5 Herbs To Boost Immunity

Fight off illness with these herbs to stay healthy and keep your fitness moving forward.

The winter months can be especially brutal for those who exercise at a high level on a regular basis as many pathogens begin to appear, like the cold or flu. While over-the-counter medications may provide some relief, the cons can often times outweigh the pros, leaving you stuck with fighting off these unwanted pathogens. Natural herbs are a great supplemental way to fight off viruses and also improve your overall health for they support immune function and keep your body running at full capacity. Whatever time of year, it is important to keep your body in top shape to not only fight unwanted visitors, but also aid in recovery and your overall health and wellness.

The Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s defense to protect against disease and other unwanted pathogens that may see your body as a worthwhile host. The challenge your immune system faces is the ability to identify pathogens versus your own healthy tissue. Split between two subsystems, your immune system works tirelessly to keep you healthy and safe. The innate immune system is the first line of defense and the most dominant system to fight these pathogens. It will recognize pathogens via receptors but cannot specifically target said pathogen. The adaptive immune system comes to its aid as the second line of defense to ensure a more specific approach to targeting the pathogen allowing your body the opportunity to take control and eliminate it.

Natural Remedies Versus Over-The-Counter Medication

When it comes to treating the body, everyone has a difference in opinions. Some prefer grandma’s chicken noodle soup while others would rather run to the pharmacy for the quick fix. One argument for the over-the-counter route is that you know the dose and the effect, making it nearly a sure bet it will work. Using a natural remedy can often times take trial and error and those nasty colds linger on and on and all you want is relief. But natural remedies have proven better for the body and the mind and can be cheap and effective alternatives to those medications. While some supplements aren’t regulated by the government, natural herbs are a safe and sure bet to provide health benefits in a cost effective way in order to fight those nasty colds and flus.

These 5 herbs are sure to boost immunity during those gloomy winter days when the common cold decides to strike.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is among the top-selling herbal supplements in the U.S. and when it comes to exercise, it’s hard to compete with turmeric. Most people recognize turmeric as an anti-inflammatory supplement and its effect on muscle soreness is powerful. It is also popular for its immune response properties as it has powerful effects on gut bacteria, and with the gut wall holding nearly 70% of the cells within your immune system, turmeric proves to be a great supplement in boosting immunity. Since turmeric comes in a powder form, it is easy to take with tea or in a range of dishes from eggs, to beans, to soups. An easy way to make a homemade pill is to mix turmeric with honey, roll into pill sized balls, and let them solidify in a freezer.

Boswellia

Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia has been proven to provide a host of health benefits along with its immune fighting response. Used as an anti-inflammatory, it has shown to boost memory, support mental wellness, and aid in digestion. Highly underrated, this Indian herb can promote antibody production at lower doses and serves as an immunomodulator, meaning it can modify your immune response to better fend off unwanted viruses and diseases. Boswellia can be taken in liquid form, but many have recommended capsule form is better due to the poor taste liquid Boswellia provides.

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is a great herb to use when you feel that cold coming on. Ginger shots have become the new thing for they ease sore throats and fight against colds off the bat. Ginger serves as an immune system neutralizer as well, helping to kick start an under-active immune system when it’s down, or working to suppress an overactive one when it flares up. The equilibrium properties of ginger make this a great herb to help aid in the fight against pathogens and boost immunity.

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi is a large, dark mushroom that has earned the nickname the “Herb of Spiritual Potency”, for its rarity and abundance of ability regarding health and wellness properties. Known to support both the innate and adaptive immune response systems, this herb is one of legends. It can help regulate your immune system and enhance its ability to fend off initial invaders, therefore supporting the innate immune system. It also serves as an immune stimulator and can adapt to what the body needs helping to reinforce the adaptive immune system. Taken in tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid form, this supplement should be a staple in everyone’s fight to boost immunity.

Elderberry

Elderberry

Elderberry seems to be a strong choice against the flu and upper respiratory infections due to its antiviral properties. Both the berries and the flower can be used for health benefits and elderberries are full of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium. When needed, elderberry can boost the immune system into action due to anthocyanidins, chemical compounds found in the berries that have immune-boosting effects. Taking elderberry as a syrup or as gummies are great ways to ingest this immune boosting herb.

Wrap Up

While these 5 herbs contain great immune boosting properties, the other benefits simply add to your overall health and wellness. Easy to take and cost effective, taking the natural route is sure to keep you feeling great while maintaining a positive and healthy lifestyle. Whether you need preemptive protection against potential pathogens, or a boost to fight off an existing one, these 5 herbs are just a few examples of what is out there to keep you healthy and active.

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*Images courtesy of Envato

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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.