Much of our defence against viruses is also heavily reliant on a well primed and functioning immune system.
Did you know that there are enough viruses on the planet to assign one to every star in the universe 100 million times over? Yet, most of the time, humans seem to live harmoniously without ever being infected or getting sick. Although a lot of it has to do with the finicky preferential nature of most viruses out there (only an infinitesimally small fraction that surround us actually pose any real threat to human health), much of our defence against viruses is also heavily reliant on a well primed and functioning immune system. Despite our immunity working for us every moment of every day, let’s discuss a short list of simple and effective natural products used to help ensure you get sick less and recover quicker.
Infection and immunity
As we all know, there are many other types of infective vectors that hold the potential to make us sick. From bacteria to fungus and mold, it’s obvious that viruses are not our only threat. That being said, in developed countries, viruses tend to be the most frequent causes resulting in common colds and flus. Aside from regular symptoms such as a runny nose, fever, cough, sore throat and fatigue to name a few, it’s the immune system that battles to lessen the rate of infection and overall impact on our health. As most are aware, once a virus enters the body, the immediate result is an automatic stimulation of immune cells and defences, but did you know that the symptoms you experience from the common cold or flu are also the result of a well activated immune system? A runny nose, for example, is a defence response targeted to envelope, repel and eliminate active viruses in your nasal passages, whereas a sneeze is partially caused to help drive viral particles out of the throat and nose. Alternatively, when the immune system is able to prevent a virus from infecting a person at all, it’s often able to do so without the person otherwise knowing. So although the feeling of getting sick isn’t a welcomed experience, the absence of feeling sick or experiencing short term cold and flu symptoms can both signify a very robust immune system.
Natural products to build immunity and fight off infection
There are distinguishing differences between a product that either builds your immune system from one that acts as an antiviral. Although many natural medicinals offer the benefit of doing both, here are the primary differences between the two:
Immune building products strengthen your immune system, increase the sensitivity of your immune response to infections, heighten your immune system’s active response, improve the ‘catch and destroy’ immune function toward an invading pathogen, and enhance the resolution efficacy of your immune response following its activation.
Astragalus: A traditional Chinese herb containing potent antioxidants which support the integrity of the respiratory tract and deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells, and is especially effective when the immune function is compromised due to stress.
Elderberry: Although well indicated as an antiviral for acute cold and flus, its rich array of antioxidants helps protect the entire body from the detrimental effects of inflammation, including its use as a deep, restorative tonic for the immune system.
Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant that plays a paramount role in the development of white blood cells to help ward off infection, helps produce immune cell antibodies and supports adrenal function.
Maitake: A potent source of immune regulating beta glucans, which improve the immune modulating complement system, and increases the number and activity of immune cell macrophages and natural killer cells.
Antivirals directly target a virus, puncturing and destroying its ability to survive, and prevent its ability to invade the body and replicate.
Vitamin A: Safe use of high doses of this vitamin have been shown to reliably act as an antiviral against a broad spectrum of viruses.
Berberine: An active constituent of herbs such as goldenseal, has been shown to significantly reduce viral levels in the body, inhibit strains of influenza, reduce viral replication, and interrupt viral attachment to human cells.
Andrographis: An antiviral herb known to greatly interrupt and shorten respiratory tract infections, including rhinitis, otitis, bronchitis, and sinusitis.
Echinacea: A potent immune supportive herb which also has direct antiviral action against viral induced colds and bronchitis, well known to inhibit viral multiplication, and can significantly shorten the duration and intensity of viral infections.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Signature Supplements can develop custom formulations to help your clients defend against viruses, send us a note. We’re always happy to chat.