There are many ways to naturally boost our immune system. One great way to strengthen it is to include any, some, or better still, all of the following herb into your diet.
Hundreds of studies provide evidence to prove the efficacy of Echinacea. From simple colds to serious infections, Echinacea does a good job in treating several diseases. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also has the power to stimulate the infection-fighting immune cells of the human body.
It also triggers the increased production of interferon and other immune compounds. This is because it has polysaccharides that are responsible for increasing the white blood cell production in the body to make it more capable of fighting against any infection. Experts say that in order to maximize the potential of Echinacea, it should be taken right away at the earliest sign of infection.
You can take 30 – 60 drops of Echinacea in liquid form. If you buy Echinacea capsules, take up to 2 capsules within a two-hour interval during the first 24 hours of infection. Echinacea is also available in tablet form.
Elderberry contains active compounds that work to destroy viruses and prevent them from disarming healthy cells. Findings from several studies show that elderberry works wonders in protecting the body against viral infections, especially those that target the respiratory tract.
Take half a teaspoon of elderberry liquid extract, two times a day for better protection against infections. To use elderberry syrup as a defensive tonic, take one teaspoon two times a day. To speed up recovery from flu or cold, take the same amount but do it four times in a day.
Elderberry can also be used for treating sinusitis, chronic fatigue, nerve pain, constipation, allergies and inflammation. It is also claimed to be helpful for people who are suffering from cancer. If elderberry is taken right at the onset of infection, it can significantly reduce the duration of flu, by up to four days.
Cat’s claw stimulates phagocytosis in the body. Phagocytosis refers to the ability of the white blood cells to fight against disease-causing microbes and viruses. It also attacks antigens and cancer cells.
Research reveals that cat’s claw can also be an important addition to the treatment plan of an individual afflicted by AIDS or cancer. It provides protection to help strengthen the healthy cells while aiding in the process of cancer cell removal. It also lessens the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Pau d’ Arco
Pau d’ Arco tea has powerful compounds such as flavonoids, quinoids and benzenoids that are helpful for fighting against harmful organisms. This herb contains active chemicals which experts refer to as naphthoquinones, specifically beta-lapachone and lapachol. These naphthoquinones have the ability to kill fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria.
Pau d’ Arco also has selenium content which is a mineral that has antioxidant properties. With the help of selenium, free radicals are shuttled out of the body to prevent them from damaging cells and causing disease. In addition to boosting immunity, selenium can also help rev up a person’s metabolism.
Pau d’ Arco also has anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis.
However, pau d’ arco must not be used without the supervision of a professional herbalist. This is to ensure that the amount being taken is within the level that is not toxic, as this is a very powerful herb.
Astragalus root has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an immune system booster. It is effective in preventing flu, the common cold and other respiratory infections.
It also works well in alleviating the symptoms of seasonal allergy which includes sneezing, itching and runny nose.
In a 2004 study, astragalus root was shown to inhibit the adverse effects of Type 1 herpes simplex virus. Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb which means it can help individuals cope better with the symptoms of emotional, mental and physical stress.
In China, astragalus is used as part of adjunctive therapy for cancer and heart disease. Astragalus root can be taken in a form of tablets or capsules. Its dried roots can also be added into soups.