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Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

How To Enhance Immunity

        There is a battle going on every second in our bodies. Our immune system protects us from a myriad of diseases and infections. Research has shown that flora, tiny microorganisms within our guts, are primarily responsible for a balanced immunity. Balancing this diverse community is necessary for protecting ourselves from various "invaders". The facts are that our bodies contain a robust immune defense. However, impacts from physical inactivity, poor eating choices, excess consumption of alcohol and smoking weaken it. Focus on limiting these stressors before taking herbal or plant-based therapy to achieve maximal results.

        Echinacea angustifolia, a species of Coneflower from the Aster family, is a widely commercialized immunity supplement. Echinacea supplements are in almost every supermarket and pharmacy. The leaves and whole plant are used in teas, tinctures and glycerites. Unfortunately, commercial cultivation has virtually eliminated purple coneflowers out of their natural habitats. In fact, according to Plant Savers, echinacea is listed as an endangered plant species. We must remember to be proactive in the preservation of this native species as we seek plant-based remedies. These beautiful immune defenders can be grown easily from seed in your home flower garden.    
        Additional immune-enhancing herbs include:  ginseng, olive leaf, garlic, reishi and shiitake mushrooms, turmeric, guduchi, astragalus, elderberry and ginger. Combinations of these plants also have antiviral and anti-infective properties. They are great additions to the arsenal of plant-based defenses. The hope is to cultivate and empower you with the knowledge to impact your health and your environment.

April Smith is the owner of Native Holistics. For more information, call 1-888-994-3727 or visit

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