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Travis Lemon: Focus on your immune system sooner rather than later

September 24, 2018

Many people wait to think about their immune system until it’s too late. Though supporting your immune system in the height of cold and flu season can still help, I find starting an immune building regimen in early fall to be the way to go. Here are a few of the supplements that I am making sure to have in my natural “medicine” cabinet.

Vitamin C: Everyone knows that vitamin C is great for keeping a healthy immune system, but how many of us actually take it every day or just wait until we start feeling rough? My guess is more of the latter. I suggest starting at about 500mgs a couple times a day and working up to around 1000mgs three to five times a day. Let your stomach be your guide on this one, we all have a slightly difference tolerance.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D can play a big part in our immunity, especially in the months with colder weather and gloomier, shorter days. Check with your doctor to see how much vitamin D you need, but many doctors these days are suggesting anywhere from 1000 to 5000 international units per day. In the case of a deficiency, much higher doses may be needed.

Astragalus: While many herbs like echinacea and goldenseal can be great for short-term use, astragalus is one of the few immune supporting herbs that can be taken long-term. Astragalus is considered an adaptogen and may work by supporting the immune system during times of stress. Check the directions on the bottle, but one capsule around three times a day seems to be the standard dose.

Garlic: It may be hard to eat garlicky food every day, but a tablet containing a standardized amount of garlic can be a big help in the winter months. Look for a supplement that guarantees a certain amount of garlic’s active property, allicin.

Keep some echinacea, goldenseal and oregano oil around just in case, and stock the cupboard with a few warming herbal teas, and hopefully you will be well prepared for cold and flu season.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.

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