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The addition of spices and herbs in your regular meals makes them tastier and boosts up the levels of immunity in your body. The immune system is responsible for keeping the body disease-free as it fights off infections and kills the pathogens entering your body. With the use of natural herbs and spices, not only you can boost up your immune system but also they add flavor to your meals. Herbs are generally roots, stems, leaves, barks, buds, and more parts of the plants that are highly aromatic and generally used as spices and medicine and are known to have healing properties. These spices and herbs originated in Asia and Mediterranean regions where the people have been using these herbs as medicines for curing various kinds of diseases. These spices and herbs are loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties known to reduce the risk of infections and boost immunity. Some of the major herbs that you should necessarily incorporate into your diet are: –
No. #1: Turmeric
An orange-colored rhizome, which is thought to have originated in South Asia, is a close relative of ginger which has been used to treat many disorders and ailments since time immemorial. Turmeric is used as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent which is applied on cuts and wounds for quick healing. The doctors/hakims in ancient times used to treat depression and anxiety by administering turmeric to the patients as it was thought that turmeric stimulates the nervous system and boosts the memory. Curcumin, the major component of turmeric which gives it characteristic yellow color is renowned for its ability to curb the hypersensitivity reaction and boosts up the levels of immunity by elevating the immuno-modulating capacity.
No. #2: Elderberry
The flowers and berries of elderberries are used since ancient times to cure various diseases and infections and are known to have healing properties. The berries are power-packed with minerals and vitamins that are beneficial in alleviating stress, inflammation, and aid in the protection of the heart. This plant is known to cure certain skin diseases, depression, headaches, renal ailments, HIV, and more. Furthermore, it is loaded with high levels of Vitamin B6 and E which are known to promote the levels of immunity. Also, they are known to contain a compound called anthocyanidin that supports the immune system and reduces the duration of cold and flu.
No. #3: Ginseng
Ginseng has been used as a supplement, known to boost physical endurance and capacity in people. Traditionally, people used Ginseng as a tonic which worked as an immune stimulant for the people recovering from chronic ailments. A study was conducted in which one out of the two persons was administered with ginseng. The results showed that the person who was administered with ginseng had numerous immune cells and these cells were much active as compared to the person who was not administered. This excellent herb is known to impart positive impacts on the health of the people suffering from HIV and chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers suggested that ginseng improved the respiratory and lung disorders in patients by enhancing certain types of immune responses in the lungs.
No. #4: Ginger
It is a rhizome with excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used to cure various diseases since historical times. It is well- known to cure the upset stomach- a place where probiotics flourish and act as a defensive wall against the entry of microbes and pathogens. The compound present in ginger, known as Gingerol is quite effective in relaxing the blood vessels as it has natural blood thinning properties. Also, stuffed with high amounts of Vitamin C, it is known to boost the activity of the immune system by intensifying the proliferation of cells of the immune system. It is commonly consumed as a tea during cold and flu to reduce the duration of flu and for quick recovery.
No. #5: Cinnamon
It is an excellent and super-tasty herb that adds a fantastic aroma to the dishes to which it is added. It has been recognized as an herb for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The pungent smell of cinnamon is due to the presence of an oily compound cinnamaldehyde which is responsible for the powerful effects of cinnamon on metabolism and immunity. Being locked with antioxidant property, it kills the free radicals in the body and protects the body from oxidative damage. It is known to reduce the level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood and also lowers the blood pressure in the body. It is power-packed with anti-inflammatory properties and helps in fighting against infections and inflammations, repairing the tissues of the body.
No. #6: Garlic
A bulb with a pungent odor, garlic is one of the most commonly used staple foods in the kitchen and is the most common member of the onion family. It has been known since ancient times for its numerous health benefits and as well as for the flavor it imparts to the dishes in which it is added. Allicin, the main component of garlic is known to have antibacterial properties that help the body in fighting off the infections. Allicin is a highly unstable compound and gets converted to Sulphur compounds and is thought to provide medicinal properties to garlic. Garlic is also known to prevent certain infections of the upper respiratory tract especially when it is ingested in raw form. It also prevents the risk of cardiac diseases and enhances the immune function.
No. #7: Cayenne Pepper
A member of the capsicum family, Cayenne pepper is a distinguishing ingredient in many meals and spicy dishes. Capsaicin, a major compound present in cayenne peppers suppresses the neuropeptides involved in the inflammatory response. It also enhances digestive health by destroying the pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract, ulcers, and cancer. It is also known to regulate appetite and digestion. It is a rich source of beta-carotene- a power-packed antioxidant that is known to eradicate the free radicals present in the body. It is used by modern herbalists for activation of the circulatory system and the treatment of cold and flu.
No. #8: Cloves
Cloves belong to a class of herbs that are well known for their ability to impart flavor to the dishes in which it is added. It is a powerful expectorant and is very helpful in treating respiratory diseases and lung congestion as they expel out the excess mucus and reduce inflammation. It soothes the sore throat and helps in controlling cough fits. Being rich in antioxidants, cloves eradicate the damaging free radicals from the body that aid in boosting the immunity. It also helps in removing excessive gas from the stomach thus reducing the pressure in the stomach and also aids in removing food waste from the body. Eugenol, the main substance present in cloves imparts cloves their pungent flavor and is very effective against giardia. Eugenol is also effective against bacteria, viruses, and pathogens present both inside and outside the body.
No. #9: Licorice
Licorice root is a potent herbal medicine that is known to cure depression and anxiety since ancient times. It is rich in flavonoids and various kinds of estrogens that are known to impart healing properties to the herb. The key component of licorice is glycyrrhizin has numerous benefits and is known to cure various kinds of ailments including ulcers, heartburn, and indigestion and also acts as a laxative to cure constipation. Licorice is effective in curing inflammation, irritation, and spasms in the digestive tract. It enhances immunity by elevating the levels of interferons, the chemicals that fight off against pathogens in the body. The component Glycyrrhizin is known to inhibit the growth of many viruses, fungi, and bacteria and keeps the diseases at bay.
No. #10: Indian Echinacea
It is a bitter-tasting herb that is used in various medicines since the historical times and is rich in andrographolides that is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It is known to have some antiviral properties that reduce the symptoms of cold and flu. This herb is widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, skin ailments, sinus infections, cardiac diseases, allergy, hepatic ailments, and more. A study suggested that this herb can be possibly used to cure ulceration and Crohn’s disease. It is a potent relief giver in upper respiratory tract infections and reduces the duration of cough, sore throat, and cold.
All these herbs and spices are power-packed with the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and healing properties that not only aid in keeping the diseases at bay but also enhance the levels of immunity in an individual. Also, the type of diet you take, directly influences how your immune system will work and impacts the levels of immunity. Also, these herbs contain certain phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and other chemicals that are very essential for the body and boost the functioning of the immune system. Therefore, it is very essential to eat the right kind of food and avoid the foods that are the key players in the reduction of immunity.
Use Of Licorice (glycyrrhiza Glabra) Herb As a Feed Additive in Poultry: Current Knowledge and Prospects
Mahmoud Alagawany-Shaaban Elnesr-Mayada Farag-Mohamed Abd El-Hack-Asmaa Khafaga-Ayman Taha-Ruchi Tiwari-Mohd Yatoo-Prakash Bhatt-Gopi Marappan-Kuldeep Dhama – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6720273/
Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-travellers: A Randomized, Double-blind Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial
Evelin Tiralongo-Shirley Wee-Rodney Lea – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848651/
Effect Of Allium Cepa and Allium Sativum on Some Immunological Cells in Rats
Tatfeng Mirabeau-Enitan Samson – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746674/
Essential Oil Of Clove (eugenia Caryophyllata) Augments the Humoral Immune Response but Decreases Cell Mediated Immunity
Sumita Halder-Ashish Mehta-Pramod Mediratta-Krishna Sharma – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21796701
The Immunomodulation and Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Garlic Organosulfur Compounds in Cancer Chemoprevention
Georgia Schäfer-Catherine Kaschula – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3915757/
Medicinal Properties Of ‘true’ Cinnamon (cinnamomum Zeylanicum): a Systematic Review
Priyanga Ranasinghe-Shehani Pigera-G Premakumara-Priyadarshani Galappaththy-Godwin Constantine-Prasad Katulanda – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854496/
Anti-oxidative and Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review Of Current Evidence
Nafiseh Mashhadi-Reza Ghiasvand-Gholamreza Askari-Mitra Hariri-Leila Darvishi-Mohammad Mofid – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
“spicing Up” Of the Immune System By Curcumin
Ganesh Jagetia-Bharat Aggarwal – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17211725
Cayenne Pepper: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Tips
RDN Megan Ware – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267248