Cold & flu season is upon us. Learn more about the role herbs play in helping your body defend and protect itself. 


Now that the New Year is here, it’s time to batten down the hatches and get ready for our Canadian cold and flu season. Added to the challenge of inclement weather is the sluggishness we may be feeling from our over-indulgence in Holiday cheer.

Deep Immune is St. Francis Herb Farm’s flagship product and is the ideal protective tonic for the immune system. Of course, we know how important the immune system is to good health and how critical it is to keep this vital system in balance than during the winter doldrums.

Deep Immune consists of herbs with a long pedigree in the Chinese tradition of defensive qi (pronounced “chee”), which views disease in military terms as an invading force that needs to be repelled.

Deep Immune combines these defensive herbs to address the various critical body functions related to a properly functioning immune system. Astragalus and reishi are heart-tonifying herbs, while schisandra is a liver protectant. Codonopsis and eleuthero play their role as first class general tonics. At the same time, white atractylodes improves the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. For its part, ligustrum is foundational in this formula and relates to the circulatory system and eyes. Licorice is considered “the great harmonizer” in traditional Chinese medicine, amplifying the healing qualities of all the ingredients.

There is a further aspect of Deep Immune that gives it a distinctive therapeutic signature. It is a feature that aligns perfectly with its intent as an immune formula. Nearly all the herbs in Deep Immune are known as adaptogens. Simply put, adaptogens are plant remedies that help the body adapt to stress and push back against fatigue. They act very much like a thermostat, constantly working to bring the body into a state of balance by stabilizing its physiological processes. Adaptogens increase the body’s general resistance to harmful environmental agents, including biological (e.g. infections), chemical (e.g. pollution), or physical (e.g. the extremes of temperature, like a Canadian winter).

In helping the body cope with physical, emotional, and mental stress, adaptogens have a curative effect and carry a host of benefits. They enhance the vitality and functioning of all the major body systems and organs—the heart, circulation, metabolism, the immune system, digestion, the brain, and the reproductive system. The upshot is that adaptogens can function as preventers of disease and have even been called “medicine for healthy people.”

When it comes to taking adaptogens like Deep Immune over the long term, it is generally recommended that they be used in an “on again, off again” cycle. This can be “three weeks on, one week off” or else “six weeks on, two weeks off.” Such a pattern helps the body make the balancing adjustments it needs.

Although safe for children, some of the herbs in the Deep Immune adult version tend to be stimulatory. Because of this, St. Francis Herb Farm has devised a simplified children’s formula that captures the essentials of this effective protective tonic.