With cold and flu season approaching, we all need to give some extra attention to our immune system, which battles behind the scenes to fight off all sorts of problems and infections to keep us healthy.
Here are 6 spices and herbs that can give you that extra boost!
Echinacea is a herb native to the Americas, renowned for its healing and immune boosting properties. The chief benefit of echinacea is that it makes our own immune system more efficient in eradicating bacteria and viruses, which therefore shortens the duration of colds and flus.
Echinacea is usually taken at the first sign of these illnesses.
Ginseng is one of the most well-known and widely used herbal remedies in the world. Many people take ginseng regularly to improve physical and mental performance under stress, and to promote overall well-being. Research has shown that ginseng can also boost the immune system and prevent certain infections, as well as decrease the duration of the common cold.
This is definitely one of the first herbs you should turn to when there’s something going around at work, or when you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
This powerful and pungent spice has been used for centuries to boost the immune system and ward off all kinds of invaders—including vampires. In laboratory tests, researchers have witnessed garlic combat bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Garlic is most effective raw, but have no fear: simply chewing on a sprig of parsley or fresh mint leaves after you eat it will nix the bad breath.
Ginger is a great tool for naturally boosting the immune system, as this herb is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in nature. It’s also been shown to inhibit cancer cell formation while instigating the body’s own cancer fighting response.
We’ve been hearing a lot of the health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, and it turns out it’s also an extremely effective immune system booster. Turmeric not only fights off illnesses, it actually helps prevent them.
This delicious spice has been shown to exert pro-immune activity in all of the following cases: autoimmune diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
That’s powerful stuff!
As an immune booster, oregano oil may be unparalleled. It’s high in antioxidants, and also contains powerful antimicrobial properties that can help fight colds and coughs, improve digestion, and support your respiratory system. It’s been proven to be effective against 25 different strains of bacteria, and it’s also been shown to fight against yeast and fungal infections.
As with any essential oil, always dilute oil of oregano before taking it, and make sure you have a high-quality, food-grade oil.
Although these herbs and spices can absolutely help your immune system when you’re coming down with something or when you need an extra boost, don’t wait until you’re feeling sick to take care of yourself! The best ways to support your immune system on a daily basis are to eat a healthy diet, exercise, get enough sleep and manage your stress levels.
-The Alternative Daily