Cold and flu season is looming…that means it’s time to stock your immunity-boosting arsenal with both preventive measures and treatments that can help nip symptoms in the bud fast! We spoke with Matthew Becker, herbalist and lead practitioner at our North Boulder store, about the immunity go-tos he loves to recommend to his patients.
- ViraCon by Vital Nutrients. “It’s a really strong, high-quality formula of immune-enhancing herbs,” Matthew says. “It features astragalus and elderberry, which are widely recognized as having immune-boosting effects, isatis tinctoria, which is one of the main antivirals in Chinese herbal medicine, and skullcap and licorice, which are strong anti-virals.” He recommends taking two twice a day on a preventive basis during cold and flu season, or four every four hours if you feel a cold coming on. (In Pharmaca stores only)
- “ColdQuell by Blue Poppy is an excellent prophylactic—one of the best preventive products I know,” Matthew says. “It features a strong combination of immune-enhancing and anti-viral herbs, and is gentle enough that you can take it for long-term prevention (2-3 pills, twice a day) and as an effective treatment (four every four hours).”
- “Vitamin D is highly recommended during the fall and winter months when we get less sun.” Matthew says. “It’s crucial for keeping our immune defenses strong.” He recommends a preventive dose between 2,000–5,000 IU a day, taken with a meal (because it’s fat soluble, it’s not absorbed well on an empty stomach). He recommends both liquids or capsules from Thorne Research.
- “Medicinal mushrooms can have a powerful effect on immunity on all levels,” Matthew says. “I’ve seen people take mushrooms blends on an ongoing basis and stay healthy throughout the winter. Mushrooms are really well respected in the literature for their immune-enhancing power.” He recommends MycoForce Immunity from HealthForce.
- “Probiotics, of course!” Matthew says. “They’re a standby. Probiotics taken regularly can be crucial in keeping your immune defenses up.” His favorite? VSL #3 from Sigma-Tau. “It’s a sensational probiotic that will help strengthen your defenses through the digestive system, where a lot of our immune system is based.” He recommends 1-4 per day in divided doses for anyone who is on the verge of sickness, and taken with meals to aid absorption.
When cold and flu comes calling, stop in to Pharmaca for customized advice on prevention and treatment.