The following piece in Dr. Geary's recommendations is meant to expand on our blog from last week entitled “Immunity and Ayurveda”. We suggest you read that blog first, please. Dr. Geary firmly believes that the best way to maintain wellness is to have a balanced and nutritious diet. Supplements are never a better substitute for food. However, the following supplements are recommended for those who want to boost their immune strength. These recommendations are based in Ayurveda: the central importance of nutrition and digestion, of creating more Agni, and of limiting the build-up of Ama.
Here is also a wonderful illustration of the integration of Ayurveda with Western Medicine. Western “science-based medicine” tells us that 80 percent of our health and immunity takes place in the digestive tract and has begun to acknowledge and analyse the impact of probiotics, and balanced nutrition on inflammation and disease. Ayurveda-based medicine places the health of the individual squarely on their diet and GI system, and for thousands of years has based healing on nutrition.
Please Note: We post this information as a guide only: Dr. Geary is often dismayed by the plentitude of companies promising wellness in a pill, a quick fix in a tablet. And she is alarmed by the lack of quality control in many products sold which are not required to pass FDA inspection based on a loophole in the labelling process: since supplements are not labelled as “treatments for” any disease, they do not require quality control like a medicine. And “natural” does not equal safe. So please use caution when starting any new product.
DR. GEARY RECOMMENDS - IMMUNITY SUPPLEMENTS:
Supplements (Western Healing):
Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin C has long been associated with pumping up the body's resistance against infections and pathogens. Vitamin B2, B6, C, D and E are essential vitamins for maintaining cell strength and nerve function. Iron, zinc, folic acid, magnesium, selenium and calcium are vital in fortifying your body's defense against pathogens. Make sure to ask your doctor about daily dosage of each vitamin.
With shelves full of infinite brands, it can be overwhelming to decide which is right. Dr. Geary recommends purchasing vitamins from brands that are well- established, and have a record for quality control and purity. In general, any of these following brands: Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, and Nature Made.
Probiotics: The human microbiome comprises more than 500 different bacterial species living symbiotically with each other and with their human hosts. The highest concentration of these bacteria is found in the intestines.
Most of the “natural flora” are considered “good.” They help to foster healthy digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Some bacteria, however, are “bad” – or pathologic – and carry the potential for disease and discomfort. When an imbalance between the two occurs, digestive issues result.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that form part of a natural and healthy gut flora. They help to recalibrate the balance between “good” and bad bacteria, restoring the natural intestinal milieu. There are many options for probiotics - pills, yogurt, drinks, kombucha - but probiotics are not heat-stable. This means that many of the probiotics for sale on the shelf may have lost much if not all of their potency.
Dr. Geary’s choice for probiotic is Visbiome: they probiotics are highly pure, heat stabilized, and extremely potent. The spectrum of probiotics included in their products far exceeds those commonly available. It is worth the home delivery fee!
Another wonderful resource is an Integrative Pharmacy called VitaHealth. Dr. Geary has worked with David Restrepo for many many years, and considers him to be an invaluable source of information and quality products.
Supplements: (Ayurvedic Healing)
Healing Herbs: supplements and teas
Ashwagandha: Alternatively known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, Ashwagandha translates from Sanskrit literally to mean "smell of horse.” It is believed that taking Ashwagandha on a regular basis gives you the vitality and strength of a horse. Apart from boosting immunity, ashwagandha also facilitates good sleep.
Ashwagandha is a staple of Ayurvedic therapy, along with Triphala. It is used as an adaptogen and anti-stress support used traditionally to help improve not only the physical wellbeing of a person but also the emotional and mental health. Ashwagandha enhances one’s energy and relieves stress and anxiety.
Triphala consists of cleansing and detoxifying ingredients that help to remove the Ama that compromises a person’s immunity. Triphala is taken daily and is considered a mainstay of Ayurvedic wellbeing.
The two above herbal supplements are safe to take together, acting in concert to benefit your digestion and overall balance. Dr. Geary prefers Kerala Ayurveda as the place to go to order any Ayurvedic remedy. Dr. Geary trained with the Kerala Ayurveda Academy and trusts the integrity of their products.
Sacred Vibes Apothecary, based in Brooklyn, NY is also an important resource. It is led by master healer Karen Rose. It offers a personal experience in one’s steps towards healing, offering a more individualized way to purchase your supplements.
Lastly, labdoor, is an excellent resource to help you find and decide on any of the following supplements. It is essentially a library to help you find what you need.
The good news is that building your family's immunity is less costly or complicated than you may have been led to believe on the internet/social media. There are also a lot of options: so talk with your doctor or practitioner about your specific needs and the best combination of supplements to help. Dr. Geary has virtual consultations available as well.
Amidst the uncertainty that is prevalent in the country, try these suggestions to enhance your wellness: remembering small steps of attainable change for sustainable wellness.
And please remember to always wear a mask and wash your hands.
*Please Note: Dr. Geary does not get compensated in any way from the above companies.