Immunity Boosting Herbs and Foods From Indigo Herbs

6I guess the saying is right—an apple a day may really keep the doctor away! It is also an important source of polyphenols and vitamin C. She is licensed by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy to practice in the province of Ontario. Immune boosting foods and herbs can help the body and alleviate symptoms of various medical conditions, but since this isn’t an article on herbal medicine, we’ve provided a simple basic review of those herbs and spices that may improve your immune functions and your meals. And if you do happen to come down with something, a robust immune system can lessen the severity of symptoms or shorten their duration. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Francis is a great combination that contains astraglus and helps to tonify a weak immune system.

You could also increase your knowledge on how to Strengthen Your Immune System with These Raw Foods. We have 4 of our favourites for immune-boosting benefits, but before we dive in, let’s talk about the importance of organic. Plus, since inflammation is at the root of so many diseases, being anti-inflammatory is an extra bonus. The cells of the immune system originate in the bone marrow, then migrate to guard the peripheral tissues, circulating in the blood and in the specialized system of vessels called the lymphatic system.

Here are the top 11 plants and herbs for immune support so you can stay well this cold and flu season.

Their products, like immune-supporting Black Elderberry, come in multiple varieties — including powders, capsules, tinctures + syrups for both kids and adults. Always keep in mind that it should not be used for more than 14 days in a row. Also, these natural ways can help you age gracefully. I like to get outside for some fresh air and go for a hike or go snowshoeing in the winter. Consuming them on a daily basis boosts the immunity. Moderate exercise discharges tension and stress and enhances immune function. Three species of Echinacea— E. But if you’re content with more common natural remedies like herbs and spices, herbal teas and many foods, like oats and yogurt, that also have immune boosting properties and may prevent or shorten the lifespan of everything from flu symptoms to sore throats.

  • The aerial parts (flower and leaves) are known for their immune-promoting properties.
  • Scientific studies have shown that certain herbs and foods can support and enhance immune function, some by providing the nutrition needed to build the immune system and some by actually increasing the number of white blood cells which destroy bacteria, viruses and other pathogens (micro-organisms that can cause disease).
  • This is due to the nonspecific stimulatory effect that echinacea has on the immune system; it can worsen symptoms of the disease.
  • More recently, a study published in the journal PLoS One suggested that subjects who drank a daily shake containing sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts got a boost against the flu virus.
  • But that doesn't mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren't intriguing and shouldn't be studied.
  • The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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When your liver is strong and functioning optimally, your whole body feels better and can better fight common colds, flu and other seasonal ailments. Staying home when sick is also very important in preventing the spread of the illness to others at work and school. Vitamin A, B6, C, D and E can help increase the strength of the immune system.

  • Even if the effect is minimal, you can't go wrong, since both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea.
  • Derived from the leaves and flowers of oregano, which you would use in your cooking, oregano oil comes in tincture and extract form to help boost your immune system.
  • Well-known throughout the ancient Egyptian, Arab, Greek, and Roman cultures, this herb has been used continually for at least 2,000 years.
  • Numerous researches have shown that excess intake of alcohol can tamper with the immune system and its pathway in a complicated manner.
  • Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition's effect on the immune system, however, is not certain.
  • Look for an option that contains bioflavonoids (plant based anti-oxidants) for optimal effect.

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Ask us about tinctures and extracts to help find the right one for you! Click here for our best cayenne recipes. Primary immunodeficiency, however, those with weak immune systems should be careful not to push themselves too hard as this can weaken the immune system further. During the winter months, you may notice an increase in common illnesses such as the flu, and cold-like symptoms, including respiratory infections, strep throat, congestion, and fevers that may be related to a weakened immune system.

“Research is beginning to confirm the efficacy of folk medicines people have been using for hundreds of years,” says Corbett. The next time you have a sore throat, mix some cayenne pepper into warm water with a bit of lemon juice to kill off those nasty virus germs. Use a ratio of one tablespoon of herbs to approximately one cup of water. Gummy multivitamin for the immune system, as with most things that help reduce the risk of infection, chronic disease and early death, it’s not one thing that provides the “miracle cure,” it’s a variety of good lifestyle choices that make the difference. One study found that oregano oil is effective in fighting clinical strains of E. Less often, chronic stress can promote a hyper-reactive immune system and aggravate conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease. What’s different, though, is how they’ve developed what Dr. A study in 2020 done at the University of Illinois showed that soluble fiber helps to strengthen the immune system by changing the “personalities” of immune cells.


Herbs are especially vital when it comes to our immune system—and they’re so readily available to us! These toxic "treats" force your body to do extra work to expel all this junk and repair the internal inflammation that they cause in your body. I set aside those months to learn a new skill, read a new book series, or take a new class. While having lots of friends is healthy, science also shows that intimate, sexual relationships have immune system perks. One study linked deficiency to a greater likelihood of carrying MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in the nose. Echinacea root makes a powerful tincture, but is also good in a tea. Check with your health care provider for individual advice when using herbs.


After 4 weeks, strain through cheesecloth into a clean jar. Redoxon®, the spleen, which is located in the upper abdomen, makes antibodies and removes old and damaged red blood cells (4). It also aids circulation and heat generation in the body. Herbalists at eatingbirdfood. “For viral illnesses, I would rate andrographis as one of the best plants available,” Dr.

Indeed, research shows supplementing with andrographis helps significantly reduce symptoms of the common cold. Just like vegetables, fruits are more beneficial for our health and immune system when they are grown organically. This is especially important during cold and flu season. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is no coincidence—many of our premiere immune tonics are fungi. TCM practitioners swear by these eight herbs and ingredients, and they're all thought to bring balance to the body, boost the immune system, and promote overall health.

If there isn’t 1 to 2 inches of vodka layered above the ground root, add more vodka. I always thought I had a strong immune system until I started living with the tiny human I made who is strangely adept at coughing + sneezing directly into my mouth as often as possible. It fights infections naturally due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasite compounds.

Early research showed that consuming the sprouts could increase inflammation-fighting enzymes in the upper respiratory system.

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Luckily there are some great herbal allies that can help us get through the worst of it. Boosting your family’s immunity doesn’t have to be a chore — in fact, it can be delicious, relaxing, and fun. Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system. However, the berries contain compounds called anthocyanidins, which support a healthy immune system. On top of that, using vitamin and mineral supplements provide the necessary nutrients for a strong immune system. Astragalus is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body balance out what needs balancing: One of the best boosts for the immune system can be a good shot of Vitamin C. A Clinician’s Journal.

5 percent glucosides and 70 percemt polysaccharides. If you happen to be travelling in different time zones on a regular basis, consume 2–3mg of Melatonin to reset the circadian rhythm. Aside from fighting the common cold and flu, this powerful little leaf can also help increase energy levels, lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels, and aid in fighting autoimmune disorders. If you are looking to increase your immunity and naturally tend to your body’s needs, herbs are the place to start. Toss in three or four astragalus roots (the pressed roots, available in natural foods stores or from online herb retailers such as Mountain Rose Herbs and Pacific Botanicals).

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Ginger contains nearly a dozen antiviral compounds, including some that seem to be especially effective against a common cold-causing virus, according to a paper in the International Journal of Drug Development & Research. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Buy reishi as a powder and mix it into anything you’re eating or drinking — it’s safe to take in small doses (like a scoop of powder or a squirt of tincture). Sage also has natural antibacterial properties, which can come in handy when your body is fighting off unwanted bacteria. Essentially, adaptogens are therapeutic herbs that support the body in combating and adapting to stress. Taken at a medicinal level, shiitake extracts can both suppress and activate immune functions, so consult with your health practitioner before supplementing with high amounts. Anti-Viral by Natural Factors is a potent tincture that includes Echinaceato help fight colds in a powerful way. It also contains quercetin, found in onions, which inhibits histamine.

Diet And Your Immune System

It makes sense that Asheville and WNC would be the place many of these products are produced. Research suggests that astragalus increases immune response in white blood cells. To a pint jar add 1 cup ground root of Echinacea purpurearoot, a species shown to enhance immune function and moderately reduce cold symptom severity and duration. It’s been shown to be helpful in preventing pregnancy morning sickness.

Does it help keep the immune system healthy? “Exposure to dry, indoor heat can dry out protective mucus membranes, making you more susceptible to microbes,” says Dr. Try using one to two drops in a large pot of soup or stew for delicious flavor and an immunity strengthener. Dietary doses of garlic are pretty safe. The immune system also maintains a variety of white blood cells: Eugenol (clove oil) is widely used in dentistry as a local analgesic agent, so you may already be familiar with the smell and taste of cloves. Some forms of exercise, like tai chi and yoga, are also particularly suited for reducing stress and improving the strength, balance and flexibility that we often lose as we age. For a more powerful effect, try placing a towel over your head as you lean over the pot to keep the steam concentrated around your nasal passages.

If so, consider the power of plants to up your immunity and help you hedge infections.

Healthy Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System

Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit fungal growth and suppress tumor cell growth. Fresh sage is very fragrant and flavorful. They also have a nice flavor, which is a plus! The researchers also discovered that the study participants taking garlic who did get sick recovered more quickly.


Ginger is readily available in ginger ale, as capsules, and in candied form. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. Photos by Megan K. Treat infections promptly with immune-boosting herbs such as echinacea (Echinacea spp.) She is the author of 1001 Natural Remedies (DK, 2020) and Herbal Healing Secrets for Women (Prentice Hall, 2020). Fenugreek helps the body to optimally metabolize foods and process cholesterol and to increase libido! One its compounds called Allicin, released when garlic is cut or crushed, has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, though this compound breaks down and loses its potency when exposed to high heat.

Where else would we start? Most of our common herbs and spices originated in Asia or the Mediterranean region, where many were known healing foods and immune boosting folk remedies generations before manufactured drugs or supplements were derived from them. Have a cold? don't reach for your medical marijuana, angelenos, juicing raw cannabis doesn't get users high, but it can help the body's cell functions. Children and adults exposed to tobacco smoke are more at risk for respiratory infections, including colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis and middle ear infections. Immune system vitamins & tablets, here are 6 essential ways to boost your immunity in preparation for coronavirus:. Antibodies bind to antigens, such as toxins or viruses, and keep them from contacting and harming normal cells of the body.

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At the end of the study, researchers found that the group given the garlic supplement reported that only 24 participants had colds, in contrast to the placebo group, in which 65 participants suffered from colds. We are all susceptible to viruses this time of year, whether young or old and anywhere in between, with the changing of the seasons and kids in school. For this reason, if you think you may be getting sick, switch to light-intensity exercise. We use it for scratchy throats and night coughing. Olive leaf extract has received a lot of attention from alternative health care advocates in recent decades; however, this immune system booster has been used medicinally for centuries in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, where olive trees grow in abundance. For recipe ideas, check out this Turmeric Farro with Roasted Vegetables, perfect for a spring dinner, or whip up a batch of savory Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing, ideal for drizzling over a salad or even some cooked grains. People with richer social lives enjoy better health and longevity than loners do.

Nourishing your body with immune-boosting foods, getting plenty of sleep and rest, and adding in some immune-boosting herbs are essential ways to keep you and your body feeling healthy and strong while reducing your chances of getting sick. The foundation of a good multivitamin is a way to offset deficiencies created in the body, often by lifestyle, stress, and eating habits. In-vitro studies have shown that compounds in rosemary have the ability to kill pathogens. There are many astragalus species (approximately 2,000 to 3,000).

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To keep your stress in check, practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing in your regular routine. In addition, specialized immune compounds, such as interferon, stimulate white blood cells to destroy cancerous cells. In other words, it protects genes. To support and protect your immune system, try to follow these lifestyle suggestions:

That given, there's no reason to resign yourself to living off cold medicine and cough drops for the next few months as there are plenty of natural remedies to help you boost your immune system and stay healthy all season long. Make every effort to get enough sleep so that your body is rested and can perform these vital functions. Rawls calls a natural intelligence to fight them. Honey activates the immune system’s response to infection and prevents cell proliferation. To restore access and understand how to better interact with our site to avoid this in the future, please have your system administrator contact [email protected] Colder temperatures bring more sickness. Malnutrition impairs immune function.

Unfortunately, nearly one-third of the U. Good health and good nutrition go hand in hand. You can read more about both immunomodulators and immunostimulants in our in-depth article on Herbs for the Immune System.


If you’ve never eaten aloe before, start slowly. This reduces the transfer of germs to the carpet we lay around and play on. This study also found that those participants who took elderberry experienced a significant reduction in the duration of their flu symptoms.

I tossed some back, instantly began to sweat, and felt energized.

“The pestilence! Also an antioxidant, thyme has been shown to prevent oxidative damage to DNA in human lymphocytes. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. You may think of oregano simply as one of the herbs you use to flavor your spaghetti and pizza sauce or marinade meat dishes, but did you know that oregano is also a powerhouse immune booster? Soak dried shiitakes for a few minutes and then rinse; they cook better when hydrated.

  • Whole grains provide B and E vitamins that aren’t commonly found in fruits and vegetables.
  • Mint is possibly one of the most popular teas, and for good reason!
  • Taking megadoses of a single vitamin does not.
  • This mushroom lessens the likelihood for heart disease by preventing immune cells from sticking to the thin walls of your blood vessels (the stickiness is a consequence of inflammation), making it a unique but important immune boosting food.
  • Astragalus is an adaptogen that is high in anti-oxidants, and a great herb to always have on hand.
  • How to boost your immune system with this supplement?

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Should you bundle up when it's cold outside? Astragalus is available in a variety of forms including the dried root, capsules and liquid extracts. Many people like soaking in Epsom salts and some lavender oil in the bath when they’re sick, and lavender tea is another great way to enjoy its benefits. If it has no positive effect, stop taking it, and seek conventional means of treatment. You can consume echinacea in the form of a capsule or liquid supplement. This effectively allows the body to relax and in turn protects your body from harmful stress hormones. At snack time, have some almonds and an apple.

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Kick your cold to the curb with these other herbal remedies! Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack your own body’s cells and tissues in response to an unknown trigger. Even I was surprised by how high the percentage of reduced illness from handwashing really is. It’s typically known to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu, as well as reduce symptoms like sore throat, cough, and fever.

Written by Katie Mitton. According to Organicfacts. Because bolstering immune function is key to preventing any type of illness or health problem, astragalus often is combined with a variety of other herbs prescribed for various specific conditions. If you are looking for the highest quality Vitamin and Mineral Supplements personalized for you, please go to www.

The rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee to offset the dehydrating effects of caffeine. Are you and yours are prepared for it? You can make your own ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water with some lemon. Honey adds a pleasant sweetness to a cup of herbal tea when you're not feeling well. Indeed, one study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences found that children who reported consuming a diet full of processed and high-sugar foods and with lots of meat and few vegetables were more likely to suffer from recurrent respiratory infections compared to those who ate healthier. In particular, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli help support liver function, a key part of our bodies’ natural detoxification process. 1 Plus, another study showed that a high dose of garlic extract can the amount of cold or flu sick days by 61%. Chamomile acts as a mild sedative, making it a useful aid when you're feeling under the weather, need help controlling anxiety or want to catch some shut-eye.

Can Handwashing Keep You Healthy?

Honey is rich in antioxidants too. As soon as the kiddos get home from school, I send them straight to the bathroom to wash their hands with soap and water. Studies show it may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help your body's battle against bacteria when you're feeling ill. While you can find echinacea in power bars, teas and capsules, researchers recommend the standardized extract above all other forms. Take a holistic approach to keeping winter illnesses at bay.

While raw it is very healthy for you, cabbage is even better for your immune system and digestive tract when it’s fermented in the form of sauerkraut or kimchi. Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. Have a cold? don't reach for your medical marijuana, angelenos. Cultivating the habit of drinking green tea regularly can help strengthen immunity. Plus, many teas help you relax and get to sleep, which is a key component to feeling better.


Add 1½ cup vodka and stir. One is quercetin, a bioflavonoid also found in red wine, green tea, apples, berries, and buckwheat. Since, it’s been cultivated and grown in many other countries. And while technically part of the circulatory system, the immune system's tissues comprise parts of the digestive, endocrine, respiratory and even the skeletal systems. Your body absorbs and uses vitamins and nutrients better when they come from a dietary source.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. One study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital included 19,000 participants, and it showed that individuals with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables such as season, age, gender, body mass and race. Try adding them to your routine today: You can support your immune system by eating a variety of lean protein – foods like turkey, skinless chicken, lean cuts of beef, oysters, tuna, salmon and soy. Astragalus, a member of the legume family, was originally grown in Asia and is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Most scientists studying the relationship of stress and immune function, however, do not study a sudden, short-lived stressor; rather, they try to study more constant and frequent stressors known as chronic stress, such as that caused by relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, or sustained challenges to perform well at one's work. Women should have no more than one.

Herbal teas, dietary supplements and even some types of gentle exercise like tai chi fall under the category of naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Vitamin D is essential for healthy functioning of the immune system as it helps the body to produce antibodies. Consider taking probiotics.

  • Bitters should generally be avoided by those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • In general, they provide antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory functions—both essential for good immune health.
  • As with astragalus polysaccharides, mushroom polysaccharides improve immune function by increasing the activity of macrophages, which have a voracious appetite for harmful microorganisms and cancerous cells.

Elderberry Syrup

Cinnamon comes from the dried bark of a tropical species of evergreen tree grown in Asia. On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. Rawls also points to its antibacterial properties. Yet another reason to enjoy those blueberries! Modern herbalists also use cayenne to activate the circulatory system as a cold and flu treatment.

Tap The Healing Powers Of Aloe Vera.

Herbs aren’t only useful for cooking your winter savory stews. Which may help fight certain infections and viruses. Although most of the world agrees that chicken soup is one of the best ways to cure a cold, there are other, more adventurous cold remedies from around the world that you may want to try, like lizard soup or a hot mustard footbath. In addition to its immune-boosting effects, regular exercise is a potent stress reliever. Chamomile may not be at the top of the list as a specific for the immune system but, when given in a tea before bed, it should not be overlooked as a great tool to support a healthy body. As with ginger, eating turmeric-spiced foods is a great way to incorporate the plant into your diet, but supplements will deliver the biggest bang for your buck, Dr. Also known as “coneflower,”echinacea is native to North American and can be found growing in many gardens throughout the country.

For those history buffs like me, listen to this. Allergies are a immune-mediated inflammatory response to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens, which results in one or more allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and food allergies. It turns out that capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of pain-producing substance P made during inflammation. As with Chinese skullcap, you can double up on servings of cordyceps when you need an extra immune boost beyond everyday support: Elderberry is considered safe, but don’t chug a whole bottle or anything like that — a teaspoon to a tablespoon of syrup at a time will work.

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For preventing colds and generally giving the immune system a boost, sweet elderberry syrup goes down easy with kids of all ages. It is crucial to the immune system as our bodies are made of 60 percent of water, on average. This versatile plant (which has been shown to be antimicrobial, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory) lends its natural fire to many different uses — sip on a ginger tea, head to the juice bar for a fresh ginger shot if you’re feeling icky, or just add more ginger to your cooking. Tinctures are not regulated by the FDA. If anyone is proof that you can move through a very difficult personal struggle and come out the other side mentally stronger, physically fitter, and emotionally happier then its me. 9 ways to boost your immune system, these include:. Most immune tonics fall into the category of immunomodulators, which are herbs that have balancing, or amphoteric, effects on the immune system (making them more appropriate, in general, for folks with autoimmune conditions, as compared to immunostimulating herbs). Ginger is a warming herb that quickens and tonifies the immune system.

Do Social Ties Influence Immunity?

Plus, these nutrients can help reduce the length and severity of colds and can lessen damage from or slow the progression of respiratory infections, rheumatoid arthritis and vision-related conditions. They’re great to use for people who get sick often, says Corbett, or in times of heavy stress, travel, or extra exposure to pathogens (rather than for every day maintenance or prevention). It’s that time of year again: You can’t eat four oranges at breakfast and expect to be protected that day against catching a cold. Other foods rich in quercetin and other flavonoids include apples, onions, and green tea (see below for more on green tea’s benefits). Recipe adapted from 500 TIME-TESTED HOME REMEDIES AND THE SCIENCE BEHIND THEM. Natural medicine practitioners and many diverse populations throughout the globe have used herbs with great success to treat, cure and boost health.

While you can’t control the weather, lengthen the shorter days, or even eradicate all the germs that lurk on doorknobs and desktops, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to get sick. Additionally, persons on immunosuppressive drugs like corticosteroids or cyclosporin, are cautioned against the use of echinacea. Dark blue-black elderberries are rich in compounds that disarm viruses and prevent them from taking over healthy cells. You sniffle, scratch, cough, vomit, ache, sweat and shiver. We are continually exposed to organisms that are inhaled, swallowed or inhabit our skin and mucous membranes. From teas to extracts to kits, their products are designed to treat folks holistically.

But you’d need to eat three big cloves a day to to achieve the maximum benefit, says Dr. We love this tea because it’s quick to prepare, soothing to drink (especially during flu season), and infuses the body and immune system with powerful immune-boosting compounds. As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. A simple solution is a zinc lozenge, which soothes the throat. In this New Year we all have the awesome opportunity to improve our health with the healing and immune boosting power of herbs. The other group was given a placebo.