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A strong, resilient immune system is the foundation of good health. If you’re struggling with any type of chronic virus, skin troubles, and a generally weak immune system, or simply desire to maximize the strength of your immunity, the following foods are worth learning more about. This article should not be considered a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any specific disease. It is for informational purposes only.

Sea Moss (aka Irish Moss): Sea moss is a type of red algae whose reported benefits include facilitating thyroid function, strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation and improving digestion. It is also known to improve energy levels and nourish skin. In fact, when you incorporate sea moss into your diet, you’re giving your body a dose of 92 minerals of the 102 minerals that the human body consists of.  Sea moss’ high content of immune-boosting nutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc enable its support of the immune system. It is also a source of potassium chloride which has both anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. This means it has the ability to reduce inflamed tissue and also expel mucous. Sea moss is rich in amino acids, vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as a host of antiviral and antimicrobial agents. These nutrients can help you to fight or ward off infections making it great for combating sore throats, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and chest coughs. A word of caution: Sea moss is high in iodine. While iodine can promote health in some people, too much iodine may trigger hypothyroidism—a disorder that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. This may pose risks for those already taking medications with iodine in them or those with autoimmune thyroid conditions, like Hashimoto’s—a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland.

Mental Support: The strong presence of potassium as well as magnesium makes sea moss a natural mental/emotional support aid. In fact, potassium and magnesium are known as mood boosters that also play a key role in brain function. High potassium foods are known to be helpful for moodiness, agitation, depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia. Additionally, they are an excellent source of B vitamins, which are known to help the reduction of stress by supporting the nervous system. Some research indicates that sea moss may protect brain tissue from degeneration and Parkinson’s disease.

Black Seed Oil: Black seed contains over 100 active chemical compounds and is a significant source of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates and other vitamins and minerals.   Black Seed oil produces antioxidant activity and is able to inhibit certain types of short-lived local tissue hormone responsible for inflammation.  Furthermore, black seed oil is said to be a natural antibiotic which helps to enhance the body’s defenses. In particular, it contains Crystalline nigellone (CN), which increases immune function, especially respiratory health; and thymoquinone, both of which reportedly disarm invading viruses and destructive renegade molecules that may cause many inflammatory diseases– from cancer to arthritis.

Elderberry: Elderberry is a plant that has dark purple berries with white flowers.  The berries and flowers are packed with antioxidants, anthocyanins, iron, pectin and vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin C, all of which may boost your immune system. Elderberry fruit’s diverse nutrient content enables them to attack influenza viruses from multiple different pathways.  Anthocyanins are also able to strengthen blood vessels, balance the immune system, and combat inflammation. The flowers and berries of the plant can increase perspiration thereby helping the immune system to launch an optimal fever response to efficiently kill pathogens that cannot withstand the heat. At a microscopic level, elderberry promotes a healthy immune response against viruses by increasing the number of inflammatory molecules called cytokines. Cytokines can cause local and systemic inflammation drawing immune cells to an area to help clear infection.  Elderberry also reportedly helps with infections that affect how you breathe and can clear mucus buildup of the upper respiratory tract. A word of caution: Elderberry is believed to be safe by most doctors in small doses. However, unripe or uncooked berries or flowers from the plant can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Larger amounts can cause even more serious poisoning.  Other parts of the elder tree, including the branches, twigs, leaves, roots, and seeds, are potentially toxic, perhaps even containing a type of cyanide called glycoside. There are known interactions between elderberry and medications (eg.  chemotherapeutics) so it is always a good idea to speak with a medical professional before using the flowers or berries.

Red Algae (aka Red Marine Algae): Red algae is a sea vegetable that grows abundantly in the ocean. Chinese and Japanese cultures have used it for centuries for its nutritional benefits. Red algae have strong antioxidant content which strengthen the immune system by neutralizing free radicals and moving toxins out of the body. Their natural detoxification abilities allow them to specifically assist in heavy metal detoxification, weight loss and restoration of alkalinity of blood pH levels. Of the more than 4,000 species of red algae, two of the most powerful strains are Gigartina and Dumontiacea. Some sources suggest that both strains be taken together. Gigartina red marine algae contain an antiviral compound known as carrageenan which is very beneficial in its natural state and should not to be confused with the extracted and heavily processed form of carrageenan. Unprocessed carrageenan boosts the immune system and is beneficial for the skin. People use gigartina for chronic viruses like oral herpes, genital herpes, shingles, HIV, influenza, mononucleosis and cold sores. It may even help fight strains of germs that are resistant to certain medications. Dumontiacea is shown to have antiviral properties. People specifically use this strain for herpes simplex virus I and II because it may suppress the herpes virus in the initial stages of flare-up, and increase the length of time between outbreaks.

Essiac Tea: Essiac tea is a blend of different herbs, including burdock root, slippery elm, sheep sorrel and Indian rhubarb.  These ingredients contain disease-fighting antioxidants and potent anti-viral properties. In addition to its purported anticancer properties, Essiac tea is believed to enhance detoxification, boost immune function and reduce inflammation. The tea is usually sold in powder form, but capsule and tea bag varieties are also available. Essiac tea originates from the 1920s when Canadian nurse Rene Caisse declared Essiac tea as a natural cancer treatment, claiming it was given to her by a patient who originally received it from an Ontario Ojibwa medicine man.  Essiac is her surname spelled backwards. Several reports claim there is lack of scientific evidence to support the stated benefits of Essiac tea. Some health agencies have even issued warnings against it. Nevertheless, this skepticism is contrasted by positive reports such that Essiac tea remains extremely popular and widely available for sale.

Linden Flower Tea: For hundreds of years, the leaves, flowers, wood and bark of linden trees have been used for medicinal purposes. Its array of health benefits include supporting optimal immune system health, cancer prevention, body detoxification, nourishing the nervous system as well as the respiratory system, lowering blood pressure, and fighting inflammation. As a calming and sedative agent, linden helps to counter stress, anxiety and agitation. It stimulates sweating, which aids in breaking a fever. This plant’s cooling mucilage combats inflammation thereby soothing irritations in the throat and lungs as well as protecting the gut. Regarding cold and flu symptoms, linden’s anti-inflammatory properties similarly aid with swollen membranes and respiratory tracts, thereby reducing coughing and irritation as well as eliminating congestion.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Many supplements are beneficial, but it’s important to use caution, and to take supplements with the guidance of your doctor or a dietitian who can recommend the right form, dose, frequency, and length of use, or identify any potential precautions of which you should be aware. Most importantly, you should seek independent expertise before you incorporate any supplements into your daily or regular routine. Anytime you’re trying a new supplement, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.


To explore herbal remedies that have helped people suffering from various health conditions restore the internal equilibrium within their bodies, purchase from our Health Treasures Series:

“The Lost Book of Remedies” at  and/or

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