\n\tby\n\n\n\tIngrid Petres\n\n\n\t We encounter harmful germs and bacteria on a daily basis.\n\n\n\tIt’s important, as the cold and flu season is upon us, to understand\n\n\n\thow we can boost our immune systems in order to prevent becoming sick.\n\n\n\t General lifestyle changes to help maintain a healthy immune system:\n\n\n\n\t\tWash your hands frequently\n\t\n\n\t\tBuy a vaporizer or humidifier (cold, dry air promotes respiratory disease)\n\t\n\n\t\tGet plenty of sleep\n\t\n\n\t\tDrink plenty of water\n\t\n\n\t\tEat 5-6 servings of vegetables daily\n\t\n\n\t\tPractice meditation or spend time relaxing\n\t\n\n\t\tExercise\n\t\n\n\t\tReceive massage therapy\n\t\n\n\t\tUtilize saunas or take sea salt baths to increase detoxification\n\t\n\n\n\tAll of the following can increase mucus and therefore should be avoided in excess:\n\n\n\n\t\tRefined sugar\n\t\n\n\t\tAlcohol\n\t\n\n\t\tDairy\n\t\n\n\t\tProcessed foods\n\t\n\n\n\tRemember: germs and bacteria are present around us at all times, it is when our immune system becomes weakened that the invading bugs take over.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tComponents of the Immune System\n\n\n\tThymus, spleen, lymph system, lymph nodes, tonsils, liver, appendix (basically a large lymph node), and bone marrow\n\n\n\tIf we think of our immune system as soldiers we see the importance of feeding these soldiers the nutrients they need for virility. The intake of certain nutrients greatly influences how well these soldiers protect us from germs and disease.\n\n\n\tSome of the vitamins and nutrients that are important to the function of the immune system include:\n\n\n\tVitamin C\n\n\n\tVitamin C provides a protective function against free radicals. Increases white blood cells, antibodies, and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats the cell preventing viruses from entering.\n\n\n\tHerbal sources: Red Clover, Burdock, Nettles, Mullein, Comfrey, Plantain, Alfalfa, Cayenne, Catnip, Burdock, Black Cohosh, Chickweed, Garlic, Ginger, Dandelion, Echinacea, Peppermint, Yarrow, Rose Hips, Yellow Dock, Oregon Grape Root, Lobelia.\n\n\n\tFood sources: Broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, red bell peppers, strawberries, tomoatoes\n\n\n\tVitamin E\n\n\n\tVitamin E stimulates production of natural killer cells, those that seek and destroy germs and cancer cells. It also enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria.\n\n\n\tHerbal sources: Dandelion Root, watercress, alfalfa, rose hips, red raspberry leaf, comfrey, burdock root, Echinacea, slippery elm, and yarrow.\n\n\n\tFood sources: Almonds, broccoli, dandelion greens, and spinach.\n\n\n\tCarotenoids \/ Beta carotene\n\n\n\tBeta carotene is the most familiar carotenoid. The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A which itself has immune boosting properties. Too much vitamin A can be toxic so rather than taking supplements it is better to get extra beta carotene from foods which provide healthy, absorbable levels of vitamin A.\n\n\n\tHerbal sources: Alfalfa, nettles, mullein, dandelion root, comfrey, cayenne, yellow dock, watercress, red raspberry leaves, lobelia, black cohosh, burdock root, chickweed, echinacea, garlic, ginger, red clover, peppermint, rose hips, yarrow.\n\n\n\tFood sources: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mango, peaches, red bell pepper, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, and winter squashes\n\n\n\tBioflavenoids\n\n\n\tProtect the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Around the cells are receptor sites where germs can attach. Bioflavenoids attach to the cells of the immune system and prevent germs from doing so. A diet that includes at least six servings daily of fruits and vegetables will provide the body with a healthy level of bioflavenoids.\n\n\n\tHerbal sources: Rose hips, cayenne, burdock root, dandelion, red clover, slippery elm.\n\n\n\tFood Sources: Elder berries, buckwheat greens, citrus fruits.\n\n\n\tGlutathione\n\n\n\tGlutathione is an amino acid found in a variety of foods, and is also produced by every cell in the body. It is a potent antioxidant, and helps to neutralize and break down free radicals so that they may be eliminated and destroyed. It also helps to strengthen and regenerate immune cells.\n\n\n\tHerbal sources: Milk thistle\n\n\n\tFood sources: asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, onions, oranges, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tHerbs for the immune system:\n\n\n\tAstragalus\n\n\n\tAstragalus membranaceus\n\n\n\tStimulates T-Cell activity. Stimulates phagocytosis(invader-engulfing activity), increasing the total number of cells and the aggressiveness of their activity. Increased macrophages activity has been measured as lasting up to seventy-two hours. It increases the number of stem cells (the ‘generic”cells that can become any type needed) in the marrow and lymph tissue, stimulates their maturation into active immune cells, increases spleen activity, increases releases of antibodies, and boosts the production of hormonal messenger molecules that signal for virus destruction.”\n\n\n\tPreparation and dosage:\n\n\n\tTea: 2-3 ounces of herb to a pot of tea; drink throughout the day.\n\n\n\tTincture: 30-60 drops up to four times daily.\n\n\n\tFood: add 4-8 slices of astragalus root to any broth or stock and simmer for 2-3 hours see recipes attached.\n\n\n\tNo toxicity has ever been shown from ingestion of astragalus.\n\n\n\tSiberian Ginseng\n\n\n\tEleutherococcus senticosus\n\n\n\tIncreases immunocompetent cells, specifically T lymphocytes ( helper \/ inducer, cytotoxic, and natural killer cells).\n\n\n\tCumulative results: the longer you use it, the better it works. It tends to kick in after 6 months of use.\n\n\n\tIt is a momamine oxidase inhibitor which Buhner indicates as being helpful in depression.\n\n\n\tPreparation and dosage:\n\n\n\tCold infusion 3-6 ounces up to three times daily\n\n\n\tExtract:1-3 full droppers 1-3 times daily.\n\n\n\tMay temporarily increase blood pressure which tends to drop back down to normal after a few weeks of use.\n\n\n\tIs a better alternative for those under 40 than American or Korean Ginseng it does not posses the strong estrogenic effects that the two Ginsengs do.\n\n\n\tEchinacea\n\n\n\tEchinacea purpurea or Echinacea angustifolia\n\n\n\tBoosts the immune system by stimulating the body to produce more infection-fighting weapons. Interferon kills germs and also infiltrates their genetic control center, preventing them from reproducing. Echinacea also increases the immune systems production of macrophage cells, as well as prohibiting the invading bacteria from secreting an enzyme called hyaluronidase. This prevents the bacteria from being able to break through the protective membranes such as the lining of the intestines and respiratory tract, and invade tissue.\n\n\n\tPreparation and dosage:\n\n\n\tIt is best to use Echinacea when the first symptoms of a cold or flu are noticed.\n\n\n\tExtract: Full dropper of the extract each hour until symptoms cease. (Note: discontinue use of Echinacea after a few weeks.)\n\n\n\tShitake Mushrooms\n\n\n\tLentinus edodes\n\n\n\tShitake mushrooms mobilize the immune system against viruses, bacteria, cancer and parasites. One of its major constituents, lentinan, has been shown to stimulate immunocompetent cells (T cell production and aggressiveness, natural killer cells, and macrophages), to ne directly active against viral encephalitis, and to have potent antitumor activity and aggressiveness of the human immune system against abnormal cells.\n\n\n\tIncrease your intake of the following foods and herbs to help boost your immune system.\n\n\n\tGarlic\n\n\n\tGarlic is rich in sulfur containing compounds such as allicin and sulfides. Many believe this may be the source of its immune boosting ability. Eating garlic stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting cells, and also acts as an antioxidant reducing the build- up of free radicals in the blood stream. Garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties and helps to cleanse the body of unhealthy microorganisms.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tBeets\n\n\n\tPacked full of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, copper, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. They are also high in fiber.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tBroccoli\n\n\n\tBroccoli is rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids. It also contains a variety of other powerful antioxidants. Broccoli is a good source of B-complex vitamins, sulfur, iron, and chlorophyll, and has more vitamin C than citrus fruits.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tCabbage\n\n\n\tHas powerful anti cancer agents such as indoles, chlorophyll, and flavenoids that block the development of cancerous cells. Also naturally fermented and unpasteurized sauerkraut is an excellent source of beneficial bacteria and is helpful for improving the health of intestinal flora.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tCarrots\n\n\n\tCarrots are one of the best sources of beta-carotene.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tKale\n\n\n\tKale has the highest content of carotenoids of all the leafy green vegetables. It also contains chlorophyll, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and iron.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tParsley\n\n\n\tParsley contains an abundance of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and magnesium and is a rich source of chlorophyll.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tWatercress\n\n\n\tWatercress is exceptionally rich in calcium, iron, and carotenoids. Also watercress is high in chlorophyll.\n\n\n\tSoups, stews, baking and roasting increase the purifying and nutrifying impact of these foods.\n\n\n\tTry adding astragalus, shitake mushrooms, or dried seaweeds to soups or grains.\n\n\n\tDon’t fret about exact amounts and dosing – just get started and throw some in to taste.\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tSoup Recipe \n\n\n\t 2 cups carrots (diced)\n\n\n\t 2 cups butternut squash (diced)\n\n\n\t 1 cup onion (diced)\n\n\n\t 4 clove garlic (minced)\n\n\n\t 1-3 T olive oil\n\n\n\t 5 cups water or stock\n\n\n\t 6 pieces astragalus root\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tHeat a large soup pot and add olive oil. Add onions, carrots, squash, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add water or stock, and astragalus root. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Cool slightly. Remove astragalus root and puree soup in a blender. Reheat the soup. Season to taste. Makes 4 servings.\n\n\n\t*Any vegetable can be substituted in this recipe. Use a 1: 1 ratio of veggies to water or stock.\n\n\n\tHerbal Syrup\n\n\n\t4 parts Honey (local)\n\n\n\t1 part herbal infusion\n\n\n\tuse any combination of herbs mentioned above\n\n\n\tTo prepare herbal infusion:\n\n\n\tI quart of water\n\n\n\t4 tsp. Herb mixture\n\n\n\t \n\n\n\tAny herbs that are roots, bark, or seeds, will need to be simmered in the water as they are tougher.\n\n\n\tAdd these to your water and bring to a boil.\n\n\n\tReduce to a simmer for 30 minute to an hour.\n\n\n\tTurn off the heat and add the herbs that are leaves or flowers to the infusion and let sit 30 minutes or overnight.\n\n\n\tStrain into a measuring cup and add honey.\n\n\n\tHeat the honey and herbal infusion or water together until the water and honey have merged.\n\n\n\tRemove from heat.\n\n\n\tOptional:\n\n\n\tadd 1\/4 cup black cherry concentrate\n\n\n\tadd 1\/4 cup Brandy or glycerin as a preservative\n\n\n\tStore in an amber bottle in the refrigerator. Should keep 3-6 months\n\n\n\tReferences:\n\n\n\tBuhner, S. (1998). Herbal Antibiotics. Pownal, VT: Story Books.\n\n\n\tVukovic, L. (1998). 14-Day Herbal Cleanse. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall.kju\n\n\n\tNovember, 2008\n\n\n\tIngrid Petres is our Production Assistant and Weekend Manager.\n\n\n\tShe also helps design our new labels and color ads.\n\n\n\tShe has been with Cheryl's Herbs since 2005 and is a Certified Aromatherapist.