Sometime back I wrote a little about Alternative Medicines or Supplementation and well with all the new found worries about the latest flu viruses, I’m sure many people out there especially parents are looking for ways to boost their childrens or their very own immunity.
And so it is not suprising that many companies are coming out with claims that their products are ANTI H1N1! Able to treat, cure or even prevent an infection! And if you are skeptical then you are absolutely on the right path, because many of them out there are just bogus outrageous claims.
Personally I would rather take precautions in terms of personal hygiene and cleanliness followed by a proper diet, nutrition and exercise. However if and when I do feel a little under the weather or if I suspect that I could be coming down with something, especially now that both my sons are down with the flu then I will take something a little extra and so far it has helped me ( again I must emphasize on helped me personally).
So What do I do?…..well here goes…
Apart from a once a day muti-vitamin and minerals regime, I take an extra Vitamin C tab. Drink lots of green tea during the day and in the night I mix a teaspoonful of powdered ginger root and honey in cup of tea. So far it has worked wonders for me.
Immunity Booster On Trial (By Me that is)
Just recently, I have come across a product to boost one’s immunity that caught my interest from ‘Pink Of Heath Pte Ltd’ at Millenia Walk. I decided to buy it and give it a shot as I was prettly impressed with the selection of 100% organic herbs used to create this tinture. However my only concern is the ingredient St John’s Wort which is known to contradict some form of prescription medications.
I have since tried it and I must say that it tastes rather awful, but I suppose that is why it should be rather effective eh? Anyhow I am not mentioning the product name till I have fully evaluated it myself. However here are the ingredients and what it’s suppose to be good for….
Echinacea enhances the particle-ingestion capacity of white blood cells and other specialized immune-system cells, increasing their ability to attack foreign invaders such as viruses.
Besides stimulating a healthy immune system to deal more effectively with invading viruses, echinacea helps accelerate healing if infection already exists.1
Licorice (Latin: Glycyrrhiza Glabra)
The glycyrrhizin in Licorice boosts the immune system’s T-cell count and stimulating production of protective compounds such as interferon.
Other ingredients—including glabridin, glycyrrhizin, and licoricidin—soothe inflammation.2
Wild harvested Cat’s Claw (Latin: Uncaria Tomentosa)
Cat’s claw is a large, woody vine that derives its name from hook-like thorns that grow along the vine and resemble the claws of a cat.
Cat’s claw has been used medicinally by tribes of Peru for at least 2,000 years. In Europe it is used since the early 1990s as an adjunctive treatment for cancer and AIDS as well as for other diseases that target the immune system.
In herbal medicine today, cat’s claw is employed around the world for many different conditions, including immune disorders, gastritis, ulcers, cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatic disorders, neuralgias, chronic inflammation of all kinds, and such viral diseases as herpes zoster (shingles).3
Green Tea (Latin: Camellia Sinensis)
Green tea extract stimulates the immune system. It has long been used by the Chinese as medicine to treat headaches, body ache, poor digestion, and improve well-being and life expectancy.
Green tea extract is bioflavonoid rich, and one of its main uses is fighting free radicals in your body. Green tea extract contains high level of polyphenols (a bioflavonoid), and it’s also a rich source of EGCG (an antioxidant), that’s over 200 times more potent than vitamin E in fighting free radicals and pro-oxidants. It also helps prevent some forms of cancer including colon, pancreatic, and stomach cancer.4
Shiitake mushrooms (Latin: Lentinus Edodus)
The healing power of shiitake mushrooms has been known for centuries throughout. Ancient healers prescribed them for a number of ailments such as fatigue, liver ailments, vision problems, sinus conditions, colds, gastrointestinal ailments. Shiitake were also prescribed as a general prophyllactic to promote longevity, vitality, and well-being.
What the ancients knew, modern medicine is just beginning to discover. Compounds in shiitake mushrooms—especially a phytochemical called lentinan—have been subjected to various clinical studies, and are thought to have possible benefit for a number of disorders, including cancer, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, hepatitis, AIDS, and herpes (and other viral conditions).5
St John’s Wort (Latin: Hypericum perforatum)
St. John’s wort has interested herbalists since the first-century Greek physicians Galen and Dioscorides recommended it as a diuretic, wound-healer, and treatment for menstrual disorders. During the Middle Ages, remarkable, even mystical properties were attributed to St. John’s wort, thought to be best if harvested on June 24, St. John’s Day.6
Russian researchers recently discovered that this complex herb contains substances that both stimulate and suppress immunity. This allows St. John’s wort to boost the ability of the immune system to fight infection, while at the same time decreasing the immune processes that promote inflammation in wounds and other injuries. Other studies indicate that St. John’s wort may very well play an important role in the fight against AIDS.7
Lemon Balm (Latin: Melissa Officinalis)
As far back as the ancient Greeks this plant was recognized for both its soothing smell and its medicinal properties. Like most herbs Lemon Balm is antibacterial and anti viral in nature. It is also a slightly sedative herb, lowering fever, relaxing spasms and improving digestion.8
Lemon balm has potent antiviral properties useful for treating herpes and other diseases caused by viruses.
And lemon balm’s growing reputation as a medicinal herb has just taken a dramatic new turn. Long a favourite for brewing relaxing herbal teas, a new study published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry shows that lemon balm improves mental function and reduces agitation in patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimers disease.9
Olive Leaf (Latin: Oleae Europaea)
The ancient Egyptians may be been the first to put the olive leaf to practical use, extracting its oil to mummify their kings. Later cultures found the leaf was better utilized for the living than the dead. Over the ages, there is documentation that it was a popular folk remedy for combating fevers.
Around 1962, a Dutch researcher determined the active ingredient in oleuropein to be a substance he called elenolic acid. It was found to have a powerful anti-bacterial effect. By the late 1960s, research by scientists at a major American pharmaceutical company showed that elenolic acid also inhibited the growth of viruses. In fact, it stopped every virus that it was tested against.10
Astragalus (Latin: Astragalus Membranaceus)
The great Chinese Emperor Shen Nung around 5000 years ago first discovered astragalus. Today astragalus is slowly becoming one of the better-known Chinese herbs. Some of its popularity may be attributed to extensive scientific study that began in the 1970s confirming the herb’s ability to stimulate the immune system, fight bacteria, viruses, and inflammation, protect the liver, and act as a diuretic and adaptogen.
Researchers believe on the basis of cell studies that astragalus augments those white blood cells that fight disease and removes some of those that make the body more vulnerable to it.11
Ginger (Latin: Zingiber Officinale)
Cultivated for millennia in both China and India, ginger reached the West at least 2,000 years ago. Most of the thousands of prescriptions in Traditional Chinese Medicine are combinations of many herbs, and ginger is used in nearly half to mediate the effects of other ingredients.
It has been studied for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain-relieving, antiulcer, antitumor, and other properties.12
Because of its remarkable thermoregulatory properties, ginger can assist in lowering a fever, as well as alleviate chills caused by colds as it warms the body. Its antibacterial/antiviral effects help reduce the incidence of colds altogether. Further research is looking into ginger’s anti-cancer properties, and immune enhancement properties. It is also an important antioxidant with more than 12 constituents superior to vitamin C.13
Garlic (Latin: Allium Sativum)
For centuries there has been a mystical folklore about garlic and its magical healing ability. Now scientists with years of serious research behind them, are convinced that garlic and aged garlic extract has been highly effective in reducing the two leading causes of death, cancer and heart disease and extending life itself.14
Garlic is a pungent herb that prevents or clears bacterial infection, lowers fever by increasing perspiration, reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels. It is also an expectorant and is regarded to rejuvenate, detoxify and is also seen as an aphrodisiac in some cultures. It has antibacterial, antiviral as well as lipid lowering properties.15
Onion (Latin: Allium Cepa)
Everything that’s been said about Garlic can be said about onion. Onions and garlic share many of the same powerful sulfur bearing compounds that work so effectively as anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents.16
Onion is a pungent herb, protecting against infection, relaxing spasms, reducing blood pressure as well as blood clotting and blood sugar levels. It further has expectorant and diuretic properties.17