Herbs and Spices That Will Activate Your Immune System
Adding herbs and spices is an easy way to create variety and expand the flavors of your meals and also increase the immunological stimulation properties of your food. The herbs are typically leaves, roots and stems used in the kitchen or for medicinal purposes.
The spices usually come from the bark or seeds, are intensely aromatic and are generally added to the dishes in much smaller quantities.
Most of our common herbs and spices originated in Asia or the Mediterranean region, where many healing foods and popular remedies that improve the immune system were known generations before the drugs or supplements manufactured were derived from them.
Scientific research and analyzes of these herbs and foods that stimulate the immune system have provided measurable evidence of how, or if, these herbs and spices work in any healing capacity.
However, large clinical trials of these plants are still relatively rare, so we offer the following dietary ideas with a warning. As tasty additions to your meals, there is probably no risk.
These foods, herbs, and spices that stimulate the immune system can simply spice up your food, or they can be taken as nutritional supplements when necessary. In general, they provide antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory functions, both essential for good immunological health.
But if you consume them as supplements, be careful. Many ingredients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity can change blood clotting, and some herbs can interact with prescription medications.
Why Herbs and Spices
Herbs that stimulate the immune system can help the body and relieve the symptoms of various medical conditions, but since this is not an article on herbal medicine, I will provide a simple basic review of those herbs and spices that can improve your immune functions. Here are what I offer suggestions to spice up your dinner and your immune health.
Powerful Spices and Herbs to Boost Immune System
Astragalus root has been extensively studied for its effect on the immune system. The adaptogenic qualities of the talus can actually help your immune system become smarter and more effective in managing any pathogen and a foreign substance, thereby increasing the overall strength of your immune system for colds and simple infections.
It has also been shown to reduce the occurrence of common respiratory diseases.
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Ashwagandha is a highly venerated medicinal herb that is used in Ayurveda for millennia and is praised as a tonic for longevity and vitality.
Herbal actions cover a wide range from adaptogenic to sedative. As a mild nourishing herb, it can be administered to children, as well as to the elderly.
There are many scientific studies regarding its multiple healing properties. It has been shown to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, stimulate thyroid function and support respiratory and immune function.
Some researchers have claimed that ashwagandha has an anti-stress effect.
The natural antibiotic par excellence! The health benefits of oregano oil can be attributed to its properties as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, emmenagogue and anti-allergic.
If you get sick year after year during the cold and flu season, oregano oil can help increase your immunity. There is enough research to show that oregano oil helps fight bacterial and viral infections, and some studies have shown that it is better than other natural remedies.
Along with its ability to fight bacterial and fungal infections, it also contains natural antioxidants that prevent the damage of free radicals and, as an antiparasitic, avoids powerful invaders that can wreak havoc on the body.
Honey activates the immune system’s response to infection and prevents cell proliferation. Similarly, ginger also has anti-inflammatory effects and may be able to help with muscle pain.
Garlic is an influential antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties.
It is also a natural decongestant! The sky really is the limit with this tasty ingredient, and you can turn it into almost any food.
Andrographis is a plant that is commonly used in Asian countries to prevent influenza and relieve digestive problems, liver diseases, fever, and sore throat.
The detoxifying properties of this herb clean the blood and strengthen the immune system to fight infections.
The antioxidants, vitamins, and compounds found in hibiscus tea are incredibly beneficial when the cold and flu season arrives.
Drinking this tea regularly can help maintain a healthy immune system, which makes it less likely to suffer any errors that are occurring at that time. Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A and vitamin C, along with anthocyanins and malic acid.
All these antioxidants combined help fight the damage of free radicals throughout the body and decrease inflammation. As inflammation can be very dangerous when it becomes chronic, drinking hibiscus tea regularly is a smart choice for your overall health.
The high amount of vitamin C in hibiscus tea is considered a great stimulant of the immune system, which helps prevent colds and flu. It has the ability to lower body temperature and, therefore, hibiscus tea also benefits people with a fever.
As one of the most powerful antioxidants on Earth, Chaga is also an excellent adaptogen, which gives the body what it needs to return to its natural state.
Chaga acts as a relaxing tonic for anti-stress nerves and as a powerful fighter against cancer. The list of Chaga uses over the centuries is long and includes prevention against many of the leading killers in North America today.
Chaga has the ability to improve the immune response, lower blood sugar, fight the abnormal and mutagenic growth of cells, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, purify the blood, protect the liver and perform multiple tasks on many levels, which makes it a very powerful adaptogen for the body.
This spicy root is a potent antihistamine and decongestant that offers a double hit against cold symptoms.
Add it to sautéed dishes or boil to make a cup of ginger tea with a little lemon and honey added for a nice, healing hot drink.
Schizandra has been used since the beginning of Chinese civilization as a tonic herb. From the beginning, it has been revered, and it remains one of the elite herbs of the Chinese herbalist system.
It was first written in the Shen Nong Pharmacopoeia (written between the 1st century and the 2nd century), where it was listed as a superior herb.
Schizandra can help improve your immune system by reversing central nervous system problems, allowing your immune system to take over without the additional work of trying to deal with the stress, depression, and anxieties you might face.
If you suffer from chronic stress, you may also suffer from inferior functioning of the immune system.
This antiviral and antibacterial herb contains polysaccharides that increase the production of white blood cells in the body, which fight infections.
Echinacea is available as an extract or tablet, which makes it easier to obtain your daily supply of this flower that stimulates immunity.
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Recipe for Immune-Boosting Bitters
Consume bitterness for a reinforcement of the immune system. This healthy tonic is made from astragalus root, ginger, angelica root, and honey. All the ingredients have been shown to be compatible with the function of the immune system.
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 ounce of dry root of the talus
- 1 ounce of dried angelica root
- ½ ounce of dry chamomile
- 1 teaspoon of dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon of dried orange peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 10-ounce alcohol (recommended: vodka of 100 tests)
- Dissolve the honey in 2 teaspoons of boiling water. Let it cool.
- Combine the honey and the following 7 ingredients in a mason jar and pour the alcohol on top.
- Seal hermetically and store the bitters in a cool, dark place.
- Let the bitters be infused to the desired strength, approximately 2-4 weeks. Shake the jars regularly (approximately once a day).
- When ready, filter the bitters through muslin gauze or coffee filter. Store the bitter brews in an airtight container at room temperature.
- To use: mix this tonic with hot tea or take a few drops as the first when you wake up to protect yourself during the cold and flu season.