Immune response is a natural process that takes place in the body, so one of the best ways to boost immunity is to supplement your diet with natural herbs. Unlike medications that may contain chemicals, natural herbs are safe and lack toxins that weaken the immune system.
Certain antiviral herbs aid the immune system in defending against viruses and infections. These herbs also act as natural remedies to flu and offer other health benefits for the cardiovascular and digestive systems and provide anti-inflammatory support. Here are eight to consider.
- Astragalus Root– Astragalus boosts the immune system and is best used for prevention. People take it during flu season or before coming into contact with large crowds of people.
- Dried Ginger Root– Known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, dried ginger root is used to ward off the common cold.
- Dried Lemon Balm Leaf– Dried lemon balm has anti-viral properties and is said to soothe symptoms of stress, aid in relaxation and boost the mind.
- Elderberry– Elderberry is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost the immune system. It also fights viral and bacterial infections and can be used to safely treat influenza A and B.
- Echinacea– Also called purple coneflower, echinacea is one of the most popular herbs and best known as an over-the-counter herbal remedy for the common cold or flu. Native to North America, Echinacea boosts immune and overall health, and its phytochemicals have the ability to reduce viral infections and tumors.
- Ginseng – Panax ginseng, which is commonly referred to as Korean ginseng and the most common variety of ginseng studied, has shown promise in enhancing both immune and psychological functions.
- Turmeric – A component of turmeric, curcumin, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, although research spanning the past three decades shows that it can help modulate the immune system.
- Ganoderma– A type of mushroom known as reishi, ganoderma is a widely used herb in Chinese medicine for its immune-boosting effects as well as its ability to help fight viral infections.
How Herbs Help to Bolster Immune Health: What the Research Shows
Each of these herbs works in various ways to protect immunity and even boost immune health, and it’s not just the alternative health community that says so. Research over the past several decades continues to demonstrate that various herbs can have positive health impacts, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and aiding in the reduction of symptoms associated with a variety of health conditions.
Some of these herbs are more widely recognized for their health benefits, such as echinacea and elderberry, but we encourage you to do your own research to determine which of these herbs make sense for you.