Keep your immune system fighting fit

Health-wise lockdown does not mean shutdown. Here are six simple tips from A Vogel to help maintain mental and physical health, and also keep your immune system in tip top condition.


There is a great deal of fear around the Coronavirus with all the news right now and many people are feeling incredible vulnerable at this time.

Making sure we follow all the expert advice by Public Health England on regular and effective hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, respiratory hygiene, and avoiding contact with certain people is all important to take on board, but there are things we can do ourselves to fee less powerless.

“It is normal at this time of year to experience colds and influenza and this year more so with a new virus on our shores. It’s important to maintain a healthy immune system, which is not only important to help fend off viruses, but also essential to aid your recovery and deter a recurring attack of a cold or influenza-type illness,” says nutritionist, Emma Thornton.

“Good hygiene is crucial to help prevent the spread of the common cold and influenza. As well as following the Public Health England preventative advice, we should all take time to look after our own immune system so that we can take care of ourselves, our families and the people in the community we live in.  There are everyday habits and dietary strategies that can help strengthen your immune system to help you fend off and reduce the severity of cold and influenza infections.”

  1. Hygiene is a must

Viruses can survive on surfaces and are transmitted on work surfaces, door handles, keyboards, desks, etc. Doctors call children ‘super-spreaders’ due to their poor hygiene and so it is wise to take extra precautions if you care for children. It is crucial to try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, where germs picked up from surfaces can then come into contact with your mucous membranes. Frequent hand-washing and surface-cleaning are a must, as well as keeping your own germs to yourself by coughing and sneezing into tissues (disposing of them immediately). Sneezing into the crook of your arm if you don’t have a tissue handy will also limit the spread of viruses to others and surfaces around you.

hot drink

  1. Stay hydrated

“In the colder months, we often forget to top up our water intake because we’re drawn to hot chocolate and warming teas,” says Alison Cullen, A.Vogel Nutritional Practitioner.    “Good hydration is vital for concentration, energy levels and focus; so, swap to warm water and you’ll feel physically more energised and mentally less drained.” Also, many metabolic functions rely on water within the body, so if you get dehydrated it can change the mucus layer in the respiratory tract, which traps germs as part of the body’s initial defence against invaders.

Balance Mineral Drink is a great source of vital electrolytes, a powdered food supplement that contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D, which makes it great at reducing fatigue, improving energy and replacing electrolytes. Balance Mineral Drink is for anyone over the age of 16 who experiences fatigue and tiredness.  One 5.5 g portion/stick per day. Open and pour into a glass containing 150ml of water or milk, stir well and enjoy. Also suitable for vegans and vegetarians it is available and 7 x 5.5g £6.99.

essential sleep

  1. Essential Sleep

Lack of sleep can hinder the function of your immune system; but sometimes it’s impossible to sleep when struggling with the symptoms of a cold, such as stuffed nose, tickly throat or spikes in temperatures that can make it difficult to get the sleep your body needs to heal. Try sleeping propped up and use a 100% natural nasal wash such as A.Vogel’s Sinuforce (20ml, £7.95,  which contains menthol, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil to ease breathing, as well as chamomile oil for a soothing effect to reduce swelling of the nasal mucous membranes.

A Vogel products

  1. Now is the time to prime your immune system

Priming the immune system, getting it read to fight and protect you, is of interest to us all at the moment. Dr Ross Walton an Immunologist and one of the founders of (a respiratory-focused clinical research organisation), whose team conducted studies on Echinacea purpurea,  found a reduced incidence of the common cold in children who took it, as well as a decrease in the number of secondary respiratory infections kids got after getting a cold. That suggests the herb could work as both a preventative measure and something to take when you get symptoms. There is a body of scientific evidence (27 peer-reviewed scientific papers showing Echinacea’s effectiveness) that shows it could work as a barrier against cold and flu symptoms and also help to build the body’s resistance.

The research shows that the fresh Echinacea extract used in A.Vogel’s Echinaforce offers three times more anti-viral activity than the dried herbs used in many other Echinacea products.1   Unlike other Echinacea products, Echinaforce combines the anti-inflammatory action of the root, the anti-viral properties of the herb and the immune-strengthening benefits of both to provide maximum protection from cold and flu and relief of symptoms when infection occurs.

Try Echinaforce® Echinacea drops: This is the original extract formulated by Alfred Vogel the founder of A.Vogel and it contains the tinctures of Echinacea purpurea herb and root. 0.6ml drops  equivalent to 285mg whole fresh plant, 50ml, £10.50 available in selected chemists and online at

essential vitamins

  1. Feed a cold

Consuming high levels of refined sugar may compete with the absorption of vitamin C, which is very important for the health of your mucous membranes and for maintaining the normal functions of your immune cells.  Vitamin C and zinc are important for the health of the mucous membranes in your respiratory tract, and for maintaining the normal function of your immune cells. Keeping your intake of these nutrients up is therefore a good strategy for supporting immune function and respiratory tract tissue. Have plenty of fruit and veg in your diet, as these contain bioflavonoids that support good membrane health. The best three are kiwifruit, watermelon, and grapefruit, and frozen fruit is a good solution if you can’t get fresh.


  1. Steady exercise

It’s great to get in shape but be aware that excessive exercise and intense sporting activities should be avoided as they can hamper the immune response.  Walking, swimming or cycling for half an hour daily is both physically and mentally very helpful. Marathons and intensive training sessions, on the other hand, tend to drain the body’s resources.

Whilst dietary and lifestyle measures can support good immune function, and many natural remedies are useful and effective for countering common colds and flu infections, natural remedies such as herbal extracts are not indicated in treating serious infections such as SARS-CoV-2. Anyone who is concerned that they may have come across the virus should seek medical advice immediately.


1 Tobler M et al. Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweiz. Zschr. GanzheitsMedizin 1994; 6 (5): 257-266.

2 Jawad M et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012. Article ID 841315 doi: 10.1155/2012/841315

Picture credits: Handwashing – Curology; Hot drink – Kira auf der Heide; Vitamins – Bruna Branco all on Unsplash; Kettlebells by Joanna Dubaj from Pixabay.

Last modified: June 10, 2021

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