Efective immune boosters
Eat mushrooms! Mushrooms, including maitake and shiitake, are among the most researched immuneboosting,infection-preventing foods. Among their principal active ingredients are polysaccharides, which can improve the body’s germ-fighting capabilities.
Aloe vera (whose active ingredients also contain polysaccharides). A dosage of 50 to 100 milligrams daily of aloe-leaf concentrate containing 1 percent or more acemannan is significant and useful.
Beta-glucan (a subunit of active polysaccharides found in mushrooms and aloe). A 50 to 100 milligram daily supplement for adults (less for children, although beta-glucan is generally safe) will usually do the job.
multivitamin. Researchers have found that a basic multivitamin/mineral supplement
can reduce overall illness, including infection, especially among the older population (age 60 and up). Make sure to take one every day.
Eat more Garlic. Modern researchers have shown that garlic, particularly fresh
raw garlic, has a broad spectrum of antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects. One garlic clove (approximately 4 grams) eaten daily is a useful amount. If taken as a supplement, garlic should contain a daily dose of at least 10 milligrams of alliin.
supplement your multivitamin with more of the following: Vitamin A. For most adults (except pregnant mothers), 15,000 to 25,000 IU is an appropriate and safe level. For children, 5,000 to 10,000 IU is generally safe. Before using more for either children or adults, it’s wisest to consult a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional medicine.
Zinc. For adults and teen-agers, 30 milligrams of zinc (picolinate or citrate) daily; for smaller children above 2 years of age, 15 milligrams daily. Note: Zinc supplements should usually be offset by a small amount of copper, 1-2 milligrams daily.
Vitamin E. 400 IU (as “mixed tocopherols”) daily for adults and 50-400 IU daily for
children, depending on their size. (Vitamin E is generally very safe.)
Vitamin C. One gram (1,000 milligrams) two or three times daily for adults and a minimum of “20 milligrams per pound” for children. (The “vitamin C causes kidney stones” myth has been largely disproven.) But will vitamin C prevent infection? Results of research are decidedly mixed, but there’s general consensus that, even if it doesn’t actually
prevent infection, it definitely reduces the length of time spent being ill and the severity of symptoms in cases of infection.
Echinacea. 300 to 600 milligrams daily of an echinacea preparation containing 3.5 percent
echinacoside is a useful and safe quantity.
It is recommended that it be taken from the onset of viral symptoms until 48 hours after the symptoms disappear. It should not be taken habitually as a preventative measure. When you are well and free of infections, taking echinacea over stimulates the immune system unnecessarily, depleting its capabilities. This results in immune system suppression, which leads to greater risk of illness. It is therefore recommended not to take echinacea for longer than eight weeks.
Reasons Not to Take It
For most people who take echinacea over the short term, the herb is relatively safe and non-toxic. However, some may experience allergic reactions. Individuals who may be allergic to echinacea include those with a history of asthma or rhinitis and allergy to members of the daisy family. In these cases, echinacea is best avoided.
Echinacea should not be taken by people with auto-immune diseases, including lupus, multiple sclerosis and collagen disorders. This is due to the nonspecific stimulatory effect that echinacea has on the immune system; it can worsen symptoms of the disease.
Individuals with tuberculosis or who are HIV-positive should also avoid taking the herb, because their decreased immune capabilities may be more rapidly depleted with over stimulation.
Additionally, persons on immunosuppressive drugs like corticosteroids or cyclosporin, are cautioned against the use of echinacea. Corticosteroids and cyclosporin are drugs commonly used after organ transplants and with lupus. Using echinacea with immunosuppressive drugs counters their effect, possibly resulting in severe illness.
Long-term use of echinacea has been associated with toxicity to the liver. Hence, it should never be taken with other drugs that are also toxic to the liver, such as anabolic steroids, amiodarone, methotrexate or ketoconazole. This area of drug-herb reaction is not completely understood; therefore, the best approaches are to avoid habitual use of echinacea and to discuss its use thoroughly with your physician.
Astragalus, Andrographus, and Picrorrhiza. If used as individual herbs, 2 to 6 grams of dried Astragalus root or dried Andrographus daily is appropriate and safe. For Picrorrhiza, daily amounts are 500 milligrams to 2 grams; higher doses can cause gas, diarrhea, and a skin rash. A basic principle of effective nutritional and botanical treatment is to use a
little of several effective items rather than a large amount of just one.
Actually, orange juice is quite high in sugar and acid, so it's not so good for flu. Flu is gonna do what it's gonna do, assuming what you have really is the flu and not a cold, but a cold is gonna do what it's gonna do as well. While the mushrooms mentioned above are good for the immune system, they're better taken as preventative than when you're already sick, since they don't work that quickly. It takes a while for that effect to build up. A better remedy is to take echinacea or astragalus based remedies while you're sick. Echinacea shouldn't be taken regularly, just as needed; astragalus can be taken regularly, though most wouldn't have a reason to. A decent formula is Gaia's astragalus based formula. Two good natural anti-virals are olive leaf and elderberry, which will go directly to the virus that is the cause of cold and flu. Take them three times a day and hope. If you take a homeopathic remedy called oscillicoccinum, or however it's spelled, at the very beginning of symptoms you might not get sick at all, but I find you'll probably get sick later unless you do something about the immune weakness. But nothing medicinal or natural will stop the cold or flu in its tracks --ain't currently curable. The above remedies should shorten the intensity, however, and might keep you going depending on how virulent the strain is and how strong you are and how old you are and how much you desire to keep going.