Your immune system is responsible for fighting off foreign bodies and microorganisms in order to help you remain in good health. Although the system is very effective, it may become overwhelmed by unfamiliar microbes or an abundance of microorganisms. Your immune system can become compromised due to stress, lack of sleep, medications or medical problems. When this occurs, you are more vulnerable to the attacks of microorganisms and at an increased risk for falling ill.
You can take steps to strengthen your immune system: eat well, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and monitor any of your chronic illnesses. You can support these efforts by using herbal remedies that may help ensure your immune system functions properly. We are just beginning to understand how herbs support immune health: more research is needed to confirm suspected benefits of herbs for immune support.
Echinacea has been one of the most widely studied and frequently recommended herbs to support immune health. Many studies have confirmed that Echinacea can assist with key immune system functions. For example, a small trial at the School of Biological, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at the University of New England in Australia found that after taking an Echinacea supplement, study participants produced more of a special variety of white blood cells. Based on this and other studies, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists Echinacea as “likely effective” at reducing the duration of cold symptoms however further research is still needed.
There are many other herbs that may promote a healthy immune system, but these herbs are still undergoing additional study to determine effectiveness. Some of the herbs currently under investigation include aloe vera extract, sambucus (black elderberry), garlic and astragalus root. All of these herbs have been used in various forms of alternative medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy. Natural practitioners continue to recommend these herbal solutions to patients while medical science studies them concurrently for use in specific health concerns relating to the immune system. Some of these herbs may also be appropriate for children, and as a result special pediatric supplements for immune support are available.
Talk to your health care practitioner before beginning any herbal treatment for immune system support. He or she can make a determination on the safety of a particular herbal formula based on your overall health and what other supplements and medications you take. After receiving professional recommendations, you can find the perfect immune support supplements for your needs here at drugstore.com. back to top »
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