Two surprising ingredients that can help boost your immunity

They’ve been used for centuries in traditional medicine – now more and more people are embracing the immune-boosting power of mushrooms and ashwagandha. Here’s why.

In the world of natural health, the powerful herb with the singsong name, ashwagandha, is regarded with reverence.

It’s the same with medicinal mushrooms. A cut above their culinary cousins, they’ve been traditionally used in Ayurvedic, Chinese and western herbal medicine for their immune-influencing and antioxidant properties.

Little surprise, then, that these two rock-star ingredients are growing in mainstream popularity, with a wealth of research showing their medicinal benefits are more than anecdotal.

A is for ashwagandha

The roots and fruit of this evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East and Africa have been used for more than 3000 years to support the immune system.

It’s also referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its ability to work as a natural stress reliever.

Ashwagandha is from a family of herbs known as adaptogens – so called because they work with the body to help it, well… adapt, to stress and change.

Because of its powerful antioxidant activity, studies have found ashwagandha can support the immune system by helping to prevent free radical damage.

Other research has found the herb can also aid white cell production, as well as the number of macrophages (a type of white blood cell) in the body – antibodies that can help ward off illness from both bacteria and viruses.

Marvellous medicinal mushrooms

Yup, mushrooms, as it turns out, also act as turbo-shots for your immune system.

Medicinal mushrooms are organically grown and sterilised before being made into supplement form, which allows them to be more easily digested and used by our bodies.

The Reishi mushroom has shown promising results in supporting immunity. A 2015 Florida University study also found increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.

Lentinan, a substance found in shiitake mushrooms, is showing promise in China and Japan as an activator of the immune system.

Other immunity kick-starters to know about

To help keep your immune system up and running during winter – and to help your body recover well if you do get sick, keep an eye out for:

  • Andrographis – known as the Indian Echinacea, another herb rich in compounds with anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties;
  • Zinc – research suggests this essential mineral helps control infections by pressing the brakes on our immune response to prevent infection;
  • Vitamin C – one of the best-known benefits of this powerful micronutrients is its ability to help ward off illness and infection; and
  • Echinacea – a flowering plant widely used to prevent, or provide early treatment for colds, sore throats and the flu.

Ethical Nutrients Immune Fighter is a unique new product scientifically formulated to help support your immune system as it fights off infections such as the common cold and flu.

And you guessed it, it includes ashwagandha, immune-influencing mushrooms and other essential nutrients – a combo that might worth a try if you’re constantly battling colds, flu and other sickness and don’t want to spend winter up to your neck in tissues.

* Written by Liz McGrath.

This post is brought to you by Ethical Nutrients Immune Fighter. Vitamins and minerals can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.