We’ve all heard the hype about preventative care during cold and flu season. But maybe you have a few questions: Should I take an ant-viral supplement, pro-biotics, or immune-boosting herbs? Can I really expect to see any benefit from taking this stuff? The answer is YES! There is real value in what we have been told!
But that isn’t just empty advice, I’ve actually experienced the benefits myself. My family and I take several herbs and supplements throughout the year. We take different combinations during cold and flu season, in the spring and fall for seasonal allergies, and even certain minerals during the dog days of summer to deter insect bites. Most of the time these herbal supplements work behind the scenes, going unnoticed because we take them before we begin to feel bad. But all the while they are protecting us.
Case in point: I recently had the opportunity to witness the power of these herbal supplements working in my own family. I took my twelve-year-old son to our physician thinking he had a sinus infection. He presented with all the classic symptoms: headache, pain around the eyes, mild nasal drainage, low-grade fever. When we arrived, the nurse explained that they were testing everyone for the flu as a precaution. I was shocked when he tested positive for Flu B! How is this possible, I thought, he doesn’t have any common symptoms and we don’t get a flu vaccine. Then it hit me, all the anti-viral herbs he takes were working their magic, strengthening his immune system so he could fight the virus on his own, thus lessening the severity of the symptoms commonly associated with the flu.
Common immune-boosting and anti-viral ingredients:
Most supplements found in whole food grocery stores and alternative health-food stores share some common ingredients. These include elderberry, cat’s claw, cranberry, dried ginger root, and lemon balm leaf. These can be taken as teas, infused oils, tinctures, and can also be found in oral compounds. Sourcing quality products is also important, so be sure you’re purchasing these items from a reputable source. While these ingredients are mostly commonplace, it is wise to seek the advice of an herbalist or physician to ensure the safety of these supplements, especially if you’re taking any prescription drugs or are pregnant or nursing.
While taking supplements to boost your immunity has proven effective, keep consuming a wide variety of fruits, colorful vegetables, healthy fats, and plenty of clean drinking water. Taking herbal supplements is not a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Be sure to get regular movement throughout the day, fresh air, and sunshine even on the days when it’s cold! Bundle up and get outside for 20 minutes to enjoy the beauty mother nature brings to us in every season.
And remember to live your nutritional value, one choice at a time!