Time to boost your immune system!


It’s that time of year when the kids go back to school and we all start getting sick.  If you can go into the flu season with a ramped up immune system, you can miss some of the cold and flu viruses.

Two products that I swear by are Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune Sytem Syrup and Nutrition Now PB8 probiotics.  You should also eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water to help boost your immune system.

Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune System Syrup has elderberry, echinachea, zinc, propolis and vitamin C.  Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is used for its antioxidant properties, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis.  Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell.

Echinacea (angustifolia, root and purpurea, flower) shortens the duration of the common cold and flu and reduces symptoms, such as  sore throat, cough, and fever.  It is also recommended to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections.

A zinc (gluconate) deficiency usually compromises the immune function. This is because zinc is vital for activation and development of some white blood cells. After zinc supplements like zinc gluconate are taken, the amount of white blood cells increases, enhancing immune function.  It is used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. It is also used for malaria and other diseases caused by parasites.   (National Institutes of Health).

Propolis is used for canker sores and infections caused by bacteria (including tuberculosis), by viruses (including flu, H1N1 “swine” flu, and the common cold), by fungus, and by single-celled organisms called protozoans. Propolis is also used for cancer of the nose and throat; for boosting the immune system; and for treating gastrointestinal (GI) problems including Helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer disease. Propolis is also used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.  (National Institutes of Health).

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is used most often for preventing and treating the common cold.

I picked up a bottle of Sambucus yesterday at the health food store.  I talked to an employee who is studying to become a Naturopath.  She said my kids can take the Sambucus Immune System Syrup to boost their immune system and to shorten a cold.  She recommended them taking half of the adult dose (1 teaspoon) for 6 days and then take one day off.  Then do it another six days with one day off.  She said that would really help to ramp up their immune system and also shorten a cold if they get one.  It is available at Vitacost (I checked when I got home) and is much cheaper (half the amount I paid at the health food store).

Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract and vagina.  Some of the ways they are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.  There are several factors including antibiotics/drug therapy, psychological and physical stress, radiation,  and dietary changes that can upset the intestinal good bacteria/flora.  The immune system is in our intestines so when our flora is disrupted, our bodies can no longer fight off viruses and bacteria.

If you or your family members are ever prescribed an antibiotic, it is extremely important to take a probiotic along with the antibiotic to help protect the good bacteria in your system.  Otherwise, the antibiotic kills off all (good and bad) bacteria and depletes your system even further.

The type of probiotic that we use is by Nutrition Now and is called PB8 which is an acidophilus probiotic.  PB8 helps to promote healthy digestion, inhibit the growth of harmful  bacteria and support healthy immune function.  PB8 is a combination of 8 strains and 14 billion naturally beneficial bacteria.  It is gluten-free, peanut-free and soy-free and is available in regular or vegetarian formulas.

There are other types of Sambucus and probiotics so please let me know if you try another that seems to work well for you and I can update this post to help others.  Remember to do your research on any products you try.

This is my family’s story.  The information presented on this blog is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  It is for informational purposes only. 



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