I’m sure you’ve heard that Vitamin C is an important boost to your immune system when you’re sick but there are several lesser known supplements that can play a key role in speeding recovery from cold and flu and help you to avoid sickness altogether. Feeling under the weather and like you’ve tried everything with no luck? Here are some supplements you should consider.
Astragalus has been used for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine as an immune-booster and recent research shows its most beneficial effect is on antibody production. Using a tincture ensures that this powerful root’s benefits are getting into your system quickly and supporting your lungs, adrenals, immune, and digestive systems. Another reason to love Astragalus when you’re under the weather is that it provides a natural boost to your energy levels, helping you to get on with your day and off the couch.
Elderberries are helpful to cough, colic, sore throats, asthma, and flu. Lozenges with elderberry extract and zinc are a great way to help your body fight a cough and syrups help your body fight against cold and flu symptoms and may act as a line of defense to keep you from getting sick. A study in 2009 found that extracts of elderberry were able to block the H1N1 virus’ ability to infect host cells.
Cat’s Claw is a botanical from the Amazon and is a traditional tonic herb for immune support. Taking Cat’s Claw at the first signs of cold and flu will boost the immune system and reduce your chances of experiencing a severe illness. Keeping this herb on hand throughout cold and flu season is a great idea because it can guard your immune system when others around you are ill and can cut your sick time down.
Individuals with healthy levels of Vitamin D experience fewer respiratory tract infections and are able to fight off an illness more quickly than those who are deficient in it. Since as many as 3 out of 4 Americans have low levels of Vitamin D, especially in the winter months, supplementation is important to keep you healthy. Vitamin D3 is the form most readily accessible for use by the body.
North American ginseng (panax ginseng) has shown some promise in helping to prevent sickness when taken daily before the onset of cold and flu season. While studies on prevention of illness is specific to panax ginseng, all ginsengs boost your immune system because they are adaptogenic herbs; a special group of herbs for whole body health. (learn more about adaptogens)
Mushrooms are immunity boosters and while adding them to your diet is important during cold and flu season, there are also quality mushroom tablets to keep you well. Want to learn more about mushrooms keeping you healthy? We devoted an entire post to it!
This cold and flu season you can cut sick time down and even avoid becoming ill with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and a healthy immune system. Keep your Vitamin C levels high throughout the winter (not only when you’re sick) and be sure to check out our cold and flu section for more great products to keep you well.