Can Herbs Make The Immune System Better?
Wednesday, 31 March 2021

The immune system is supposed to keep your body free of diseases. Without it, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens would have free rein in your body. Ever wondered why some people are frequently ill? It is probably because they have a weak immune system.

Due to the vital role of the body's immune system, you need it well-balanced: strong enough to fight infections but not to attack healthy body cells. But how can you make your immune system strong? The most important thing is taking foods that help boost your immunity. Herbs are the primary source of immune-boosting compounds, and you should include them in your diet. Many people take spices from herbs for the taste and aroma they add to food, but traditional societies used herbs for their nutrient value, too.

Kratom, for example, is a common herb from Southeast Asia. The plant contains alkaloids that play a significant role in the immune system. If you want to try this powerful herb, just search online for “buy kratom near me” and get an online store from which you can order.

How Herbs Can Better Your Immune System

1. Immune Stimulation

Vitamins and other phytonutrients found in herbs are critical in building the immune system. These chemicals function in different ways to boost your immunity. Some act as messengers, while others form the building blocks of immune cells. Ginger is a good example of a herb that contains beneficial compounds. Taking ginger increases the number of white blood cells. So, consider adding some ginger into your drinks or dishes to boost your immune system.
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Like ginger, turmeric also has immune-boosting properties. When you add turmeric to your dishes, you will be feeding your cells with curcumin, which can activate white blood cells and enhance antibody response.
Eating pumpkin also supplies the body with zinc, iron, and vitamin E, vital for cell growth, sleep quality, and mood. Your immune system functions better when you get adequate sleep, and you are in high moods. So, eating herbs that improve mood and sleep quality ultimately improves the immune system.

2. Antifungal, Antibacterial, and Antimicrobial Properties

Most herbs with a pungent smell or taste, such as oregano, thyme, clove, cumin, and cinnamon, have significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some traditional societies used these herbs to protect food from spoilage. Studies show that some herbs like cinnamon are effective against the activities of bacteria such as pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis and fungi such as Aspergillus flavus. Similarly, they are useful in fighting pathogens like Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Staphylococcus aureus.
The antiseptic properties found in some herbs have even proved effective against antibiotic-resistant microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to methicillin.
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For example, the herb oregano has antiseptic properties that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These properties make it a common Greek remedy for allergies and respiratory issues. The plant has a pungent smell due to carvacrol, one of the compounds found in the herb. Scientists attribute the ability of herbs to fight viruses and bacteria to their strong and pungent smell. In the oregano case, the same chemical that produces a strong odor is also responsible for the plant’s antiseptic properties.
Clove and cinnamon can destroy the membranes and cell walls of microorganisms, making them strong antiseptics. Furthermore, these herbs contain a compound called eugenol, which can inhibit the cellular activities of microorganisms. It can hinder DNA and protein synthesis as well as the production of amylase and proteases by microorganisms.

3. Antioxidants

Your body is continually undergoing cellular activities that involve oxidation. Oxidation helps the body produce energy, but it also produces free radicals in the process. Free radicals are dangerous and can compromise the immune system and cause diseases. When free radicals build up in the body, they cause oxidative stress, damage the DNA, and destroy cells. Oxidative stress makes the body vulnerable to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Antioxidants help the body expel free radicals. These compounds can terminate the chain reactions that lead to the formation of free radicals. Fortunately, taking herbs rich in antioxidants can increase your antioxidant levels and boost your immune system. Herbs rich in vitamins such as vitamin C and E are the most active forms of antioxidants.
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Herbs that contain high amounts of antioxidants include lemon balm, oregano, clove, cinnamon, sage, Scutellariae radix peppermint, and Cinnamomi cortex.

4. Anti-Inflammatory

The metabolic production of oxidants is just one source of free radicals. Smoking, physical or emotional stress, bad diet, and air quality also contribute to the accumulation of free radicals. The body’s natural way of restoring balance from oxidation is inflammation. But the inflammatory response can also cause problems if it becomes chronic. In a world where environmental factors that promote oxidative stress are widespread, inflammatory conditions have become a health concern.
Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in various diseases such as cancers, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and allergies. Antioxidants are useful in targeting free radicals and neutralizing their effects. Eventually, they reverse oxidative stress and stop the processes that contribute to chronic inflammation.
Taking foods rich in antioxidants is an excellent way of combating chronic inflammation. These antioxidants are readily available in common herbs, which you can add to your recipes, not only to add flavor but also for their health benefits.
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Herbs such as sumac bran, a purply-ruby-colored spice, contain antioxidants that can detoxify the body, reduce cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar due to their anti-inflammatory properties. This herb also effectively reduces the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure, and general, joint, and muscle pain.
The phytonutrients found in herbs like sumac bran also inhibit the proliferation of various tumor cells, showing the potential to be chemotherapeutic.

Final Thoughts

Herbs contain various micronutrients and phytonutrients that major food groups do not have. This makes them an essential addition to any diet. People do not use spices just for their flavors but for their nutritional value as well. Despite the immune-boosting properties of herbs, you should not use them as alternatives to conventional health approaches without the advice of your nutritionist or doctor. Some herbs can also cause adverse reactions when used in high doses, so you should take caution when taking some herbs.
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