Vitamin D, Echinacea, Garlic, Nux Vomica, Green Superfoods
With the arrival of colder temperatures for the last 2-3 weeks for much of the U.S. and Canada, it’s time for a followup to last year’s ““5 Great Supplements for Winter”” post. That article espoused Singer’s Saving Grace throat spray, vitamin C powder packets, OscillococcinumTM (homeopathic flu remedy), Rescue Remedy and Olba’s Inhaler as five of my trusted companions during the chillier part of the year. Here are five more supplements for the winter months.
- Vitamin D -the most common forms come from cod liver oil and sheep’s wool. The lanolin version from sheep’s wool is the closest to a ‘vegetarian’ form since it technically doesn’t have you ingesting an animal part, and no animals are harmed during the process. Unlike vitamin C, there aren’t a whole lot of non-animal/dairy food sources of this nutrient. Many people also supplement with D in the winter because the northern climes they live in don’t provide enough winter sunlight for them to get their usual amount of skin-absorbed and synthesized vitamin D that they get during the warmer months. Capsules or drops in the 400, 1000 and 2000 IU dosages are popular. There’s been a noticeable uptick since 2010 of doctors and nutritionists starting to recommend higher dosages of this supplement for their patients, and of manufacturers rolling out potencies as high as 5000 IU.
- Echinacea -tincture, tea or capsule form. The purple coneflower; echinacea angustifolia and echinacea purpurea are the two most commonly used species. Echinacea helps support the immune system and produce white blood cells. Usually ‘pulsed’; that is, taken for three to four weeks and then stopped, for a break, before resuming. Once a bug or cold is three days old, echinacea is not as impactful. Thus, it is a good immune supporting supplement when you’re not sick or if taken at the first signs of an oncoming illness. I prefer the liquid tincture forms, which usually come in 1- or 2-oz. dropper bottles in a vegetable glycerin or grain alcohol base. The alcohol-based tinctures tend to have a longer shelf life (sometimes by years) than the sweeter tasting glycerin ones, but you can prolong the efficacy of the glycerin-based tinctures by storing them in the fridge after opening them and using them up within six months. Good echinacea (tincture) causes a distinctive tingling sensation on the tongue after ingestion.