Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What Herbs That Support Immune Function and Help Prevent Illness

Your Responsibility in Learning About Herbs and Alternative Medicine

I have had some readers ask that I go into these blog subjects more in depth. Once I give you some of this information, I expect you to research these subjects further. You will learn so much more by exploring these subjects on your own.  I want you to take herbs because you have researched it yourself and are confident that it is the right decision for your health. I don't want you to just accept what I write.

Knowledge is power. You need knowledge to be proactive so that you can make informed and educated decisions concerning your life and health. Do not assume doctors know everything. Do not take their advise blindly without researching it further. It is your life and your body. Start questioning information you receive from sources pushing drugs, telling you there is not option but theirs. 

How to Research Alternative Therapies and Herbs

Do not research herbs and alternative medicine under standard medicine links. Those Web MD links and others are generally very biased against herbs. There are billions of dollars of research published from Germany, Japan, Russia, and Asia on herbal medicine. These are solid research studies.  These research studies are not accepted by standard medicine here. Again I repeat, there is a bias against herbal medicine in the US. That is because of the power and influence of the drug companies, the FDA, and the AMA. They are making all too much money from pushing drugs down your throat.  The money made on a single drug amounts to millions of dollars. This money goes into the pockets of the drug companies and the doctors who push the drugs. Yes, your doctor makes money when you buy drugs. You need a doctor's prescription to buy those drugs, don't you. The drug stores make a good profit too.  The drug companies reward the doctors for sales of their drugs. They pay them to push prescription drugs. Some doctors make over $50,000 a year from drug companies to push a particular prescription to their patients. These facts can all be verified if you do the research. 

Review of Last Weeks Blog Here

Last blog I talked about the immune system and its relationship to sickness. It is pretty simple. When your immune system function is healthy and working properly, you will not get sick often or stay sick for long. In my last blog, I gave you some vitamins that will support your immune function. Poor immune function = colds, flu, and sickness!

Today, I am going to discuss herbs that will prevent sickness by bolstering up your immune system.  I don't take antibiotics. It has been thirty years or so since I discovered alternative medicine and that is what I use on a daily basis. I don't just talk herbs, I use them.  I live my life by them.  They have saved my life.

The first herbs we will discuss are immune building herbs. These herbs when taken properly, feed and support your immune system. Herbs feed the different systems of your body that fight infections and disease. These systems were created at inception. Life and negative lifestyle habits are rough on these immune systems. Unless we give them extra support at times, they break down or function less effectively resulting is sickness. Sickness is imbalance in the body. 

Herbs that support immune function: Adaptogenic herbs

There has been tremendous quality research published by research institutions in Russia, Germany, China, and Japan. These are government backed double blind research studies on herbs and their effect on the body and immune function. This research all confirms how certain herbs can improve your response to stress both physical and mental. They help normalize body system functions. These herbs help the different systems such as the cardiac system to work more effectively. They act as a tonic, immune stimulator, and increase the over-all function of the body.  When combined into an immune formula, they are quite effective for preventing disease. Stress, along with other life style factors hurt your immune function and add to body imbalance. Adaptogenic herbs help your body withstand these negative factors. 

Adaptogenic Herbs Include :

  • Chinese/Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
  • Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • Withania (Withania somnifera)
  • Ashwagandha
  • Eleuthero
  • Licorice
These herbs (mostly Chinese and Asian) can be purchased by themselves but are usually taken combined in a herbal immune formula. The combination of these herbs together often are more effective than taking a single herb by itself.  Chinese medicine has been using these herbs for centuries. They understand how to combine them to achieve the most effective results. Their use has been proven over hundreds of years. Research studies in those countries now are proving how they work. Use over hundreds of years show they have and do work today.

In many studies adaptogens have been shown to:
  • Increase physical and mental stamina and performancer
  • Protect against the effects of radiation
  • Reduce the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Reduce the incidence of infection
  • Increase resistance to chemical carcinogens 
Ashwaganda: nourishes and supports the nervous and immune system; normalizes mood; improves energy levels; improves immune system function; calms and restores health to the nervous system. 

Astragalus Root: Supports the immune system; supports the liver; assists the body to adapt to stress; and improves resistance to stress breakdown.  This herb is cardiotonic (supports healthy heart functions); hypotensive ( normalizes blood pressure); used in Ayurveidic medicine to treat liver and kidney disease. 

In Ayurvedic medicine it is used to strengthen weak patients, improve recovery from illness or stress; support distressed organ function; improve immune function and T-Cells; increase macrophage activity; and to bolster immune-compromised patients.

Eleutherococcus: has been successfully used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite. Its anticholesteremic, has mild anti-inflammatory properties, and is an antioxidant.

Schisandra:  general tonic; supports liver function; improves resistance to stress and fatigue; improves mental function; increases physical endurance; helps with insomnia and neurasthenia. 

Jiaogulan: antibacterial; anti-inflammatory; supports healthy blood pressure, immune function, fat metabolism, and cholesterol levels. It is extremely beneficial and effective. Grows in parts of China, Korea, Japan, and India. 

Reishi , Shiitake, and Maitake Mushrooms:  enhances immune function; anti-tumor properties; general tonic for the body; enhances overall health.   

The three kinds of mushrooms listed above are a good source for iron, thiamin, riboflavin, B6, zinc, and many other nutrients. High in Vitamin D which supports immune function.  Nutrition is medicine.

Cancer and the Benefit of Mushrooms:  Article quote below from Natural News Here

"Many of the medicinal mushrooms, including chaga mushroom, maitake mushroom, ganoderma mushroom, and cordyceps mushroom, contain cancer-preventive and cancer-fighting actions. Research has focused on the polysaccharides with beta 1,3 glucan linkages. Indole-3-carbinol is a nutrient found in large quantities in cruciferous vegetables. It is a potent antagonist of breast cancer, reducing formation of cancerous compounds from hormones and participating in blockage of cancer cell progression.
- The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.

Other mushroom extracts that have been shown to have clinical effectiveness against human cancers are D-fraction extracted from the Maitake mushroom, and extracts from the split gill, turkey tail and Reishi mushrooms. In 1998, Maitake Products received FDA approval for an Investigational New Drug Phase II pilot study of maitake mushroom extract in the treatment of advanced breast and prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that the consumption of mushrooms in the diet may ward off cancer.
- You Don't Have to be Afraid of Cancer Anymore by Bill Sardi

As with many of the medicinal mushrooms, Shiitake has been shown to be of benefit as an adjuvant cancer therapy. It has been shown to improve specific immune markers (including natural killer cells, tumor necrosis factor, T-helper cells, and a variety of interleukins), and patient outcomes.
- The Health Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms by Mark Stengler

Natural News (quoted information above)  is one of the best resources on the net for alternative medicine information and research.  I suggest you read all of his newsletters and blogs.

Licorice Root: tonic for spleen; benefits all 12 meridians in Chinese medicine; anti-inflammatory; supports adrenal and immune function;  can raise blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure; effects the body as corticosteroids do;  anti-allergic properties; beneficial for peptic ulcers; used to strengthen adrenal glands and function.

My next column will address herbs that are natural antibiotics and do have anti-viral activity as well.  It will also go into some essential oils that address colds and flu.  Herbs do work against virus and bacteria. 

Update: We now live in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015

Review these exceptional Nature's Sunshine Immune supplements here 

Review Natural remedies that work against bacteria, virus, and other bad guys here

Review Immune Stimulator here 

Review excellent garlic supplements here

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

God bless all of you this weekend,
Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


  1. hi thanks for the brief review of products will be here to know.

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