10 Medicinal Herbs to Boost Your Immunity
Tap the healing powers of aloe vera.
You can either keep an aloe plant at home or purchase aloe vera from a natural health store. You can use aloe vera topically or take it orally. If you’ve never eaten aloe before, start slowly. Any aloe vera plant you consume needs to go through quality assurance standards.
Having certification by the International Aloe Science Council and purchasing your aloe from a natural products retailer or health food store increase your probability of a healthier plant. However you include aloe in your healing arsenal, just include it! It’s the wonder gel of herbal superfoods and deserves all the accolades it receives.
Astragalus works by stimulating the immune system.
Chinese medicine has many little herbal gems. One of them is astragalus, an herb that’s been used for centuries in China. This plant is harvested for its roots and has many healing properties.
You can buy the loose leaves and simmer slices in teas or soups. You can also get it in capsules, extracts, and powders. Astragalus can amp up the immune system and even help you beat the flu or stop a cold in its tracks.
Cat’s-claw contains chemicals that stimulate the immune system, helping you fight viruses.
This medicinal herb helps lower blood pressure and acts as a diuretic, helping the body lose excess water. Studies show that cat’s-claw may even kill tumor cells.
Cat’s-claw is particularly useful against the aches and pains of arthritis. The anti-inflammatory nature of this medicinal herb may provide relief from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Use echinacea to treat or prevent colds, flu, or other infections.
This herb has been used in many households for quite some time at the first sign of sniffles and colds. Even gargling with it for sore throats is effective. Some evidence suggests that echinacea may be used to treat or prevent upper respiratory infections.
Some people even use echinacea for success in treating skin conditions, such as skin wounds, burns, eczema, psoriasis, UV radiation, herpes simplex, bee stings, and abscesses.
Elderberry plus some zinc is like the dream team for colds and flu.
This herb works amazingly to enhance the immune system and also reduce inflammation, lower fever, and sooth the respiratory tract, and it has powerful antioxidant power to boot.
Elderberry prevents the flu virus from attaching to the cell, so it shortens the duration and lessens the severity of the flu. One of the biggest bonuses of elderberry is its fantastic taste, making a sweet elderberry syrup or tincture.
Ginseng is used as a tonic to combat weakness and fuel your body with extra energy.
Although ginseng’s superpower lies in its ability to give you energy, it has a host of other attributes, including healing bronchial disorders, improves fatigue symptoms, and helps with inflammatory diseases, like arthritis.
The healing virtues of hyssop are due to its oil, which has a stimulating affect that promotes expectoration.
Hyssop is cultivated for its flower tops, which are often steeped in water to make an infusion for use as an expectorant to thin and loosen mucus.
Hyssop also helps with asthma, arthritis, and wound healing. It comes in tablet, capsule, tea, dried herb, or tincture forms. The most favored way to take hyssop is in warm water, such as in a tea, because it provides more of a catalyst to loosen mucus.
Scientists have identified many healing substances in licorice root.
The herb’s key compound is called glycyrrhizin (which is super sweet — about 50 times sweeter than sugar, in fact). Licorice root can prevent the occurrence of and heal ulcers, cleanse the colon, relieve heartburn and indigestion, lower cholesterol, enhance immunity, and many other things.
Nettle, also called stinging nettle, may be your answer if you have hay fever or other allergies.
Nettle is a great natural alternative to antihistamines — which don’t actually change the allergic process but just block its expression. Steroid nasal inhalers used for treatment of hay fever and other seasonal allergies can be effective, but some of the steroids are bound to get into the rest of the body, and these hormones weaken the immune system.
St John’s wort acts as a natural antidepressant.
In some countries, St John’s wort is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children and adolescents. Studies show that this herb is superior to placebo in patients with major depression and is as effective as standard antidepressants. Another huge benefit is that St John’s wort has fewer side effects than standard antidepressants. There have also been benefits in using St John’s wort as a pain reliever for nerve pain.