Phytoguard Extended: Immune support for the weary clinician
My answer varies depending on time of year and although I do not have one single favorite product, right now I’m loving:
Phytoguard extended (formerly phytoguard II), it has personally provided me with some awesome long term immune support. This is the very first winter that I have not yet caught a cold (knock on wood!), though that probably has something to do with all the cortisol (read: stress level). It is especially great for those of us student clinicians working long hours in the clinic amidst studying for exams and keeping up with classes.
Astragalus membranaceus (astragalus): Immunomodulator; adaptogen; anti-viral.
Ligustrum lucidum (ligustrum): Adaptogen; immnuomodulator; hepatoprotective.
Schisandra chinensis (wu wei zi or five flavor fruit): Adaptogen; known for its ability to reverse the effects of stress and improve endurance; influences phase I and II of liver metabolism: hepatoprotective, hepatoregenerative; immunomodulator; anxiolytic; antioxidant (particularly to the liver and brain).
Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice): Immunomodulator; adaptogen; inflammation modulator; hepatoprotective; demulcent; stimulating expectorant; phytoestrogen.
Eleutherococcus senticosus (eleuthero/Siberian ginseng): Adaptogen; immunomodulator; insulin sensitizer.
Codonopsis pilosula (dang shen): Immunomodulator; it said to work on the lung and spleen channels, thus providing nourishment to the blood and tonification to the lungs.
Atractylodes macrocephela (bai zhu): tonifies spleen and drys dampness. (Please note these last two herbs listed are specifically chinese herbs, of which I have not studied in depth.)
Chronic large doses of licorice can mimic aldosteronism (pseudoaldosteronism) Avoid using with pre-existing high blood pressure. Licorice inhibits the catabolism of cortisol. As always this applies. Talk to your doctor first.
Kingsbury, Sheila, ND. Herbal Monographs (2005) and class notes (2010-2012). Bastyr University. Department of Botanical Medicine.
Yarnell, Eric, ND. Herbal Monographs. Bastyr University. Department of Botanical Medicine.
Eastern Medicine Export Company: http://www.tcmtreatment.com/herbs/0-dangshen.htm
If you would like a reference to any specific above mentioned claim, please specify in the comments section below and I will gladly provide you with one or more.