If it’s not one thing… it’s another.
Just when life seems to be rolling along smoothly, a lemon can drop right out of the sky.
And even if you find a way to “make lemonade” out of it, the stress of solving life’s problems — both large and small — can really do a number on your body.
Stress can screw up your sleep, digestion, and cognitive function… boost your risk of heart disease… and even make it more likely that you’ll die of ANY cause.
And if you’ve ever noticed that you catch whatever cold or flu is going around when you’re stressed out, you know that stress can really wallop your immunity, too.
But according to a new study, there’s a natural way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape when the stresses of everyday life don’t let up.
You just need the “flower power” of echinacea!
As I’ve shared with you before, this ancient flower can nip colds and flu in the bud. But the new study shows how these immune-boosting properties go a step further.
In the study, South Korean researchers put mice under stress and then fed them either a regular diet alone or the same diet supplemented with an active compound from echinacea.
Blood and spleen tests revealed that the stressed mice who DIDN’T receive echinacea wound up with low numbers of key immune cells known to fight off illness…. and high numbers of cells known to ramp up inflammation.
But in the stressed mice who DID eat echinacea, the exact opposite occurred.
The echinacea-eaters had a BOOST in beneficial immune cells and a DECREASE in pro-inflammatory cells.
In fact, their immune function looked pretty much the SAME as those of mice that weren’t stressed out whatsoever!
That suggests that when stress deals your immune system a blow, echinacea can help RESTORE it.
And that may explain why echinacea has been proven to not only knock out colds and flu but also ease everything from gum inflammation (a.k.a. gingivitis) to tonsillitis .
In fact, before antibiotics came along, echinacea was a go-to treatment for all kinds of infections !
So, if you don’t want to go from stressed to sick, try supplementing with this mighty flower.
You can easily find echinacea supplements at your local health food store and online, or you can brew up a daily cup of echinacea tea.
And whenever you’re feeling frazzled, it’s a good idea to slash stress by getting plenty of exercise and sleep, too.
Since stress can also throw your gut bacteria out of whack (opening a Pandora’s box of health troubles), be sure to eat a healthy diet full of fiber and probiotics to make yourself more resilient to stress.
Talking out your concerns with a loved one and spending time in nature are also powerful natural stress-busters.