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Condition - Nature's Natural Remedies supporting your immune system

By Holly Taylor BSc(Hons) DipCNM MBANT

As the evenings start to get longer and a chill creeps back into the air, there is no better time to start supporting your immune system. With a little help from two of nature’s marvels, olive leaf extract and vitamin C, you’ll be sure to feel at your best this winter.

Olive leaf

The Egyptians first used Olive leaf in oil form as an aid to mummifying their kings. In later years, it became a popular folk remedy for those suffering from a fever. By the 1960s, scientists had discovered that the properties of olive leaf stem from one of its natural chemicals, a substance known as calcium-D-elenoate.

Initially, researchers carrying out experiments in labs found out that calcium-D-elenoate could hinder the growth of viruses, particularly those associated with the common cold, flu and respiratory infections. Further studies then reported that olive leaf was effective against bacteria and parasites as well.

More recent experiments have revealed that the calcium-D-elenoate in olive leaf has the ability to interfere with the replication processes of viruses, which stops the number of viruses increasing in numbers. It is able to hamper a virus’s ability to make the protein chains they need to copy themselves, as well as helping to neutralise the chemicals they use to take over our cells.

In addition, olive leaf can also help to maintain healthy immune defences. It is particularly good at supporting a process called phagocytosis. This is where special kinds of white blood cells move through the body eating up foreign invaders and presenting them to the rest of the immune system to activate a response. These immune-strengthening effects of olive leaf make it an excellent choice not just in winter but all year round for strong healthy immune systems, able to keep the body healthy, even when challenged.

Vitamin C

We often reach for the vitamin C when we feel the start of a cold coming on but very few of us know how it actually works! However, far from being a misguided reflex, it seems a good dose of vitamin C really can help to keep you feeling fit and well this winter.

Research shows that vitamin C aids the action of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that defends against infections. It also supports production of lymphocytes, another type of white blood cell important in antibody production and immune system co-ordination. In larger amounts, vitamin C has also been shown to assist the body’s production of special substances called interferons, which help to activate the immune system against viruses. This makes vitamin C the ideal partner for olive leaf at all times of the year not just the winter months!

For optimum immune support it’s best to take olive leaf and vitamin C throughout the winter, increasing the dose as necessary, whenever you feel a bout of the sniffles coming on! 


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