5 Powerful Herbs to Boost the Immune System

Image and video hosting by TinyPic If you live on the east coast like myself than you're really feeling the effects of winter. Cold, cold, and more cold! Not to mention less sunlight which is a big bummer. No matter how healthy I believed myself to be I recently came down with a little sniffle. I attribute it to not sleeping enough. I've been working out really hard in Capoeira and haven't been giving my body enough sleep to repair itself. It doesn't matter that I'm eating the most nutritious food, if I'm not giving my body the proper rest it desires it's going to let me know.

When you feel you may be coming down with something, this would be a good time to dabble into herbal remedies beyond your regular wellness routine. You could also load up on something you're more familiar with such as good ol' vitamin C. Listed below are a few of my favorites or ones that are pretty well known. I leave it up to you to research and decide which is best for your condition. You can click on the links too for a more detailed description of each one. Please note: If you're taking prescription drugs you should consult with your doctor to be sure that the two don't interact with one another.

Medicinal mushrooms

No not that ones that make you see funny colors, those are called psilocybin. ;-) I'm talking about medicinal ones like Reishi, Maitake, and Cordyceps to name a few. They pack a powerful boost to the immune system. Since I don't live near a forest or have the time to go forage and pick them, I opt for New Chapter's products. I've also used their Zyflamend (anti-inflammatory) and experienced great results.

Schizandra and Astragalus

Technically two herbs but Gaia herbs has combined the two into a fantastic tincture. I've used this product before and found it easy to take daily in warm cups of tea.

Black Elderberry

Though I've never used it, there seems to be a lot of great information pointing in the way of this amazing berry.


We've heard about this one for quite some time, but beware of imposters. Jon Barron of Baseline Nutritionals has some high quality products such as the echinacea. As with any supplement it's always good to buy from a reputable company that has your health as it's number one priority. An easy way to decipher is to read the back of the label. What is the first ingredient on the back? The herbal supplement or a number of fillers? There's your answer.

If you don't like to shop on line you should be able to find most of these herbs at your local health food store or Whole Foods Market.

Please note: I do not have any financial ties or affiliations with the company's mentioned above. Please consult with a master herbalist for a more in depth understanding of herbs and how they work with your body.

The question of the day is:

Have you used herbal remedies for an ailment you had and if so did they work?


Jackie Cassel,NCTMB said...

Hi Michelle!
Thanks for the exciting and informative blog! To answer your question about natural/holistic remedies...my experience is- yes! Over and over for many years and for many health concerns I have had great experiences alleviating symptoms, healing faster and also in preventing or lessening the power or duration of a health concern! I have utilized herbs, homeopathic remedies,plants, teas, essential oils,foods, and find that in time with practice I gain more experience that helps me be more efficient. Everyone is unique and it is best to be cautious and use gentle,safe and/or packaged and approved remedies available over the counter @ your local health food store. Some of my favorites are echinacea,tea tree(essential oil),lavender(tea, essential oil) olive leaf extract,aloe vera(juice,plant), pau d'arco, green tea, garlic ,arnica, mint, ginger,chamomile, candula.... my list goes on and on! One great (very basic) book I have on hand for reference is," Earl Mindell's New Herb Bible"

Anonymous said...

Hi, Michelle!
I just found your blog recently, and wanted to comment on Echinacea.

A few years ago, I learned from an herbalist that it is VERY important to choose the right product/company. Look for a label that says "ethically harvested".

This is because demand for Echinacea is exceeding its growth/production rate, since it became commonly popular with consumers.

A lot of companies "steal" Echinacea from any place they see it growing!
Seriously! I heard a story about someone's neighbor who had a small field of it, and one day, they went outside, and it had all been harvested overnight!

Companies are not only harvesting it in an unethical/non-sustainable way, but then cannot speak to whether it is organic or not, or what it may have been treated with or absorbed during its growth.

Good companies will state, "ethically wild-harvested", which means that they didn't decimate the entire field in the process. Care was taken to ensure sustainability.

Personally, Echinacea never seemd to do a whole lot for me.

Things like broken-cell Chlorella or Elderberry have worked extremely fast and well for me to prevent sickness, etc.
But that may just be my body.
I'm sure certain things work well for certain people and not as well for others.