written by Steven Horne
As Jack Frost brings cold days (and even colder nights) people start wearing warmer clothes, put on snow tires and seal cracks in their homes. The cold, damp days of winter also signal the start of cold and flu season, so it’s also wise to take steps to winterize your immune system so you’ll be prepared to resist whatever is going around. Here are some specific tips and suggestions.
Swallow Some Sunshine
with Vitamin D3 (Stock #1155-1 60 tabs)
One of the factors that makes our immune system work better in summer is that we get more exposure to sunlight in the hot summer months. This means we get more Vitamin D, because our skin manufactures this essential nutrient when it is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D is essential for many functions in the body, including building strong bones and teeth, but what we are primarily concerned about here is vitamin D’s effect on the immune system. Getting adequate amounts of this essential nutrient helps you stay healthy in the winter by boosting your immune response. It even helps prevent some types of cancer.
Native people living in cold, northern climates naturally supplemented both vitamins A and D, by eating animal livers raw during the winter. Scientists have assumed that fortifying milk with vitamin D2 would be adequate to keep modern people from developing deficiencies, but vitamin D2 is not as readily useable as vitamin D3, which is found naturally in animal foods like raw liver. Furthermore, what about all those people who don’t drink milk?
So, your first step in winterizing your immune system should be to take a vitamin D3 supplement. You may also want to take extra vitamin A as well.
Build Your Defensive Chi with Lung Support
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the chi (or energy) that keeps you from getting ill is thought to reside in your lung and colon. This makes sense, since the mucus membranes of your respiratory and digestive tract are the primary route where infections are likely to enter. In fact, we know from modern science that most of your immune response is concentrated in the digestive and intestinal membranes.
According to TCM, breathing cold air damages this defensive chi, which is one of the reasons why we are more susceptible to contagious diseases in the cold winter months. Fortunately there are herbs that build up this defensive chi and protect your body from the cold weather.
Chinese Lung Support (Stock #1004-3 TCM Conc. or #1887-6, 100 caps) is designed to strengthen the lungs and immune systems of those get sick easily during the cold winter months. It is especially valuable for the elderly, who often develop pneumonia as a secondary infection to the flu. If you live in an area where the air is cold and dry, try taking Lung Support throughout the winter months to keep you healthy. If you have respiratory weakness consider taking Chinese Lung Support and Cordyceps (Stock #1240-5) together as this will greatly increase your protection.
These are just a few of the many herbal supplements you can use to keep your immune system in tip, top shape.
Other remedies to consider include Immune Stimulator (Stock #1839-3), Ultimate Echinacea (Stock #3181-2) and Trigger Immune (Stock #1034-0 TCM Conc. or #1889-2, 100 caps). These remedies will also boost your immune system to keep you healthy in the cold months ahead.