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Strengthening the Immune System: Protecting Colds, Flu and Allergy symptoms at Bay – Plant-Primarily based Weight loss program – Recipes & Weight Loss Dietary supplements

By Susan Smith Jones, PhD

Well being comes from the farm, not the pharmacy, as my grandmother, Fritzie, used to inform me. The nearer we dwell to nature, and make the most of her treasure-trove of pure cures, the simpler it will likely be to heal the physique and preserve wellness.

That is the time of yr when a number of individuals expertise a chilly or the flu, or different diseases so prevalent nowadays or have much more issues about Covid-19 and the variants. On this article, I’ll deal with a few of my favourite pure cures to maintain your immune system functioning effectively in order that your physique can heal itself and hold you within the pink. I’ll counsel some herbs and a vitamin to assist help and strengthen the immune system and that can assist you take care of colds, flu and allergy symptoms. In my books Wired for Excessive-Stage Wellness and The Healing Kitchen & Life-style, you will see many extra pure cures for all the household for no matter ails you.

The immune system is our first line of protection in sustaining optimum well being. It’s a complicated system of physiologic obstacles such because the pores and skin and mucosal membranes and related immune cells. Its job is to establish and destroy invading pathogens, together with viruses and micro organism. The immune system additionally inhibits toxins that may injury cells, together with environmental pollution and free radicals. Moreover, it will possibly acknowledge rogue cells which have change into malignant and get rid of them earlier than a severe situation happens.

When the immune system is weakened, equivalent to by stress, insufficient sleep, poor weight-reduction plan, or consumption of medication and alcohol, the physique is extra vulnerable to colds, flu, and different infections. A depressed immune system could play a task within the improvement of most cancers, as irregular cell progress goes unchecked. Years of power low-level irritation, an indicator of an out-of-balance immune system, can contribute to illnesses equivalent to heart problems. Then again, an overactive immune system also can trigger issues; in autoimmune illnesses equivalent to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, the physique errors wholesome tissues for poisonous brokers. Allergic reactions, too, happen when the immune system overreacts to a usually innocent invader equivalent to mud.

SIDEBAR: Immune Depressors

The next are identified to depress the immune system1:

  • Stress
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Sugar consumption
  • Publicity to allergens (meals and environmental)
  • Poisonous buildup (not sufficient cleaning by way of bowels, lungs, and kidneys)
  • Trans fat consumption
  • Espresso consumption (an excessive amount of in a day)
  • Tobacco smoking

Varied herbs can present each direct and oblique help to the immune system. Some herbs could stimulate the manufacturing of immune cells — together with white blood cells, macrophages, and phagocytes — which combat viral and bacterial invaders. Different herbs could present help to main organs just like the liver and kidneys, which get rid of toxins from the physique. The next are herbs generally used to strengthen the immune system.


Astragalus root, also referred to as “huang qi” or milk vetch root, has been utilized in conventional Chinese language and East Indian medication for 1000’s of years to strengthen and rejuvenate the physique. Ongoing analysis has demonstrated each its immune-stimulating and anti-cancer properties. Astragalus seems to fortify the immune system by rising the variety of immune cells within the physique. It stimulates the infection-fighting exercise of macrophages and the manufacturing of interferon, a mobile protein that fights off invading organisms. Consequently, it will possibly enhance your immunity towards colds and flu in addition to bacterial and fungal infections. Most cancers sufferers could discover explicit advantages; research counsel that the foundation can stimulate the immune programs of people with most cancers, inhibit the expansion of tumors, and reduce the unintended effects of chemotherapy and radiation.3,4


Also called purple coneflower, echinacea was utilized by Native Individuals for hundreds of years. Research present that when taken on the first signal of viral sickness, echinacea can cut back the size and severity of infections together with colds and flu.5 Like astragalus, it seems to work by rising the variety of immune cells within the physique and stimulating manufacturing of interferon. It could additionally stimulate phagocytosis, a operate of the immune system by which immune cells engulf and destroy invaders equivalent to viruses and micro organism.6 On the similar time, echinacea can inhibit manufacturing of a bacterial enzyme referred to as hyaluronidase, which spreads infecting micro organism all through the physique.


The pungent bulb used to taste all kinds of dishes the world over can be a strong an infection fighter. It has antimicrobial properties, making it a potent defender towards typhoid, dysentery, and streptococcus micro organism, in addition to an antidote to colds and flu. Ajoene, an organosulfur compound present in garlic, has been proven to shrink the tumors of pores and skin most cancers sufferers.7

Oregano Oil

This excessive efficiency air purifier supplies glorious help for the immune system. Oil of Oregano is extracted from wild oregano crops, and two key compounds it possesses are carvacrol and thymol. Research have proven that each of those compounds have important impact on dangerous microorganisms that trigger sickness. It’s acknowledged to be a potent antiviral and bacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that may cut back ache and irritation and efficient combat off infections.

Pau d’Arco Bark

Pau d’Arco is a pure herb from the interior bark of the Tabebuia Avelanedae or Tabebuia Impetiginosa, also referred to as taheebo or ipe roxo. This South American tonic is a supply of over 20 useful phytocompounds, together with many immune supporting vitamins. It’s used worldwide as a supportive herb in most cancers remedy applications to assist reduce the unintended effects of chemotherapy and to fortify total immune defenses. Pau d’Arco is at the moment being researched for its doable anti-tumor properties.

Milk Thistle Seed

Milk thistle is a pure liver protectant and antioxidant that helps the immune system. Silymarin, a element of milk thistle, helps shield the liver from the results of alcohol and different toxins present in meals. It additionally promotes enzyme manufacturing to interrupt down and get rid of these toxins.

Vitamin C

The physique’s immune and detoxing programs make particular use of vitamin C. It is necessary within the operate of a wide range of mechanisms to assist shield the physique from an infection, together with the manufacture of white blood cells, complement proteins, and interferons. When the physique is uncovered to toxins, vitamin C is commonly required for the physique to start processing the toxins for elimination. Weak immune operate, together with susceptibility to colds and different infections, will also be a telltale signal of vitamin C deficiency. Because the lining of our respiratory tract is closely depending on vitamin C for defense, respiratory an infection and different lung-related situations will also be symptomatic of vitamin C deficiency.8

Colds, Flu & Allergy symptoms

Fortifying one’s immune system is the perfect protection towards colds, flu, and allergy symptoms. An immune system weakened by stress, fatigue, air air pollution, and different toxins is extra susceptible to respiratory infections (together with Covid-19 and the variants) and allergy symptoms. Nonetheless, when such irritations do strike, sure herbs can go a great distance towards relieving the signs.

The Widespread Chilly

The widespread chilly, as its identify suggests, is the most typical of all human illnesses. It impacts adults a median of 2-4 instances per yr and school-aged kids as many as 12 instances per yr. A chilly is a viral an infection of the higher respiratory system leading to sneezing, sniffling, congestion, runny nostril, sore throat, coughing, headache, and fatigue. Most colds are brought on by publicity to one in every of roughly 200 strains of a virus (normally the rhinovirus) adopted by an incubation interval of 1-3 days. As much as 50% of individuals uncovered to a chilly virus will change into contaminated, and roughly 75% of these will expertise signs.

Sadly, there isn’t any remedy for the widespread chilly. Despite the fact that antibiotics haven’t any impact on viral diseases, roughly one in three chilly sufferers erroneously obtain prescriptions for antibiotics. These remedies will not be solely pointless, however also can lead the physique to develop a resistance to them from improper use. Consuming loads of fluids, getting correct relaxation, and soothing signs with the herbs mentioned under are the perfect methods to search out consolation and hasten therapeutic.

SIDEBAR: Tricks to Keep away from Getting a Chilly (supply: FDA)9

  • Wash your arms usually. You’ll be able to choose up chilly germs simply, even when shaking somebody’s hand or touching doorknobs or handrails.
  • Keep away from individuals with colds when doable.
  • Sneeze or cough right into a tissue after which throw the tissue away.
  • Clear surfaces you contact with a germ-killing disinfectant.
  • Don’t contact your nostril, eyes, or mouth. Germs can enter your physique simply by these paths.

The Flu (Influenza)

Whereas signs of the widespread chilly could also be uncomfortable, flu signs are far more extreme. Indicators of the flu embody sudden onset with a headache, dry cough, and chills with muscle aches within the backs and the legs. Fever of as much as 104 levels Fahrenheit is widespread. The fever usually begins to subside on the second or third day, after which respiratory signs equivalent to nasal congestion and sore throat seem. Fatigue and weak point could proceed for days and even weeks. In keeping with the FDA, flu usually impacts 20-50% of the U.S. inhabitants every winter.10 It’s extremely contagious, spreading by way of direct person-to-person contact. Like colds, the flu is a viral an infection, rendering antibiotics ineffective as a remedy. Mattress relaxation, enough fluids, and soothing herbs are the perfect methods to assist your physique combat the virus.

Allergy symptoms

The commonest of allergy symptoms, hay fever — which impacts 20% of Individuals — produces signs fairly just like these skilled by chilly and flu victims. The congestion, sneezing, and coughing of hay fever is brought on by histamine, which is launched when the immune system overreacts to pollen. Different irritants together with mud, animal dander, and meals merchandise can induce related signs. Although typical allergy medicine (antihistamines) successfully relieve these signs, they’ve a powerful drying impact that may do injury to delicate tissues and mucous membranes. Moreover, such medicine could have undesirable unintended effects together with drowsiness and coronary heart palpitations. Most of the similar herbs that relieve chilly and flu signs additionally quell the discomfort of allergy symptoms, soothing irritated membranes and enhancing the physique’s total immunity to allergy symptoms.

Ginger Root

Ginger’s lengthy checklist of therapeutic functions has been recorded in early Sanskrit and Chinese language texts in addition to historic Greek, Roman, and Arabic medical literature. The warming sensation of ginger is a boon for staving off colds and flu. Ginger induces wholesome sweating, which reduces fevers and detoxifies the physique. It’s also soothing for respiratory illnesses.


Horehound’s historic use for respiratory well being dates again to the time of historic Egypt. It has been used for 1000’s of years in old school natural preparations to appease the throat and respiratory system, in addition to to help wholesome respiratory. Presently, it stays an vital ingredient both by itself or together with different herbs to advertise wholesome lung and bronchial operate.


Boneset was historically utilized by Native Individuals and early settlers to help the physique’s pure defenses and deal with colds, fevers, and physique aches. In the present day, many proceed to worth it for immune system help and higher respiratory operate. It’s thought-about to be an efficient fever breaker and an analgesic for flu-associated joint and muscle ache. It’s also thought to take care of white blood cell operate, an important a part of the physique’s protection mechanism.


This kitchen spice that imparts an intense, woodsy taste to meals additionally soothes flu signs. It’s thought to stimulate the adrenal glands and is useful for these recovering from power sickness. Utilized as a lotion or added to bathtub water as an oil, it’s glorious for relieving stiffness in addition to muscular aches and pains.


This herb was extensively utilized by Native Individuals, who found its capability to dry up nasal and chest congestion. Its pure alkaloids are answerable for its impact on overactive mucous membranes and its help of immune system operate by rising white blood cell exercise. Goldenseal has confirmed antibacterial properties, making it efficient for bacterial ear, throat, and sinus infections.

Myrrh Gum

Myrrh has been prized in lots of cultures for properly over 3,000 years. It is a useful support for immune system help and supplies a soothing, highly effective impact on the mucous membranes of the sinuses, throat and respiratory tract. Myrrh gum is a major ingredient in lots of conventional Center Jap, Chinese language, and Tibetan formulation, in addition to in numerous pure oral well being merchandise and skincare salves. It’s particularly efficient when blended along with goldenseal root.

Mullein Leaves

The mushy, velvety leaves of the mullein plant present soothing help to all the respiratory system. Mullein has demulcent properties, so it coats and protects each the throat and respiratory passages. This pure motion helps promote free respiratory and clears mucus. Mullein has a protracted historical past of use as a drugs, and has usually been utilized within the remedy of bronchial asthma and different respiratory problems.

In reaching for the cures from the farm, not the pharmacy, we reconnect with our pure atmosphere and with the traditions of our ancestors. Luckily, we now have a rising physique of scientific literature revealing that a lot of the knowledge of the ancients was scientifically sound; particular herbs can certainly have a optimistic affect on important physiological capabilities and assist shield us from illness.

Susan Smith Jones, PhD:
For extra data on Susan, her work, and her newest faith-based books (Wired for Excessive-Stage Wellness, Spend money on Your self with Train, Kitchen Gardening, and Be the Change) please go to: Join Susan’s free, month-to-month Wholesome Dwelling Newsletters which are unique for subscribers and comprise a wealth of holistic well being and way of life data and scrumptious plant-based recipes.


1 – Washington, Laura, N.D. Natural Drugs for Well being and Nicely-Being. New York: Sterling Publishing Co, 2003. p. 63.

2 – Yoshia Y, Wang MQ, et al. Immunomodulating exercise of Chinese language medicinal herbs and Oldenlandia diffusa specifically. Int J Immunopharmacol 1997; 19:359-370.

3 – Lau, GB, Ruckle HC, et al. Chinese language medicinal herbs inhibit progress of murine renal cell carcinoma. Most cancers Biother 1994;9:153-161.

4 – Cha RJ, Seng DW, Chang QS. Non-surgical remedy of small cell lung most cancers with chemo-radio-immunotherapy and conventional Chinese language medication. Chung Hua Nei Ko Tsa Chih 1994;33:462-466.

5 – Brinkeborn RM, Shah DV, Dgenring FH. Echinaforce and different Echinacea recent plant preparations within the remedy of the widespread chilly. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind scientific trial. Phytomedicine 199;6:1-5.

6 – Burger RA, Torres AR, et al. Echinacea-induced cytokine manufacturing by human macrophages. Int J Immunopharmacol 1997;19:371-379.

7 – Tilli CM, Stavast-Kooy AJ, Vuerstaek JD, Thissen MR, Krekels GA, Ramaekers FC, Neumann HA. The garlic-derived organosulfur element ajoene decreases basal cell carcinoma tumor measurement by inducing apoptosis. Arch Dermatol Res. Jul;295(3):117-23. 2003.

8 – Carr AC, Frei B. Towards a brand new really useful dietary allowance for vitamin C based mostly on antioxidant and well being results in people. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69(6):1086-1107 1999.

9 – U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. “What to Do for Colds and Flu.”

10 – Nordenber, Tamar. Colds and Flu: Time Solely Certain Treatment. U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.



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