7 Herbs and Spices to Boost your Immune System

Maybe it’s time to spice up your life! Did you know that herbs and spices can help bolster a healthy immune system and prep your body for a higher immune response while fighting off infections? We at Healthy Matters have done the research for you so you can safely incorporate new powerful spices (or herbs) to your diet.   

Warning: These herbs and spices are not preventing or curing COVID-19. Go to your closest appropriate clinic or doctor for testing and medical treatment. Children, pregnant or lactating women, and people who have any pre-existing medical conditions should consult a medical professional before using any of the following herbs and spices.

1. Astragalus

Astragalus

Astragalus, a prominent herb in Chinese medicine, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

A research by Keith I. Block and Mark N.  Mead suggests that the root can boost resistance to infection. Studies performed on animals indicate that it can regulate the body’s immune responses. 

2. Angelica

Angelica

Angelica is native to Russia and many parts of Scandinavia.

The root has been used in Chinese medicine to modulate the immune system and treat respiratory ailments and cold symptoms, according to a 2011 research by Yi-Chian Wu & Ching-Liang Hsieh.

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3. Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is filled with nutritional properties that greatly benefit your health. Originating from China, ginger contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes that target cold viruses. This immune-boosting spice also has antibacterial properties that can help prevent nausea, according to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

Other functional chemicals in ginger include gingerols, shogoal and paradols that have the potential to prevent various cancers.

The spice’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties help control the process of aging, aid digestion and demonstrate the potential to treat degenerative disorders, as well as cardiovascular disease. Ginger also contains antimicrobial compounds that allow it to help in treating infectious diseases. Ginger can also help with muscle pain.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has also been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, its use dates as far back as ancient Egypt.

Cinnamon fights inflammation and helps ward off infections and heal damaged tissues. Containing large amounts of polyphenol, cinnamon actually outranks “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. Cinnamon may have anti-diabetic effects and helps cut the risk of heart disease, according to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

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5. Turmeric

Turmeric

You’ve likely seen turmeric showing up on the labels of today’s trendiest foods ― and for good reasons. This powerful and flavorful ancient spice gets its vibrant color from curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound with properties rivaling those of ibuprofen, without the side effects.

Turmeric comes from the root of a flowering plant of the ginger family and has been used medicinally for more than 4,500 years. Turmeric remains a staple treatment for skin conditions, according to a study conducted by Alexandra R Vaughn, Amy Branum, and Raja K Sivamani digestive issues and bodily discomfort in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian healing system still practiced today.

The active ingredient, curcumin, boosts the body’s antioxidant capacity by being highly effective against free radicals. Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit fungal growth and suppress tumor cell growth.

6. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper

The key ingredient in some of your favorite spicy dishes, cayenne pepper is a member of the Capsium family, also known as the chili peppers family. Cayenne peppers contain a high amount of capsaicin that suppresses a neuropeptide involved in inflammatory processes called substance P.

Cayenne pepper contributes to digestive health by fighting gastrointestinal pathogens, ulcerations and cancer. It also regulates appetite and digestive function.

Modern herbalists also use cayenne to activate the circulatory system as a cold and flu treatment. In one tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper, there is 44% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.

In addition to its potent immune-boosting nutritional composition, the spice is also an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Whatever you decide to use it for, cayenne pepper can be a staple for boosting your health and immunity.

7. Garlic

Garlic

Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times and by major civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians and Chinese.

Garlic reduces the chances of getting a cold and increases antioxidant enzymes in humans, in addition to notably reducing oxidative stress in individuals with high blood pressure. High doses of garlic have also demonstrated the potential to protect the body against heavy metal toxicity.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that you will consider adding herbs and spices to your life. Share it and sign-up to our newsletter for more articles about your health and wellbeing!

This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.