If I was ever forced to choose the best supplement of all time it would be BioCeuticals ArmaForce, hands down!
Why do I love it so much?
First of all – for me, getting sick can be a big deal. Suffering from autoimmune disorders, getting a simple cold can often trigger my immune system and health into a downward spiral which is hard to recover from. I also went through a phase where this was happening a LOT, and I was suffering from severe tonsillitis quite often (I was also working crazy hours in a stressful job at the time). I wish I knew about this incredible immune boosting supplement then as it would’ve saved me a lot of sick days, missed training days and employer related hassles.
I first came across this supplement when I started getting sick again, as my local pharmacist recommended this when I was picking up some cold & flu tablets. A friend had also suggested I try taking olive leaf when I got sick, and I noticed this was one of the ingredients so I thought I’d give it a try. I’d always been on the hunt for natural remedies to help treat and prevent colds and the flu, so I wasn’t expecting much… but after two days I was 100% better and AMAZED and how well and how quickly this product worked.
The second reason I love this supplement is it’s really sparked my interest in natural supplements and herbalism. I’ve always been a strong believer in nutrition and natural health, but this showed me how powerful natural products can really be!
What is ArmaForce? And what is it good for?
ArmaForce is a potent blend of herbal and nutritional superstars: andrographis, echinacea, olive leaf extract, vitamin C and zinc (these ingredients explained in more detail below). It’s a powerful immune booster, and the ingredients are specially chosen for their properties to help reduce symptoms and causes of colds and mild upper repsiratory tract infections (I also find it’s helpful in warding off tonsillitis!)
How does it work?
As I mentioned I’m a strong supporter of natural health, so on the flipside I get pretty angry when doctors a) over prescribe antibiotics and b) also don’t look at the patients history/wellness from a holistic point of view (to be clear, I’m not anti-Western medicine, it definitely has a time and a place). Antibiotics are often over prescribed for basic illness, which a lot of the time they won’t even help to treat as they are viral in origin (antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses)…and I’d also been told by doctors that there was nothing they could suggest to take as an antiviral…
So, back to Armaforce; it works so well as the ingredients are potent antibacterial AND antiviral.
Let’s take a look at each ingredient:
Traditionally used in Ayurveda and TCM, Andrographis is also known “The King of Bitters”. Not only is it a strong anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, but it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, especially lowering IL-1b.
It has a huge range of health benefits, however the King of Bitters label definitely serves as a warning – large doses can cause gastro issues as well as loss of taste (which I found out the hard way, but that’s a story for another day!) Don’t let this put you off it though, this just simply means the supplement should only be used when needed, and if you start to have any related side effects then simply stop taking it!
Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf is powerful thanks to it’s high content of polyphenols (anti-oxidants), including Oleuropein. Antioxidants are vital for assisting in body in fighting harmful free radicals and protecting against heart disease
It’s also antibacterial, antifungal and antiparastic as well as being anti-inflammatory – which is why it’s so beneficial against common infections. Plus, it also has a range of other health benefits too.
I remember growing up one of my friends would always take echinacea getting sick, but back then herbal supplements to me just simply tasted gross and served no function…I wanted that sickly sweet cough medicine thanks! But, what a small fool I was to turn my nose up at this powerful plant!
Echinacea is another powerful antimicrobial, and especially antiviral against viruses which have cell membranes such as: rhinovirus, influenza, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and herpes simplex. It works to inhibit inflammatory molecules (IL-6 & IL-8) in the lungs, which also works to reduce mucus, as well as boosting the immune system.
Another well known immune boosting supplement to take when you’re getting sick, as it helps to prevent the length and severity of colds. It’s easy to see why Vitamin C was included in the ArmaForce team.
High doses of Vitamin C can interfere with the pill however, so be careful of your dose if you’re on the pill and also if you’re taking any other supplements containing Vitamin C.
Zinc is another traditional immune booster, and also works well with Vitamin C. Like Vit C, it also helps to reduce the duration of colds.
When I start to get sick, I take two ArmaForce tablets twice a day until I’m feeling better. I also took one per day after I first discovered as a maintenance dose, however this lead to taste loss issues in some people (me!) Remember, herbal supplements can also still interfere with traditional medication, so make sure you check everything you take with your medical adviser.
I take the standard tablets, however the range also includes Immunoboost (chewable Echniacea capsules with different ingredients), a throat relief spray, cough syrup, day & night tablets, as well as ArmaForce junior and pregnancy versions – however for my own needs I’ve found that the base version has been perfect.
Where to buy ArmaForce
The BioCeuticals range I’ve found in some chemists and natural supplement stores, however I advise checking ahead of time online to ensure your local store has the range in stock.
Further Reading & Resources:
Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds in Andrographis paniculata (Chuanxinlian)
Inhibitory effect of selected medicinal plants on the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
In vitro screening of five local medicinal plants for antibacterial activity using disc diffusion method.
Antiviral properties of ent-labdene diterpenes of Andrographis paniculata nees, inhibitors of herpes simplex virus type 1.
Olive leaf extract activity against Candida albicans and C. dubliniensis – the in vitro viability study.
Oleuropein offers cardioprotection in rats with acute myocardial infarction
Antimicrobial Properties of Oleuropein and Products of Its Hydrolysis from Green Olives
Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections
Anti-viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV).
The efficacy of Echinacea in a 3-D tissue model of human airway epithelium.
Induction of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines by respiratory viruses and reversal by standardized Echinacea, a potent antiviral herbal extract.
A combination of high-dose vitamin C plus zinc for the common cold.
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