5 Signs You’re Dehydrated

Picture a tall glass of icy-cold, refreshing water. Imagine a detailed image of it in your mind’s eye. Does the thought make you thirsty? If so, it’s likely you’re not drinking enough water. That’s because thirst is an early indicator of dehydration.

Too often we unintentionally ignore thirst. With our fast-paced and busy lifestyle we often don’t realize we’re thirsty until severe dehydration hits.

To make matters worse, a lot of people try to quench their thirst with soda or other sugary drinks which only causes the body to lose more water.

The result is chronic dehydration.

Over time, this can lead to a wide range of symptoms that can make life downright miserable.

Here are five surprising signs that you may be chronically dehydrated and need to reach for a few more glasses of H20 every day.

1. Dry Skin

Your skin is the body’s largest organ and is made up of 64% water! As a result, it needs generous amounts of water to stay healthy and hydrated.

When your skin doesn’t get enough water, it will become dry, itchy, and breakouts will be more common.

In fact, dry skin is one of the earliest signs of severe dehydration. If this is something you experience, try increasing your intake of filtered water.

2. Fatigue and Lack of Energy

An early symptom of dehydration is fatigue and lethargy.

Dehydration causes the enzymatic activity in the body to slow down which results in that miserable sluggish feeling we all have struggled with.

Most people assume they feel tired from working hard, a poor night’s sleep, or they just naturally have low energy levels. While this can be the case, more often than not, it’s caused by dehydration.

Try starting your day with a glass of lemon water to feel refreshed.

3. Constipation and Digestive Issues

Without enough water, the digestive system slows down dramatically. The result is constipation and gut discomfort.

Your colon, along with other regions of the digestive system, draws in water to help move waste along. When you’re dehydrated, it’s much like trying to go down a steep waterslide with no water… ouch!

Water also allows your gut to absorb water-soluble vitamins. So when you’re dehydrated, it’s possible to be deficient in vitamins B and C.

4. Weight Gain

Thirst can be easily mistaken for hunger. Sometimes when you’re slightly dehydrated, your body will make you feel hungry instead of thirsty.

It’s a fiendish trick that can result in constant overeating which, of course, leads to weight gain.

“People just think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink [water],” said Grace Webb, Assistant Director for the Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital.

Drinking more water can help you feel full more often, which in turn can result in better eating habits.

To distinguish the difference between real hunger and thirst, drink a glass of water before you raid the pantry for a snack. If the hunger pangs subside after a few minutes, you’ll know it was just thirst playing a trick on you.

5. Stiff or Painful Joints

Our joints are made up of cartilage, fluid to reduce friction, and soft membranes. They prevent our bones from grinding against each other every time we move.

Without water, these joint structures can’t do their job well. So to help keep your joints moving without discomfort, make sure you get enough water.

Make Sure Your Water is Toxin-Free

With busy lifestyles, it’s easy to forget about the simple things that make a big impact on our everyday life. It’s possible you can significantly improve your life just by drinking a few more glasses of H20 every day.

To reap all the health benefits, make sure the water you drink is free of toxins that can harm your health. Lead, mercury and pesticides are commonly found in water supplies so filtered water is a must to feel your best.

CBD Oil Explained

CBD has been rising in popularity as more people discover the potential of this natural plant extract. CBD Oil has made headlines as celebrities, athletes and everyday people enjoy its health benefits. But you might be wondering… What exactly is it? What does it do? And will it work for me?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, and studies have shown CBD Oil has beneficial effects on mood, stress, sleep, immunity and more.

Watch this short video to get answers to the most common questions about CBD.

While CBD is generating a lot of buzz, not all CBD Oils get the same result. What factors should you consider when choosing CBD?

Research suggests it’s better to choose a broad spectrum CBD Oil for a wide range of beneficial plant compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. And getting 25mg of CBD per serving can provide fast and effective relief when the oil is optimized for absorption.

Now that you know more about what CBD Oil is and what it does, you can start experiencing the benefits for yourself. With the right CBD Oil, you might be surprised at how you can feel better fast.

CBD Oil: Nature’s Anti-Aging Secret Weapon

Anti-Aging Benefits of CBD Oil

While aging is an inevitable fact of life, we can influence how we age. The rate at which wrinkles appear, or how our joints stiffen up can be impacted by the right anti-aging tactics. By slowing down the factors that speed up aging, you can put more life into your years. Which means fewer wrinkles, more spring in your step, and more time to live your life to the fullest.

The key is knowing which anti-aging tricks work the best. Sure, there are the basics like regular exercise, eating plenty of greens and putting on sunscreen when you’re outside.

But what if you want better results? What if you want to take your anti-aging efforts to the next level? That’s where CBD Oil may help.

How Does CBD Oil Help With Aging?

CBD oil is a extract that’s found in the hemp plant. Years of research suggests that CBD (cannabidiol) oil is one of the most powerful ways to keep you looking and feeling young. What makes CBD oil so special?

CBD oil nourishes the body from within. It effectively helps to manage four of the most important factors when it comes to aging: oxidative damage, inflammation, stress, and sleep. Collectively, these effects make CBD oil the golden standard for anti-aging.

1. CBD is a Powerful Antioxidant

If you look at the ingredients of most skincare products, it’s likely they contain antioxidants. That’s because antioxidants are game changers when it comes to preserving your youth and perhaps even reversing the clock.

So why are antioxidants so effective for anti-aging?

Scientists theorize that physical aging is the result of oxidative damage caused by free radicals—substances that form when you are exposed to toxins, eat processed foods, get stressed, and as a byproduct of normal biochemical processes in your body (1).

Antioxidants protect your body from the destructive effects of free radicals. Which means getting plenty of antioxidants can slow down the aging process. Some studies even suggest that antioxidants can reverse skin aging by improving its elasticity which makes it look more supple (2).

CBD is a powerful antioxidant, making consuming CBD Oil an effective way to protect your body from free radical damage (3).

2. CBD Eases Temporary Inflammation

According to the National Institute on Aging, inflammation plays a pivotal role in aging (4). Managing inflammation is an important anti-aging strategy.

When inflammation becomes chronic, or long-term, it causes widespread cellular damage. It negatively affects almost every system in your body, and can speed up physical aging.

The good news is, hundreds of studies have found that cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties (5). Researchers found that CBD oil can help modulate the body’s inflammatory response in a unique way. It does this by deactivating immune cells that trigger inflammation when they are no longer needed (6).

Since CBD is so effective for easing temporary inflammation, regular consumption of a quality CBD Oil is an invaluable tool for anti-aging. To get even better results, you can combine CBD oil with anti-inflammatory superfoods.

3. CBD Helps Ease the Effects of Stress

One of the most overlooked aspects of aging is stress. People subjected to chronic stress can quickly look older than their years (7).

Studies have found that chronic emotional stress can speed up aging on the cellular level by shortening the length of each DNA strand (8).

But CBD can help ease the effects of stress, by helping to reduce the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body (9). Another study found that CBD can stimulate the endocannabinoid system which improves stress adaptation, or how well you cope with stress (10).

In addition to stress-management techniques, taking CBD Oil can be an effective approach to fighting against the effects of stress.

4. CBD Improves Sleep Quality

It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Sleep is critical to restore and repair the body, including the appearance of your skin.

There’s also evidence that suggests a lack of high-quality sleep can rapidly speed up how quickly you age and even make your skin look older (1112).

Stress and sleep have an intimate relationship with one another. If you’re constantly stressed, your sleep quality will take a nosedive. On the flip side, if you’re tired it can leave you feeling drained, which can be a stressor in itself.

In addition to helping to ease the effects of stress, CBD is shown to be effective for improving the quality of your sleep (13). This means CBD can help counteract the visible and invisible effects of aging.

The Best CBD Oil for Anti-Aging

One of the biggest misconceptions is that CBD oil isolate is the best option. But that’s simply not true. For the best results, you want a broad spectrum CBD oil. That’s because the compounds found in the hemp plant magnify the effects of CBD, making it significantly more effective than CBD on its own.

That being said, it is also essential to select a CBD oil that is nano-emulsified, organic, and processed using supercritical COextraction. This ensures maximum effectiveness for your anti-aging goals. The right CBD oil supplement is the perfect remedy for preserving your youth.

The Bottom Line

Everyone wants to preserve as much of their physical youth as possible. They want supple skin, a resilient body, and a sharp mind. While aging is unavoidable, it is possible to slow it down. But few people know how.

The most effective way to slow down physical aging is to target the things that speed it up. That is, protect the body with antioxidants, ease inflammation, control your stress levels, and get enough quality sleep every night. Research suggests that CBD can improve every one of these factors, making CBD Oil nature’s anti-aging secret weapon.

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Vegan Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Put a little love in your heart with these healthy chocolate pancakes. Each delicious bite is filled with energizing organic superfoods and satisfying plant-based protein. With decadent dark chocolate and fluffy goodness throughout, these vegan pancakes are perfect to share with someone you love (or keep to yourself).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic oat flour
  • 1 heaping scoop Organic Super Protein
  • 1 teaspoon organic baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 cup organic oat milk (or almond milk)
  • ¾ cup organic applesauce (or your favorite egg substitute)
  • ¼ cup melted organic dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil (plus extra for cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup (plus extra for garnish)

Instructions

In a medium bowl, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together, and set aside to cool for two minutes. Then add the applesauce, maple syrup and nut milk to the mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix together the oat flour, Organic Super Protein, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir into the first bowl of wet ingredients. If needed, add a touch of extra nut milk.

Heat iron skillet to medium and add some coconut oil. Once heated, pour spoonfuls of batter on the skillet. Cook pancakes about two minutes each side (flip once bubbles form on top) or to preferred doneness.

Serve with a touch of maple syrup and your favorite organic berries for an extra sweet and heart-healthy finish. Enjoy!

Fueled by Fluffy Goodness

These fluffy vegan chocolate pancakes will put a smile on your face while satisfying cravings for something sweet. The coconut oil provides MCTs that provide lasting energy, while dark chocolate has heart-friendly flavanols that support healthy blood pressure and will even boost your mood! As you enjoy each fluffy bite of goodness, you’ll give your body heart-healthy fuel to keep you energized throughout the day. Enjoy!

Recipe and images courtesy of Nicki Bradley @LittleIslandStudios

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7 Powerful Habits to Own the Day

One of the biggest myths of today’s age is that people experience overnight successSure, there may be a few exceptions. But for most people, success is the product of tiny habits that slowly build up and compound over time. That means you can move closer to accomplishing your goals by implementing productive daily habits.

While your ideal habits will vary depending on what you have your sights set on, there are some habits that can universally benefit everyone.   

1. Meditate Daily

A daily meditation practice can quite literally transform your life. Scientists have found that meditation rewires the neural networks in your brain—meaning it physically changes its structure.

MRI scans show that just eight weeks of meditation can shrink the amygdala. It’s a region of the brain associated with the fight or flight response, fear, stress, and strong emotions like rage (1).

At the same time, meditation also strengthens and creates new neural connections in the prefrontal cortex (2). This region of the brain is associated with higher-order functions including awareness, emotional control, concentration, and healthy decision making.

By rewiring the brain in these two ways, meditation can revolutionize how you navigate the world, helping you to tame stress and stay on track toward your goals with greater consistency.  

2. Detoxify Your Body

Your body is bombarded with thousands of toxins every day. There could be heavy metals in your drinking water, pesticides in your food, pollutants in the air, and toxins in your home.

Because of the impact toxins have on the brain, they can hijack your day and prevent you from achieving your goals. Heavy metals have been shown to impact memory, increase the risk of mood disorders, and compromise executive function (345). This means you can have a hard time paying attention, organizing effectively and recalling key details.

That’s why it’s vital to detoxify if you want to stay focused and see your goals through to completion. Consider a daily zeolite detox for the most toxin-fighting power.

3. Practice Gratitude

The beauty of a daily gratitude practice is that it is exceptionally easy to do, yet it has a profound impact. A daily gratitude practice can rewire your brain to help you make the most of life; even in your darkest moments.

“Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing,” explains Harvard researcher Shawn Achor in an interview with Inc.com (6).

Increased optimism isn’t the only benefit of gratitude. Studies have also found that gratitude can increase your willpower, boost happiness, decrease pain, increase empathy, improve your sleep, and even combat depression (78).

Since a gratitude practice takes less than 5 minutes out of your day, there’s really no reason not to include it in your daily routine.

4.  Regular Exercise

No matter what, you should always partake in some form of daily physical activity. This could be anything ranging from a simple 15-minute walk in the sun or a more ambitious HIIT workout to promote fat loss. A daily exercise routine can:

  • Skyrocket your energy levels
  • Help you sleep better (9)
  • Control inflammation (10)
  • Reduce your risk of chronic disease
  • Improve your brain health and memory (11)
  • Boost your overall mood

The key with exercise is to find what works for you. If your exercise routine is boring or out of alignment with your goals, you will be less likely to stick with it. So, pick activities you enjoy.

5. Unplug and Recharge

While technology has its perks, staying too connected to your phone can negatively impact your body and mind. Screen time at night, for example, can decrease how much deep and REM sleep you get. This is one of the reasons why people wake up feeling completely exhausted even with 7-8 hours of sleep (12).

But it’s not just screens that are affecting your health and productivity. Smartphone notifications from email, social media, and other platforms can sabotage your focus. One study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that when people’s phones make a notification sound, their focus and work quality plummets (13). This effect occurs even if you don’t check your phone.

Set a time every day to unplug and “recharge” your mind by abstaining from technology. This works best an hour before bed so you can wind down and get a restful night’s sleep. During this time, you could meditate, read a book, or spend quality time with your family.

6. Random Acts of Kindness

Altruism, when you act to promote someone else’s well-being, can have a powerful effect on your life. Studies have found that when you selflessly help another person, it releases endorphins, provides a sense of fulfillment, and could even help you live longer (14).

In other words, being kind helps others, and it can make a huge difference in how you feel.

To get the benefits of kindness, aim for one good deed every day. It doesn’t have to be big or complicated. You could pay for someone’s coffee in line behind you or compliment or encourage someone. Even the smallest of good deeds can have a profound impact on a person’s life.

7. Develop a Routine

Morning routines are the bread and butter of countless successful people. That’s because a solid morning routine sets the precedent for the rest of your day—giving you more focus, energy, and mental clarity.

Often, a successful morning starts the night before. This includes getting a good night’s sleep so you have a clear head the next morning. Another strategy is to end your current workday by making a list of the next day’s priorities. This way you can start fresh with a clear focus on what matters most.

You can also speed up your morning productivity by setting out your clothes the night before, and prepping breakfast and lunch ahead of time. Each of these small steps can add up to a big gain in accomplishing your goals.

Many of these powerful habits involve self-care. It might seem counterintuitive to take time for yourself in order to get more done, but it works. It’s essential to replenish your mind, body and spirit so that you can be at your most creative, focused and energized. Try some of these habits today and start experiencing the results for yourself.

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Consistency: The Secret of Successful People

Our entire life is comprised of a series of conscious and unconscious habits that either lead us closer or further away from our desired success. If there’s one thing that keeps us far from our goals, it’s a lack of consistency.

Consistency is discipline’s most devoted friend.

This reliable tool doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it takes time to build up a pattern of positive behavior.

While it was long believed that 21 days was all that was needed to form a new habit, current research shows that on average it takes 66 days, so you have to stick with your new behavior for about two months to make it last.

So how can you build positive behaviors into consistent habits so that they become second-nature? It starts with a steady routine.

Routines are the Road to Consistency

Research shows that top athletes use consistent, positive routines to maximize their performance.

It helps them to focus on the factors they can control, narrowing in on the fundamental elements for success.

Whether you realize it or not, your entire life is filled with mini-routines from the time you wake up to the minute your head hits the pillow at night.

Over time, those mini-rituals switch to autopilot so you don’t give them a second thought. But complacency can be a dangerous thing.

Because those routines can either reinforce positive behaviors or perpetuate negative ones.

Do you start the day with calm purpose by having a few moments of quiet mediation? Or do you find yourself scrambling out of bed, rushing out the door to another day of stress?

Routines create consistency, but it’s important to step back and take a look at those routines to make sure you’re getting the intended result.

If they’re not, then adjust the rituals and routine that you follow, and you can begin to alter the outcome.

Reset Routines to Beat Procrastination

Putting things off until the future (tomorrow, next week, or next year) is the hallmark of procrastination.

However putting off tasks is its own form of routine, as this TED talk shows.

Not only does procrastination keep us from achieving goals in a timely manner, it eats away at the finite time we have to work toward what matters.

If procrastination is a problem for you, try going around it by setting hard deadlines for accomplishing what you want. Achieving small goals can lead to a new positive habit and consistent action.

4 Steps to Improve Consistency

Creating consistency is not an insurmountable task. Here are four steps you can take to create healthy routines that get you closer to your goals:

1. Get Honest About Your Priorities 
Not sure where to start? Make a list of what you need to do or want out of life. Then honestly assess what is the most important (and why). When your sense of purpose is strong enough, you’ll start taking action steps.

2. Focus On One Thing at a Time 
When you are being pulled in numerous directions at once consistency is much more difficult. Our brains are hardwired to pay attention to only a select amount of stimulus at a time. Narrow in on one task, and try these steps for improved focus.

3. Create Mini-Routines 
Creating consistency starts with the smallest effort outside your comfort zone. If you’ve never worked out and you’re committing to spending an hour at the gym six days a week, you’re more likely to give up than if you start with smaller sessions that gradually build toward your goal.

4. Believe in Yourself 
Human beings rely heavily on their internal dialogue. The problem with this is that almost all of us fall into a negative-thinking loop that sabotages our efforts. Notice when your mind begins to fall into self-doubt. Try meditation and other affirmations to build your confidence.

The bottom line is that consistency takes time and requires the formation of new habits. Don’t get discouraged when you have a day off track. Think of your accomplishments for that week and adjust as you go. As your consistency grows, procrastination will decline and you’ll have the direction needed to achieve what you want in life.

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5 Ways CBD Oil Can Help You Lose Weight

Reaching your ideal weight can be a huge challenge. At times, it might even seem impossible. People often hold this perspective on weight loss because they can’t seem to succeed despite their best efforts. Rest assured, if you’re one of these people, the problem isn’t you. The problem lies in your strategy.

Just like with evidence-based strategies to get a lean tummy, more often than not, weight loss is about the little evidence-based habits that add up to profound change.

If you’re already working on healthy habits, CBD Oil may tip the scales in your favor thanks to five key benefits that support weight loss.

1. CBD Oil May Help You Burn More Calories

Research suggests that the cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp can affect your metabolism, which could make it much easier to shed unwanted pounds.

One Korean study published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry discovered that CBD can affect specific proteins and genes in such a way that promotes lipolysis and reduces lipogenesis. In other words, CBD both promoted the breakdown of fat cells and discouraged the generation of new fat cells (1).

But that’s not all. The Korean researchers also discovered that CBD can modulate the body’s metabolism by promoting fat browning. A process where white fat is converted into brown fat. Why does that matter?

White fat is the type of fat that stores lots of energy. It forms when you consume too many calories and don’t exercise enough. You know, it’s the stuff you wish would go away when looking in the mirror. Brown fat, however, has a high number of mitochondria. This type of fat actually burns calories and can help you maintain a lean, healthy weight (2).

2. CBD Oil May Ease Temporary Inflammation

Inflammation and carrying excess weight often go hand-in-hand. This association is well-established in the scientific community. In fact, a simple search in the US National Library of Medicine results in over 10,000 articles on the topic (S). Without getting into the nitty-gritty science of this relationship, here’s a quick overview of some popular studies:

  • Elevated inflammatory markers are often associated with future weight gain (3).
  • Inflammation begins in fat cells themselves. As fat mass expands, inflammation proportionally increases (4).
  • Inflammation causes insulin resistance (5), which in turn can promote obesity (6).

With this in mind, it makes sense that managing inflammation could help you maintain a healthy weight. This is where CBD oil comes into play. Researchers have found that the CBD in hemp may ease temporary inflammation by targeting α3 glycine receptors in the body (7).

The strong relationship between inflammation and weight gain is also why scientists have proposed that diets high in anti-inflammatory foods could help treat obesity (8).

3. CBD Oil May Improve Sleep Quality

When you’re looking to lose weight, sleep is probably the last thing you would think of, but it shouldn’t be. That’s because studies have found that decreased sleep duration and quality are associated with weight gain (910). In some cases, it also increases the risk of obesity.

Experts believe this happens for several reasons. One of them being that reduced sleep duration and quality results in more fatigue. Less energy throughout the day means you will be less likely to exercise. Other studies have found that sleep deprivation can cause fluctuations in the hormones leptin and ghrelin which can increase your appetite (11).

Since poor sleep quality and deprivation can increase your weight, it makes sense to do the opposite: improve the quality of your sleep. CBD Oil may be the answer. Research has found that CBD can have a positive impact on your sleep.

One systematic review, for example, found that CBD was effective at treating the symptoms of insomnia (12). That means CBD shows promise for reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, preventing disrupted sleep or nighttime waking, and improving daytime tiredness.

4. CBD Oil May Melt Away Stress

Stress is another important component of maintaining a healthy weight that people often overlook. Every time you get stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. In small doses, this is fine. But if you’re constantly stressed out, this chronic release of cortisol can cause you to gain a considerable amount of weight. One study even found that elevated cortisol levels from chronic stress can increase the accumulation of fat around your midsection (13).

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) also plays an important role in stress adaptation—or how you cope with stress (14). Cannabinoids such as CBD bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system to balance the body. And research shows that CBD can significantly decrease the levels of cortisol in the body to help reduce the effects of stress (15).

5. CBD Oil May Reduce Oxidative Stress

The cannabinoids, including CBD, in the hemp plant are also known to be powerful antioxidants (16). This means they can protect your body from oxidative stress. Why does this matter? Adipose tissue, or fat cells, can ramp up the body’s production of reactive oxygen species, or ROS (17). In turn, these ROS can cause oxidative stress and promote inflammation (18), which can result in weight gain.

In theory, this means the more weight you carry, the harder it is to lose. All thanks to oxidative stress. To drive this point further, studies have even shown that diets high in antioxidants have positive effects on weight loss (1920). Which is why antioxidant-rich CBD oil from hemp may help with weight loss.

The Bottom Line

CBD Oil is becoming an increasingly popular dietary supplement due to the growing body of scientific research that supports its benefits. This article specifically focused on the evidence supporting CBD oil’s ability to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Research suggests CBD Oil does this by boosting your metabolism, promoting fat browning, easing temporary inflammation, improving sleep quality, reducing stress, and acting as an antioxidant in the body. All of this suggests that CBD Oil may have multiple benefits for your waistline.

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If you like ice cream, this is for you!!

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We are excited to bring a NEW Participation Marketplace to you in the comfort of your own home. We look forward to sharing this unique way for you to save and earn on 1,000’s of products and services you already purchase or use daily.  

This webinar will last approximately one hour.

Reserve Your Virtual Seat

The agenda will go as follows; We will have a quick 10 minute business overview, following the overview we will hear from our guest speaker, Kevin Wiscombe Co-Founder / Chief Revenue Officer. We will then have the opportunity to hear from a few of our Charter members, and end the night with a special training on inviting and sharing the Participation Marketplace.  

Date: May 7th Time: 7PM MT

Reserve your Virtual Seat

Top 7 Herbs for a Healthy Immune System

immune boosting herbs

Your immune system is the keystone to optimal health. When it’s working like a well-oiled machine, your immune system protects you from getting sick, speeds healing, prevents wounds from getting infected, and even destroys cancer cells before they can multiply (1).

The problem is, your immune system is constantly under siege. Environmental toxins, processed foods, stress, and countless other attackers chip away at its strength. This causes the immune system to progressively weaken, leaving you completely exposed.

That’s why taking steps to nourish the immune system is crucial. Along with regular exercise, eating organic fruits and veggies, and cleansing toxins from your body, one of the best ways to restore the immune system is with herbs.

Here are 7 of the most effective herbs to nourish the immune system.

1. Medicinal Mushrooms

When it comes to healing the immune system, mushrooms are superstars. While considered a veggie for nutritional purposes, mushrooms are widely used in herbal medicine. They have compounds that ease inflammation, balance the immune system, and even help fight infection.

But not any ordinary mushroom will do the trick. Only medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, chaga, turkey tail, tremella, maitake, and cordyceps produce worthwhile immune-modulating effects.

For example, turkey tail has bioactive compounds called beta glucans, which can enhance macrophage and natural killer cell function, making your immune response more effective (2).

Cordyceps mushrooms are bidirectional immunomodulators. This simply means that cordyceps can upregulate the immune system when it’s weak and downregulate it when it’s overactive (3).

Together, maitake and shiitake mushrooms stimulate the cellular and humoral branch of the immune system (4). Some evidence also suggests they can help fight tumors by increasing tumor necrosis factor alpha (5).

Not all medicinal mushrooms are easy to add to your diet, so you can supplement with mushroom extracts to get added immune support.

2. Echinacea

Echinacea is by far the most popular herb for enhancing immune function. Many immune supplements, cough drops, and other products that help you deal with the sniffles contain echinacea.

Several studies in mice have found that echinacea can support the immune system by activating innate immune cells—the body’s first line of defense against infection (6). The key is to take it while you’re well, to help prevent catching any colds that may be going around (7).

3. Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

Full spectrum hemp oil contains a wide variety of beneficial phytochemicals like cannabidiol (CBD). Evidence suggests that the CBD found in hemp oil can stimulate what’s called the endocannabinoid system (8). 

Among its countless other tasks in the body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls how the immune system behaves (9). Why is this important?

By stimulating the ECS, studies have found that it can help the immune system achieve homeostasis, or balance. So, cannabinoids in hemp oil can both inhibit and stimulate the immune system, depending on what’s needed.

This immune-modulating effect is essential because an overstimulated immune system can create autoimmune health challenges. Which is why hemp oil is among the best approaches for supporting immune health.

4. Black Elderberry

While it may not technically be classified as an herb, black elderberry is often found in a variety of herbal blends and tinctures that are designed to enhance immune function.

Research indicates black elderberry may bolster the immune system by normalizing and stimulating the production of cytokines—molecules that regulate immunity and inflammation (10).

Elderberry is also rich in quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that helps to block compounds involved in allergies (11).

5. Adaptogen Herbs

Stress is a surefire way to undermine and weaken your immune system. When you’re subjected to stress, the hormone corticosteroid is released, actively suppressing the immune system and making it more likely you’ll get sick (12).

Aside from learning how to effectively manage stress levels, you can support your immune system with the use of adaptogen herbs. Herbs such as ashwagandha, eleuthero, holy basil, and rhodiola rosea help the body respond to stress and become more resilient against the effects of stress.

In particular, rhodiola rosea has been extensively studied for its ability to strengthen the stress response (13), and reduce stress-induced fatigue (14). Rather than taking one herb, seek out a supplement with multiple extracts to provide the best overall immune protection against stress.

6. Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract contains a powerful polyphenol called oleuropein. This herb is gaining in popularity due to the fact that it contains considerably more oleuropein than olive oil.

Studies have found that oleuropein has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and immune-modulating properties (15).

In addition to these effects, olive leaf extracts were found to increase the production of CD8+ and natural killer cells. Both of these cell types play an important role in eliminating infections and supporting overall health (16).

7. Ginger Root

Although ginger and its components are well-studied in the scientific community, researchers have just begun to realize its immune-modulating potential.

One recent scientific review looked at 59 different studies on the health effects of ginger. The review revealed that ginger can inhibit the production of immune cells that promote inflammation and that its compounds have important anticancer potential (17).

The Bottom Line

An optimized immune system can quite literally be the difference between sickness and health. It helps you fight off germs, can keep wounds from getting infected, and acts as a sentinel against serious health issues.

With environmental toxins, stress, and processed foods, the immune system can lose its strength over time. That’s why it’s important to take steps to nourish your immune system—to get it back into top shape. Aside from eating organic fruits and veggies, one of the most effective ways to do this is to use immune-modulating herbs. You can also double-down and incorporate immune-modulating mushrooms into your diet for even better results.