It’s flu season which means it is even more crucial for people to have strong immune systems. Looking for ways to boost your immune system? Here are 5 herbs to boost your immune system to protect against colds and the flu in general.
Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflower, is used to make tea. It is an immune stimulant and has been shown to increase phagocyte activity and enhance natural killer cell production – both of which are part of the immune system, responsible for engulfing and digesting bacteria and viral-infected cells.
Besides boosting your immune system, echinacea can also be used to:
- Treat bladder infections
- Treat skin conditions such as eczema
- Support connective tissue regeneration
- Reduce inflammation
- Support lymphatic health
- Help you detox
Astragalus is a herb that has been prescribed for centuries to treat chronic illness and to increase vitality. It is also generally used among the elderly and can also be a helpful supplement for people who are undergoing cancer treatment. Astragalus is known to restore, strengthen, and balance the body’s immune system as it increases white blood cell counts. The herb is also known as a cardiotonic, a liver protector, and an anti-viral agent.
Medicinal mushrooms that help boost your immune system include:
- Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps Sinensis)
- Coriolus (Coriolus Versicolor)
- Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus)
- Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
- Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes)
Elderberry is a dark blue/black berry from a shrub called Sambucus nigra. It is known to help prevent and treat symptoms of the flu, colds, and sinusitis. A recent study also found that elderberry significantly reduced upper respiratory symptoms, such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
Elderberry syrup is a popular home remedy, but it is suggested that people not eat the berries raw.
Garlic is a popular herb that people use daily, but did you know it protects the cardiovascular system and liver too? Garlic has also been utilized as a preventative to the common cold and can reduce the extent of the flu and colds by 63%, decrease the severity of symptoms, and speed up recovery time.
We hope this blog on 5 herbs to boost your immune system helped! Please remember it is important to inform yourself about ways to stay healthy! If you would like to learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you, contact Dr. Brandy McGill to make an appointment.