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The best-known and most researched western immune stimulant herb is Echinacea. Modern research demonstrates that Echinacea works more effectively when combined with other immune stimulating herbs that also help manage fever, drain the lymphatics and resolve mucous congestion. For example, the Chinese herbs Andrographis leaf, Forsythia green fruit, Lonicera flowers, Platycodon root, Magnolia buds, Isatis root and Glycyrrhiza root (Liquorice) combine well with Echinacea to enhance its therapeutic effects. This combination can activate immunity to overcome a number of conditions including cold, flu, fever, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, middle ear infection and mucous congestion especially in the ears, nose and throat.

Taking this Echinacea-Chinese herb formula to activate the immune system at the earliest signs of a cold, flu or cough will not only increase the body's resistance to infection but also reduce the risk of needing antibiotics and minimise the chance of repeat infection. Of course antibiotics have their place during certain acute infections but they attack bacteria only. Herbal immune stimulants activate the body's natural defences against all 'bugs' and speed up recovery during the acute phase of infection. This means that if antibiotics are required they can work together with immune stimulating herbal medicine to more quickly and completely overcome an infection.

Recently, a woman relayed her experience using the above integrated Echinacea-Chinese herb combination. "I usually suffer for at least a week whenever I contract a head cold. This time a friend told me about a Chinese herbal medicine containing Echinacea, so I tried some with immediate results. The fever subsided and didn't return, the clear watery mucus stopped running from my nose and the sore throat also disappeared overnight. I continued taking the combination for 2 days after all symptoms disappeared just to make sure the virus didn't come back."

However, sometimes the immune system does not full recover after an acute infection passes. Common symptoms of this stage in convalescence include recurrent low grade fevers, night sweats, sore throats, mucous cough, exhaustion, weakness and aches and pains. These symptoms require treatment for 2-4 week with immune restorative herbs or immune system tonics. The best immune system tonic to take to restore resistance and vitality during convalescence or chronic infection and illness are Astragalus root, Schisandra berries, Codonopsis root, Atractylodes root, Ganoderma (Reishi mushroom), Ligustrum berries and Liquorice root.

Immune restorative herbs are not recommended during the acute infection but can be taken alone or in conjunction with immune stimulating herbs during the pre- and post-acute phases of infection (overlapping areas). Immune stimulants are only recommended during the acute infection phase.

In summary therefore, always take an Echinacea-based (immune stimulant) formula at the earliest signs or symptoms of a bacterial or viral infection. Follow on this treatment with an Astragalus-based (immune restorative) formula during the recovery or convalescent phase of infection and for long-term protection.

Paul Keogh ND, DMH is a qualified Naturopath and medical herbalist with 20 years combined experience in clinical practice and the development of medicinal-grade, integrated Chinese and western herbal medicines. Paul regularly reviews the benefits of vitamins, supplements and vitamin tablets for different goals and conditions.

Longevity is associated with age and your life span. Aging is a normal cycle and an inevitable process of life; the faster we accept it, the better. As we age, the metabolism process of the body changes and so does all the internal professes, thus creating a lack of energy and efficiency.

This makes us more vulnerable to some of the degenerative diseases, such as cardiac arrests, diabetes, strokes and also cancer. Free radical damage also increases through oxidation and ends up rusting the body. It is the traditional Chinese herbs that helps in maintaining longevity and ensures that he process of aging does not affect the dramatically.

There are probably hundreds of Chinese tonic herbs and herbal products available on the market today to simply confuse your thoughts. But amongst all these herbs, there are two major Chinese tonic herbs that have been researched and identified to provide the best longevity benefits. Herbs called Reishi and Ho Shou Wu are commonly known for its innumerable benefits, but what makes them more important is that these are excellent longevity herbs available today.

Reishi- The Mushroom that Supports Health
Reishi is possibly one of the most commonly used Chinese tonic herbs. It has been used for treating several diseases. It is basically a type of mushroom that has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypersensitive, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic and many other such properties. It also supports the liver. Reishi helps in boosting the immune system and takes care of some of the major organs of the body.

It is often used for lowering the blood pressure levels, cholesterol numbers and also levels of blood sugar. Besides, it also acts as an excellent support for cardiovascular diseases and treats patients with high cholesterol. Research reveals that reishi has often helped in treating cancer too. Overall, it is one Chinese herb that has some benefits for all the major organs of the body and makes sure that you have an increased lifespan.

Reishi is now available in the form of longevity tonics and tablets to restore health benefits. It helps in balancing the stress and demanding modern life, releases fatigue and ensures good health of the immune system and nervous system.

Ho Shou Wu and Longevity Benefits
Ho Shou Wu is also a Chinese tonic herb with several other names like Jiao Teng and Fo-Ti-Tieng, it is conventionally used for making different types of Chinese medicines. It is the root of Ho Shou Wu that is used for making anti-aging or longevity medications, improving sexual health, lowering cholesterol levels, easing back pain and improving overall life.

Chosen from over 10,000 Chinese medicinal herbs, only 60 belongs to the group of the Superior Chinese Tonic Herbs, and Ho Shou Wu is just one of them. It is now widely used and has been made a practice in traditional Chinese medicine for preventing premature aging. It restores the liver and kidney functions and also tonifies these vital organs. It functions by promoting the vital essence in the body, by nourishing blood and by fortifying the tendons, bones and muscles. It has an extremely soothing effect on all parts of the body that promotes longevity and improves life.

To learn more about these amazing tonic herbs, please visit Hyperion Herbs at http://hyperionherbs.com.

Brandon Daemon is a Practitioner of Chinese Medicine as well as a Health Education and avid blogger.To learn more about these amazing tonic herbs, please visit Hyperion Herbs at http://hyperionherbs.com.