Winter Immune Challenges

Why Is There a Cold and Flu Season?

There really isn’t a cold and flu season, that’s something misrepresented drug companies and television advertising. The true reasons that there are so many colds and flues between October and March are that children and adults eat poorly and drink too much (think Halloween, Thanksgiving, office parties, Christmas and New Year’s… and don’t forget Valentine’s day) plus there are other factors such as poor weather patterns that stress the body, visiting relatives, stressful shopping days, late nights, and holiday travel… but there is something we can do in advance to increase our immunity during this time of year. (Besides washing hands, eating right, and sleeping well) We can enhance the ability of our immune systems using nutrients and herbs.

EchinaceaEchinacea is perhaps the most well known herb for enhancing the effectiveness of your immune system. Studies show that Echinacea, taken on a regular daily basis will increase your white blood cells, particularly natural killer cells (cancer defense) and monocytes which provide germ “eating” cells (macrophages).

Vitamin D3 is a vital, important vitamin for the immune system. All immune cells have been found to have vitamin D receptors that activate the cells. No vitamin D (sunshine, food, or vitamins) and no immunity. Vitamin D also helps transport calcium from the gut into the bloodstream.

Calcium is a very important mineral in the immune process. Calcium has been discovered to be an invaluable part of signaling for the immune system. Research also shows that a constant flow of calcium ions are necessary for T lymphocytes (virus fighters) to operate efficiently.

Astragulus is another herb, when taken regularly, that research has found significantly raises your white blood cell count. Other herbs in this class include Cat’s Claw, Andrographis, and Holy Basil.

Chiropractic is neither a vitamin nor an herb; however, one study has shown that chiropractic patients were shown to have a 200% greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care.1

1. Kent, Christopher. Models of Vertebral Subluxation: A Review. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. August 1996, Vol 1:1. Pg 4-5

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