By Jerry Angelini, MS, Education Director
As we move into the spring season, many people heave a sigh of relief. The increasing daylight, warming weather and blossoming plants brings a smile to most everyone’s face. One aspect that slips under our conscious thinking during the transition to spring is the reduced awareness of immune health. During the winter months, people are more conscious of staying healthy proactively, as no one enjoys the discomforts associated with winter immune season. In reality, spring can bring its own challenges to immune health and balance.
According to the CDC, over the last thirty years, pathogens we are typically concerned about in winter are just as active in March, even present in May. In each case where a pathogen enters our body, our immune system is responsible for determining both the severity of the health challenge, and the duration to restoring balance. Our immune system is a crucial defense needed to stay healthy and active at any time of the year.
Another consideration for immune health during the spring season is how our immune systems might react to pollen and other environmental triggers. An oversensitivity to environmental triggers or to foods is an indication that our immune systems are out of balance.
The key then, for immune health year-round, is ‘modulation,’ or balance. Certain natural substances can provide nutrition and cellular support to the immune system, so that it is better able to respond to any attacks it might experience no matter the time of year.
Mushrooms have long been used in numerous cultures as both food sources and to support health and wellness.* Various mushroom species such as Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps have all been recognized as supporting a balanced immune response in the body.*
Reishi is perhaps the most recognized mushroom in the world in regards to modulating our immune system.* Reishi can help our immune system respond strongly while at the same time making sure it doesn’t overreact to substances or triggers.* Further, Reishi bolsters adrenal functioning to help combat fatigue.* Reishi also supports
cardiovascular and liver health, making it a multi-system support for immune strength and whole body wellness.*
Chaga has been used cross culturally as a support for a strong, yet balanced immune response.* Chaga’s point of interest is that it supports epithelial tissues in the body.* Our epithelial cells line our upper respiratory system and lungs, our digestive tract, our skin and our arteries.* The balancing impact Chaga can have on these organs makes it a wonderful addition to the seasonal support category.* It is important to support our lungs and intestinal tract so that they can respond appropriately no matter what they come in contact with.
Cordyceps is a well known mushroom in the sports world. Cordyceps is recognized as being energizing and supporting athletic performance.* Like many other beneficial mushrooms, Cordyceps also supports modulation of the immune system.* Similar to Reishi, Cordyceps can help our upper respiratory system and our lungs function strongly without overreacting to environmental triggers that can challenge our breathing.*
Remembering that our immune system functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be an important change in thinking. Feeding our bodies good food, providing ourselves with adequate rest and basic hygiene such as hand washing, are all important parts of maintaining our health. Yet in today’s world we often need to do a bit more.
Beneficial mushrooms that have been used for centuries and extensively researched are safe, effective support at any time of the year. Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps either separately or combined in a formula can help ensure a strong immune system that doesn’t overreact to our environment.* These three mushrooms can help us during the change of seasons, and throughout the year.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Our long-time on-staff Herbalist, Kelsey, is about to take her next step in deepening and expanding her plant medicine practice. As a loving goodbye, she wrote some lovely words on what the power of plants means to her to share with the community before parting.