In a world where autoimmune diseases and other conditions grow more prevalent day by day, it’s more important than ever to keep our immune systems in tip top shape.
More often than not, this involves more than just meeting your daily vitamin C requirements. It requires a multi-faceted approach that supports immunity at the cellular level, while also supporting other vital organs and systems that work together to keep you healthy.
One way to do this is with immune boosting herbs. Centuries of holistic medicine have revealed several herbs that support our immune systems.
Let’s take a look at 11 of those immune boosting herbs and see how they can help you and your family stay well this season.
Like most therapeutic herbs, cayenne pepper has been used and trusted for generations. It’s known to help neutralize acidity and improve the blood circulation throughout the body.
Its use is diversified by its ability to manage several conditions including:
Cayenne pepper is an anti-irritant that’s helpful in managing ulcers and stomach upsets. It can also thin and breakdown mucus within the respiratory tract, hence decongesting stuffed sinuses and clearing flu-like symptoms.
CAY-1 is a compound found in cayenne pepper that’s been found to suppress the growth of up to 16 different strains of fungi – all without being toxic as many prescription drugs are.
Researchers are quickly realizing that inflammation, in one way or another, is at the root of most diseases today. Cayenne pepper contains another compound known as capsaicin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. It also works to flush toxins and stimulate metabolism.
Garlic is pretty popular in the kitchen but not so much in the medicine cabinet – even though it should be. That’s because this full-flavored ingredient contains compounds with many medicinal uses.
Garlic is among the most powerful antioxidant herb in nature that’s also been proven to have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
On top of that, it is also a natural decongestant used for managing flu and sinusitis as well as eye and ear infections. Additionally, raw garlic has been experimentally found to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers and boost heart health.
Garlic also aids in clearing immune stressors such as bacteria and viruses, helping to keep your immune system functioning as it should.
Have you ever noticed that illnesses often coincide with stress? It’s not uncommon to visit your doctor with a viral illness and he suggest that you rest and work toward a less stressful lifestyle.
That’s because stress tanks your immune system – and that’s where ashwagandha comes in.
It has long been regarded for its ability to help the body cope with stress. As a result, it also improves your ability to think clearly and reduces stress-induced brain fog.
Besides that, ashwagandha is a powerful immune boosting herb thanks to its ability to increase pathogen-fighting agents throughout the body. These include white blood cells, key infection-fighting proteins, platelet counts and various antibodies.
Ginger has been lauded for its excellent use in boosting the immune system. It is a potent agent for detoxification since it is able to breakdown toxins accumulating in body organs such as the liver. Such toxins can increase your susceptibility to infection by fungi, viruses and bacteria.
Some studies have also proven that ginger can cleanse the lymphatic system, which plays a key role in toxin removal and immune health.
Additional benefits of ginger include:
This little herb plays a star role in the Mediterranean diet, but it’s also popular for its therapeutic properties.
By far its claim to fame for immune health is the fact that it’s a powerful antioxidant – far more than even blueberries. Because of this, it’s able to protect the body against free radicals, helping reduce sickness as well as signs of aging.
Studies have even shown that oregano rivals penicillin and streptomycin in combating bacterial infections.
Interestingly, it has been found that even the super bacteria, methicilin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is susceptible to the antibacterial actions of oregano. It also prevents the occurrence of vaginal and/or oral thrush as it inhibits the spread of yeast known as Candida albicans.
These antimicrobial activities efficiently augment the actions of the immune system against these organisms, making it one of our favorite immune boosting herbs.
Our grandparents and generations before them loved elderberry syrup for their natural medicinal properties. It was a staple in many households during cold and flu season. For a long time, evidence of elderberry’s properties were largely anecdotal.
However, modern research continues to prove its role as one of the best immune boosting herbs. In fact, according to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine, elderberry can efficiently treat both influenza type A and type B.
It’s also an antioxidant with antihistamine properties which make it useful in managing inflammatory conditions.
The benefits of Echinacea stem from its polysaccharide component called echinacein. This compound prevents the penetration of healthy body cells by bacteria and viruses.
In this way, consuming Echinacea significantly decreases your chances of contracting infections in the first place.
Besides limiting the proliferation of bacteria and viruses, Echinacea also has some antitumor effects, helping to prevent the development of certain cancers.
Echinacea also improves the immune system by stimulating an increased production of white blood cells – the group of cells that fight infections within the body.
Additional health benefits include its ability to boost mental health, treat upper respiratory tract infections, alleviate intense pain and reduce inflammation.
For centuries, astragalus has been a major medicinal herb for the Chinese community due to its immune boosting properties.
Scientific studies on astragalus show that it has some antiviral properties as well that can help in combating the flu.
A study dated in 2004 found out that astragalus can potentially inhibit the progression of type 1 herpes simplex virus. Besides that, astragalus also helps maintain emotional health by combating stress and fatigue. It can also boost your blood count and prevent anemia.
Clove is indigenous to countries in East Asia, but its popularity as an immune boosting herb has since spread throughout the world.
Clove stimulates the release of digestive enzymes, working to improve digestion. It also possesses potent antibacterial properties that have been studied in the treatment and management of cholera and other bacteria-causing diarrhea.
Clove also stimulates the production of white blood cells thereby improving the body’s defense against infectious agents, while its antioxidant properties support the detoxification processes of the liver.
In the early 1800s, olive leaf was the major therapeutic agent for combating malaria, but that wasn’t the only mark it left in history.
Its constituent known as oleuropein dominated the medical arena in the 1900s when it was scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, relieve arrhythmias and improve the flow of blood within the arteries of the heart.
It has since been used to support the immune system in combating diseases such as flu, coughs and cold.
Besides its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that support immune health, olive leaf has 5 times more antioxidant properties than an equivalent amount of Vitamin C!
This king of the bush is a naturally growing weed, though it is cultivated in certain areas for medicinal purposes.
Its leaves and underground stems are the source of its therapeutic value. Although very bitter, this plant is useful in combating:
Its antibacterial property is proven in combating the drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes pneumonia and bacterial sepsis.
Andrographis also supports the liver by breaking down toxins. This property makes it one of the most used therapeutic herbs in India for the management of liver diseases.
Immune boosting herbs like those mentioned above are critical in the prevention of illnesses in the first place, but also very helpful once sickness strikes.
Each individual herb/plant is beneficial on its own, but most herbs work synergistically with other herbs to create a “sum” that’s far more potent than its individual “parts.”
That’s why we formulated our Warrior Organic Immunity Blend with many of the immune boosting herbs on this list. They work together to provide powerful support for your immune system. As with all our products, it’s 100% organic, vegan and all natural.