The global pandemic has proved to spark a sense of preservation in many of us. Some who have never dared to make a wasted effort of getting up if they can help it, are now ready for their morning walks at 05:55. There are even one or two who might have sworn off certain vegetables 10 years ago, now suddenly researching spinach recipes – that might or might not be, the author of this  article but… Moving on. 

We’ve all stormed the town apothecaries to plunder the most valuable resources, amidst the nationwide lockdown. No, not the opioids and pain killers; the multivitamins and cold & flu remedies! Vitamins are one of the most commonly used immune-boosting supplements. This was evident as towers of vitamin C effervescent tablets, among others, were quickly reduced to a pitiful leftover shelf.

What about the stuff that is not so commonly discussed?

Zinc and echinacea!


Zinc is often the very last supplement thought about – mostly associated with baby nappy creams and acne supplements. Echinacea – say that loudly enough to a grandmother and she might bless you for a sneeze.

Well, it’s hidden gems really, keep reading to find out why!


Zinc is one of the nutrients that cannot be produced by the body, yet it is used by the body for many functions, including your immune system.

It helps to regulate how our cells adapts and communicates with each other, to let the rest of the body know when there is a viral or bacterial infection to fight off.


It also helps your body to break down and absorb food nutrients. This is why it is known that zinc helps your body to absorb vitamin c.

The whole reason zinc is found in throat sprays, nappy creams and acne lotions, is because it helps to heal wounds. Taking it as a supplement, means that you are healing yourself, from the inside, outwards.

Although it can be used to give anyone a boost, there are some who may genuinely benefit from this as a daily supplement:

  • Those with gastrointestinal diseases / malnutrition
  • Vegans / vegetarians
  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women
  • Sickle cell anaemia patients
  • Chronic kidney disease patients
  • Alcoholics
  • Patients with skin conditions such as oiliness, eczema, psoriasis


For an added bonus, you can make sure to get zinc into your meals by including a variety of sources such as shellfish, meats, fish, poultry, legumes, dairy, wholegrains, eggs and some vegetables such as kale and asparagus.

Echinacea – bless you

No, it is not a sneeze, but can be used in case you happen to suffer a cold or flu!

Also known as the purple coneflower, native to North America. This pretty little plant used for herbal supplements contains a variety of active compounds and antioxidants. Studies pertaining to the uses of Echinacea focussed on reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar and boosting the immune system.

As mentioned in a previous article, “Traditional medicines are designed to fight symptoms and bacteria head on. Homeopathic medicines trigger the body’s natural responses, metabolic and autoimmunity to fight what ails you itself.  There is no medicine for viral infections, which is why homeopathic alternatives can aid your body in the fight against a virus.”

Studies have shown that the echinacea plant can reduce the risk of getting ill and can aid in fighting off infections and illness faster, as well as fight inflammation.

People who may benefit from supplementing Echinacea;

  • Patients with compromised immune-systems
  • Those suffering from osteoporosis / arthritis
  • Those who can not use traditional medicine due to allergies
  • Persons suffering from acne / skin conditions

Both zinc and echinacea supplements are available at Mopani Pharmacy.


Echinacea and ginseng are used to boost immune function. However, both may interact with certain HIV treatments.

It is however always recommended that a healthcare professional or our pharmacists are consulted if you wish to start a new supplement.

Don’t worry, all our stock towers of supplements are regularly replenished – thanks to our fantastic staff.

Side note, creamed spinach can be quite delicious, to be honest. Contains zinc too…

We can deliver your medication and other Mopani online shopping, nationwide! Contact us for info: | | Tel: 013 755 5500 | WhatsApp: 066-192-1703