When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, […]
Produced by the body, N-acetylcysteine (commonly called NAC) is a form of the amino acid cysteine. Because it enhances the production of the Enzyme glutathione, one of the body’s powerhouse antioxidants, NAC can both stave off disease and play an important role in boosting the immune system. Studies have shown that glutathione levels are often reduced in people with certain conditions related to the immune system.
Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, is often sold with plant-based substances called flavonoids in a single product. While each supplement can be purchased individually, there are several reasons to consider a product that combines the two.
For one, flavonoids–the catchall term for some 4,000 antioxidant compounds responsible for the color and numerous health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and herbs–enhance the body’s absorption of vitamin C. Key flavonoids include quercetin, rutin, genistein, grape seed extract, and naringen.
Several herbs can help relieve the swelling and stuffiness that make sinusitis, the common cold, or other respiratory complaints so uncomfortable. Most of these herbs work by opening up clogged nasal passages to ease breathing. And while they can certainly be bought and used individually, a blend of these botanicals provides the unique healing qualities of many different herbs–in just a single pill.
From cough cure to tension-reliever, the woody scented oil and leathery leaves of the stately eucalyptus tree have found myriad uses over the centuries. Australian aborigines relied on this native evergreen for soothing painful joints and healing skin lesions. And settlers to the continent dubbed eucalyptus the “fever tree” in recognition of its disease-fighting powers. While these early users ascribed its potency to the tree’s brisk aroma, it is now known that the thirsty roots were responsible: They kept the surrounding ground relatively dry and thus free of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
One of the most popular herbal remedies in the world, echinacea contains active ingredients thought to fight colds, flu, and other infections. There are nine species of this herb, commonly called the purple coneflower, but just three (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea) are used medicinally. Various parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, stems, or roots) from a variety of species appear in literally hundreds of commercial preparations. Depending on the species and plant part used, the herb will stimulate the immune system and combat bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing microbes.
Bromelain is the name of a group of powerful protein-digesting, or proteolytic, enzymes that are found in the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus). Discovered in 1957, and widely studied since then, bromelain is particularly useful for reducing muscle and tissue inflammation and as a digestive aid. Supplements are made from enzymes found in the pineapple stem.
Over the last several decades, scientists have discovered that the body’s formation of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals is unavoidable–every cell produces tens of thousands of them each day. We’re also exposed to free radicals in the environment on a daily basis. Cigarette smoke, for instance, is one of the most concentrated sources of free radicals.
Doctors call them “viral upper respiratory infections” or “acute viral nasopharyngitis” because big words always sound impressive to patients. But the common cold is…well, common. Most of us get two or three a year. Colds are caused by upward of 200 viruses and it’s this large number that not only prevents developing a “cold vaccine” but is also responsible for the woeful complaint, “Another cold? This isn’t fair! I just got over one.” Neither conventional nor alternative medicine can cure a cold yet, but our WholeHealth Chicago remedies will get you feeling better muy pronto and may just might knock a few days off the usual seven to 10 days you can expect a cold to last. And you might even build up some more resistance to fend off the next cold virus that comes your way.