This month's newsletter will focus on supporting the immune
system. Now that winter is here (even though it officially
doesn't start until Dec. 21st), we are spending more time
indoors in crowded conditions and are more susceptible to
Boosting the immune system entails more than
taking certain herbs and vitamins. You can look at your health
as an accumulative effect of your lifestyle - your diet, exercise,
sleep, stress levels, and the basic level of happiness and well-
being in your life. For example, a sudden increase in stress
levels and sugar consumption - which often happens over the
holidays, will elevate your cortisol levels in your system, thus
depleting your white blood cell count. This will make you more
prone to catching the colds and flus that go around during the
That said , there will also be great
information on what you can do to prevent illness for you and
your family. Have a happy , healthy holiday season!
Please note that I will be out of the office on my
winter vacation from Weds Dec 20th to Dec. 31st. I will
resume my normal schedule Weds. Jan. 3rd 2007.
Information on how to obtain pharmacy items and how to reach
the on-call naturopathic physician will be on my voicemail at
(303) 443-2206 during that time.
The gastrointestinal tract functions as a barrier against
antigens from microorganisms and food. The generation of
immunophysiologic regulation in the gut depends on the
establishment of indigenous microflora. This has led to the
introduction of novel therapeutic interventions based on the
consumption of cultures of beneficial live microorganisms that
act as probiotics. From the American Journal of
Astragalus - all about my (current) favorite herb in the entire universe
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been used in
traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to promote
the discharge of urine, lower blood pressure, and increase
endurance. Clinically, it is used primarily for general digestive
disorders such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating, as well as
chronic phlegm production. This herb is also used for its
immune enhancing properties, especially for the prevention and
treatment of the common cold and chronic hepatitis.
From the University of Maryland Medical Center
In ancient times, reishi in medicine was considered so
auspicious that its medical efficacy has been attested to in the
oldest Chinese medical text ( presumed to be over 2,000 years
old ). The book, which are known in Japan as "Shinnoh
Honsohkyo", is now accepted as being the original textbook of
Oriental medical science.
Here is a link to a great immune boosting soup from... Martha
Stewart no less! Hey, you gotta love Martha if she is forward
thinking enough to promote natural medicine! OK, so she did
get in a little bit of trouble over $40,000, but she has since
repaid her debt to society and is now doing great things like
promoting this awesome soup recipe! Wouldn't it be great if
some certain people (whose names I will not mention) who
have recently done far greater damage to this planet and have
so far gotten away with it and are still living the good life could
come up with a recipe that can spread health, well-being,
nourishment and goodness! Well a girl can dream, can't she?
Please feel free to call me at my office at (303) 443-2206 or
email me to obtain my recommendations for probiotics and
immune boosting formulas. As always ,most products may be
ordered from my website by clicking "order products" . Enter
the username "tara" and the password "boulder" tolog onto the
Here are some simple things that you can do to protect
yourself and your family this winter! Be well!
your hands! This is THE single most important thing that you
can do to prevent the spread of the cold or the flu!
sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and your food allergens. By avoiding
foods and substances that negatively affect your immune
system, and eating lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean
organic proteins, you are giving your immune system the
building blocks and raw materials to thrive! The most common
food allergens are wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy, citrus, eggs, and
3. Vitamin C! Vitamin C supports the health of
your connective tissue and is a powerful antioxidant. High
doses (safe because it is a water soluble vitamin and your
body easily excretes what it doesn't need) to bowel tolerance -
back off the dose when your stool gets loose, can ward off an
infection at the 1st stages.
4. Herbs such as Astragalus
and Reishi have a long term effect on building the immune
system . These can be taken on an ongoing basis throughout
the flu system as a preventive. It may protect you from
getting the flu, or if you do get the flu, your case will probably
be milder than if you had done nothing.
5. Echinacea, or
purple coneflower has a more immediate effect on the immune
system and can be taken during acute cases of a cold or flu.
An over the counter product that is useful during the earliest
stages of a flu or cold coming on is Cold Snap. It only works at
the beginning of the flu and you have to take many frequent
doses of it for it to be effective, but it often really works!
6. Stress - chronic stress increases the levels of cortisol in
the body. This depletes the immune system by lowering the
levels of white blood cells in the body, and lowering your
natural defenses. Find constructive ways to relieve your stress
such as exercise, massage therapy, meditation, yoga, and
7. Dress warmly for cold weather.
Wear a hat. While getting cold won't give you the germs,
sudden exposure to coldness and dampness does stress the
body and the immune system, so YES you CAN get a cold from
getting cold. See, grandma was right!
8. Eat warm foods
in the wintertime so as not to deplete your spleen chi which
promotes healthy digestion and supports the immune system.
Also your gut flora is your body's first line of defense against a
pathogen, so TAKE YOUR PROBIOTICS!