On top of all the other downsides of stress, it may interfere with your immune health, making you more susceptible to colds and flu.
How does stress affect immune health?
You may have noticed that you feel more run down than usual when you’re under pressure, and that you’re more likely to come down with a cold during such times.
While it may be tempting to think that it’s just a coincidence, scientific research indicates that stress has detrimental effects on our immune health and resistance to infection.
In one study*, healthy people were exposed to cold viruses after first having their stress levels assessed. The results showed that people with higher stress levels were more likely to become infected after viral exposure, and more likely to experience cold symptoms than people whose stress levels were low.
What types of stress affect immune health?
Chronic stress (stress that has persisted for a month or more) appears to have a greater impact on immune resistance than acute (short-term) stress.
In particular, people coping with long-term unemployment or underemployment (inability to find as much work as needed) and/or ongoing relationship problems with family and friends may have increased susceptibility to colds and other minor infections.
Astragalus and Siberian Ginseng support immune health
In traditional Chinese medicine, the herbs Astragalus and Siberian Ginseng are used to support immune health and promote resistance against minor respiratory infections like colds. They’re traditionally regarded as being particularly helpful for people who experience recurrent colds and flu. Siberian Ginseng is also considered especially beneficial for those who are slow to recover after these types of minor respiratory infections.
Herbs to support resistance to stress
In addition to its immune-supporting properties, Siberian Ginseng belongs to a class of herbs called adaptogens, which help the body and mind to adapt to and cope with stress. Based on its use in traditional Chinese medicine, it may also help to relieve fatigue and promote energy and vitality.
Schisandra is another adaptogenic Chinese herb that’s traditionally used in a similar way to improve vitality, energy, stamina and endurance while also improving resistance to physical and emotional sources of stress.
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: Combines Astragalus, Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra to support immune health and improve resistance to stress
* Reference: Cohen S, et al. N Engl J Med 1991;325:606-12
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional.