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Immune Boosting Plants, Seasonal Superfoods, & Medicinal Mushrooms - Blog Puriya

September 22, 2019


Join our CSO, Dr. Michele Burklund as she discusses some of her favorite immune boosting plants as we go into the Autumn Season including Elderberry, Turkey Tail Mushroom, Astragalus Root, and Pomegranates.

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:00) – Dr. Michele Burklund: Hi, everyone. Dr. Michele Burklund here. I’m the Chief Science Officer at Puriya. And every week, we meet here on Fridays at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time to go over any questions you have and to talk about great topics in health, in general. So this is one of my favorite times of the week because we can talk about so many different amazing things. And this week, we are talking about immune-boosting plants because it’s kind of getting into the autumn season. We’re getting close to the cold and flu season, so prevention is key right now. So while I’m waiting, feel free to let me know where you are watching from around the world. And I also wanna remind all of you to sign up for our newsletter. And with that, you can be informed of when our events are, when our interviews are with different people. Coming out very soon, we have Csilla Veress with us, Dr. Csilla Veress talking about detoxification and water fasting so you don’t wanna miss that.

(01:06) – DB: And you get our free e-book, All About Clean Living, when you sign up. So I highly recommend it before we jump in, don’t forget to do that. And now we’re going to be talking about one of my personal favorite plants going into autumn and that is Elderberry. Let me see if I can pull up a picture here, so you can get a visual on what we’re talking about. There we go. So I look at Elderberry as a triple threat against colds because it provides anti-viral, antibacterial properties, and it boosts the immune system as well. So it’s a flowering shrub, it’s abundant in the United States and Canada, and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat colds. And this is a very interesting study. So a preliminary study published in the Journal of Internal Medical Research revealed that patients with flu-like symptoms who were given Elderberry syrup showed symptom relief four days earlier than those who received placebo.

(02:10) – DB: So unlike many other cold and flu treatments that just reduce the symptoms, Elderberry has been shown to actually reduce these symptoms and provide relief four days earlier. So it’s working on lots of different levels and really getting into the root cause and supporting your immune system. So I think this is a great thing to keep in the kitchen cupboards, some great Elderberry syrup, and it tastes good, too. So that’s a huge bonus as well. Elderberry, so number one, one of my favorite herbs. Let me take that picture down. Okay. Another one, and it’s getting into that time of year, it’s not quite yet but we’re almost there, the Turkey Tail mushroom, otherwise known as Trametes versicolor. And this is one of the most common mushrooms actually found in North America and it’s also one of the most studied for its impressive immune-stimulating properties. You won’t actually be able to miss them, they’re very easy to identify if you’re walking in a forest. They sprout from old trees, from dead trees, and they have these gorgeous colors. They literally look like a turkey tail like oranges, browns, maroons, and greens.

(03:24) – DB: And so they look like all these turkey feathers coming off in the lawn. Let me pull up a picture so you can get a visual here, too. This is definitely one of my favorite mushrooms and what’s specifically studied about turkey tail mushroom is a molecule called PSK. It’s unique to this mushroom and provides much of its potent immune boosting properties. So a recent study conducted out of Bastyr University, my Graduate Medical School, and the University of Minnesota along with the NIH found that turkey tail dramatically boosted the overall immune function of women with Stages 1-3 breast cancer. And also it makes it… You can make it a tea out of it, you can take it in capsule form or a tincture, but this is just a great overall mushroom to add to help support and prevent colds and flu.

(04:20) – DB: I’m a huge fan of Turkey tail. Another root, one of my favourites is astragalus roots. And it has a very subtle taste and it’s just, it’s a very thin bark. It’s very well-known in Chinese medicine for its ability to prevent colds and improve energy. And it has this very sweet, mild flavour so you can easily infuse it into teas or even add it into your soup and just remove the root after it’s brewed for a while. So let me show you a picture of this. So this is astragalus roots and there’s been so many different studies on astragalus root relating to its longevity and anti-aging properties, too, and how it can lengthen telomeres. So all of this great research from helping stimulate white blood cells to helping with anti-aging as well.

(05:18) – DB: So astragalus, it’s such an easy way to add it to your tea and you don’t… It’s not this overpowering, intense flavour. So to me, it’s very, it’s user-friendly to add it throughout the day and get those effects as well. So we love astragalus here, too. Let me remove this picture. Okay, now we are going to talk about one of my favorite foods and that is pomegranate. So especially when I was living in Greece, there was so many pomegranates and I think before I came to Greece, I didn’t completely understand how to eat a pomegranate until I got there and the locals use every part of it from making juice to eating those seeds, and I really embraced that tradition as well. It’s a beautiful, beautiful fruit. There’s so many things you can do with it. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s coming into season. Pomegranates are actually an ancient root and highly prized found in writings and artifacts dating back thousands of years. And they’re loaded with nutrients, they’re rich in antioxidants, they have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

(06:29) – DB: They’re heart healthy and they help balance blood sugar, too, with all their fiber. One study found that pomegranate juice has three times more antioxidants than green tea and red wine attributing this to a specific constituent in the content. So it’s an amazing fruit, it has a lot of great properties, and it’s super tasty. So sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top of your salad or just enjoy them as a snack. That’s one of my favorite things. And I also want to talk about stress because we’re getting into the season where there’s holidays, there’s more engagements, and stress can be a really big factor. And we’ve talked about this a lot in previous sessions of how to reduce stress, the importance of mind-body medicine, and just taking 10 minutes out of your day to try different breathing exercises or go on a walk. All of these things can have profound effects on your health. So I’m glad we got to talk a little bit today about Elderberry, about turkey tail mushroom, about astragalus roots, and pomegranate seeds.

(07:38) – DB: All of these are powerful immune-boosting plants getting into the autumn cold and flu season. But I also want to talk to you about the basics, making sure you’re getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating a plant-based diet, and of course, managing stress. All of these are so important as you go into the autumn season. So I also want to remind all of you guys who are joining in now to sign up for our newsletter so you can find out upcoming events. So this week, we have Dr. Csilla Veress talking about water fasting. She’s a physician at True North Health Center. So a medical level water fasting and it is quite interesting. And also, Dr. Priya Walia and she’s going to be talking about ayurvedic medicine. So, so many exciting things and I’m glad all of you can join me this Friday and I hope you have an amazing weekend. And we will see you next Friday and of course, if you have any questions, feel free to email us here at Puriya. Write it in the comments and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can, too. So take care. Bye.

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