Your immune system is your main line of defense against illness, so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it in top shape. That’s especially true during cold and flu season – and with an outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping every inch of the world, the health of our community is our top priority! With that, we take it as our highest duty to provide you with the research-backed ways to support your physical and mental health with the help of herbal allies during a time when restoration and rejuvenation are a blessing. It’s time to boost your immune system.
Your ability to fend off illness and disease depends on several factors, some of which are beyond our control, but the way we react to stress and the general health of our immune system are things we can influence. Psychologists in the field of “psychoneuroimmunology” have shown that the state of mind affects one’s state of health. If we’re not able to change our response to stressors, we’ll find ourselves in a constant hormonal battle that will lead to suppressed immune systems and serious health issues.
Your immune system is made up of multiple layers of defense. This includes physical barriers like your skin, cilia (tiny, hair-like structures) that line your airways, and specialized cells that recognize and attack foreign substances like viruses and bacteria. Some of which are nonspecific and destroy anything that appears foreign, while others produce antibodies that recognize and target protein markers (called antigens) on the surface of germs.
Before we uncover exactly how to manage your stress to boost your immune system, let’s discuss exactly what stress is and its effects on your body.
At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressure from a situation or life event. What contributes to stress can largely vary from person to person and differs according to our social and economic circumstances, the environment we live in and our genetic makeup. Some common features of things that can make us feel stress include experiencing something new or unexpected, something that threatens your feelings of self, or feeling you have little control over a situation.
When we encounter stress, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response and activate our immune system. This response helps us to respond quickly to dangerous situations.
Sometimes, this stress response can be an appropriate, or even beneficial reaction. The resulting feeling of ‘pressure’ can help us to push through situations that can be nerve-wracking or intense, like running a marathon, or giving a speech to a large crowd. We can quickly return to a resting state without any negative effects on our health if what is stressing us is short-lived, and many people are able to deal with a certain level of stress without any lasting effects.
However, there can be times when stress becomes excessive and too much to deal with. If our stress response is activated repeatedly, or it persists over time, the effects can result in wear and tear on the body and can cause us to feel permanently in a state of ‘fight or flight’. Rather than helping us push through, this pressure can make us feel overwhelmed and unwell
Feeling this overwhelming stress for a long period of time is often called chronic, or long-term stress, and it can impact both physical and mental health, given that stress has been linked as a cofactor in 95% or all disease processes. Hence, the reason alternative health and healing practices include learning how to effectively manage stress.
Effects Of Stress On Your Immune System
Research has found that the brain and the immune system are in constant communication. While in this delicate conversation, balance can be disrupted by any kind of physical or emotional stressor. Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations, but severely suppresses our immunity at the same time.
One example specifically done by psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, and immunologist Ronald Glaser, PhD, of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, studied the link of stress and infection. From 1982 through 1992, these pioneer researchers studied medical students undergoing a period of high stress. Among many other findings, they found that the students’ immunity went down every year under the simple stress of the three-day exam period. After the study was complete, it was concluded that test takers had fewer natural killer cells, which fight viral infections.
What this Research Means
Those findings, along with others, provide evidence of the correlation of the mind-body interaction. In short, this research study shows the decrease in lymphocytes – the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower the lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including common colds.
Exam week, job loss, in-laws visiting, or a world-wide epidemic – regardless of the source of the stress, the ability to manage and transcend stress is crucial to one’s well-being.
Beat Stress With The Cured Herbal Allies:
They mediate stress, fight inflammation, bring balance to your hormonal system, and ease you into a restful night of sleep. Can you guess what powerful herbal allies we paired our organically grown Colorado hemp with to soothe and nourish your mind, body and spirit?
In a practical sense, many of these herbal allies serve a function, whether as food, a spice, or part of the ecosystem. The phrase ‘herbal allies’ specifically refers to varieties that have a health benefit beyond providing nutritional value, we are talking about a holistic blend of stress and immune relief!
Below, we break down each of the herbal allies – from organically grown Colorado hemp, functional mushrooms, and Ayurvedic mind boosting and soothing herbs that are carefully chosen to work synergistically within our two favorite holistic wellness supplements, Rise and Zen.
If you are new to CBD, this article is the best place to start. This hemp compound, called Cannabidiol, is family to 100+ other naturally occurring, active compounds called cannabinoids. When this power plant is combined with other herbal allies the healing properties are taken to a whole new level.
CBD and Stress
Beyond the glowing testimonials of individuals who successfully treat their anxiety with CBD oil, there is also a growing body of scientific evidence that CBD works. Cannabidiol has more than 65 targets throughout the body, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the sources of its many different therapeutic properties. Studies currently suggest that CBD counters anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and neural regeneration (translation: calming the mind and regulating your mood).
They may be old as dirt, quite literally, but medicinal mushrooms are making a comeback as a ‘must-have’ therapeutic alternative. The use of these healing mushrooms dates back thousands of years in places like China, Russia, Japan, and Tibet. Chaga mushrooms, for example, have been used to support intestinal issues — and their cousin Cordyceps have been used as a natural energy booster.
Modern scientists are still discovering some fascinating healing properties of mushrooms. In recent years the focus has been on immunological properties of certain mushrooms, but they also offer other potentially important health benefits, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-microbial properties. Not to mention, many functional mushrooms provide cognitive support, mood regulation, and sleep enhancement, making these fungi friends our first choice in supporting the body naturally.
Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that are marked as helping the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical, or biological. Each one boasts a slightly different profile of benefits, but on the whole, adaptogens help your body handle stress.
Adaptogens and Stress:
Commonly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine for their rejuvenating properties, adaptogens have been around for thousands of years dating back to ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations. The word ‘adaptogen’ is derived from the Greek word “adapto”, meaning “to adjust”. Adaptogens include several plants or herbs and are defined as biologically active, medicinal plants substances that help your body adapt or adjust to stress.
Known as the “smart” drugs, these cognitive enhancers are in every neuro-hacker’s toolbox to enhance motivation, creativity, memory, and other functions. Advantages of nootropics include increased brain energy, regulating neurotransmitters, cerebral circulation, neuroprotection, brain waves, regeneration, and so much more. Many seek out these herbal allies for various reasons including mood regulation, increased stress resistance, work performance enhancement, and so much more.
Nootropics and Stress:
Stress might just be the ultimate mind-killer. Here’s the ironic twist: pills that many people take for stress work by sedation. This means that typically pills and supplements for stress are often effective at the expense of brainpower – leaving people relaxed, but with a cognitive haze that makes it hard to think straight and rise to any occasion. Nootropics on the other hand, present different pathways to relaxation that may relieve tension while sharpening the mind.
Boost Your Immune System
At Cured, we offer (TWO) blends that are equal parts of mushrooms, adaptogens, nootropics, and organic hemp. Say hello to RISE, the brain-boosting nootropic and ZEN, the stress easing nighttime supplement. These custom, certified herbal blends work synergistically to maintain a healthy, resilient immune system.
With these functional mushrooms to boost the immune system, adaptogens to ease your worry, and hemp to reduce your stress, you can feel confident that your body has a wealth of compounds to use as needed. Try yours today!