Help boost your body’s defenses against disease-causing bacteria and viruses by taking immune-stimulating herbs
Are you too busy to get sick this winter? If you find yourself squeezing every last minute out of the day, there are steps you can take to keep yourself healthy and well throughout the cooler months. Herbal remedies may help to support the functioning of your immune system. With a healthy immune system, you are less likely to succumb to colds.
Echinacea – Echinacea sp.
Echinacea has a complex mix of active substances, some of which are said to be antimicrobial, while others are believed to possibly have an effect on the human immune system.
All species of this herbal remedy have compounds called phenols. Many plants contain phenols, active substances which control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors, and protect the plant from infections and UV radiation damage. Phenols have high antioxidant properties, which are good for human health.
There is no standard dose of echinacea. It depends in part on the form you use. For example, the usual dose range for pressed juice is 6-9 milliliters daily, and the usual dose range for tinctures (usually a solution of alcohol and herbal extract) is 0.75-1.5 milliliters daily.
Standardized extracts have other specific doses. Some people use echinacea tea, 6-8 ounces, four times daily. Echinacea appears to be most effective when started as soon as symptoms are noticed, taken many times a day, and used for seven to 10 days.
It is possible that liquid forms of echinacea (such as alcohol or glycerin-based tinctures) might work better than capsules — as they’re being swallowed, these liquids could have an antiviral effect on the mucous membranes of the back of the throat.
Astragalus – Astragalus membranaceus
In traditional Chinese medicine, the herb astragalus is attributed with warming properties and is regarded as a lung tonic. It is indicated for patients with longstanding illnesses and for those who are susceptible to recurrent infection, and appears to improve the functioning of the immune system so that the body can better defend itself against pathogens – especially viruses.
Astragalus membranaceus can also be supplemented via a root extract. The standard dose for the root extract form is 30g.
The main bioactive compound in Astragalus membranaceus is astragaloside IV, which can be supplemented by itself. The standard dose for astragaloside IV is 5-10mg. (Sources
TOP 10 Antiviral Herbs from Dr. Axe
Immune Boosting Garden Herb Stock
This garden herb stock contains seven herbs (and one spice) in total – Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Bay, Onion, Garlic and Black Pepper. Every single plant in this recipe is used as a herbal medicine and they possess the beneficial actions for immunity:
- 2 medium brown onions, finely sliced
- Cloves of 1 head of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
Large handful of any, or all of the following:
Fresh rosemary sprigs, Fresh thyme sprigs, Fresh sage leaves, Fresh oregano leaves
- Wash all herbs gently under running water to remove debris and discard any blemished or blackened leaves.
- Add all ingredients to a large stock pot or saucepan and add 4L of water.
- Bring stock mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook, uncovered for 30-45 minutes until stock has reduced by a quarter.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove large solids. Discard.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then strain remaining stock liquid through a cheesecloth or muslin lined strainer to remove all solids and debris.
- Store in 1-2 cup capacity containers and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
How To Make A Fermented Honey Garlic For Boosting Your Immunity
This tasty fermented garlic in honey can be used for many things, as good food and good medicine.
- Whatever size jar you use, you’ll want to fill it about 3/4 full of peeled garlic.
- Once you have enough garlic in your jar, pour in some raw honey to cover it. The garlic will probably float a bit and that’s ok.
- Cover it loosely with a lid to let the gasses escape, and put it in a dark place.
- It’s also a good idea to gently turn your jar over every few days, or whenever you think about it, to make sure that all of the garlic get coated with honey.
- The honey garlic will ferment for about a month, but you can really eat it at any time.