A cough can show up any time during the winter—whether you’re sick or not. Here’s more about how English ivy leaf can help quell coughs and boost respiratory wellness.
Using herbs to support the immune system has been common for centuries. Today, specific herbs can target and address a wide variety of health concerns. If you’ve ever wondered why echinacea is effective at fighting colds or why elderberry is used as a natural remedy for a range of immune issues, we’ve looked into it for you.
Anne Salazar-Dunbar, an expert herbal practitioner and member of the American Herbalists Guild, is here to help answer some of those questions. She tells us about some of the best herbs to use as powerful immune boosters when looking for authentic herbal medicine solutions.
Echinacea’s ability to support the immune system’s performance has been extensively documented over the years. Research suggests that the presence of polysaccharides in echinacea help prevent viruses from entering the cells, and its alkaloids are active in fighting bacteria and fungal infections.
According to a peer-reviewed, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial study on the effectiveness of echinacea, the herb has been shown to encourage a significant reduction in the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken in the early stages of a cold.
Most commonly seen as elderberry, the elder plant comes in a variety of preparations. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, parts of the elder tree have long been used for pain, swelling, infections, coughs and skin conditions. Elder contains ursolic acid, which helps reduce inflammation in the body, especially in the respiratory system when afflicted with respiratory infections.
Different formulations can help tone the mucosal lining of the inner nose and throat—increasing resistance to infection in those areas of the body—or even help reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
For more details on how elderberry can address both specific and overall health concerns, check out Pharmaca’s post on The Best Elderberry Benefits.
Chinese medicine links astragalus to an ability to warm and tone the wei qi, or the protective energy that circulates in the human body just beneath the skin. As such, astragalus can help the body quickly adapt to external influences and changes in temperature, leaving it less vulnerable to the elements.
Similar to ginseng, astragalus also helps energize the body, strengthening its ability to resist cold and flu. Astragalus has also been extensively researched in cancer patients, and studies indicate that it seems to help patients recover more quickly from the side effects of chemotherapy.
Wild indigo features anti-microbial and immune-stimulating properties and is especially beneficial in quelling upper-respiratory, viral infections. It’s also thought to help fight against lymphatic disorders, and in combination with an herb like echinacea, to exhibit significant antiviral properties. One such combination available at Pharmaca is Natura Health Products Throat & Gland Spray.
Want to learn more? You can speak with one of our expert a practitioners at your local Pharmaca about how herbal remedies can help you strengthen your body’s immune response by boosting immune health and immune function before, during and after, this common cold and flu season.
Or if you want to take a look at all the options Pharmaca offers, you can browse our selection of herbal supplements online, to find what fits your needs best!
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