10 Herbs that can boost your Immunity
According to Ayurveda, plant extracts or herbs help boost your immunity naturally. Ayurveda mentions seven dhatus (rasa, rakta, mamsa, medas, asthi, majja, and shukra) are the seven tissues (plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow/nerve, and reproductive tissue) of the body. These are the fundamental elements that make up a human body and are responsible for its proper functioning. Hence, if these seven layers work together in the right manner, our immune system will be boosted spontaneously.
So, what do these elements require to stay healthy? The answer is Ojas (immunity). Ojas is our vitality. It is the concentrated essence (life-juice) of all the body tissues that keep you hale and hearty. As per Ayurveda, healthy people have high Ojas, which allows them to stay fit, active and happy.
It is also specified in Ayurveda that certain plants and plant extracts have the potential to build and strengthen Ojas.
So, if you want to produce more Ojas and protect your body from all the disease-causing pathogens, consume these potent herbs:
Ashwagandha known as Indian Ginseng is a wonder herb. It is useful in the treatment of several health problems, including inflammation, hyperglycaemia, insomnia, infertility, arthritis and depression. According to a study, Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic botanical which helps to decrease stress levels. The stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. So, consume ashwagandha to keep viruses and bacteria at bay.
Moringa are useful due to its antiviral, antifungal, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb contains 7 times more vitamin C than oranges. Vitmain C is the main nutrient that contributes to building strong immunity by supporting several cellular functions. Moringa is also rich in potassium, iron, calcium and amino acids that are also vital for the right functioning of the cells, muscles and tissues.
This bright yellow spice- Turmeric or Haldi is commonly used in all Indian cuisines. One can consume raw with milk, warm water or tea to avoid cold or flu. The life-saving ingredient available in Turmeric is almost 3-5% of curcumin- a phytochemical which has immunity-boosting potential. It also helps to Congestion of nose or air passage due to cough or cold causes chronic inflammation to the lung tissue by free radicals. The compound available in Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation, inhibits viral replication and relieves congestion and thus allows comfort in breathing.
Triphala is not new but has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The numerous health benefits of Triphala have been validated scientifically. It aids in digestion, increases appetite, reduces hyperacidity and supports bowel health. Apart from this, it carries the antioxidative properties of three fruits-amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. Packed with Vitamin A and C and polyphenols, Triphala promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut and impedes the growth of undesirable microbes.
Neem has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties and blood purifying properties, which helps to keep the skin radiant & healthy and strengthen immunity. It purifies the blood by flushing away all the toxins from the body. Due to its immune-boosting properties, it is identified in science as an ‘immunomodulator’- meaning that it allows the immune system to self-regulate to stop invaders’ entry to the immune system.
Tulsi or Holy Basil is another miraculous herb that is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Rich in Vitamin C and zinc, Tulsi leaf extract helps to boost the immunity naturally and keep the infections at bay. It is a potent germicide that identifies disease-causing pathogens the moment they enter the body due to its antioxidants and phytochemicals and takes quick action to destroy them. So, having a Tulsi tea in the morning or just chewing a few Tulsi leaves can give an incredible boost to your immunity.
One cannot resist the aromatic fragrance of Cinnamon in any sweet dishes like kheer, halwa, sewiyan. Apart from giving a nice aroma to sweet and savoury dishes alike, it is a good immune booster that helps fight infection, reduces inflammation and heals damaged tissues. Plus, it also regulates blood sugar levels and avoids blood platelet clumping.
Since time immemorial, Ginger has been used as a remedy for common cold and flu. The presence of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic compounds make it ideal for treating intestinal gas, sore throat, cough, nausea and respiratory tract infections. It contains gingerol- an antioxidant that increases the immune system response to kill viruses. Even a study claims that ingredients like shogaol, gingerols, and paradols in it can prevent several cancers. You can consume ginger raw or have a ginger tea in the morning or can add it to your meals while cooking.
Just like ginger, Garlic is also a medicinal herb that can save you from all kinds of infection-causing germs by stimulating your immunity. The main active compound in garlic is allicin, which kills germs and bacteria. However, to derive its complete benefits, you should consume it raw or semi-cooked. Having garlic daily helps to boost immunity, lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure
10. Chia seedsChia seeds are a potential source of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which are beneficial for keeping the immunity in good shape. Research confirms the therapeutic effects of chia in controlling diabetes, hypertension and improving digestion. It also reduces inflammation by slowing down the inflammatory responses in the body. You can add crushed chia seeds to juices or smoothies, or can mix it into oatmeal, yoghurt or sprinkle it on top of a salad.
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