Top 5 Herbs for Immune Support
May 14, 2020
Keeping your immune system in tip-top shape is now more important than ever. For a natural approach, check out these superb herbs!
Elderberry – Elderberry’s gone mainstream, making it harder to find, but definitely worth the effort. It offers unmatched potential for both its antioxidant and immune support due to its generous concentration of anthocyanins (the source of its deep purple color) and other beneficial flavonoids. Also known as sambucus, elderberry’s been used for thousands of years and has been studied extensively for its ability to shorten duration of certain symptoms. This tasty, tart berry is often used to flavor syrups and jams and is frequently found in liquid extract form.
Astragalus – Astragalus is considered to be a therapeutic herb called an adaptogen. Adaptogens help your body to combat and manage physical and emotional stress, fight fatigue, and provide intense immune support. Originally grown in Asia and used in Chinese medicine for centuries, astragalus has recently become popular for its high content of saponins, a class of compounds believed to have a positive effect on the immune system.
Echinacea – The world’s best known and most studied herb, echinacea (Echinacea purpurea and angustifolia) was originally used by the indigenous people of America for respiratory issues. Also known as coneflower, echinacea quickly became popular around the world during the early 19th century. Studies indicate that echinacea is most beneficial at supporting a healthy immune response at the onset, so it’s most effective when you’re just starting to feel out of sorts, rather than when you’ve got a full-blown case. It works to stimulate the immune system and can help reduce duration and severity. Often available in capsule or liquid form.
Olive Leaf – Lesser-known than some of the immune-boosting powerhouses listed above, olive leaf (Olea europaea) deserves some time in the spotlight due to its active constituent oleuropein. Oleuropein is thought to be the reason why olive trees are so hardy and can live 1,000 years. While olive leaf has been used for centuries, within the last 30 years its immune benefits have been extensively studied. Olive leaf contains a natural arsenal of protective polyphenols and is a top pick for keeping your immune system strong.
Oregano Oil – It has flavored foods for centuries, but oregano oil has had an equally long history for supporting immune health too. It supplies antioxidants and phytochemicals including carvacrol, thymol and terpinene to help bolster your body’s natural defenses. Oregano oil has traditionally been popular for respiratory health, specifically to loosen breathing and soothe lungs.
Herbs are not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle but can be a great addition to maintaining overall wellness and helping you fight whatever comes your way. Along with your healthcare professional, explore what might work for you.