More Than Your Average Vitamin C
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Immune System is interconnected with everything. Spleen Qi (or energy), Lung Qi and Kidney Qi especially each have a role to play in the immune system’s ability to do its job well and protect you from colds, flu’s and “external evils” as they’re called in TCM.
Truly, having a strong immune system is an all-year kind of thing. When you’re sick, you have to treat the pathogen. When you’re not sick, you should be tonifying or strengthening the immune system to prevent colds and flu’s, and in TCM this includes allergies as well - they can be related to the same energetic strengths and weaknesses.
Here are my 5 favorite supplements for a strong immune system that can help you stay well long term:
5 Supplements for a Strong Immune System
Boost Essence by People's Herbs
This herbal remedy is one of my favorites. It is a balanced adaptogenic tonic formula that helps the body find a natural homeostasis. It has herbs that enter the Lung, Spleen and Kidney Channels. I always keep this formula on hand in my office because it is so excellent for people who are highly stressed, fatigued and feel like they are prone to get sick easily. 2 caps per day recommended.
Liquid Vitamin D 1,000IU by Seroyal
Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system and here in the Pacific NW, it is virtually impossible to generate enough naturally from sun exposure. A new study found that Vitamin D actually regulates the body’s ability to fight bacteria. When you combine that with the improved energy, improved bone strength and anti-cancer properties of this supplement, it is easy to see why EVERYONE should be taking it. In the Pacific NW I recommend 2,000 IU per day.
Probiotic Pearls by Integrative Therapeutics
Did you know that immunity starts in your gut? It does! Genetic sequencing has revealed that gut microbes are closely related to immune function, not to mention Peyer’s Patches - the large immune “sensors” specific to your intestines. Good gut bacteria is essential for immune health, and if you aren’t certain about the happiness of your gut bugs, three to six months of probiotic supplementation is recommended to cheer them up. IT Probiotic Pearls are my favorite because they are highly concentrated and shelf stable. 1 Pearl Per Day.
Empowered Cordyceps by People's Herbs
Cordyceps fungus is a Lung and Kidney tonic in Chinese Medicine. It is especially strong for reducing asthma, improving adrenal function and improving thyroid function. Also, because it helps with lung function, it has been found to improve endurance in high level athletes. I prescribe this often for patients who have low thyroid, fatigue and are prone to get sick in colder weather and for my Iron Man competitors to give them an edge, especially at altitude. People’s Encapsulations represent the best in quality and purity. 2 caps per day.
Five Mushroom Formula by People's Herbs
Mushrooms have long been heralded in Chinese Medicine as longevity tonics to increase energy and vitality. We now know that Reishi in particular, a Kidney Tonic, can also decrease blood pressure, improve sleep, and that it has mild anti-cancer properties as well. For patients who have cancer, who are are highly stressed and have trouble sleeping, or for patients who are recovering after a long illness, I often recommend Five Mushroom Formula to improve immunity and vitality. Can be taken in addition to any other remedy or regime to enhance its effectiveness. 2 caps per day.
Simple Supplements, Big Results
The supplements above are safe, simple and highly effective. Their effectiveness comes from the fact that they work on both physical and energetic levels. Improving gut health, improving sleep, improving the body’s natural anti-bacterial response, and immune sensing abilities of the gut - all important for long term immunity. With herbs that focus on the Lung - our first line of defense where immune battles are fought, on the Spleen - the supply line behind the soldiers, and the Kidney - like basecamp where extra supplies are stored, these herbs ensure that you have strong Qi for maintaining an immune system that is prepared for the fight and ready to win.
If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. All the supplements listed are available in office and for shipping if interested! Email me with questions.
Until next time,
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Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.