Boris suggests nine supplements to help you resist, treat and beat colds and flu –and then goes on to explain how the most important cornerstone of a healthy body is a healthy mind; that illnesses start at an energetic level, and physical ailments are the result of energetic imbalances.
It can be such a beautiful time of year with perfect blue skies and still days, but, let’s face it, depending on where you live, it can also be an appalling endless string of gloomy, wet and windy days, when you start and end your working day in the dark. Uuurrrgh, right?
Hard to keep your energy up in the face of the constant onslaught of uninspiring cold and wet. No wonder people seem to get more depressed the closer they live to the earth’s poles!
I used to live in Sweden; so I’m no stranger to this. Maybe you’ve heard about Sweden’s neighbour Finland, and its consistently high depression and suicide rate? No surprises there I reckon. They have one of the highest rates of private gun ownership and the highest consumption of coffee per capita in the world. Just imagine the gloom of nine months of darkness and cold, coupled with caffeine-twitchy trigger fingers… what a combo! However, believe it or not, Finland consistently comes up as one of the happiest countries in the world, leaving researchers confused about the paradoxical relationship between being the happiest, and simultaneously most depressed, suicidal country in the world.
Hmmm… I bet you’re as confused as I was–until it dawned on me –clearly the researchers have asked questions that don’t differentiate between ‘happiness’ and ‘cheerfulness’, and I don’t know about you, but for me the word ‘vodka’ springs to mind! Speaking of vodka’s ‘therapeutic’ effects’, there are several orders of European monks, including the Benedictines (Dom Bénédictine) and the Carthusians (Chartreuse) which claim their spirits and liqueurs have medicinal values. To be honest, alongside all my years in holistic health, I’ve enjoyed several fun years of bar ownership, and from this I’m quite certain the effect of spirits is more of an effect on mood, than actual therapeutic benefit… and this is an important point I feel, namely that our mood determines whether we are susceptible to disease or not. A good mood is as good a placebo effect as any other –regardless of how the good mood was arrived at.
So in compiling the following list of supplements for strengthening your resistance and immune health, I also considered herbs and supplements that would support healthy mental activity, and maximise the chance of a positive state of mind and being.
Nine powerful cold and ‘flu supplements to help you resist, treat and beat
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
The root of this member of the pea family contains a wealth of immune supporting polysaccharides. In scientific studies in the United States and China, it has been shown to increase nearly every phase of immune system activity. Another study showed increases in the production and storage of ‘interferon’, a substance that communicates the threat of invading viruses and bacteria to the body; so that the body can stimulate cells to defend against illness.
Strengthens the immune system so as to assist resistance, as well as reducing severity and shortening the duration of illness. Be sure to get a zinc supplement with high bio-availability, such as a chelate, oratate, gluconate or bis-glyconate.
Olive leaf extract (from the olive tree Olea europaea)
The leaves of the olive tree contain a powerful blend of antioxidants, known for anti-viral, anti-bacterial and cardiovascular benefits. Some olive trees are believed to have survived for thousands of years, continually producing olives, demonstrating the power these trees have to preserve and protect. Olive leaf extract not only fights colds, ‘flu, and viruses, but can also increase energy and help slow ageing. It basically assists general health, toxin elimination and immune function.
The best way to take olive leaf extract is in a readily digestible liquid extract, made from fresh leaves.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
There is strong evidence of this flower’s immune support and in the indigenous medicine of the Native Americans, the plant has been used externally (for burns, insect bites and wounds, chewed for toothache and throat infections, and used internally to treat pain, stomach cramps, cough, and even snake bites. Non-human trials have demonstrated a strong anti-depressant effect.
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
The berries of this Chinese vine are used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote the production of body fluids and to treat coughing, as well as increase the body’s resistance to a broad spectrum of negative biological, chemical, and physical effects. It also aids the nervous system and combat the effects of stress.
Oriental medicine values the schisandra herb highly. Its Chinese name is ‘wu wei zi’, which means ‘five flavoured herb’. Schisandra has all the five flavours which correspond to the five elements in TCM (earth, wood, water, metal and fire) and which demonstrate a presence of a wide variety of phytochemicals, which have numerous health benefits.
So schisandra is believed to help balance the entire body, to harmonise the mind (including significant antidepressant effect) and to improve overall health.
An ever-popular staple in a well-rounded health routine. Avoid acidic formulas. Can be found in supplements which combine other ingredients such as zinc.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
A powerful cure-all, this root is an adaptogen, providing powerful all-year-round support for your body. It strengthens, tonifies, harmonises and balances. Asian or red ginseng is beneficial but can be heating, whereas American or white ginseng is proven less so, but more expensive.
Eleuthero a.k.a.’Siberian ginseng’ (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Although also an adaptogen, it is not a ginseng (in fact it’s prohibited to call it that in the USA). Its roots contain compounds that assist the adrenal glands and therefore support their secretion of stress-fighting hormones. It is also known to aid resistance to colds and flu through its immune-enhancing powers, and the Chinese have used Siberian ginseng to suppress cold and ‘flu.A Russian study observed 13,000 auto workers who took Siberian ginseng one winter, and showed that participants suffered 40% fewer respiratory tract infections than previous winters.
In addition to emotional and mental stress mitigation, the herb is believed to boost the body’s capacity to handle physical stress, such as exposure to extreme conditions. It has also demonstrated a support of overall physical energy levels, thereby boosting ability to cope with high intensity or prolonged exertion.
If that weren’t enough, non-human tests have shown strong evidence for significant anti-depressant effects.
Fish oil / omega 3
Studies show these have a positive anti-depressant effect on your mood as they balance out the effects of histamines and mycotoxins which have been proven to depress mood and energy. The bonus side effect is that omega 3 oils keep free radicals at bay, meaning they counter ageing.
Look for oil from wild caught salmon, calamari or krill.
As the mind–so the body
Although the real and true ways of avoiding colds and ‘flu will always be looking after ourselves with healthy habits, I maintain that the most important cornerstone of a healthy body, is a healthy mind.
In my personal and clinical experience, the mind and spirit rule the body and the body’s reality energetically.
This means that illnesses start at an energetic level, and that a physical ailment is the result of an energetic imbalance, through a spiritual-emotional-mental imbalance. So even if we treat a physical symptom successfully, it won’t prevent us from getting sick again, unless we have fully resolved and thereby healed the underlying cause of that symptom.
How else do you explain the miracle of Anita Moorjani, who died from the physical reality of being riddled with cancer, cleared her energetic and emotional blockages during her near-death experience, came back to life, and was diagnosed cancer-free and fully recovered within a few short days?
What other explanation can you give me for the miraculous transformation the day I facilitated a session for a client who has suffered ten long years of chronic fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder and depression, and came back out of the healing trance blinking, stunned, exclaiming, ‘That’s it, isn’t it? Yes, that is it.’?
This person had been a high achiever, internationally successful, and went from being highly empowered to totally exhausted, living at rock bottom for a decade. Why? When this person’s business went belly-up, the one thing he had was income protection insurance, but, to be able to claim this, he had to be diagnosed as ‘sick’, ‘dysfunctional’ and officially ‘unable to work’. The stigma of diagnosis brought with it the lesser known nocebo effect, of believing what we are told by persons of authority (like doctors), and allowing that energy to dictate our physical reality.
Einstein said that you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. Similarly, the mindset that believes in an illness, cannot effect the permanent cure of that illness.Why? Because any level of mind that engages with a problem–even to solve it–simultaneously simultaneously subjects itself to the reality of that problem, and can therefore never effect a true resolution of the problem.
On the other hand, I’ve found that when a client can experience their highest self –their whole self–just as Anita Moorjani did in her near-death experience, then this exposure to a higher level and dimension of mind means they gain an overall perspective, from which they can easily resolve patterns and limitations that have kept them from resolving the underlying causes of their symptoms.
For the first time ever, spirituality and modern science, psychology, holistic medicine and modern medicine, are all dancing to the beat pf the same drum, and communicate the same truth. Already, quantum physicists are having spiritual epiphanies, while spiritualists enjoy scientific enlightenment. It’s only a matter of time until this awakening ripples through every part of our society, and there may come a time soon, when we are able to maintain wholeness –and corresponding good health–at will.
As encouraging and as great a cause for celebration as that prospect is, it has been my experience that life is a paradox, and that the spiritual is best balanced by an equally strong practical grounding. It is thus that I rely on and recommend supplements for good health and wellbeing.
And why I have the occasional vodka. Nastrovje!
Although Boris has a professional holistic health background, the advice given is general advice only, from one consumer to another. No warranties are made or responsibilities taken. Listen to your body, do your own research. Even good herbs can be dangerous in large doses or for extended period of time or in combination with other herbs.It is always advisable to consult your local health food store, naturopath, herbalist, pharmacist or GP. The views expressed are not necessarily the views of LivingNow magazine.
Boris von Rechenberg, DoCH, is a transformational energy healer, coach and educator; combining holistic psychology and transpersonal hypnotherapy with quantum source energetics. Based in Melbourne, he helps others rediscover true self, life purpose, ease, abundance, radical forgiveness, peace of mind, youth and wellness through whole being.
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