Hand sanitizers are everywhere. Hotels pleasantly await your arrival with a sign- in right next to the hand sanitizer. Church goers offer peace without a handshake and grocery stores present handy sanitizer wipes before entering their doors. Yes, it is important to get those antibacterial gels ready for a winter season, but also important is what we put into our bodies to keep the immune system strong. Are we losing the war on infectious diseases? Is a shot the only way to fight infection or a virus? There are several alternative remedies to fight infections and viruses but first it is crucial to know how to support our immune system with a few supplements along with a healthy diet.
The elderberry plant has been used for centuries by Native Americans to stave off infections. The elderberry has vitamins A, B and C and combats inflammation and free radicals. It cleanses the system and builds blood cells. It will lower a fever and soothe the respiratory tract. The extract also gets the blood circulating. Bioflavonoids contained in the berry inhibit viral growth. The elderberry can be made into a tea but usually can be found as an extract or syrup. The syrups are wonderful because they sometimes contain a little added vitamin C plus Echinacea, an herb that is very effective as an immune stimulant.
Epicor is a revolutionary dietary supplement that can be taken during the cold and flu season as a preventative and it is quite effective at balancing and strengthening immunity in the body. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help keep the body on high alert for bad bacteria and viruses. It is relatively a newcomer among natural remedies on the market. According to research documented by the University of Michigan Preventive and Alternative Medicine Department, a 12 week trial found that participants had fewer symptoms and less duration of colds and flu than those taking a placebo. It is a yeast fermented immunogen that scavenges dangerous free radicals in the body. Epicor is in its own category of natural supplements and can be found through Naturopaths and other health practitioners.
Olive leaves can be taken in an extract or capsule and have been used for centuries to treat infections, fever, colds and flu. The active ingredient, oleuropein, has been known to stifle common viruses and kill bacteria. Not only does the olive leaf bring down inflammation, it also is an immune booster.
Alternative remedies are available. It is important to educate ourselves to know and understand our options when it comes to health.
Balch, James, M.D., Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Penguin,2000.
Saputo, Len, Boosting Immunity; New World Library, 2002
Mindell, Earl, R.Ph., Ph.D, Prescriptive Alternatives; McGraw-Hill, 2009