It might go without saying that the absolute best thing you can do for your immune system is to get enough quality sleep and manage your stress well — and of course to limit sugar and eat a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet. But beyond that, there are some amazing plants (known as adaptogens) that are able to both help the body adapt to stress and strengthen the immune system. In my new book “Super Powders” (available for pre-order now!) you can read more about these amazing plants.
So, when you know cold and flu season is coming, or you’re traveling a lot and feel generally more at risk, add in some of these super-plants to boost your body’s ability to protect itself.
Astragalus is a yellow root and considered to be an adaptogen. It is many practitioners’ first go-to when looking to help someone build up resistance to colds and flus. It can both help ward off illness and help the body recover from illness. Interestingly, it’s recommended to stop taking astragalus if you get sick with a fever, as it may prolong the fever.
Reishi is a mushroom known for its calming and immunity-supporting benefits. In fact, it’s referred to as the queen healer mushroom! Reishi can both improve sleep and strengthen the liver to boost detoxification — both very important for keeping the body resilient. It’s both rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, so make sure to make this super mushroom part of your fall and winter rotation!
Cordyceps is another medicinal mushroom with a range of benefits. It was traditionally seen as a lung strengthener and celebrated as an aphrodisiac. Studies have found it to be beneficial for blood sugar regulation, too. It’s a great source of antioxidants and may even give you an energy boost.
Turkey tail is another powerful mushroom that’s been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and throughout Japan, where turkey tail tea was used to strengthen the body to fight off infection and illness. It’s a great source of prebiotics — those fibers that feed the good bacteria in our gut and keeps them happy and thriving. A healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system!
There are many ways to ingest these plants. The easiest is to add ¼ tsp of the plant in a dried powder form to a smoothie or latte. Several Be Well products also supply adaptogens including Adaptogens, Immune Boost and Immune Support. Adaptogens are fat-soluble so it’s ideal to take them with some fat! You can take theses as capsules and tinctures as well. Brands like Four Sigmatic and Moon Juice have targeted blends and even instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolates with these powders added to make it really easy and convenient, even on the go. My upcoming book “Super Powders” is jam-packed with tips and recipes for how to use these super powders.
Note: Ask your doctor before starting to take any new herbal supplements, especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, on any medication, or under a doctor’s care for any health conditions.