November is almost here, and that means cold and flu season is on the way! That’s why I wanted to share some of my favorite herbs for boosting the immune system, and keeping germs at bay. A healthy functioning immune system can help stop colds in their tracks by creating a barrier that prevents germs from entering the body. If any pathogens or antigens do make their way into the body, the immune system is also responsible for producing white blood cells to fight these germs.
By strengthening your immune system with all natural tonic herbs, you can not only reduce your chances of picking up germs, but also improve your body’s response should it happen to come in touch with germs. Here are my favorite adaptogenic herbs for doing just that!
Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom that restores Jing, the bodies deepest energy reserve. Jing is responsible for brain function, fertility/reproductive health, body strength, immune function, bone development, and overall energetic output.
Cordyceps has potent antiinflammatory effects and also promotes the adaptive immune system, boosting cellular immunity (SRC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/). The adaptive immune system is responsible for producing killer cells, which play a major role in the fighting both tumours and virally infected cells in the body.
By supporting the adaptive immune system cordyceps can be used as an effective immuno-modulator. It has even been used for treatment of autoimmune diseases and for immunosuppression after organ transplant.
There’s a reason reishi was traditionally called “The Great Protector.” The mushroom has a long history of helping people cultivate a robust immune system.
Scientists are still studying how exactly reishi achieves such a potent immuno-modulating effect. One thing we do know is that reishi has shown profound effects on white blood cells in the human body. Not only can reishi alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells, reishi has also been shown to increase the activity of white blood cells and even the number of white blood cells.*
In addition to its effects on the immune system, Reishi has many other benefits such as the ability to improve feelings of fatigue or depression.
Reishi Spore Powder
Reishi spores are the seed or pollen of the reishi mushroom. As the seed of reishi, the spores act as both a Jing and Shen tonic. The reishi spores are high in betaglucans, which have been shown to boost immune cells in the body.*
Isolating the spores from the rest of the mushroom means the spore powder offers unique benefits such as:
- Higher concentration of triterpenes
- More ganoderic acids and oils
- Rich in micronutrient compounds and fibers
- Supports the immune system
- Aids sleep
- Reduces stress
- Anti-fungal and Anti-bacterial effects
- Improves blood pressure, circulation
- As the “seed” of reishi, can act as both a Jing/Shen tonic
Lion’s Mane is famous for its ability to support cognition and heal the brain. What many people don’t know, is that it can also function as a powerful immuno-modulator. With its dense chemical makeup of polysaccharides, polyphenols, beta-glucans, terpenoids, and proteins, it is among the elite echelon of immuno-modulating mushrooms.
Lion’s mane can also promote a healthy gut environment, which is a key component to building a healthy immune system. With its antimicrobial effects, lion’s mane can indirectly heal the immune system through the gut microbiome. By reducing inflammation, lion’s mane nurtures the flow and overall health of the gut-brain-immune system meridian.
Hyperion’s Chaga extract ranges from no less than 30% polysaccharide to 35% depending on the batch. But why should you care about polysaccharides? Well, polysaccharides actually plug into the receptor sites of immune cells and modulate systematic functionality in our bodies.
The awesome thing about Chaga is that it acts as a perfect bridge between Reishi and Cordyceps as it is both calming like Reishi, while having an immediate energy "pick up" type feeling that is typical of Cordyceps.
Chaga has a long history in Chinese Medicine as an immune tonic because it is known to aid the wei qi. Wei qui is also called the surface defence qui. The difference between two individuals exposed to the same pathogenic influence and one becoming sick is the integrity of their wei qi. Chaga is a primary ally in supplementing the wei qi and thus is instrumental in defending the immune system from external pathogenic influences.
Gynostemma is a delicious herbal tea that can be enjoyed any time of the day, and that provides a gentle regulatory effect on the immune system. This benefit is thought to come from the saponins in gynostemma (of which the herb has 82-88). These saponins exert a regulatory and adaptogenic effect on the body, helping to balance a wide range of biological systems such as the central nervous system, the immune system, the reproductive system and the endocrine system.
Other gynostemma benefits may include:
- A respiratory tonic
- Digestive aid
- Protection and support of the normal functioning of the liver and cardiovascular systems
- Counteracts the effects of Nuclear Factor Kappa B
- Stimulates the production of the body’s most powerful endogenous antioxidant, SOD or Super Oxide Dismutase.
- Easy to use and tastes great
To learn more about these amazing herbs check out the Hyperion store for our top herbs for Super Immunity.