Back to school immune boosters

Posted By on September 20, 2010

It’s that time of the year when kids head back to school. Often they return home with more than they left with, such as a cold, flu, or any of the many other contagious illnesses that kids exchange. The key to prevention of sickness starts with a balanced diet containing plenty of raw organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and essential fatty acids. This can be difficult for the on-the-go lifestyle that so many children and parents sustain these days. For this reason, supplementing a multiple vitamin/mineral is very important. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, parents can enhance their child’s immune system by adding any one of the numerous natural immune boosters to their daily regimen.

Natural Immune Boosters
~Vitamin C and A (also beta carotene), and Zinc are essential nutrients for the proper function of the immune system and should be considered first.

 

echinacea flower

echinacea flower

~Echinacea– This herb has antiviral and antibacterial properties which have been shown to boost immunity and strengthen resistance to infection. Over 400 studies on echinacea have been compiled that consistently show its ability to stimulate the immune system. It’s been proven safe and effective for infants and children and seems to have the best effect when used short-term, such as during cold and flu season (or back to school season)!

~Astragalus– This is an herbal tonic that can be used long-term to boost immune function by increasing white blood cells and interferon (an antiviral agent). It’s safe for children and also works well at the first sign of a cold.

~Garlic- This age-old remedy for immunity contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Allicin, the active constituent in garlic, provides many health benefits in addition to strengthening the immune system. It promotes heart health and supports beneficial flora in the digestive tract. Many enjoy the tasty seasoning of garlic, but if your child is hesitant then try it in pill form.

~Colostrum- This is found in the nutrient-rich milk produced from a mother’s mammary glands during the first 72 hours after birth that contains growth factors and immune enhancing properties to ensure the health of the newborn. Bovine colostrum is taken by humans in supplement form as a strong immune enhancer and modulator and has been used to fight anything from the common cold to terminal autoimmune diseases.

Too Late? Try a Cold Buster
~Homeopathics- Homeopathics are an excellent choice for relieving symptoms quickly. They are safe for children, infants, and pregnant women and can work much faster than herbs if the correct remedy is chosen. For flu symptoms it’s most effective when used within the first 24 hours of onset.

~Elderberry- This extract from the berry has been found to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms by 50%! It’s also highly active against the flu virus, where prescription antibiotics fail. The good news-it tastes great too!

~Colloidal Silver– This is a fairly tasteless, bioavailable form of the trace mineral silver which has been used for centuries to kill bacteria. In fact, it was the primary antibiotic (proven to kill about 650 different organisms) used for illness in the pre-penicillin days. Colloidal silver is extremely versatile and can be used in ear drops, nasal sprays, or throat sprays to target the area of infection.

~Ginger– Commonly used to spice up your dinner, ginger is also an exceptional cold buster. It has antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight sore throats, respiratory infections, sinus infections and upset stomachs.

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have medical problems seek a professional.

Works Cited
Sheppard, Jane. July 2004. Holistic Pediatric Association. Herbal Medicine: Strengthening A Child’s Resistance to Illness. http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-health/articles/76/1/herbal-medicine Accesses 8/26/2006.

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