The immune system is your body's natural defense network - when it is weakened or compromised, you are more susceptible to disease and infection. You can encourage your natural healing response by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, managing your stress levels, and with the prudent use of supplements, including:
- A daily antioxidant. A quality antioxidant supplement can fill nutritional gaps (even in a healthy diet) and help support overall immune function.
- Astragalus. This root of a plant in the pea family has antiviral and immune-enhancing properties and a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to ward off colds and flu.
- Echinacea. The dried root and leaves of the purple coneflower can help stimulate immune activity and boost resistance against bacteria and virus.
- Immune-enhancing mushrooms. Maitake, reishi, agaricus, and enoki all provide immune-strengthening benefits. Combination products are often more effective than individual species.
- Arctic root or rhodiola. Also known as "golden root" or "roseroot," this is traditionally used in Eastern Europe as a general tonic and can help reduce the harmful effects of stress on the immune system.