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Echiberry: Delicious NZ Antioxidant & Immune Support

Echiberry: Delicious NZ Antioxidant & Immune Support

Echiberry: Delicious NZ Antioxidant & Immune Support

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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Rust and wrinkles - what do these two things have in common? The easy answer would be ‘time’, and that is definitely an important factor, but the more chemically correct answer would be ‘oxidation’ or ‘oxidative stress’. Just as a sheet of metal left out to weather in the elements can start to discolour and lose its structural integrity, so too do our bodies weather with time and become more vulnerable. This is accelerated as we age and lose the innate ability to produce our own important anti-oxidants.

Don’t get me wrong, I love wrinkles and know that they are well earnt markers of time and experience, but oxidative damage can have more subtle and less lovely effects on the body. Oxidative stress is implicated in all manner of age-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and sensory degeneration such as cataracts and loss of hearing. Oxidative stress also compromises our immune system and can make us more susceptible to infection. Oxidative stress affects the absolute core of our cellular being- our DNA, and therein lies the problem.

In addition to aging, other factors can increase or speed up oxidative damage. Smoking is a well known one to top the list, but less well known are things like air travel, strenuous exercise, stress, and pollution. Think of anyone you know who flies a lot for a stressful job from big city to big city. Think of the air stewards and hostesses you know. Think of the half-marathon runners and iron-women and -men. And its not just people living it large; anyone who is under stress is at risk, especially asthmatics, who are known to have lower antioxidant levels than non-asthmatics. So think of the post-menopausal women you know looking after their elderly parents with dementia. Think of the students you know doing exams or the martial arts people training for a grading. Think of anyone flying to spend Christmas with family, packing up the kids, buying gifts, sorting out the pets, and hoping to not catch bugs on the plane! Antioxidants are also important for spring and summer allergy sufferers. There are many people vulnerable to additional oxidative stress, who will benefit from support here.

So many people, so much oxidation, what to do? As usual, its plants to the rescue! As usual, its what we grow on our back door step that comes to save our bacon and offer up its rich wealth of botanical support for the taking. Botanical medicines are at the absolute cutting edge of antioxidant research. Plants have way more to offer than synthetic vitamins in this regard. They are phytochemically complex, beyond our understanding, and some even have the capacity to turn on our own superior cellular antioxidant mechanisms, as well as doing some of the work themselves.

So what are we growing locally that can help us out here? Berries. New Zealand Blackcurrants are exceptionally high in anthocyanins and known to be one of the most potent antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable. Combining this with flavonoid-rich elderberries, raspberries and boysenberries makes for a powerful botanical medicine that doesn’t need a spoonful of sugar to help it go down!

These berries, in conjunction with premium antioxidant and immune herbs such as New Zealand-grown Echinacea root and Olive Leaf extract, make for the perfect antioxidant immune tonic to support anyone who needs an extra boost.

Echiberry is a perfect stocking-stuffer for anyone you know who may need some extra immune or aging support this summer. After all, immunity is not just a winter issue, and nor is oxidation. Take it as a tasty daily tonic or top it up with soda for a beneficial thirst-quencher to support wellbeing this summer.