Staying Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Healthy immune function begins with what you feed your body. Plant foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the basis for healthy immune functions. Regular exercise, getting enough rest, and managing stress are the three most important aspects of a strong immune system.

Certain herbs can help support your immune system and ward off colds, flu and infections.

For instance, garlic is full of compounds like thiosulfinates,ajoene and allian. Compounds that disinfect wounds and destroy fungal infections. No need to chew on raw garlic. One capsule of garlic taken daily will certainly boost your immune system, and help prevent colds and viral infections.

Oregano and thyme are also full of potent antimicrobial compounds. They can be consumed as a culinary herb or brewed into a healthy tea.

Echinacca [Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia] and goldenseal [Hydrastis canadensis] and often taken together as a daily supplement are probably the best known herbs for immune support. Clinical studies have shown that echinacea taken orally stimulates the function of immune cells in humans. While there are many different species of echinacea available, the best herbal medicine is found in E. purpurea and E. angustifolia. Echinacea in capsule form is often prescribed when you are coming down with a viral infection. Better still, take Echincea as a preventive against infections.

Goldenseal is thought to have antibacterial and antiviral action, but goldenseal is much more than this. It actually contains an antimicrobial compound called berberine, present in goldenseal and many related herb plants. Goldenseal works by increasing the secretions of mucous membranes in your nose and moth, making it harder for germs to make their way into your throat. Something to be said for a runny nose during a bout with colds or flu.

Another powerful herb with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties is the sage plant. Here’s a recipe for Sage Honey Cough Syrup. A wonderful and soothing remedy for sore throats and coughs.

1 cup of organic honey – buy from a local beekeeper if possible.

1/4 cup of water

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Add the ingredients to a saucepan, simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let the syrup steep for about 15 minutes. Strain the honey mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store the cough syrup in a sealed glass jar. Refrigerate for up to 3 months.

~ Meadow Walker

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