What’s your take on immune boosting herbs? Anything in particular I should be looking for?
The focus on immune function and sudden interest by the public has of course, been driven quite a bit by the COVID-19 epidemic.
That’s largely because until there’s a (supposed) vaccine, there wasn’t a whole lot the medical community could do for you in the unfortunate event you contracted it. Which of course is a scary proposition.
I had a friend of a friend who was infected, and had to be hospitalized. When I asked what the Dr’s were doing other than putting him on a ventilator (or respirator), his reply was stark: “Nothing, they said there’s nothing they could do – it’s up to him”.
“Up to him” really means this: Your immune system is your first and last line of defense in beating this thing, and that’s when people go into hyperdrive looking for alternative therapies.
Now important to note I’m no Dr, but I can tell you a few of the things I’m doing to address this. This is the real deal, and it’s the protocol I have my wife and son following too.
Protocol to Follow
First: 8+ hours of deep, restful sleep per night. Sleep is only given lip service to immune function, but it underpins everything. Let’s say that again, SLEEP is VITAL to Immunity
A related fundamental, train with an appropriate frequency and intensity that likewise boosts immune function. Too much and you whack immunity, too little and you don’t get the boost. It’s a balance, but to put a stick in the ground I’d tell you twice a week resistance training, twice a week conditioning work. Do challenge yourself, don’t flatten yourself.
Another related fundamental: Diet. Limit the amount of crap you eat and instead eat real, nutritious food. More food than protein powder, and don’t forget the vegetables. If you can’t stomach those, drink freshly squeezed or blended veggies in the form of V8 like vegetable drink. The latter isn’t optimal, but it is MILES better than nothing.
As we get to micronutrients, these are in no particular order.
1) A highly bio-available form of Zinc and Magnesium (owing to largescale deficiencies). ZMA is acceptable.
2) Vitamin D, in an amount that sees your blood levels rise ideally to at least 50. Most Dr’s test for this now on the CBC. If yours doesn’t, ask to get it done pronto. 5,000 IU/day for most will begin moving the needle, with more than that likely in the winter months. If you’re JUST taking Vit D and your levels are going nowehere, add Mg as it works almost every time.
3) Vitamin C. I take 3g/day religiously when feeling my best. At the first sign of ANY trouble, I go up to 10g/day and keep increasing it. If I feel that I’m fighting anything off substantial, it’s 2-3 grams every hour on the hour until I’m in the bathroom (point of saturation). If you want a real idea of how good Vitamin C is, google studies done by Dr. Richard Klenner. Klenner preceeded Dr. Linus Pauling and successfully treated polio, various strains of influenza and a whole host of maladies with massive doses of C.
4) You can and should request IV vit C if ever hospitalized for this (or any) virus. If you don’t want to wait while they try and talk you out of it, hammer the liposomal vitamin C. Almost as good as injection, and no holier than thou gatekeepers to deal with.
5) Speaking of Vitamin C and Zinc, I came across an old but very interesting study on that combo this morning. What made it interesting was that it was a study done by big pharma Bayer…. several dozen cold patients were given a gram of vitamin C and 10 milligrams of zinc/day. Shortened both the duration and severity of the cold and its symptoms. That isn’t the first time that’s been observed, nor will it be the last. So if you’re not using these two while you’re sick, you’re shortchanging yourself (and de-facto, everyone around you).
6) Ginger, Echinacea and Elderberry have also been linked strongly to boosing immune function, as have various adaptogens and other herbs like Quercetin and Garlic. Of all of those, I’d probably start with garlic – either freshly crushed cloves or a product standardized for “Allicin”, the active ingredient. The only hesitation I’d have is in not using them all at once – because it makes it impossible to know which one works for you.
7) Thymusin Alpha 1 is excellent to have on hand as well. I keep two vials in the fridge and have for over a year – just in case.
There are a lot of vitamins, minerals, herbs and even peptides that can help in this fight. But they are finishing touches compared to adequate sleep, hydration, exercise and diet. Not a sexy answer, but may well spell the difference between you living and dying. That’s pretty blunt, but it’s also the truth and at a time like this – the truth matters.