There are several products that we use during the cold season to support regulation of our immune system as well as ones we use when we come down with a cold.
This is one product that I like to use to support the immune system’s first line of defense or the innate immune response. PureDefense containes EpiCor® which is a yeast containing various bioactive metabolites. (This product is safe for yeast sensitive individuals such as those with Candida.) These nutrient metabolites are produced in a specialized fermentation process and enhance immune cell production. It also contains NAC (n-acetyl-l-cysteine) which promotes endogenous glutathione production for antioxidant protection and provides lung defense mechanisms for healthy respiratory function. In addition Vitamin D, elderberry, Vitamin C and Zinc are in the product. I find that PureDefense is especially good if someone has a tendency for loose bowels. If someone has constipation it can make it worse. So discrimination of pattern is needed.
Astragalus (huáng qí (Astragali Radix), 黃耆 ) is a great herb to use if you catch a lot of colds. According to Chinese Medicine, huáng qí “tonifies the Spleen, Stomach, Qi and Blood, and benefits the Wei Qi” (immune system). Research has shown it to increase endurance and immunity. This herb is recognized for increasing the body’s resistance and is now considered one of the world’s greatest immune tonics.
In Chinese Medicine it is said that if one already has a cold then astragalus should not be used as it can prolong a cold. The truth to that has been debated, however for most people except thin people with a lot of heat (red tongue, feels hot) it can be used safely during the winter.
Quality is important. I carry MediHerb “Astragalus Complex” in the office. You can also get astragalus from other reputable companies.
There is a famous Chinese Formula called “Jade Windscreen” that contains Astragalus root as well as White atractylodes rhizome (bai zhu, 白朮), and Siler root (fang feng, 防风). It is said to boost the “Wei Qi” or what we may call the innate immune system. I’ll often use this for patients if they get a lot of colds but also tend to have a damp constitution or condition. (overweight, loose bowels, tends to have white mucous secretions, sneezing). But if someone has more of a dry constitution (feels dry, dry bowels, dry skin, feels hot) then this formula will not be appropriate.
ColdQuell is a product I carry in the office.
It is useful for colds where there is a ‘heat’ condition such as sore throat, feels dry, fever, or thirst. In terms of disease diagnosis, this formula is for common cold and epidemic influenza with possible bronchitis and especially in women as opposed to men, and even more especially perimenstrually.
It is great for the beginning stages of a cold where you feel the throat is ‘scratchy’. If you catch it early enough it can stop a cold from taking hold.
Dr Linda loves the GUNA flu product as a homeopathic for the flu season. GUNA-FLU is a combination medicine for the prevention and treatment of influenza and cold syndromes. It is considered the homeopathic form of the anti-influenza vaccination The homeopharmacological structure of Guna-Flu is extremely intriguing with two primary ingredient components: • Immunostimulation component • Symptomatic ingredients component 1. Immunostimulating components: Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum and Influenzinum act selectively on the specific immunity by stimulating cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells (responsible for cytolysis of cells infected by the virus); and Asclepias vincetoxicum, which stimulates an excitation of the aspecific immunity, via an increase of lysozyme and interferon-gamma.. 2. Symptomatic ingredients core components: Aconitum napellus is the remedy for acute sudden feverish states. Belladonna is the remedy for inflammation, especially in the vasal phase in which it acts by decreasing congestion. Echinacea angustifolia acts by way of inflammatory process immunomodulation. Cuprum metallicum reduces the symptomatology characteristic of the influenzal syndrome, and as a trace element, it provides an anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory action.
There was an insightful interview on NPR’s “Here and Now” regarding the corruption within the USDA organic standards. Before the government took over labeling of the organic standards there was no big business involved. It was only small farmers who held the spirit of the organic food movement. Some states had their own labeling. But now that the USDA is involved and big box stores are selling organics, not because they believe organic food is good for you, but in the name of profit, the ‘organic’ standard has become green washed.
Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, delivered a clever TEDMED 2012 talk on pre-disease states. He sums up one of the main problems with our healthcare system – the over-treatment of potentially non-medical conditions that offer little return on investment. Here is Dr Oransky’s blog.
My wife, Joy, and I work with many prenatal women. We certainly honor the birthing choices our clients would like however we also try to educate regarding options. Many people. including us feel the C-Section rate (over 33% in the Boston area) is a bit out of control.
C-Sections are absolutely necessary. C-sections have saved tens of thousands of lives, both baby and mother. However 1 out of every 3 births do not require a C-Section as is shown by the lower C-Section rates of Toby Hospital in Wareham and the Mt Auburn Midwives. An emergency procedure has turned into almost a standard of care <a href=”http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17796664/ns/today-today_health/t/why-so-many-women-have-c-sections/#.T75eWr-zsgU” target=”_blank”>because of many factors.</a><!–more–>
C-Sections come with known side effects as they have been attributed to compromised immune systems because the baby does not get the bacteria as it passes through the birth canal. <a href=”http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2012/05/09/archdischild-2011-301141″ target=”_blank”>Today a study was released</a> that was carried out at Children’s hospital in Boston to determine if a C-section delivery increases the risk factor for childhood obesity.
What this study concluded was that: “<a href=”http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2012/05/09/archdischild-2011-301141″ target=”_blank”>Infants delivered by caesarean section may be at increased risk of childhood obesity.”</a>
In case you ask the study did adjust scores based on a mother’s pre-pregnancy weight as being overweight or obese increases chances of having a C-section and the risk of having an overweight or obese child.
Nature intended us to follow certain rules for a reason. It seems when we try to be smarter than nature (chemicals, GMO, C-section) there are consequences. <a href=”http://acupuncturenutrition.com/5-ways-to-avoid-a-c-section/” target=”_blank”>Here are 5 ways to avoid a C-section</a> so you can have a better birthing experience.
(From HealthDay News) — Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D may be putting their children at risk for language difficulties, Australian researchers report.
Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy may relieve the problem, they suggest.
“Adequate vitamin D levels among pregnant women may be important for the optimal development of their baby,” said lead researcher Andrew Whitehouse, an associate professor and reader in developmental psychopathology at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia. “However, it is important for the findings of this study to be replicated before any strong conclusions are made.” Read the rest of this entry
In New England the season of Earth and water goes from February 1 to June 1.
The element of water and earth predominate this season and are responsible for the body’s structure, and provides the “glue” or cohesion that holds the cells together. When these elements are in balance our joints are lubricated, skin is moist, immunity and vitality are strong. The expressive emotions of love, calmness and forgiveness flow easily. When the elements of water and earth (Kapha) are out of balance it leads to emotions such as attachment, possessiveness, greed, depression and physical symptoms such as congestive disorders, excess mucus, sinus related problems (are you doing your nedi pot?), allergies, sluggishness, dull aches, water retention, and pains, acceleration of arthritic conditions, especially osteoarthritis, fibrocystic changes and digestive related problems. Read the rest of this entry
Recipe #1 Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies
There is a great food blog that our neighbor suggested to us after she brought over these chocolate chili cherry black bean cookies (or some permutation on the name). They were wow, delicious!, and packed some punch and good nutrition at the same time.
Since Valentine’s Day is upon us it is a good time to bring up chocolate and the moral consequences that goes along with purchasing the majority of chocolate we find on the shelves. Certainly chocolate has a plethora of benefits as can easily be found in research studies. These are often because of the powerful plant chemicals known as polyphenols which are made by the plant to protect itself, however us humans can ingest polyphenols for nutritional benefit. A truly polyphenol rich dessert would be a dark chocolate with Shiraz red wine which will warm and protect your heart.
Yesterday I watched a phenomenal webinar on the effects of food chemicals and child behavior. It was entitled “Driven to Distraction: Food, chemicals and child behavior” and hosted by an organization that is worth knowing, Healthy Food Action. The webinar was recorded and they promise to have it up soon, once they do I’ll post a link.
Today a video with a similar theme was posted on a Functional Medicine listserv I am on. If you want to see digestion of wholesome foods vs. processed foods you need to check out this video. Amazing how long long those Ramen noodles are intact in the stomach. I guess we can also just use a compost bin to compare processed vs. whole instead of expensive technology.
Integrative Wellness Center offers acupuncture, herbal medicine, chinese medicine, shiatsu and nutrition counseling. Our specialties are fertility support, digestive wellness, maternal care and labor support. We are located in Stow, Massachusetts and serve the surrounding towns including Framingham, Worcester, Leominster, Newton, Waltham, Concord and Sudbury.
Integrative Wellness Center 132 Great Rd, Suite 201, Stow, MA 01775 978-461-2001