Choosing the Right Organic Herbs For Cold & Flu Season
It’s that dreaded time of year. You’re starting to drag, your eyes are watering, nose dripping, and you’re getting that telltale scratchy feeling in your throat. Cue the red alert sirens and fog horns! You frantically search online for a supplement to boost your immune system, but there are so many mixed reviews, you’re not sure which ones really work.
How Do You Choose?
What makes an organic herbal formula effective at promoting our immune defense and respiratory health? There are several different factors that play a role in what makes an herbal supplement effective or not. One key element is how many active ingredients from the plants the formula contains not merely the herbs that are inside. That's because an herb that is crushed up and put into a capsule will have vastly fewer active compounds than a concentrated herbal extract. And not every extract is created equal.
Since potency should be more than a guessing game, the first factor to look for is that the extracts in your formula are fully “standardized.” Standardization is a guarantee of potency. Going the extra mile to concentrate and quantify the most important compounds within the herbs — the ones that really matter when it comes to your immune health—is essential.
You should also check to see if the formula’s ingredients are protected from light, heat, chemicals, and oxygen through every step — from processing through storage and beyond — and are low-temperature dried and cold-milled to protect the plants’ health benefits. If these steps don’t happen, even the best plant extracts could become useless.
The ingredients should be organic, meaning no artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used in the cultivation of the ingredients. Once they’re harvested, no chemicals should be used in the juicing, concentration or extraction processes.
But using organic ingredients isn’t enough. You should also make sure the brand you choose puts as much care into the manufacture of the supplements themselves. A manufacturer should never use harsh processing aids, solvents, magnesium stearate, excipients, or lubricants in the final production of their herbal supplement.
And finally, the unique combination of extracts should work harmoniously with each other to produce the best results.
Pure Synergy takes all of the above into account in their botanical formulations, including one of the most popular products: Rapid Rescue, an organic herbal formula to support a healthy immune response to common seasonal symptoms.
The Power Of Nature to the Rescue
Made with nine of nature’s most powerful botanical immune boosters and herbal health protectors, Rapid Rescue® is designed to deeply support your healthy immune defenses for a speedy recovery. Its blend of concentrated organic extracts each contain unique active compounds which synergize with each other for maximum efficacy. Let’s look at these herbal heavyweights and break down how each one uniquely benefits your immune system.
Echinacea Juice Extract
Echinacea is a genus of flowering plants, also known as coneflowers, that North American Plains Indians have been using medicinally for centuries. The most researched and well-known species are Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. There are various parts of the plant — roots, flowers, and aerial parts (above-ground portions) — that can be prepared in numerous ways. You get different active compounds and immune benefits depending on which species, plant parts, or preparation is used.
Rapid Rescue® contains the organic fresh-pressed juice of Echinacea purpurea aerial parts, which is the preparation commonly utilized in European clinical studies. This form is rich in water-soluble polysaccharides, arabinogalactan proteins, and cichoric acid, that research has shown to stimulate the immune system and activate the innate immune response.
Elderberry Fruit Extract
Around 400 BC, Hippocrates, the ancient Greek “Father of Medicine,” referred to the elder plant as his “medicine chest.” Similarly, throughout European history, many of the most well-known classical healers regarded the elder as one of nature’s greatest healing plants. Prior to antibiotics, elderberry was included as one of the main ingredients in preparations used by herbalists, pharmacists, and physicians. Today, elderberry is often used as an alternative or a complementary remedy to support the natural process of recovery.
Research shows that black elderberry, or Sambucus nigra, has many immune supportive benefits. For starters, the dark purple pigment of this berry contains a very high percentage of anthocyanins. These flavonoids account for one of its key mechanisms of action: antioxidant support and free radical cleanup. Black elderberry also affects what's known as the cytokine cascade. Cytokines are key communicators in the immune system, and black elderberry contributes to healthy cytokine activity as part of a healthy defense system.
Andrographis Leaf Extract
Known as the "king of bitters," andrographis is a highly revered immune herb in the traditions of both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The bioactive immune properties of andrographis can be traced back to a compound called andrographolide. The range of immune benefits for this herb includes support for healthy microbial function, a healthy antioxidant response, and healthy white blood cell activity. Andrographis has a particular affinity for supporting the health of our ears, eyes, nose, and throat.
Olive Leaf Extract
Native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, olive is one of the oldest known cultivated trees in the world and has been grown since before the invention of written language. It spread to the rest of the Mediterranean approximately 6,000 years ago, and was used for light, heat, food, and medicine.
While most people are familiar with the olive fruit and oil, scientists have discovered the antioxidant and immune-supportive compound called oleuropein, which is particularly rich in the olive leaf. It's no wonder that olive trees are especially hardy, disease and drought-resistant, typically living to be greater than 1,000 years old. Oleuropein is olive's powerful built-in defense compound, the very same one that can defend our bodies from oxidative damage and foreign invaders.
Oregano Leaf Extract
Native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, documented oregano use goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates used it on a regular basis for numerous ailments as well as for its powerful antiseptic properties. Interestingly, oregano made it all the way to China via the spice road during Medieval times where it was incorporated into Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A plethora of research shows oregano’s effect on a broad spectrum of microorganisms. Its antimicrobial properties appear to be linked to oregano’s main volatile compound, carvacrol, and it’s been shown to support healthy microbial balance throughout the body and enhance the body’s natural defenses for a healthy immune response.
Propolis is a fascinating glue-like substance made by honeybees to protect their hives. They use the waxy substance like cement to seal unwanted cracks and gaps. But as with most things created by the humble honeybee, this “bee glue” is much more than meets the eye.
The ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Incas made extensive use of it as a medicine. Today scientists have studied the composition of propolis and uncovered a remarkable assortment of phytonutrients and immune-supporting polyphenols like apigenin, quercetin and chyrsin. These active compounds give propolis its ability to bolster a healthy immune response through their effects on microbial balance, antioxidant function, and also via support for our healthy immune system's army of white blood cells.
Unlike most of the other ingredients in Rapid Rescue, manuka honey is a relatively new discovery. The western species of bee necessary for honey production is not native to New Zealand. In fact, the insects werent introduced to the Southern Hemisphere until 1839. Their arrival is owed to the fastidious stewardship of Mary Bumby an English beekeeper and sister of a Methodist missionary who managed to keep her two woven baskets of honey bees alive on her six-month voyage from England to New Zealand! But it wasn't until 1980, when biochemist Dr. Peter Molan discovered the health-protective properties of manuka nectar, that its fame started growing to global proportions.
Considered liquid gold, manuka honey is a very precious and coveted substance. For only six weeks of every year, New Zealand honeybees pollinate the flower of the manuka bush, carry the nectar back to their hives, and create a sweetly delicious and powerfully health-supporting food. Manuka honey possesses a unique active ingredient, methylglyoxal (MGO), that supports healthy bacterial balance in our body and gives our immune system a helping hand.
Indians and Chinese are believed to have been using ginger medicinally for thousands of years. An exceedingly important article of trade, it was exported from India to the Roman Empire about 2000 years ago where it also became valued for its medicinal properties. It never lost its importance in Europe and by the thirteenth century, the value of a pound of ginger was equivalent to the cost of a sheep. Today it is still one of the most valuable and well-regarded botanical medicines throughout the world.
The primary bioactive compounds in ginger are gingerols and shogaols. Although it’s best known for its positive support of healthy digestion, that’s only part of the story. Ginger also acts on the enzyme that helps produce and recycle our body’s master antioxidant, glutathione, our body's most indispensable weapon for protecting our cells from oxidative stress. Plus, it's been widely researched to support a healthy inflammation and immune response.
Pelargonium Root Extract
Commonly known as African geranium or umckaloabo in the Zulu language, the root of Pelargonium sidoides was used for centuries in African traditional medicine. It first gained fame in the 19th century for use with respiratory function. It’s not surprising then, that pelargonium is particularly supportive of healthy bronchial, nasal, and sinus function. Research from clinical trials also shows that it supports the healthy release of immune "peptides" from our white blood cells.
The Pure Synergy Difference
There are a lot of herbal products out there that purport to boost the immune system and that claim to have many of the same ingredients that are in Rapid Rescue®. Sadly, there’s a wide gap in quality control within the supplement industry, so it’s hard to know junk from the real deal.
Our eco-friendly, chemical and additive-free extraction processes bring out the best of each organic ingredient. Plus, we extensively test, standardize, and clearly label every active ingredient, so you can see exactly what you are getting. Our mission is to create products with maximum efficacy, potency, safety, and purity — better for you and the planet.