6 Herbal Remedies To Boost Your Immune System
Even with Spring well on its way, winter takes a toll on the human immune system. Of course, the best way to treat most illnesses is through professional medical attention, and sometimes a prescription, but there are preventative measures you can take before you get sick.
Many herbs and spices have been used over the centuries to promote good health and boost the immune system. Some can be boiled in a tea, others eaten in everyday foods, and others still taken as capsules during your daily vitamin routine. Check out these 6 herbs that will help get your immune system back on track.
1. Echinacea: This herb has been in common use in North America since the Native Americans first discovered it and began using it to treat snakebites and other wounds. Since then it has been found to have potent antiviral qualities, as well as a natural agent which boosts the production of white blood cells naturally. The higher white blood count assists in the fight against certain infections.
2. Garlic: It may not be the best smelling herb on the list, but garlic packs a punch when it comes to antimicrobial properties. It is an antioxidant which has been said to have anticancer, antifungal, and antiviral abilities. While it can be taken in capsule form, or drank in a tea, perhaps the best way to ingest this herb is by eating it fresh. Cook the garlic in a stir fry or soup, and it becomes soft, sweet, and fragrant.
3. Japanese Mushrooms: Many mushrooms have healing properties, but Japanese mushrooms, such as shiitake and reishi, in particular, are known to help boost the immune system. This occurs when a natural chemical in the mushroom reacts with the liver, making it difficult for cholesterol to be produced there. Shiitake’s are rich in phytonutrients which helps fight heart disease and keep your blood pressure at a good level.
4. Cinnamon: Made from the bark of a tree, dried cinnamon can be used in sticks or as a powder. Another spice high in antioxidants, like polyphenols, it helps reduce damage from free radicals in the environment. Along with its antioxidant power, cinnamon has been shown to have an affect on infections, and respiratory illnesses
5. Licorice Root: Not only an immune boosting super food, black licorice provides an advantage during colds and flus as well. It helps clear throat and nasal passages as an expectorant, and soothes sore throats. It can be taken as a liquid when licorice root powder is added to water and boiled. You can also use this herb as a topical treatment for rashes and psoriasis.
6. Elderberry: It sounds like a fruit, but elderberry has been used in medicinal recipes dating back as far as ancient Egypt. Naturally occurring compounds inside the herb, called anthocyanidins stimulate the immune system and work to lower the risk of cold and flu, as well as working to teat some of the symptoms. It also works as a natural diuretic, laxative, and anti-inflammatory, helping with several different illnesses and ailments.
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