5 Immune Boosting Herbs to Keep in Your Medicine Cabinet
Are you known for being the one who’s always getting sick? A weakened immune system can leave you feeling down in the dumps more often than you’d like.
Your environment and stress levels can fuel this further. Cold and flus always seem to strike when you’re at your busiest-when the stress is high. Plus, working in close quarters with multiple people can increase your risk even more. Situations like this are sometimes unavoidable, depending on your line of work or home life. If this sounds like you, it’s important you take extra precautions to protect yourself as well as others from the spread of illness.
Who has the time to be slowed down by another cold anyway?
Whether cold season is in its prime or you’re simply looking to boost your immunity, there are natural options to consider. These 5 immune boosting herbs can help through all stages of cold season. Whether you’re trying to avoid getting sick, recover faster, or prevent a relapse of symptoms, turn to natures medicine.
Olive leaf provides over ten times the amount of nutrients then the olive fruit. It’s a good source of antioxidant rich that work to fight the spread of infections and damaged cells throughout the body. Olive leaf is so effective in the way it works, it actually disengages the activity of viruses and stops them from spreading. This can be a game changer if you’re trying to prevent yourself from getting sick or recover faster. Olive leaf has also been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health as is has successfully been used in treating hypertension. AKA olive leaf addresses the harmful effects of stress which may otherwise lead to illness.
Boswellia’s reputation is certainly long standing. Even the bible mentions frankincense as a precious oil that was gifted from one of the three wise men. This herb is considered transcendent in its healing abilities. It’s immune boosting qualities have improved a number of illnesses linked to chronic inflammation and impaired immunity. Boswellia can also act as a natural antibiotic and help to heal wounds while preventing infection.
Though garlic is more of a spice then an herb, it is a powerful immune boosting option. Well known naturopathic doctors have praised garlic as the key to longevity and suggest you cut up a raw clove and swallow it with a large glass of water three to four times a week for good health. Of course, if that doesn’t sit well with you, garlic can be purchased in supplement form for easier swallowing. The allicin in garlic acts as a natural antibiotic able to fight viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Sometimes the oil is used to treat ear infections as well. Garlic can kill most types of bacteria (even the good guys) so it’s important to take your probiotic a few hours before or after taking garlic.
This is only effective against cold and flu when taken at the onset of symptoms. When taken early enough, elderberry can shorten colds. This rich source of antioxidants is amazing for supporting respiratory health while it boosts immunity and reduces chances of infection. The most potent form of elderberry is the syrup. The syrup can soothe cough and irritation in your throat while it works its magic throughout your system. Store a bottle in your fridge throughout cold season and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Echinacea has repeatedly proven to cut a person’s risk of contracting cold by over 50% if taken early enough. If you were late to the punch, it’s not a complete loss. If you do happen to get sick, the immune boosting effects of echinacea can shorten the extent of a cold up to 4 days. Echinacea is effective because of its active enzymes that protect the plant from damage. These same enzymes work with your body to fight off various types of infections that might otherwise lead to a cold or flu. For additional immune boosting benefits, you can oftentimes find this herb paired with goldenseal.
Gut health has been shown time and time again to be directly related to the immune system. Though many factors come into play when considering a person’s susceptibility to disease or infection, a healthy functioning gut has been linked to better immunity. Probiotics, specifically the acidophilus strain, has been studied most in regard to this phenomenon. Incorporating unsweetened yogurt or kefir high in acidophilus may be just what the doctor ordered. You can also find probiotic supplements available that contain higher potency and more diverse strains.
You don’t need to take all of these herbs at once, but having them on hand can make it easy to combat viruses quickly. Still, prevention is always preferred. Not all of these are beneficial to take unless you are actually sick, like echinacea. However, garlic, probiotics, boswellia, and olive leaf can be taken on a regular basis to keep your immunity high year-round.
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