BUILDING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH FOOD & HERBS AS MEDICINE – A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE.

Take A Daily Dose Of Immune Bolstering Herbal Tonic – During times of stress, poor eating, and poor lifestyle habits, an extra boost may be necessary to support the immune system and keep bugs at bay. We can create this for you – if you are an existing patient we can prescribe a herbal tonic for your specific needs or prescribe a practitioner-only herbal supplement.

  • Olive leaf – Traditionally used for its antioxidant properties can help protect the body from the continuous activity of free radical damage caused by pollution, poor diets, stress and exposure to toxins and benefits the immune system.
  • Astragalus root – An immunomodulator, tonic, adrenal support, antioxidant. Indicated for chronic infections and fatigue.
  • Echinacea root – A herb we immediately associate with the common cold, and rightly so. In Germany (where herbs are regulated by the government), the above-ground parts of Echinacea purpurea are approved to treat colds, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and slow healing wounds. The root of the Echinacea pallida plant is also approved for the treatment of flu-like infections.
  • Cat’s Claw – Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory indicated for chronic infection, fatigue and inflammation.
  • Medicinal Mushrooms: Coriolis, Shitake, Reishi, to name a few can optimise your immune system.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO BUILD A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Replenish With Seasonal Produce – Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables means choosing produce at its peak availability, nutrition, and flavour. Serve with every meal as a salad, baked, stir-fried, steamed, sautéed, in a soup or broth, stew, juice or smoothie or eat whole, as is. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other special nutrients necessary for a healthy immune system. A change in season brings a change in weather and temperature and this should dictate our food choices, cuisines, and style of cooking. Warm-up with soups, casseroles and slow-cooked foods in autumn and winter.

Use Fresh As Well As Dried, Warming Herbs & Spices – To naturally enhance your food & fluids. Everyday ingredients such as garlic, thyme, ginger, turmeric, mint, sage, cinnamon, and chili are used in traditional herbal medicine to bolster immunity as well as speed the recovery of a common cold. Add a handful of fresh herbs to each meal just before serving e.g. Freshly chopped parsley and mint over roast lamb. Fresh garlic and ginger can be cooked as a base with onions for many dishes or simply grate fresh into yoghurt and serve as an accompaniment with meals. Turmeric, chili, and cinnamon add a deliciously spicy flavour and heat to curries, casseroles, and stews. Herbs & spices, whether fresh or dried make flavoursome salad and vegetable dressings. Simply whisk into olive oil and lemon juice to make a delicious and immune-enhancing emulsion.

Bone Stocks & Broths – With whole chickens or beef, lamb or fish bones and consume 1-3 cups daily before each meal. Bones broths are traditionally used in every culture to heal, restore and repair. Add sea salt and a splash of good quality organic apple cider vinegar to help extract further minerals from the bones. Make sure your bones are sourced from healthy, pastured animals. Buy your healthy bone stock from good suppliers – additive and refined salt-free. Contact us for our favourite suppliers.

Pate – A daily dose of 2-3 large tablespoons with celery or carrot sticks or stirred into broth. Eat organic (clean) chicken liver pate – homemade of course to replenish with rich iron, B & fat-soluble vitamins.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Make into a salad or steamed vegetable dressing – lemon juice, olive oil,  coconut oil, lime juice, chilli, ginger root, turmeric root and galangal.

Natural Salt – Contains HCL for digestion & a source of minerals  – add a sprinkle to drinking water.

Shitake Mushrooms – This potent little mushroom supports gut immunity, has anti-microbial properties and reduces inflammation. Choose certified organic to ensure quality. Add to bone stock broths with ginger, garlic and greens for a potent immune boosting soup.

Natural Probiotics – Found in cultured or lacto fermented foods and drinks. The process of fermenting allows the lactobacilli and other bacteria and vegetable enzymes to proliferate creating even more nutrient-dense food, full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes that support gut immunity and overall general health. Choose high quality, naturally fermented types without additives. These include kim chi, sauerkraut, miso soup made from fermented miso paste, apple cider vinegar, beet kvass, kombucha, yoghurt, and kefir. Dose: 2-3 tablespoons per day with meals. We can also prescribe you a practitioner only immune-boosting probiotic.

Wildcrafted Gubinge (Kakadu Plum) Powder – From the Kimberleys in Western Australia is a natural source of Vitamin C (13%). Harvested by the Nyul Nyul people, all profits from this product are sent to them (it supports both physical and community health!). Vitamin C is often touted as a panacea for every ailment, however, the scientific evidence remains conflicting for the common cold. It is certainly involved in the immune process and its historical use during times of infection gives us clues as to its importance. We create Rejuvenate C which also contains other Vitamin C rich powders, naturally.

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil  – A rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, and K2 and other healthy and essential fats for growth, proper utilisation of minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and normal development of the brain and the nervous and reproductive systems, musculoskeletal and immune system health. Dose: as directed on bottle. This is medicine in a jar. We can prescribe this for you.

Coconut Oil – Contains lauric acid which converts into monolaurin, an antimicrobial substance that is able to fight bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and other pathogens. Lauric acid is also found in breast milk. Add coconut oil to smoothies, yoghurt, salad dressing or use as a cooking oil instead of processed vegetable oils. Avoid refined varieties (which are without aroma) and those made with palm oil. Choose cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. Dose: 2 tablespoons per day.

Pastured Fats – Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), omega 3, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 and other healthy fats are found in grass-fed or pastured beef, lamb and chicken. These healthy fats enhance the immune system. Minimal amounts are found in grain-fed industrialized farmed animals. Simply choose healthy animals, raised as nature intended – pastured. Enjoy pastured beef, lamb and chicken meat, bone stocks, chicken eggs, and cow’s dairy. They also happen to offer complete protein.

A Daily Self-Care Practice For The Mind And Body – Make the time to implement the essential elements to create health and prevent disease: bathe in sunlight, hydrate well, move your body, source and create healthy whole foods, connect with loved ones, early to bed and early to rise.

Stress Less (or manage it better) – Stress has a direct, negative effect on the immune system. It creates chronic inflammatory conditions caused by infections and it can lower immunity, generally. One-way stress reduces immunity is by suppressing lymphocytes. Chronic stress results in high levels of cortisol. Cortisol lowers the number of lymphocytes, leaving the body at risk of infection. A daily meditation and self-care practice will keep your cortisol balanced and thereby keeping your immune system strong.

IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, BREASTFEEDING OR ON ANY MEDICATION OR SUPPLEMENTS, PLEASE SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL PRIOR TO CONSIDERING THIS ARTICLE.