As the summer ends, adding herbal immune boosters to your daily routine may help you get a boost from those viral bugs that will certainly become more plentiful as kids head back to school and as cooler temperatures cause us to spend more time indoors.
There are many factors which can cause our body’s ability to ward off invaders and then deteriorate. Some of them include poor diet, not enough sleep, not enough exercise, too much stress and many other factors.
But… there are some very powerful herbs that you can use to help increase the strength of your immune system, below are 12 that can have a tremendous effect on your wellbeing + we now have a new Immune Boosting Kit available online and in our store.
Echinacea: Echinacea has the ability to stimulate the immune system which helps protect our body from conditions like common colds, the flu, common viral conditions and at the very least, reduce the symptoms and the duration of the illnesses. Echinacea is more effective if you start taking the supplements immediately after you feel the first symptoms of the cold. Studies show that its most effective when taken as soon the first signs of illness are felt, it can can also help relieve many of the familiar symptoms including runny nose, fever and sore throats.
Elderberry: Elderberries (Sambucus) have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity and can help stimulate the immune system, to help with coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Chemicals in both the flowers and berries may help diminish swelling in mucous membranes like sinuses and help relieve nasal congestion. Herbalists still use it to soothe children’s upset stomachs and relieve gas. Elderberry syrup is very easy to make, click here to learn more.
Rose Hips: Rose hips are one of the best sources of vitamin C; they contain 50% more vitamin C than oranges. Taking high amounts of vitamin C regularly may reduce the severity and frequency of colds. The vitamin A in Rose hips is additionally good for the defense mechanisms. It will help to avoid infections from both bacterial and also viral infections. Rose hips ca help ward off infections which can lead to viral fever, simply by raising immune function throughout tiredness, growing blood circulation within the limbs, raising the flow of urine and also quenching thirst.
Astragalus: Astragalus root has been studied extensively for its effect on the immune system. The adaptogenic qualities of astragalus can actually help your immune system become smarter and more effective in its handling of any foreign pathogen and substance, therefore boosting the general strength of your immune system for simple colds and infections. It has also been shown to reduce the occurrence of common respiratory illnesses.
Ashwagandha: Ashwaganda is a highly revered medicinal herb used in Ayurveda for millennia and praised as a longevity and vitality tonic. Its herbal actions span a wide range from adaptogenic to sedative. As a gentle nourishing herb, it can be administered to children as well as the elderly. Many scientific studies exist regarding its manifold healing properties. It has been shown to help with pain relief, reduce inflammation, stimulate thyroid function, and support respiratory and immune function. Some researchers have claimed that ashwagandha has an antistressor effect.
Oregano Oil: The ultimate natural antibiotic! The health benefits of Oregano Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emmenagogue and anti-allergenic substance. If you find yourself getting sick year after year during cold and flu season, oregano oil can help boost your immunity. There’s quite a bit of research to show that oregano oil helps fight bacterial and viral infections and some studies have shown it to be better than other natural remedies. Along with its ability to fight bacterial and fungal infections, it also contains natural antioxidants that prevent free radical damage and as an anti-parasitic it wards off powerful invaders that can wreak havoc in the body.
Hibiscus: The antioxidants, vitamins and compounds found in hibiscus tea are incredibly beneficial when cold and flu season hits. Drinking this tea regularly may help to support a healthy immune system, making you less likely to come down with whatever bug is going around at the time. Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C, along with anthocyanins and malic acid. All of these antioxidants combined help to combat free radical damage throughout your body and lower inflammation. As inflammation can be very dangerous when it becomes chronic, drinking hibiscus tea on a regular basis is a smart choice for your overall health. The high amount of vitamin C in hibiscus tea is considered a great immune system booster, which help prevent against colds and the flu. It has the ability to lower body temperature, and therefore hibiscus tea benefits people with a fever as well.
Garlic: Garlic has a long history of use as an immune system booster because of its antiseptic, anti-fungal and nutritive properties. It is a natural detoxicant protecting against bacterial and viral infections without any of the side-effects associated with antibiotics. Research shows that raw garlic is a good preventative medicine against coughs, colds and chest infections during the winter or as a natural fast-acting antibiotic if infection is present.
Schizandra Berry: Schizandra has been used since the dawn of Chinese civilization as a tonic herb. From the beginning it has been revered, and remains one of the elite herbs of the Chinese system of herbalism. It was first written about in Shen Nong’s Pharmacopoeia (written between 1st and 2nd century A.D.) where it was listed as a Superior herb. Schizandra can help enhance your immune system by reversing may issues of the central nervous system, allowing your immune system to take over without the added work of trying to deal with stress, depression and anxieties that you might be facing. If you suffer from chronic stress you might also suffer from lower immune system functioning.
Chaga Mushrooms: As one of the most powerful antioxidants on Earth, Chaga is also a super adaptogen, giving the body what it needs to return to its natural state. Chaga acts as both a soothing anti-stress nerve tonic and a powerful cancer fighter. The list of uses of Chaga over the centuries is long and includes prevention against many of the top killers in North America today. Chaga has the ability to improve the immune response, lower high blood sugar, combat abnormal and mutagenic cell growth, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, purify the blood, protect the liver and to multitask on so many levels making it a very powerful adaptogen for the body.
Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake has been cultivated for over 1000 years. During the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644) Chinese physician Wu Jue wrote that the mushroom could be used medicinally as a remedy for upper respiratory tract infections, poor circulation, liver pathologies, exhaustion, premature aging, and as a Qi (life force) tonic. Its been discovered that extracts of this mushroom have immune system regulating properties, along with antibacterial, antiviral, and blood clot inhibiting properties. Studies have shown that the polysaccharide extracts of Shiitake were shown to stimulate the function and activation of macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells involved in the body’s initial response to infection (destroying pathogens and sending out chemical signals to the immune system to mount an attack on invading organisms).
Ginger: Ginger is filled with immune-boosting benefits, making it a top “go to” ingredients in many healing recipes. Ginger is antibacterial so it helps support the immune system and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach. Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history. Because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system.