Herbs and Spices that May Strengthen the Immune System

herbs and spices, strengthen immune system, boost immune system, coronavirus


Herbs and Spices that May Strengthen Immune System Responses

Over the past several decades, there has been emerging interest in the human immune system. Experts have discovered the many repercussions of a weakened immune system response. A body with a weak immune response has a more difficult time combating viral infections (e.g., coronavirus/COVID-19), pathogens, and other foreign substances. 

Dietary and lifestyle habits affect immune health, altering both innate and adaptive functions. A daily diet of necessary nutrients is essential for building and supporting a healthier immune system. The immune system’s cells include many different white blood cells that are essential for defending the body against viruses and pathogens.

This article will examine the role of herbs, spices, and other foods and how they could play a key role in strengthening immune system responses.


Curcumin

curcumin. turmeric, boost immune health, strengthen immune system

Curcumin is the principal nutrient in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin demonstrated immune-modulator effects on many cells and organs. Immune modulators are agents that help modify or regulate the immune system.

Curcumin helps stabilize cell membranes, which could ultimately increase a cell’s resistance to infection. Curcumin may also help regulate autoimmune disorders including, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, asthma, allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and scleroderma.


Garlic

garlic, onions, coronavirus, strengthen immune system

Garlic (and onions) is high in a type of sulfur called allicin. It has natural anti-fungal properties and may increase anti-microbial activity in the body. The sulfur in allicin is released when the garlic cloves are crushed, chopped, or chewed. Eating garlic may provide a boost to the immune system.


Ginger

ginger, strenthen immune system, boost immune system, coronavirus

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols in the root of the rhizome that may help to reduce stiffness, muscle ache, and joint pain.

Gingerols may boost the immune system and may prevent cold viruses or at least reduce their lifespan.

Adding ginger to your daily diet may strengthen immunity while reducing soreness, swelling, and inflammation. Ginger may help reduce inflammatory processes, chronic pain, nausea, and slightly lower cholesterol levels.


Green tea

green tea, herbs and spices, boost immune system, strengthen immune system, coronavirus

Green tea may enhance immunity functions, as it is full of flavonoids and other antioxidants. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which helps in the production of germ-fighting elements of T-cells.


Baobab Fruit

baobab fruit, boost immune health, strengthen boost immune system, fat loss, weight loss

This African “Superfruit” is considered a hidden gem of Africa. It may be very effective at boosting the immune system. This immunity-boosting effect is due to its ultra-high vitamin C. This vitamin enhances both the adaptive as well as innate immune system response by stimulating various cellular processes.

It also is an antioxidant that may reduce harmful reactive radicals. By promoting epithelial growth, vitamin C provides an epithelial barrier that fights to keep pathogens out of the body.

Vitamin C, in neutrophils, increases microbial killing and phagocytosis, whereas, in lymphocytes, the contribution of vitamin C promotes differentiation of B and T-lymphocytes. Vitamin C may also reduce the longevity of common colds and other common viral infections.


Beta Glucan

oats. beta glucans, mushrooms, yeasts, fungi, coronavirus

Beta-Glucans are a type of sugar located in the cell walls, like oats and barley. They are also in lichens, yeasts, and fungi (like mushrooms). Beta-Glucans are immune-modulating substances that possess many health benefits.

 

In research studies, beta-glucans demonstrated their ability to stimulate both the macrophages and the lymphocytes. Macrophages are cells that induce phagocytosis (i.e., to engulf a bacteria or other substance). They also play a vital role in the communication of various types of immune cells. Lymphocytes stimulated by the beta-glucans are capable of killing harmful substances.


In addition to the beta-glucans effect on the immune cells, their antioxidants may help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Beta-glucans may help the body deal with infections more efficiently.


Mediterranean Olive Leaf Extract

olive leaf extract, olive leaf

Olive Leaf Extracts (OLEs) may strengthen the immune functions in humans by boosting phagocytosis and production of Interferon-γ, which in turn increases killer T cells and natural killer cells. In addition to the better immune function, Olive Leaf Extract may also contribute to the anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity.

Antioxidants are also abundant in the Olive Leaf Extracts. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and may defend against harmful mutations and damage to the cells. Olive Leaf Extract has been noted for its many other potential health benefits.

Acacia Fiber

Acacia fiber is the soluble fiber extracted from Acacia tree sap. This renowned fiber may improve gut health and boost immunity. Acacia is unaffected as it moves through the gastrointestinal tract until it reaches the colon, where it ferments. This fermented fiber promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Some research has suggested that Acacia could promote the growth of healthy gut strains like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria

 

Why is it vital to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut? Because up to 75 percent of the immune system is located in the gut (gastrointestinal tract).


Final Thoughts

Improving the health of the immune system is of vital importance. One must strive to provide the body with nutrient-dense foods consistently. Using herbs and spices and fungi-like mushrooms could provide additional support that the immune system needs.

Before using any supplement, always consult a doctor or medical professional first.

If you found this article helpful, would you consider sharing it? We’d greatly appreciate it!

Other References

Is Turmeric Good for Alzheimer’s Disease?; By Brian P. DunleavyMedically Reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD; https://www.everydayhealth.com/alzheimers-disease/is-turmeric-good-for-alzheimers-disease/

Curcumin and Alzheimer’s disease- Alzheimer’s News Today; https://alzheimersnewstoday.com/curcumin-plant-extract-possible-alzheimers-treatment/

Turmeric Curcumin and Alzheimer’s Disease – The Alzheimer’s Organization; https://www.alzheimersorganization.org/

Neural Regen Res. 2018 Apr; 13(4): 742–752.; Use of curcumin in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease; Min Chen,1 Zhi-Yun Du,1 Xi Zheng,
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950688/

Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan-Mar; 11(1): 13–19.; The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview; Shrikant Mishra and Kalpana Palanivelu
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/

Turmeric and dementia – Alzheimer’s Society; https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/turmeric-and-dementia

Gum arabic establishes prebiotic functionality in healthy human volunteers in a dose-dependent manner. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114508981447

Vitamin C and immune function. In Nutrients; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211

Immunomodulatory Activity of Acacia Catechu; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19810573/

Gum Arabic Fibers Decreased Inflammatory Markers and Disease Severity Score among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Phase II Trial.; https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4197537

Olive Leaf Extracts Act as Modulators of the Human Immune Response. Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders – Drug Targets; https://doi.org/10.2174/1871530317666171116110537

β-glucans, history, and the present: Immunomodulatory aspects and mechanisms of action; https://doi.org/10.1080/15476910802019045

Issue: Dec 2009; The Immune Benefits of Beta-Glucans – Life Extension Magazine
https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2009/12/the-immune-enhancing-benefits-of-beta-glucans

Beta-Glucans – Uses, Side Effects, and More – WebMD; https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1041/beta-glucans

What Exactly Is Beta-Glucan & What Are Its Notable Health Benefits?; Certified holistic nutrition consultant By Lindsay Boyers; Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN; https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/beta-glucan-benefits

What Is Beta-Glucan?; By Cathy Wong; Updated on January 14, 2021; Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc; https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-beta-glucan-89418

Olive Leaf a powerful immune booster and flu-prevention; https://www.lwtinternational.com/olive-leaf-a-powerful-immune-booster-and-flu-prevention/

How To Use Acacia Gum In Health and Nutrition Applications; Top Health Benefits of Acacia Gum – Nexira; https://www.nexira.com/top-health-benefits-of-acacia-gum/

The Health Benefits of Acacia Fiber or Gum Arabic; By Cathy Wong; https://www.verywellfit.com/the-benefits-of-acacia-fiber-89395

Acacia Tree Gum: Is This the World’s Greatest Natural Prebiotic? – 1MD Nutrition; https://1md.org/article/acacia-tree-gum-natural-prebiotic

The Weird, Gut-Healing Ingredient This Nutritionist Puts In Her Smoothies Daily; By: Alexandra Catalano – Mind Body Green
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/acacia-fiber-health-benefits-how-to-use-it

 

Related posts