TOP THREE POWERFUL IMMUNE SUPPORTING HERBS
We all want to know the best tricks for supporting our immune system so that we don't get sick. Today we are going to share with you three powerful herbs that will both boost and regulate your immune system so that when that cold or flu comes to town you have a better chance of fighting it off.
Astragalus is a traditional tonic remedy belonging to the Fabaceae family, and is therefore related to a number of other medicinals such as Red Clover, Alfalfa, and Licorice. We use the dried root of Astragalus medicinally, either chopped and pressed into slices or chopped and sifted into pieces. The roots contain a number of bioactive constituents, including antioxidants and immune modulating polysaccharides.
Astragalus has the ability to both boost and calm immune function, depending on what your body needs in a given moment. It promotes healthy levels of various immune cells and aids in their overall function, including macrophages and natural killer cells. This isn’t an herb you would take when sick with a cold or the flu, rather this herb is one you would take as long-term support to regulate overall immune function and prevent illness in the first place. These immune modulating polysaccharides are best extracted when the roots are slowly cooked in water over a long period of time. For this reason, I love to cook Astragalus roots into my homemade broths!
Echinacea is another fabulous immune supporting herb. Typically, we use the roots and flowers as they both have immune-stimulating properties. Current research indicates that constituents found in the flowers make it most effective when taken long-term, while the constituents in the roots make it most effective when taken at the onset of illness. Echinacea has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal actions, making it a powerful ally whenever we are travelling or have been exposed to someone who is sick.
Additional research has shown that Echinacea boosts the number and activity of white blood cells, validating the traditional uses of this plant to ward of infections of many kinds. It is often used for illnesses such as the flu, sore throat, colds, sinus and respiratory infections, earaches, and urinary tract infections, in conjunction with other herbs that address the specific issue at hand. This plant is taken in many forms, including teas, capsules, and tinctures, all of which are highly effective!
Eleuthero is another incredibly important medicinal herb in both Eastern and Western herbal medicine. Eleuthero is also known as Siberian Ginseng and boasts some of the most extensive clinical research of any medicinal herbs. We use the dried root, either whole or chopped when working with this plant. Bioactive constituents found in the roots of Eleuthero include powerful antioxidants, polysaccharides, and eleutherosides among others.
Eleuthero is best known for its use as an adaptogen, meaning it helps to build resilience, endurance, and adaptability to a wide variety of stress factors. It is particularly useful in that it helps the body return to homeostasis whenever it gets out of balance. Eleuthero can both protect and regulate the immune system, making it an excellent immune tonic. It has been used to help treat stress-related illness and infectious diseases. As such, Eleuthero can be extremely useful for those who have been affected by a long-term illness and are struggling with chronic fatigue.
In addition to working with these herbs you can help prevent illness by making time for self-care and consuming plenty of healthy foods. These include those that boost immune function, like onions, garlic, and ginger, as well as those rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges, broccoli, and kale. For a personalized approach to your well-being, book your appointment with our clinical herbalist today! Make the move ↓