Immunity Part 4: DEFEND HERBAL TINCTURE. How This Immune Tonic Shields and Protects You from Getting Sick

Immunity Part Four:
How this Immune Tonic Shields and Protects You from Getting Sick
By Dr. Anna Gold


Dr. Anna Gold's DEFEND Herbal Tincture is based on Yu Ping Feng San, or "Jade Windscreen Formula," a classic Chinese medicinal formula that dates back 700 years. As the name indicates, these herbs forms a solid protective wall or screen to protect our body.

In the Essentials of the Materia Medica (A.D. 1694), it is considered the best immune tonic herb in stabilizing and strengthening the protective “Qi.” It has shown in studies to suppress the expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It has also shown to up regulate the phagocytic activity in cultured macrophages, meaning Yu Ping Feng San aids the body's white blood cell production in order to protect against foreign invasion and infections. 


Here is a list of the specific ingredients in DEFEND Herbal Tincture and the ways they support immunity:

Astragalus root*: The major components of Astragalus membranaceus are polysaccharides, flavonoids, and saponins. Astragalus root has been well studied to have immunomodulating, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory, as well as anticancer effects. It has demonstrated significant amelioration of the toxicity induced by other concurrently administered orthodox drugs (e.g., immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics). Extracts from Astragalus root shorten the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections. One clinical study found that 160 mg of astragalus twice daily may reduce sneezing and runny nose in individuals with seasonal allergies.

Atractylodes rhizome (bai zhu)*: Atractylodes root strengthens the digestion and promotes the function of transportation and transformation of the Spleen in Chinese medicine. Its main chemical components, atractylenolide II and III, showed positive modulation to GABA-induced chloride currents suggesting that it is an effective herb for clinical use as a sedative. In this formula, this herb is used to treat or prevent spontaneous sweating in persons with weak digestive or Spleen function and debilitated weiqi (defensive qi). 

Siler root (fang feng): Known in the Chinese materia medica as Fang Feng, which means “wind prevention” . In this case, “wind” refers to the “pathogenic” wind (colds, viruses, flu) that can disturb the body’s natural harmony. This aromatic perennial plant is a part of the Umbelliferae family (carrot, celery, parsley) and is used to support immune function and balance. In TCM philosophy, siler root is often combined with astragalus root for the purpose of immune support.

Siler root has also been shown to support a healthy inflammatory response.* In vitro research demonstrates that the bioactive constituents of Siler Root also have powerful antioxidant activity. According to a 2016 review published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in vivo research demonstrates that Siler Root can help support healthy production of nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6.*

Japanese honeysuckle flower (jin yin hua): Many pharmacologic studies have clearly confirmed the bacteriostatic and antibacterial effects of Lonicerae japonicae flos.Compared with other commonly seen antibacterial drugs, Lonicerae japonicae flos exhibits a broader antimicrobial spectrum, more powerful antibacterial activity, and inhibition of drug-resistant bacteria. Studies suggest that Lonicerae japonicae flos extracts not only potently inhibit common pathogens such as  but also significantly suppress drug-resistant bacteria. Components of Lonicerae japonicae flos inhibit Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria including Streptococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Typhi, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella paratyphi, Vibrio cholerae, oral pathogens, Diplococcus intracellularis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Forsythia fruit (lian qiao): Forsythiae Fructus has been widely used for its heat-clearing and detoxifying effects. Modern pharmacology showed that it has a variety of bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antitumor, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, antiandrogenic alopecia, antivomiting, antiaging and anti-obesity activities, as well as neuroprotective, hepatoprotective and vasorelaxant effects.

Balloon-flower root (jie geng): Primary balloon flower root include cough with excessive phlegm, sore throat, vomiting pus due to pulmonary abscess, hypochondriac pain, abdominal pain in dysentery. It opens the inhibited lung-energy, making expectoration easy, relieving sore throat, and expelling pus. It contains platycodin, whose direct stimulation on the mouth, throat, and gastric mucosa can reflexively increase the hypersecretion of bronchial mucosa and thus dilute the mucus and make it easy to discharge. It prevents cough, increases anti-inflammatory action and enhances immune function. As for anti-inflammatory effects, it works like aspirin. The extract of balloon-flower root can enhance the phagocytosis of macrophage, increase the bactericidal power of neutrophil, improve lysozyme activity, and prevent stress ulcer.

Burdock fruit (nui ban zhi): Burdock root contains multiple types of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used in remedies to relieve  measles, arthritis, tonsillitis, throat pain, and viruses like the common cold. Burdock root can also be used to treat gout, rheumatism, ulcers, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It is a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent. 

Chinese mint aerial parts: Chinese mint, Bo He, is used to treat the common cold by expelling pathogens. Mint can clear congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Licorice root*:  Also known as glycyrrhiza or Chinese licorice, Clinical trials supports the immunomodulatory activity of this herb. The polysaccharides to up-regulate anticancer cytokine IL-7, which is important in proliferation and maturation of immune cells and it is associated with better prognosis in cancer. Licorice root has long been used in folk medicine to aid immunity, soothe cough and soothe the digestive system.

Fermented soybean (dan dou chi): In Chinese medicine, called Dan Dou Chi, used in this formula to support the expelling of external pathogens and relieve heat.

Lophatherum stem and leaves (dan zhu yu): Pharmacology components of Lophatherum include flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino acids, manganese, zinc. It has antioxidant enzymes that enhance the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue, improves memory, and delays senescence. In Chinese medicine it is used to mildly clear excess heat in the Lungs.

Schizonepeta stem (jing jie):  Schizonepeta extracts in high doses exhibit immunomodulation of the inflammatory response by regulating cytokine release, specifically the release of Th1 and Th2 cytokines from T cells as well as the unprimed CD4 T cells from differentiating into Th1 and Th2 cells. Schizonepeta also interrupts histamine release from mast cells to inhibit allergic reactions.

 * denotes organic