is because our collective vitamin D levels drop to unhealthy levels during the darker days of winter. Whenever the sun comes out this spring, we should get out and work in our gardens, walk our dogs, or simply take walks and enjoy the return of sunny days. Remember social distancing—you won’t be the only one out enjoying the sun!
My next lines of defense in the supplement cupboard are the herbal immune support and medicinal mushroom formulas. Gaia Herbs makes a supercritical Echinacea extract combined with elderberry and andrographis called Rapid Relief that I like to use at the very first sign of cold or flu symptoms. LifeSource’s Cold Facts with vitamin D, zinc, garlic and astragalus is another great formula. If you feel like it is the achy, fevery, chilly flu creeping up, it is good to have Boiron’s Oscillococcinum on hand. The little homeopathic pills dissolve in your mouth and are nice when your stomach is not sure it can even keep water down. For ongoing support I like the Host Defense Stamets 7 Daily Immune Support capsules. It combines seven of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms into a two capsule a day formula. In my purse I keep the Host Defense MycoShield Cinnamon Immune Support Spray. It tastes great and gives a burst of mushroom power whenever you feel your immune system needs a little help-and it freshens your breath at the same time! Check for fresh medicinal mushrooms in our produce department and add them to your simmering broth to take advantage of their medicinal and flavor virtues.
If there is still more room in the cupboard I would suggest stocking some N-Acetyl Cysteine, also called NAC. Many people use this amino acid in the spring for mucus issues due to allergies. NAC is utilized in our bodies in the production of glutathione, which is essential for immune system function. Our glutathione levels tend to decrease as we age and supplementing with NAC may help us optimize our levels when we need it most. It also has beneficial side effects like supporting liver health and protecting cells from oxidative stress.
We may have reached capacity in the vitamin cupboard but I would like to suggest two tools for the bathroom cabinet: Xlear Nasal Spray and Source Naturals Colloidal Silver Nasal or Throat Spray. Many cold and flu bugs make headway into our systems through our sinuses and throats. If you are a chronic spring sniffler try the Xlear Nasal Spray made with xylitol. The xylitol is soothing and moistening to the sinuses while at the same time interfering with the ability of the invading bacteria or virus to adhere to the surfaces of our mucous membranes and invade. It is safe to use daily for adults and children. The Colloidal Silver Throat or Nasal Sprays I reserve for those times when I need powerful support. They are for short term use only, no more than 10 days in a row. Silver was widely used before modern antibiotics were discovered and is now being rediscovered as more and more bacteria become antibiotic resistant.
Visit or call us in the Wellness Department and we can help you choose the best tools to stock in your own immune wellness cupboard.