As the weather starts to get chillier, it’s time to turn your attention to your immune health. Try these herbs to get you started.
Most of us will catch at least a few colds or flu this year. Adults catch an average 2-4 of these minor upper respiratory tract infections, and children catch up to 10 annually.
Of those, the vast majority will occur during the coldest months of the year. This is when cold and flu viruses appear to be at their most potent, perhaps because they survive longer in dry air than they do during the humidity of summer, or because we become less capable of fending them off.
It’s also when we spend most time indoors with other people, exposing us to greater numbers of microbes than we encounter in the warmer months.
In summary, it’s wise to support your immune defences if you’re keen to reduce your risk of catching colds and flu this winter.
Here are some herbs you might like to consider taking, based on their traditional use in Chinese and/or Western herbal medicine.
Astragalus helps reduce cold and flu frequency
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Astragalus root has traditionally been used to support immune health, help reduce the frequency of colds and flu, and help manage recurrent infections. It’s also considered useful for aiding convalescence after mild illnesses, so may be worthwhile taking if you’ve had a cold but are still not feeling your best, despite having largely recovered.
Siberian ginseng supports immune function
Like Astragalus, Siberian ginseng is traditionally used as an immune tonic in TCM. In particular, it may support the action of NK cells (immune cells that help control the spread of infections in the body).
Schisandra aids stress adaptation
If you’ve ever noticed that you’re more prone to colds and flu at times when you’re under pressure at home or work, it may also be worth taking herbs to support your body’s ability to handle stress. Try schisandra, which is traditionally regarded as having adaptogenic properties in TCM, meaning that it helps the body and mind adapt to stress. This herb is often used alongside Siberian ginseng, which has similar properties.
Mr Vitamins Recommends
Mr Vitamins recommends Fusion® Health, premium quality Australian-made supplements that combine the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and the science of modern Western herbalism, including:
- Fusion® Astra 8 Immune Tonic: Immune boosting formula, including the traditional Chinese herbs Astragalus, Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.