Back to School Immune System Boosters

boost

Back to school is a great time to look at ways to enhance immune system function. Herbs can help strengthen immune system action to avert colds and flu.

With the weather turning colder and the increase in social interaction that the return to school brings colds and flu begin to circulate.  The best way to treat them is through preventative measures.  Proper diet and rest are extremely important but immune system support should also be part of the regimen.

Many herbs are excellent immune system boosters.  The most well known is Echinacea however many others such as garlic, borage, calendula, mullein and goldenseal are effective for immune system support.  These herbs are also beneficial in other ways.

Echinacea Benefits

Echinacea has been spoken of for years as a preventative for colds.  The actions of Echinacea include

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory


Echinacea does not directly affect viruses but has an antiviral effect by stimulating the immune system.  Strengthening the immune system increases the body’s powers of resistance.  Numerous clinical studies have confirmed Echinacea’s results in general infectious conditions, colds, influenza and upper respiratory infection.

In addition studies have shown Echinacea to have results as an anti-inflammatory agent.  It is useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  It is currently being studied for its anti-cancer properties.

At one time Echinacea was used as a drug but with the development of newer drugs it fell out of use in mainstream medical treatment but has continued in use by herbalists.

Echinacea is known to interact with

Chemotherapy
Econazole

Garlic for Immune System Support

Garlic is nature’s cure-all.  Garlic is useful for a large number of conditions.  To find our more about all of garlic’s benefits read Stinking Rose or Medical Wonder Garlic Benefits Everyone   It’s properties to name just a few include

  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Bacteriostatic
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-carcinogen
  • Anti-spasmodic


Not only is garlic a preventative agent against the viruses that cause infection it is also beneficial during colds and flu as well as bronchitis.  It loosens phlegm allowing the body to get rid of it.  It is beneficial for catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose as well.

Garlic oil is extremely useful in ear aches.  One or two drops in the ear will assist in clearing up the infection however if there is no improvement in 24 hours a doctor should be consulted.

Garlic is a cholesterol remover and blood thinner and should not be consumed in large quantities by anyone taking blood thinners or cholesterol medication.

Garlic has interactions with and is not recommended when taking

Warfarin
Ticlopidine

Calendula Marigold Flower Immune System Booster

Not only is Calendula beautiful as a flower it is also an important immune system booster.  Calendula Officinalis or Pot Marigold has actions as

  • Immune stimulant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-histamine

Calendula is an effective agent in fevers and flu.  It acts as an immune stimulant increasing the body’s ability to resist infection.  It is an effective tea to be taken once or twice a day during the height of cold and flu outbreaks.

Calendula is also effective as a tea taken during a fever to induce sweating.

Calendula has no drug interactions.

The best way to have a happy healthy fall and winter is to take care of immune system health.  With a healthy immune system it is possible to avoid colds and flu’s.

Related Articles

Natural Flu Prevention – The benefits of herbs for treating influenza by Joy Borthwick

References:

Bartram Thomas FNIMH, Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Marlowe & Company New York
Kowalchik Claire, Hylton William H et al, Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press Pennsylvania
Murray Michael T N.D., The Healing Power of Herbs, Gramercy Books New York

Originally published Suite101.com