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Winter ailments and immune boosting

Winter ailments and immune boosting

Are you prepared for this winter? Already the cold and flu season has started with a "hiss and a roar". I believe one of the reasons for this is that our winters in Auckland are not cold enough to destroy the viruses, fungi and bacteria. They hang around and get stronger and stronger and more resistant to antibiotics. Because so many people are under regular stress, don't always eat properly and do not get outside enough, their immunity is often lower and viruses, coughs and colds can take hold more easily.

Natural cold & flu products are available

We have a lot of choices for the cold and flu season this year. In the past we have been limited to Echinacea and Garlic as our main natural antibiotics, however this year there have been a number of new products that are specific for viral infections.

Olive leaf, another potent winter product

An excellent winter product - Olive Leaf, specifically for viral infections. The olive branch, a centuries-old symbol for peace, may contain in its leaves our best weapon against a host of disease-producing bacteria. As more bacteria mutate and resist commonly prescribed antibiotics, scientists are searching for alternatives. One option may lie in the leaves of the green olive tree.

Researchers at Upjohn Company and recent research credit a number of unique properties possessed by the olive leaf compound for its broad killing power. These include the following:

* Olive leaf compound has an ability to interfere with critical amino acid production that is essential for virus growth

* Olive leaf compound has an ability to "restrain" viral infections, by inactivating viruses, preventing virus shedding, budding or assembly at the cell membrane

* Olive leaf compound has the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop viral replication

* In the case of retroviruses, olive leaf is able to neutralize the production of reverse transcriptase and protease. These enzymes are essential for the retrovirus (such as HIV) to alter the RNA of a healthy cell

* Olive leaf compound can stimulate phagocytosis, an immune system response in which cells ingest harmful micro-organisms and foreign matter

At Ideal Health we recommend Natures Way Olive Leaf extract. This contains a 250mg leaf extract in a base of 250mg of Olive Leaf. We also have our own Superior Olive Leaf which contains 2000mg of olive leaf per capsule, with elderberry and the nutrients zinc and selenium also essential for helping fight viruses. We also have the Comvita Olive Leaf in a liquid.

Lozenges are very convenient & taste nicer

At Ideal Health we all use the Cold eze Lozenges. These are made in New Zealand and contain vitamin c and zinc, as well as echinacea and olive leaf or menthol in the hot ones. 

We also have Manuka Honey Lozenges. Manuka honey is natural natural antibiotic and is known to have extraordinary health promoting benefits including soothing, antibacterial, immune, healing and inflammation supporting properties. You can enjoy these soothing benefits today, with Radiance ManukaGuard Honey Lozenges, ideal for sore, scratchy throats, sore gums and so much more.


We stock 2 main echnacea ranges - Greenridge and Kiwiherb.  Greenridge are from Australia and have the Triplex and Flu Biotic, as well as the cough relief. They also have a childrens range. Kiwiherb are from Auckland New Zealand and really are the leaders in liquid herbs here in New Zealand.

The Relief range consists of a Child Echinacea, which is sugar and alcohol free, a Child's Cough Syrup, also alcohol and sugar free. The child formulas are very sweet, (using glycerol as the sweetener), so are easy to take. 

The adult range consists of:

Triplex, their high potency Echinacea in liquid.
Adult Cough Syrup, a very strong cough syrup.
Flu Biotic, which contains liquid Echinacea, garlic, nasturtium & horseradish.


All the adult formulas in the Greenridge range should be taken with a small amount of water. DO NOT attempt to take these "straight".

Kiwiherb have Echinacea in a liquid in both the adult and children range. Another product in their range De Stuff also contains echinacea. This is our product of choice for nose and ear problems.

What can Echinacea do for you?

Echinacea is an effective antiviral, antibacterial and immune system stimulant or infection fighter. For over 100 years, it has proven useful in most diseases that are due to impurities of the blood. It is excellent for treating the causes of:

Colds and flu
Infections of the upper respiratory tract
Specific for all glandular infections, including tonsillitis and laryngitis

It helps build up the supply of white blood cells in the body and is effective against both viral and bacterial attacks, not so much by killing these organisms, but supporting the body's own immunity.

How to take Echinacea & get the best from it

One of the most important things to remember is "at the FIRST SIGN of a cold or flu, start taking Echinacea".

Do not wait to see how it develops! Start with the intensive dosage immediately and the problem may be under control within the first 48 hours.

A lot of people tell me they have used Echinacea in the past but it didn't work for them. This can happen for two main reasons. The first is because the product was not used correctly. When you take Echinacea, you need to initially take it every 2 hours for at least 24-48 hours, then reduce to the recommended dosage on the bottle, three times a day. Then after all your symptoms have gone, continue with this dosage for 3 more days.

Secondly, if you don't get results using Echinacea or you have had repetitive colds and flu, it is likely that your immune system function is very low. If this is the case, Echinacea will not be effective. Consider using AstraForte in these cases, to rebuild your immune function.


AstraForte contains the three herbs Astragalus, Reishi and Privet fruit.

A weakened immune system results in persistent colds and flu, exhaustion, food allergies or depression, which leaves the body vulnerable to infection. The herbs in this formula are referred to as bone marrow reserve herbs and deep defence builders in conditions of profound immune deficiencies.

Astragalus increases production of white blood cells and strengthens the body's immune response and vital force. It has an energy boosting action. Formulas incorporating Astragalus are used in China in conjunction with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in cancer patients.

Reishi mushroom has been shown to demonstrate anti-tumour and immunotonic effects. It increases both DNA and RNA synthesis in the bone marrow and enhances natural killer cell activity.

Privet fruit has been used for centuries by herbalists to nourish the liver and kidney, but as well as this, research has shown that it has the effect of increasing white blood cell count.

AstraForte has been traditionally used for the following health complaints:

As a liver tonic in hepatitis
Chronic fatigue
Repetitive colds and flu infections
Debilitated immune function
Post-infection recovery
Gastric discomfort
Bronchial cough
As a diuretic
Nervous debility

Other winter formulas

The Sambucol range. This includes four separate products:

Sambucus Black Elderberry extract
Sambucus Black Elderberry extract sugar free
Sambucus Immune System formula
Sambucus for Kids

The Sambucus® range of products contains an extract from Elderberries. The Elder flowers and ripe Elderberries have long been used as food, for wine and pies, chutney and ketchup. The wine, which improves with age, was used as a traditional "cure" for a cold. The ripe berries offer valuable medicinal properties. It is known as one of the best preventives against the advance of influenza and the ill effects of a chill.

From the days of Hippocrates, Elder has been famous for its medicinal properties. It is believed that since every part of the tree has medicinal properties, virtually every ailment of the body was curable by it. Its properties are summed up as "everything necessary for a universal remedy".

Sambucus®, a standardized extract of the berries, is used specifically for viral infections. The unique Elderberry extract has numerous anti-viral therapeutic properties.

Clinical studies have proven Sambucus® to be effective in fighting a number of influenza virus strains. Laboratory tests have also proven the efficacy of Sambucus® on the herpes virus. Sambucus® has also been proven to enhance the immune system and help prevent viral infection.

A variety of research data from studies conducted around the world prove the effectiveness of Sambucus® in preventing and curing flu and upper respiratory tract infections.

Garlic products

Garlicin is our preferred garlic supplement. Garlic is a wonder herb. It is effective against toxic bacteria, viruses and fungi. It has been used in many scientific tests and has shown to have an anti-cancer agent in it. In fact, it was shown in one test in Russia that it actually retarded the growth of tumours in humans.

It has a rejuvenating effect on all cells. It has soft oils in it that help to emulsify plaque and loosen it from the arterial walls. It strengthens blood vessels and it also has the ability to equalise high or low blood pressure. Perhaps one of garlic's best-known actions is its ability of lowering blood pressure. As well as this, it actually absorbs fatty deposits from arterial walls and it contains selenium, which helps arteriosclerosis.

Natures Way have three Garlicin products:

Garlicin HC (Heart and Circulation)
Garlicin CF (Cold & Flu)

Garlic is a good preventative cure-all that can be taken long term.

Other important factors

At Ideal Health we believe another vital factor in keeping well this winter is to ensure your vitamin and mineral levels are high. To do this, take a multivitamin each day, such as MultiVite, Multipower, Multi-100, V2000 Super Multi, all a 1-a-day Multivitamin.

If you find this does not help, it may be that your body is overloaded with toxins and your eliminative organs are not working efficiently to keep up with their job. If this is the case, you may need to do a liver cleanse. Try the Internal Cleansing Program, a 7-day cleansing regime or a herbal combination like Livatone, Liverplex or 566 General Tonic. Contact us for more information on this topic; we would be happy to advise you.

Quick tips for keeping well this winter

* If you are prone to catching colds and flu, consider taking a course of AstraForte or Sambucus to boost your immunity

* Have some Echinacea handy and if you are around people who have a cold, take an intensive dosage for a day

* Ensure you are eating a good variety of fresh fruit &/or vegies - ideally, at least ½ of your daily food intake

* Take a multivitamin every day to keep your vitamin & mineral levels up - such as MultiVite, Multipower, Multi-100 etc

* Get out and get some fresh air every day. Get a walking partner if you need motivation

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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