6   BALANCE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM   Chapter Three When the Sniffles Strike Even people with a healthy immune system can find themselves battling an occasional cold or a bout with the flu. When you do find yourself under the weather, feeling better fast is likely your top priority. Yet, conventional over-the-counter medicines simply mask symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of your misery. The following herbs and supplements can arm your body with the tools it needs fight the “bug” while helping you get over your symptoms quickly. Here’s a list of some of the best nutrients to support your immune system if a cold or flu bug is trying to take hold of you: Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) is best known for its cardiovascular benefits. But scientists at the University of Florida have found that this pungent herb also reduces the duration of the common cold or bout with the flu by as much as 61 percent. During their study, 120 cold and flu sufferers also experienced a 21 percent reduction in the number of symptoms and 58 percent fewer missed workdays due to their illness. More importantly, the duration of their cold was cut by an impressive 61 percent. According to the researchers, this was because AGE boosted the number of T-cells, especially NK cells. To experience these effects the next time you have the sniffles, take at least 800 mg divided into two daily doses. Keep in mind that this is not just any garlic. Aged garlic extract has a propriety growing and production method that enhances and creates immune supporting phytochemicals that are unique to the extract. Astragalus has gained a reputation as an antiviral and potent immune booster—and for good reason. A staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus is rich in polysaccharides, flavonoids, multiple trace minerals, and amino acids. Numerous studies show that this herb stimulates the immune system