Autumn Immunity: Getting a Head Start on Your 2020 Health
Like it or not, Autumn has arrived! While this is the season to slow down and begin turning inward to prepare for the colder, shorter months of the year, it’s also when families prep their kids for back-to-school, new activities, and new routines. You’ve probably heard about teachers upping their vitamin intake, but you and your family should also consider incorporating wellness practices into your routine. If your family is ready for an immune boost to protect yourselves from the many viruses that begin spreading around schools and daycares this time of year, check out some of my favorite herbs and nutrients I use to keep my family healthy during this time of year.
A gentle reminder that while Costco, Amazon and drugstores may seem like cost-effective and easy options to buy supplements, products may be laden with contaminants and fillers. There are several companies I trust that use high quality ingredients and perform quality control checks on their products.
Below are some of my favorite immune products. You can get them at a discount by ordering through Fullscript. To sign up, click on the link at the bottom of this page.
1. Echinacea (aka Coneflower): This herb is in the aster family, and has immune stimulating properties. It’s most effective at preventing colds and reducing the duration of a cold when taken within 48 hours of onset of symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, coughing, and sneezing.
** Those with an allergy to asters should not take Echinacea and those with an autoimmune condition should take caution and consult their ND before using Echinacea
2. Astragalus (Huang Qi): A Chinese herb in the pea family, this traditional Chinese Medicine herb is used to support and protect Wei Qi, which is essentially the body’s shield against pathogens. It has strong immune supporting and anti-cancer properties. I often include Astragalus in my custom herbal formulas when supporting the immune system is a top priority.
Favorite Product: Pure Encapsulations’ Innate Immune Support
**Those with an autoimmune condition should take caution and consult their ND before using Astragalus.
3. Vitamin C: Probably the most well-known immune boosting vitamin, people often grab for the orange juice when they are sick. I don’t recommend store bought orange juice, as it’s full of sugar, which is not immune boosting (no surprise there!). Besides oranges, other fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C include persimmons, red and yellow bell peppers, rose hips, lemons, and cruciferous vegetables (kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, etc).
** If you are feeling particularly run down this time of year, consider coming in for Vitamin C through an IV, a "Myers Cocktail” (refer to #7).
4. Medicinal Mushrooms: Shitake, Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, and Turkey Tail mushrooms are potent immune modulating foods which have benefitted many cultures around the world for thousands of years. They have been shown to have immunomodulatory (aka balancing the immune system) and anti-cancer properties.
5. Probiotics: This one might surprise you, as most people think of probiotics as supporting digestion. But did you know that 80-90% of our immune system is in our gut?! Probiotics support immune cells in our gut so that proper immunity is maintained throughout our whole body. Consuming foods such as homemade kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha on a regular basis can help boost immunity.
6. Homeopathic formulas: I personally take a homeopathic remedy regularly during the flu season to help prevent colds and flus. Homeopathic remedies often get a bad rap for being ineffective and faux medicine. I almost never recommend homeopathic remedies as the only treatment, but find them quite effective when used in conjunction with herbs or other therapies.
7. IV therapy: If you travel a lot for work, are exposed to younger kids (teachers, daycare workers, parents, etc), or could simply use a super immune boost, consider supporting your system with a nutritional IV. We are offering a 10% discount on IV Myers Cocktails in October; read more about the benefits of IV therapy.
8. Immune Soup: Finally, I recommend incorporating the following simple, super immune soup into your diet during the fall and winter as prevention or part of your treatment of colds and flus. It’s loaded with natural antimicrobials and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium, and beta-carotene, which boost your immune system’s ability to fight viruses. Bring it to your potlucks, leave some on the stove for your special person who said they were feeling a little off, or create a steady ritual out of enjoying it regularly yourself. Credit goes to the incredible Naturopathic Physician and healer, Dr. Bill Mitchell.
The soup in the photo above is with coconut milk and cilantro :)
Dr. Bill Mitchell’s Immune Soup
1 Small Yellow Onion, Chopped
1-5 Cloves garlic, chopped or crushed (to taste)
1 Tsp-3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root (to taste)
Juice of ½ lemon
½ Cup sliced Shitake mushrooms
1 Quart miso, chicken, or mushroom broth
3 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
1 Grated carrot
Combine the broth, onion, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove form heat and add the lemon juice, carrot and parsley. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
Eat 1-4 times a day.
Wishing you a warm and well fall season!
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