Perhaps never before has immunity been as much a public preoccupation as it has become since Covid’s arrival and lingering presence. Certainly, when the mercury used to plummet we would adopt a few, more practical habits and personal protective measures so as not to spend the entire autumn or winter struck down by cold and/or flu. But, aside from glugging Lemsips (once those had replaced traditional remedies of yore) and carrying a veritable box of tissues with us as we suffered through, immunity was pretty much considered something you either were blessed with or weren’t, and if you weren’t then wry, distinctly British self-mockery would see you through. Not so anymore.
| From the first mad days of thepandemic, shelves cleared of everyimmune support product possible– from vitamin C to elderberry to Manuka honey – we’ve by and large come to understand that continued good health is not simply about a last-minute miracle cure; rather, it’s about prevention. Although popping a high-strength echinacea tablet
or nasturtium-acerola cherry blend might indeed bring you back from the brink of a truly awful cold, it is far better and more effective to nourish our bodies through functional nutrition on an ongoing basis, and strengthen our physiques with exercise carried out with awareness and acceptance of our natural limits. Certainly, from this WFH window
it appears as if Covid and all its multiple variants have resulted in a public utterly obsessed with jogging and hiking and generally seeking wellness from the outdoors. And that’s no bad thing at all. Every cloud…
Yet, speaking of natural limits, one avenue of alternative health that can support this ongoing fight for optimal health lay with adaptogens. A term coined only relatively recently (in 1958, by Russian toxicologist Nikolai Lazarev), the adaptogen category is described as “naturally occurring substances that help the body adapt” – low and behold – “to stress responses”. Those stress responses can be from myriad causes, of course: physical or mental (the psychological fallout of the pandemic has been no small matter), or even cellular (which in itself can be down to poor nutrition, exposure to chemicals or toxins, and even something as seemingly innocuous as lack of sleep). It is, further, on that cellular level that adaptogens work, involving both the adrenal glands and hormonal centres in the brain. What’s more, each cell “worked on” by the adaptogen becomes more resilient and resistant afterwards, sensitivity decreased and future potential negative impact from the same cause(s) lessened also.
As Just Natural Health & Beauty has written before, what’s so amazing about adaptogens (apart from everything described above) is that their “powers” are transferable due to becoming so toughened by the harsh climates in which they naturally grow. Be sure to heed advice that suggests rotating different adaptogens on a circa 6-weekly basis: that way, they’ll remain optimally effective.