Anyone who’s had their summer vacation ruined by a runny nose, sore throat or cough knows that immune challenges can strike at any time of the year. Vacations often involve travel to new places and contact with new people – factors that dramatically increase exposure to seasonal bugs not recognized by the immune system. Air travel also raises risks, as recycled cabin air spreads and concentrates airborne pathogens that can penetrate the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and mouth.
Advanced herbal immune-support formulas can naturally support a healthy immune system while aiding the body in defending against bugs before they have a chance to take hold. And when used at the first signs of a problem, a good blend of proper immunosupportive herbs – such as Ilex, Isatis and Forsythia– can promote rapid recovery from nasal congestion, headaches and stuffy head symptoms. Continued use can help to stop a problem quickly and reduce discomfort, as well as conferring long-term protective benefits with regular use.
‘Can I Take Immuno-Supportive Herbs Every Day to Strengthen my Immune System?’
This is one of the questions I frequently receive, and the answer is a definite yes. However, combining immune-support herbal formulas with circulatory-support herbs can offer an even more potent approach for building the immune system and fighting off bugs than either formula alone. This combination allows you to quickly boost immune function to counter the immediate threat while building immune system strength over time.
Strengthening the Immune System
Traditional herbal circulatory support formulas are recognized for their ability to enhance circulatory health while supporting a healthy immune system. One of the primary circulatory support herbs is Astragalus, which is also considered the top immune system building herb in the world. Consequently, one finds astragalus in formulas designed to restore impaired immune function following chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Consistent use of circulatory support formulas has been shown to preserve both the size and function of the thymus gland, an important regulator of immune performance throughout the body.1
In one hospital study of Chinese circulatory support formulas, 44 patients were shown to have the following positive changes in immune function:
- Increased lymphocyte transformation rate (for improved efficiency of cellular immunity)
- Increased rosette formation (for improved immune function of red blood cells)
- Improved plasma/globulin ratio
Supporting Summer Immune Response with Herbs
I often recommend that people take two capsules of a good immune-support herbal formula such as ImmunoPhase daily to keep the immune system tuned up and prepared to ward off trouble. If exposed to anything at home, work, or while traveling, increasing this protective dose to two capsules, three times per day, can boost the immune system to help control the issue before it becomes a major problem. If symptoms worsen, increasing the dose to two capsules every three hours can help to bring the problem under control.
Once all symptoms have resolved, continue taking the formula at the higher rate for one additional day to prevent a rebound. And if the issue leads to bronchial irritation, adding a lung support formula such as BronchoPhase is an effective way of quickly resolving the problem.
For the elderly and those whose immune systems have been weakened by illness, surgery, overwork, or stress, adding a circulatory support formula to these regimens can further support and boost the immune response.
Protecting the Heart and Arteries
Reducing the frequency and intensity of immune challenges has also been shown to confer a measure of protection for the heart and arteries. Research reveals that bugs can damage the endothelium, or lining of the walls of arteries, and lead to the formation of artery-clogging plaque (atherosclerosis).2,3,4,5
Strengthening the immune system to reduce the number and severity of exposures can aid in preventing chronic arterial damage.
Adding two capsules of an immune-support herbal blend like ImmunoPhase to a circulatory support formula like Vital Cell can benefit arterial health while supporting the immune system. Ilex root, a strong inflammation modulating herb, is used in Chinese hospitals specifically for arterial issues.6,7 Other important herbs contained in such formulas, such as Pueraria root, Lonicera flower, Forsythia flower, and Isatis root, provide important isoflavones that have been shown to improve arterial health and enhance blood circulation.8,9
1. Restoring Thymus Function for Enhanced Immune Support. Nutrition Review, Dec. 2006.
2. Pathophysiology and aetiological diagnosis of inflammatory myocardial diseases with a special focus on parvovirus B19. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health. 2005 Sep-Oct;52(7-8):344-7. Pankuweit S, et al.
3. Viral persistence in the myocardium is associated with progressive cardiac dysfunction. Circulation. 2005 Sep 27;112(13);1965-70. Epub 2005 Sep 19. Kuhl, et al.
4. High prevalence of viral genomes and multiple viral infections in the myocardium of adults with “idiopathic” left ventricular dysfunction. Circulation. 2005 Feb 22;111(7):887-93. Epub 2005 Feb 7. Kuhl U, et al.
5. Effects of Ilexonin A on Circulatory Neuro-regulation. Adv. Exp Med. Biol., 1995:363:143-54. Luo RJ, Chen JW.
6. Effects of Ilexonin A on cAMP metabolism in platelets. Chin Med Sci J. 1993 Dec:8(4):215-7. Wang Z, Li F.
7. Ilicis pubescendis radix. Oriental Materia Medica, a concise guide. Oriental Healing Arts Institute. 1986. p. 459.
8. Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases with Chinese Herbs, Subhuti Dharmananda, Institute of Traditional Medicine. Itmonline.org
9. Simple Traditional Formulas for Pain, Subhuti Dharmananda, Institute of Traditional Medicine. Itmonline.org.