Getting and staying healthy is a popular resolution for many Americans as they welcome in a new year of opportunities. Whether the overall goal includes weight loss or just the desire to fuel their bodies with healthier food to maximize resistance to illness and disease, many have made the conscious choice to replace less nutritious, highly processed foods with higher quality, organic, or locally grown whole foods. While improving the quality of the diet is very important, health-conscious individuals may also want to explore the benefits of including one or more natural supplements that are now thought to help improve the body's immune system, as well as offer other possible health benefits. If one of your New Year's resolutions for 2017 is to focus on warding off illness and improving your health, the following information on supplements may be beneficial in helping you achieve your goal.
Olive Leaf for Colds, Flu, and Overall Immune Support
Olive leaf, just as the name suggests, is harvested in leaf form from the olive tree (Olea europaea) and has been used in many cultures for its medicinal benefits for centuries. Thought to boost the immune system, olive leaf is also thought to be effective against viruses and bacteria, as well as being beneficial as an anti-inflammatory. Some research suggests that olive leaf extract may be as much as 400 percent stronger than vitamin C as an antioxidant.
Olive leaf can be taken in powder or capsule forms, as a tea or extract, or even by holding the leaves under the tongue for several minutes each day. Thought to be beneficial in warding off colds and flu, its antiviral properties may also help to alleviate virile infections such as herpes and some forms of hepatitis.
Turmeric: a Pantry Staple for Taste and Health
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an inexpensive, commonly available pantry staple found in many households, both in America and around the globe. Popular for many centuries in Chinese medicine, turmeric has shown promise when used internally to fight inflammation or digestive issues, as well as when used externally for wound care and some types of skin infections.
Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric, and it can be consumed by either taking turmeric or through an extracted form. Widely credited as a powerful antioxidant capable of helping the body ward off damage from free radical molecules, curcumin is thought to have some benefits in treating stomach ulcers, osteoarthritis, neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, as well as some forms of cancer. Turmeric can be taken as a tea, in capsule form, or by adding it to foods such as applesauce or pudding to make it easier to swallow. Curcumin extract is widely available in a capsule or liquid extract form.
Oil of Oregano, Big Antioxidant Power in a Small Bottle
Oil of oregano, sometimes called oregano oil is made by distilling the leaves and flowers of the herb oregano (Origanum vulgare). Valued by both Greek and Roman cultures for medicinal power, it has high levels of natural phytochemical compounds known to have antioxidant properties and is thought to be useful in preventing a number of illnesses, including colds and flu. Some of the beneficial compounds found in oil of oregano include:
- thymol - offers antiseptic and antifungal properties
- terpenes - an antibacterial
- Beta- caryophyllene - an inflammatory
- carvacrol - an antibacterial
Oil of oregano is widely available as a extract, but should always be used with extreme caution because of its potential to cause skin irritation if used without being properly diluted with a carrier oil or liquid.
Remember to be safe as you work toward making your New Year's resolutions become your new reality by discussing any dietary changes and supplement usage with your health care professional at a clinic like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.