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Your Winter Immune-Boosting Essentials

Your Winter Immune-Boosting Essentials

With the leaves changing and a chill in the air in the Southern Hemisphere, this often brings with it the colds and flus of winter. By getting in early and giving your immune system the extra defence it needs, reduce your chances of catching the winter lurgy with these three top tips from our Naturopath, Madeleine Lewin.



Studies regarding the promising medicinal benefits of turkey tail and its immune boosting properties are emerging with very promising findings. This mushroom has been found to stimulate the activity of macrophages, the ‘bodyguards’ of your immune system. By taking a turkey tail supplement daily you are improving your macrophage’s ability to detect and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses [1].



The correlation between getting your nightly 8 hours of sleep and having a healthy immunity against colds and flus has been backed up by science again and again. Sleep deprivation has been directly linked to having major negative effects on the immune system and can also increase inflammation in the body. Constant sleep deprivation has been found to reduce the function of your immune cells, such as natural killer (NK) cells. The main function of NK cells is to contain viral infections in the body. This highlights that if you are not sleeping enough, you are more likely to catch the winter lurgies that circulate each winter [2].



With less sunlight and less time spent outdoors during the cooler months, we are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency. In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that one in four Australians are vitamin D deficient [3]. Vitamin D acts more like a hormone in the body plays an important role in immune function. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity and an increased susceptibility to infection [4]. See your healthcare practitioner if you would like to assess your vitamin D levels with a blood test to see if you need to supplement this important vitamin.



[1] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2006.9.175

[2] https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-14738-9_1

[3] https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-biomedical-results-nutrients/latest-release

[4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201000174

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