Many herbs actively fight microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, worms, and bugs, according to the Herbal Medicine Department Chair at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Those who practice Western medicine are also in favor of adding herbs to a healthy diet.
Consistently incorporating herbs into a healthy diet has a very low risk of harm and a reasonable chance of helping our immune system fight off infections experts say. Here are three big immunity boosting herbs:
Echinacea is an herb with many uses. According to Mount Sinai Hospital, it has properties that can relieve pain and reduce inflammation, in addition to having antiviral and antioxidant effects. This makes it an ideal herb for supporting your immune system and boosting its function.
Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial herb, especially for the gut, says Frost. In fact, it is believed to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal (meaning it can fight parasites). Garlic contains allicin, and this is believed to be the compound that makes garlic antibacterial. Additionally, garlic has been found to help fight the common cold with its antiviral properties, but more research will be needed to fully support this claim.
According to one study, ginseng strengthens the HPA axis — the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal axis — which is responsible for regulating the immune system's response to stress. Chronic or severe stress can weaken the immune system, so it's important that you have a strong HPA axis to help manage the effect stress has on your immune system. By strengthening the HPA axis, you are strengthening the immune system.
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- Complementary Therapies