5 Heavy Hitters to Keep in Your Natural Health First Aid Kit

by Laura Gale

The days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping – winter is upon us.  Before you head to the shops for a new jumper or coat this cold and flu season, pop into Peninsula Herbal Dispensary to arm yourself against the season from the inside out.  Read on for our top 5 favourite ways to support a robust immune system.

1. Herbal medicine

As naturopaths, we are constantly singing the praises of our herbs.  Whether they are liquid, powdered, in tablet form, or dried; they’re absolutely key in priming, firing up and supporting your immune system.  We use them to prevent illness, resolve infection and to support the return to good health by strengthening, or ‘tonifying’, key organs such as the lungs.  If you’ve been into PHD for immune support, you might have been given one or two of our favourite immune heroes: Andrographis, Echinacea, Astragalus, or maybe even Japanese Knotweed.


2. Nutrients

Never satisfied to play second-fiddle; nutrients are just as important as herbs when it comes to priming and mobilising key immune responses.  Everyone knows about Vitamin C and Zinc and the role they play in strengthening immunity and potentially shortening the duration of infections, but are you aware of the importance of Vitamin D? Studies have shown Vitamin D is able to modulate the immune system. That is to say it can both dial up the immune response, but also dampen it down where suitable.  Dialling down the immune response may sound counterintuitive but may be particularly important in the case of autoimmune disease or allergy.


3. Mushrooms

A relative newcomer to the shelves of Peninsula Herbal Dispensary but an absolute favourite amongst our practitioners, medicinal mushrooms are a fundamental part of our immune first aid kit.  Mushrooms such as Reishi, Cordyceps and Shiitake can enhance the strength and functionality of the immune system, especially in regard to viral infections.  Mushrooms can also provide symptomatic relief for upper respiratory tract infections (i.e. the common cold).


4. Soup

Don’t underestimate the power of a warm, nourishing and nutrient-packed bowl of soup.  Set yourself up for the onset of cold and flu season by prepping some home-made stock using all your veggie off-cuts, or a chicken carcass from last night’s roast dinner.

Soup is a triple threat: it’s warming, re-hydrating and full of nutrients.  It is important, however, to prepare your own at home where you can, as canned soups and ready-made soup bases can be heavily processed and high in added salt.


5. Herbal tea

In a similar way to soups, tea is both warming (when consumed hot), and re-hydrating; both important qualities if you are feeling a little but under the weather.  Unlike standard black tea, however, drinking therapeutic herbal tea designed to aid the immune system takes things to another level.  At Peninsula Herbal Dispensary, we’ve designed several teas that can raise core body temperature as a means of fighting infection; soothe sore, dry and scratchy throats; mobilise immune defences and also supply key nutrients; and that’s just as a starting point.

We look forward to welcoming you in-store soon and helping to keep you strong, well and protected this winter.


Stay Well,



For further information or to book a consultation with Laura contact the clinic on 5977 0117 or visit the website peninsulaherbaldispensary.com.au to book online. 


This article is intended to be informational only and represents the opinion of the author. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and does not take the place of advice from a qualified health care practitioner in a clinical setting. Please check with your healthcare practitioner before embarking upon any of the treatments discussed.