Site Overlay

3 Herbal Immune-Boosters for You and Your Kids | Reader's Digest

A qi imbalance in the body can manifest itself as lethargy, muscle pain, high stress levels, and a tendency to catch the flu easily. The lymphatic system, it has recently been reported that acquired immune cells are also engaged in the developmental processes of the CNS. It's a network of cells, tissues and organs that battle infection-causing bacteria, parasites and fungi. Profile menu, washing your hands regularly will help keep viruses and bacteria away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, which can do your immune system a solid, Dr. 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.

Probably one of the most notable effects of lavender is on stress.

Yes, they're the common cold and flu, and no matter where you are these days, they seem to be "going around. "It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. The answer is "yes" if you're uncomfortable, or if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. Some studies suggest it may reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Recurring infections, wE tend to buy our washing and cleaning products with antibacterial elements. What a great natural way to chill-out and boost the body! The potent herb encourages white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack invading organisms, thus increasing the number and activity of immune system cells.

Rosemary grows wildly in many parts of the world and is an easy immune boosting herb to have on hand dried or freshly growing in a pot. Elderberries have been shown to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, ease cold and flu symptoms, and even cleanse the body! We will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products. Mushroom are nature’s way of breaking down the organic matters to convert it into fertile soil. Damaged nails: what they mean + how to fix them. Components of astragalus, such as polysaccharides (large, complex sugar molecules that enhance immune activity), along with saponins and flavonoids, have been found to shield cells against the free radical damage that leads to degenerative diseases, such as cancer. It can help improve symptoms as it reduces inflammation in the body. Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) is a gnarled, dark-brown root that comes with a strong earthy, medicinal scent.

  • Keeping the equine immune system healthy to help the horse fight off infection and disease is one particular area where herbals have generated a lot of interest and support.
  • Herbs with antibiotic, antibacterial, or antifungal activity include cinnamon, garlic, ginger, licorice, oregano, and thyme.
  • A person becomes allergic to a substance when the body develops antigens against it and has a reaction upon repeated exposure to that substance.
  • You can consume echinacea in the form of a capsule or liquid supplement.
  • Photos by Megan K.

Vegans Can Have Poached Eggs, Too — Try These Tofu Breakfast Bites

Plus, it helps you feel more rejuvenated and refreshed, so if you’re struggling with the tail end of a cold, a warm mug of mint tea might give you the boost you need to conquer it once and for all. Many of echinacea’s chemical constituents are powerful immune system stimulants that can provide significant therapeutic value. Astragalus root is a powerful herb that is used to strengthen immunity over time. For one thing, stress is difficult to define. Berries, respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that gives it its characteristic orange-yellow color, may help fight off infections and improve the overall health of your body’s cells.

There are different branches that each serve a unique function in protecting the body. 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. Bring on the broccoli, colostrum is the referred to the first milk from nursing mammals. This post was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Moderate exercise increases the numbers of all types of white blood cells and makes natural killer cells become more active and effective.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection.


Disorders of the immune system include: People who eat ample fiber also have better lung function than those who don’t eat as much, according to an analysis of nearly 2,000 adults published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Continue reading, prognosis of acquired immune deficiencies depends on avoiding or treating the causative agent or condition (like AIDS). Lower your chances of getting sick by getting your immunity in top shape, ready to fight off anything that comes your way.

Native to South Africa, Umcka (short for "Umckaloabo") is an herbal extract known for its antibacterial and immune-boosting properties. The images of those rose hips, glowing along the river bank, called out to me during our conversation. Plus, because it’s good for nausea, it’s also been shown to be effective for motion sickness, seasickness, and sickness associated with pregnancy. In addition to these powerful mushrooms, Immune 7 also contains Nutricol, which is Purica’s own blend of super-strength antioxidants. †These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These activities aren't very strenuous, so they won't force my body to do a lot of recovery. Browse the list of natural health ingredients below and see what catches your eye. Legal mumbo-jumbo:

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.

Happy, Healthy Kids

The immune system knows no boundaries; its cells go everywhere. View our full range of immune tablets & drops, our immune system boosters are packed with invigorating ingredients to jump help support your immune system, such as Echinacea, bee propolis and crucial amino acids. Coconuts and Coconut Oil: Three species of Echinacea— E. Enzymes – the vital missing nutrient from all canned and kibble pet food. While technically not an “herb,” this fungus is popular in TCM for treating fatigue, sickness, and more.

If you can’t find them at your local health food store, check online. How does echinacea stimulate the immune system? This fungus has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years and offers another tasty and health-promoting food to your anti-inflammatory repertoire. Instead of being pro-inflammatory, the cells turn to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help the body recover from infection and illness faster. Thus far, researchers have most intensively focused on the polysaccharides, the same type of compounds found in astragalus.

Popular on

It is an integral part of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine whose name translates to “science of life. To reduce the risk of diseases, our immune system should function properly. The heat-producing component in the cayenne fruits is capsaicin, and patches or gels containing capsaicin can be used to soothe localized pain. Mushrooms contain a variety of active compounds, including polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenes and antibiotics. Ceylon is considered to be safer because it contains lower quantities of a chemical called coumarin, which can cause liver damage in large doses.

A great deal of controversy exists over the best form of garlic and the proper dosage. It has been known by common names such American cone flower, black susans, Kansas snakeroot, purple cone flower and Indian head. Professional advice, it helps ensure you are getting the minerals and nutrients you need from organic soil, whereas conventional produce is grown on mineral-depleted and nutrient-starved soils. Its reputation comes from its purported anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Fire cider gets its efficacy from the communal power of these sinus-clearing, warming, infection-fighting plants — plus an extra boost from the fermented ACV.

Rose Hips

Scientists are still studying the effectiveness of many herbal supplements traditionally used as health boosters, like echinacea and ginseng, but whether or not they have a measurable effect on the immune system, a soothing tea can help with relaxation, sleep, and stress reduction. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are extremely high on the ORAC scale—meaning they contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals. Use 2 – 3 days a week year round. It activates T-cells which are important for the immune system, and is also decongesting and good for sore throats. When it’s a vitamin or supplement, it’s often questionable how much you’re actually getting. If you’d like to use fresh ginger instead of dried, you can always leave that out of the blend until you are ready to make the tea, then add the fresh root.

Further studies are needed to validate these findings. Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? The bright orange-yellow spice that gives curries a distinct flavor and mustard its color also has anti-inflammatory properties, and there is increasing evidence that it helps prevent illness, too. I also feel energy when I drink it. At times, it can seem nearly impossible with long work hours and small children in the home. The ingredients in Cold Snap, such as forsythia, Japanese honeysuckle, burdock and soybean, work as catalysts to help your body do its exquisite healing work.

You can find bottles of Kombucha tea or other probiotic drinks at health food stores like Whole Foods. As always, be sure to check with your doctor or health care practitioner to ensure that goldenseal is a good option for you. To ensure the quality and supply of your favorite herbs, we work with a global network of farmers, wildcrafters and brokers, who cultivate and harvest plants where they can thrive. Shortly afterwards she began to pursue her passion for educating others by teaching Western Pathology and Psychology of Healing at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colo. These immune boosting foods, herbs and spices can simply season your meal, or they can be taken as nutritional supplements when necessary. Minute omelet, alternatively, you can take a couple out the freezer in the morning and leave to defrost then drink as a shot. Rose hips are extremely high in vitamin C, one of the highest natural sources, which is great for the immune system. This species of flowering plant from the mint family is known as a “heat-clearing” and phlegm-removing herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), an ancient practice for preventing and treating various diseases.

It’s a festive time of year, but it also can be exhausting.

Your Cart

Oregano oil is often called the heavy hitter for colds and flu. She was first introduced to the concept of holism when working within a First Nations education model. Fenugreek is a natural way to boost your wellness by better controlling your blood sugar and cholesterol. Recently, I made up a batch of immunity-boosting tea that was just too good to not share. The amount of echinacea's active compounds in a pill or tablet varies from brand to brand. However, keep in mind that it's tough to get enough vitamin D in the winter from food sources alone. What can you do to boost your immune system?

About Bill Rawls, M.d.

Store the strained bitters in an airtight container at room temperature. Contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine and iron that improves thyroid and immune functions; has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Like humans, plants also must deal with an onslaught of potentially harmful viruses and bacteria. Garlic contains compounds that have been shown to improve white blood cells’ ability to fight off certain viruses, such as those that cause colds and flu.

It also inhibits the formation of other inflammatory substances. Diet — specifically, getting the right nutrients — is one of the keys to maintaining immune health, but there are numerous other little steps we can take at home to boost immunity in ourselves and our families. The berries and flowers used for medicinal purposes, and the wood was also used to craft instruments and tools. Along with being high in vitamin C, apples are also a rich source of soluble fiber. Try oatmeal with fresh blueberries for breakfast.

Products vary widely in potency, so follow manufacturers’ recommendations for dosages. One study showed that children who took coconut oil recovered from pneumonia much faster than those who did not, and also had reduced fevers, clearer breathing, and normal blood oxygenation. It triggers the creation of immune cells in bone marrow and lymphatic tissue; it prods immune cells—including natural killer cells and macrophages—into increased activity; and it enhances the production of immune compounds, such as immunoglobulin. Remedies made from herbs and plants are a modality full of powerful allies for your health and immunity, explains Sarah Corbett, Atlanta-based clinical herbalist at Rowan and Sage — and science is starting to agree: Green tea contains potent antioxidant compounds that neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to the immune system. Up your garlic intake when you’re actually sick, too. Essential oils are most often diffused or applied to the skin using a carrier oil, or ingested (though not oils are safe to ingest).


Low dose may worsen some Cushing’s symptoms; may interact with domperidone, a drug used to treat tall fescue toxicosis, or ovulation-control drugs (estrogens or progestins) such as Regumate. Antioxidant herbs contain chemical components called phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, and other phytochemicals. Reishi is one you won’t find in grocery stores and will need to get in supplement form; aim for 350 mg daily.

Staying home when sick is also very important in preventing the spread of the illness to others at work and school. The stress of competition or travel, fatigue, aging or illness may deplete the immune system; immune boosters and detoxifiers are purported to assist in re-strengthening it. Also, these natural ways can help you age gracefully. Other parts of the immune system include the bone marrow, where white blood cells are produced; lymph nodes, which produce and store infection-fighting cells throughout the body; and the spleen, which helps control the amount of blood in the body and cleans out old or damaged blood cells from the body. This immune powerhouse is available in a variety of forms, including tea, liquid herb, capsules, and tinctures. It contains biologically active substances that help the body to adapt, adjust and recalibrate itself depending on emotional and physical surroundings. Researchers from Oregon State University found that when this compound was combined with vitamin D, the body’s ability to fend off illness increased.

We grow more than 65 species of plants on our Certified Organic farms, but not every plant can grow well in southern Oregon. There is no such thing as "catching a cold" from cold. I admired them as I walked past, but continued on my way. We're generally concerned with masking and suppressing the symptoms of the cold and flu — a practice that allows us to continue our daily lives without missing a beat.

Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment.


A third herb to note is andrographis. Materials and methods, too much is bad for your heart. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these: Echinacea root makes a powerful tincture, but is also good in a tea. These antibodies are the reason that the breastfed children are healthier and have less risk of catching a cold or allergies. So without further ado, here are seven ways to boost your immune system this season: However, if you still wish to continue, there are alternatives like the use of nicotine patches or electronic cigarettes which help to quit smoking and less harmful. Hard training forces the body to do a lot of recovery at a time when your body needs all of its energy to try and fight off the oncoming sickness. But what about humans?

Toxins are everywhere in our environment these days.
  • Provides deep-level immune support while assisting the body in adapting to daily stress.
  • You can read more about both immunomodulators and immunostimulants in our in-depth article on Herbs for the Immune System.
  • Regular doctor visits and appropriate seasonal vaccines are, of course, a must.
  • Supplements can also cause problems if you have certain health conditions.
  • “Research is beginning to confirm the efficacy of folk medicines people have been using for hundreds of years,” says Corbett.
  • So then, why do more people get sick in the winter?

You May Have Some Questions?

There are two parts of the immune system — our innate immune system works as a general defense against pathogens and our adaptive immune system targets very specific pathogens that the body has already has contact with. “Cordyceps offers properties of immunomodulation and resistance to any type of stress,” explains Dr. The good news is that vitamin C is in so many foods that most people don’t need to take a vitamin C supplement unless a doctor advises it.

Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring algae found deep in the ocean. There are many astragalus species (approximately 2,000 to 3,000). To keep your stress in check, practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing in your regular routine. While no system of the body operates autonomously, the immune system has an especially symbiotic relationship with the body's other systems. Boost your immune system with botanicals known to support our body’s ability to fight infection. If you happen to be travelling in different time zones on a regular basis, consume 2–3mg of Melatonin to reset the circadian rhythm. Lozenges containing marshmallow root extract help dry coughs and an irritated throat.

How Seniors Strengthen Their Immune System

Also, if you are pregnant, be cautious when using essential oils and reach out to your health care provider before doing so. Aside from Umcka's dual antibacterial/antiviral qualities, it also serves as a natural expectorant, helping to remove excess mucus from the sinuses and respiratory tract. Instead, try an over-the-counter supplement such as Sambucol, which contains elderberry extract.

After reviewing several dozen human experiments, including a number of blind randomized trials, researchers indicate that echinacea has several benefits, including immunostimulation, especially in the treatment of acute upper respiratory infection. You’ll notice that two of the remedies we feature in this article are mushrooms: Your daily habits, including the foods you eat and your exercise and sleep routines, have a significant effect on your immune function.