- Gold Trail Natural Foods
Boost Your Immune System With Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs
Updated: Aug 28, 2021
Your immune system consists of a complex collection of cells, processes, and chemicals that defend your body against invading pathogens, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria.
Supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can help improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.
There is a lot of information going around these days regarding which supplements may protect you from getting Covid-19, or if you have Covid-19, which supplements may minimize your symptoms and shorten the duration.
We aren’t doctors, naturopaths, or wholistic practitioners, but we’ve been in the business of nutritional supplements and wholistic health for over 30 years. Naturally, we’ve been doing a tremendous amount of research since Covid-19 began in 2020, and as a result, we have compiled a list of supplements known for their immune-boosting potential.
The intention of this article is to provide you with information you may find helpful to maintain a healthy immune system. We have not provided any information on dosage, but we are happy to discuss this with you personally at the store.
As always, we encourage you to do your own research and consult with your healthcare practitioner – especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Supplements Most Consistently Found In Our Research:
Vitamin D3 – Essential for immune function and may help lower your risk for respiratory infections.
Vitamin C – Vital for immune health and may help reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
Vitamin B Complex – Including B12 and B6, B vitamins are important for healthy immune response.
Zinc – May help protect against respiratory tract infections and reduce the duration of these infections.
Selenium – A mineral essential for immune health and may enhance antiviral defense against influenza strains.
Quercetin – Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which might help reduce inflammation and may be beneficial for some respiratory infections.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – Helps reduce respiratory mucus levels, and research suggests that NAC might boost immune system function and suppress viral replication.
Melatonin – Shown to strengthen immune function to prevent many types of infections and reduce severity of infection, whether viral, bacterial, or parasitic.
Elderberry – May help reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections and help alleviate flu symptoms.
Other Immune-Boosting Supplements Frequently Found In Our Research:
(Listed in alphabetical order, not order of importance.)
Andrographis – Medicinal herb containing andrographolide, a terpenoid compound found to have antiviral effects against respiratory-disease-causing viruses.
Ashwaganda – An adaptogen that rejuvenates and tonifies the entire body system, especially the endocrine and immune systems.
Astragalus – May be used to increase immune cell function. Used consistently, can protect against many diseases and infections by strengthening the body's ability to ward off illness and infection.
Curcumin – Derived from the Curcuma longa plant commonly known as turmeric. Curcumin is known for its analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic activity. Curcumin may help fight inflammation and aid the body’s immune response.
Echinacea – Shown to improve immune health and may have antiviral effects against several respiratory viruses.
Garlic – Powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties shown to enhance immune health by stimulating protective white blood cells like NK cells and macrophages.
Green Tea – Rich in catechins (antioxidants) that fight and may prevent cell damage.
Licorice – Potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects and may ease upper respiratory infections.
L-Lysine – Slows down viruses, helps to ward off new viruses, and impair the ability of viral cells to move and reproduce.
Medicinal Mushrooms – Including cordyceps and turkey tail, medicinal mushrooms may offer immune-enhancing and antibacterial effects.
Oil of Oregano – Known for its antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Traditionally used for respiratory health and as an alternative treatment for colds and flu.
Pelargonium sidoides – Also known as Umckaloabo, is commonly taken for upper respiratory infections including bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, and the common cold.
Propolis – Resin-like material produced by honeybees with impressive immune-enhancing effects and may have antiviral properties.
The Bottom Line
Making healthy lifestyle choices are key to staying healthy year-round! Although supplements are beneficial for immune health, they are not a replacement for eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and if you’re a smoker, considering stopping.
Please note that some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications, and may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. Be sure to talk with your healthcare professional before starting any supplements.
Keep in mind that there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamins, supplements, and herbs can protect against COVID-19 — even though many of them have antiviral properties.