5 Immune Boosting Herbs for your health

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If you’re a frequent cold sufferer, you may find that you’re constantly searching for new ways to support and improve your immune system.

Developing a wellness routine that incorporates exercising regularly, getting 7–8 hours of sleep each night, and eating a balanced diet can help naturally boost your body’s immunity. But if you still find yourself getting the sniffles or a sore throat far too often, you might want to consider adding some immune boosting herbs into your daily routine for additional support.

Read on to learn about five potential immune-boosting herbs that may help support your body’s natural defenses year round and how you can incorporate these herbal remedies into your daily life.

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What Herbs Can Help Boost Your Immunity?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that works to keep your body safe from potential threats, such as bacteria that can cause infection and viruses or pathogens that can cause illness.

These immune cells, tissues, and organs include your:

  • White blood cells, which help to fight infections and diseases
  • Bone marrow, which produces new white blood cells
  • Lymph nodes, which store white blood cells and keep them ready for any attacks
  • Spleen, which filters your blood and removes any potential threats or foreign invaders
  • Skin, which serves as a protective barrier, keeping pathogens and bacteria out of your body

However, in order for your immune system to function properly and keep you healthy, it needs to be strong and healthy itself. This is where potential herbal remedies can come into play.

Understanding the difference between dried vs. fresh herbs. Dried herbs have been used for hundreds of years as supportive medicinal remedies, primarily within traditional Chinese medicine. Many herbs naturally contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, among other traits.

By incorporating herbal medicine into your existing wellness practice, you give your immune system the support it needs to keep you feeling your best.

Below, we’ll discuss our top five picks for potential immune boosting herbs.

#1 Angelica Root

Also known as wild celery or Norwegian angelica, angelica root is an herb that boasts powerful antimicrobial properties that may help your immune system kill harmful bacteria and viruses.

In fact, one study found that angelica root essential oil had an impact against Escherichia coli—a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and even pneumonia.

Additionally, some evidence suggests that angelica root may provide anxiety relief. While this may not seem directly related to your immune system function, too much anxiety can place unnecessary stress on your body and potentially weaken your healthy immune system over time.

#2 Astragalus Root

Historically used in traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus root is another powerful herb to add to your immune-boosting arsenal. This is because astragalus root benefits the body in a number of different ways, including:

  • Antioxidant Properties – Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals which can damage your cells, and subsequently, your immune system. Astragalus has been shown to contain many antioxidants.
  • Antiviral Properties – Studies have found that astragalus root’s antiviral properties may help protect you from cold and flu viruses.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties – Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, astragalus root may help heal wounds and free up your immune system faster so that it can get back to defending you.

#3 Echinacea

Echinacea is a herb that's been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy when dealing with minor colds and congestion.

This is because echinacea works with your immune system and may help to boost the amount of disease-fighting white blood cells in your body.

Try brewing echinacea into a tea for a warm, soothing, and delicious way to support your immune system.

#4 Goldenseal

Going for the gold standard of immune support? Try goldenseal—an herb derived from a plant native to North America. Despite its origins, this herb has come to be known worldwide as a natural remedy for colds, respiratory infections, and digestive issues, among other ailments.

Goldenseal contains alkaloid compounds that are believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The compound berberine, in particular, may be particularly effective at protecting your body against the virus responsible for the common cold.

#5 Milk Thistle

Like many of the herbs of this list, milk thistle has been used for years as a potential natural medicinal remedy. Native to Mediterranean countries, the suggestive immune-boosting power of this plant is thought to come from its active ingredient—silymarin.

There’s evidence that silymarin may also have an immunomodulatory effect on the body, meaning that it may help to regulate the immune system by:

  • Helps to stimulate your body's immune system’s response to foreign bodies and invaders
  • Helps decrease inflammatory responses

How Can I Incorporate Immune Boosting Herbs into My Wellness Routine?

Once you’ve decided which herbs you’d like to include as part of your immunity boosting regime, you might find yourself wondering the best ways to incorporate them, how long do dried herbs last, and how to store dried herbs.

Consider trying a few of these methods to make sure your body is getting all of the herbal support that it needs:

  • Blending herbs into a tasty smoothie full of nutritious fruits and vegetables or probiotic-rich yogurt or kefir.
  • Drinking them as a tea. You can use Starwest Botanicals’ Press-N-Brew Tea Bags or mesh tea ball to easily steep loose leaf dried herbs into tea.
  • Grinding them down to be used as accents to whatever you’re cooking. Try this stylish marble mortar and pestle to get your herbs to your desired fineness and consistency.
  • Taking herbs in the form of pill capsules for a convenient, on-the-go way to boost your immune system.

Other Supplements That May Help Boost Your Immune System

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen may help to strengthen the immune system by potentially serving as an antimicrobial or antibacterial agent or by soothing any uncomfortable sensations caused by allergens.

Bee pollen usually comes in the form of powder or granules, so try it sprinkled over yogurt or blend it into a smoothie for an easy, immune-boosting breakfast.

Nutritional Yeast

If you’re a vegan or trying to eat a dairy-free diet, you may already be familiar with nutritional yeast. With its yellow color, and nutty, savory umami taste, nutritional yeast is a commonly used substitute for cheese and tastes great sprinkled on top of roasted vegetables or popcorn. But did you know it may also help to boost your immune system?

Nutritional yeast is full of immune-supporting antioxidants, as well as beta-glucan, which may strengthen the immune system and lessen the likelihood of you getting sick.

It’s also a healthy source of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin B, making it an excellent addition to any diet.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C does more than just fight off scurvy—it’s also an immune-boosting powerhouse. Naturally found in many fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help to:

  • Boost the production of disease-fighting lymphocytes
  • Improve your skin’s natural protective abilities

If you’re looking to incorporate more vitamin C into your routine, consider blending Starwest Botanicals’ vitamin C granules into an immune-boosting tropical smoothie, along with pineapple, mango, banana, or ginger, to leave you feeling energized and full of vitality.

Cinnamon

You probably don’t need too much convincing to incorporate more cinnamon into your diet. This herb’s distinctively spicy taste adds a delicious, cozy zing to savory and sweet dishes alike, and is a wonderful accent to hot beverages like coffee or hot chocolate.

Even better? This tasty spice may also help boost your immune system.

This is because phytochemicals found in cinnamon, like cinnamaldehydes may have an immune-boosting effect due to their antimicrobial properties. Cinnamon also contains trace amounts of vitamin B and vitamin K, as well as beta-carotene and antioxidants, all of which help to contribute to a healthy, well-functioning immune system.

Probiotics

Another great way to boost your body’s innate immunity is with probiotics or fermented foods. Your body is home to a natural microbiome made up of thousands of invisible bacteria. Probiotics help to boost your body’s “good” bacteria, which, in turn, can promote a healthy gut and a strong immune system.

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, or sauerkraut, but if those aren’t your favorite food options, consider taking a probiotic supplement to benefit from the gut-health-boosting effects of probiotics.

You can also try Starwest Botanicals’ Triple Probiotic Powder, which features three different strains of probiotic bacteria to help promote a healthy gut microbiome. Sprinkle it over food, add it to your favorite juice, or blend it into a smoothie.

Starwest Botanicals: Support for Your Immune System and Beyond

Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and pathogens, so it’s important to take care of it. Fortunately, by incorporating certain herbs into your daily wellness routine, you can help your immune system defend and protect your body.

When searching for quality medicinal herbs, choose Starwest Botanicals. For over four decades, we’ve been committed to supplying our customers with high-quality organic herbs, spices, and supplements derived straight from the source. Shop our extensive range of products today to help support your immune system and overall wellness.


Sources:

Medical News Today. How the Immune System Works. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320101

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Parts of the Immune System. https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/human-immune-system/parts-immune-system

NCBI. Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Angelica archangelica Root Essential Oil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30428212/

Healthline. Angelica Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/angelica-root#benefits

Mount Sinai. Astragalus. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/astragalus#:~:text=Astragalus%20is%20used%20to%20protect,the%20skin%20for%20wound%20care.

Healthline. Goldenseal: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, and More. https://www.healthline.com/health/goldenseal-cure-for-everything

Medical News Today. What are the benefits of milk thistle? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320362#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Healthline. How Nutritious is Bee Pollen Exactly? https://www.healthline.com/health/bee-pollen-benefits%23research-says4#:~:text=Bee%20pollen%20may%20boost%20your,the%20activation%20of%20mast%20cells.

WebMD. Nutritional Yeast: Is It Good For You? https://www.webmd.com/diet/nutritional-yeast-good-for-you#:~:text=Immune%20System%20Support,severe%20symptoms%20and%20sleeping%20problems.

WebMD. Echinacea for the Common Cold. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/echinacea-common-cold#1