8 Powerful Herbs to Boost Immune System

8 Powerful Herbs to Boost Immune System

Herbs that will Boost your Immune System

“Time and Health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize until they deplete”. This is a quote by the famous motivational writer Denis Waitley. He is right; most of us ignore our health until we face major illnesses. Later we run to the hospitals to take hundreds of medicines. And often these medicines come along with many side effects. What if I say we could avoid all these by being a bit vigilant in our day-to-day life? All you need to do is look around you for herbs that will boost your immune system to maintain your health. Nature has provided us with vast sources of healthy herbs and spices. But all that is green need not always be healthy, right? So, here I have explained a few important Ayurvedic herbs and their health benefits. Now you don’t have to go munching on every green leaf out there!

 

1)  Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha is a herb that plays a very important role in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known as “Indian Ginseng”. The name Ashwagandha translates to ‘Ashwa’ means horse and ‘Gandha’ means smell. The root of the herb smells like that of a horse, hence the name. Few people also say that it gives energy and strength of a horse to the person consuming it. Well, that sounds great, right? It is popular for improving energy levels and reducing stress and anxiety. It may look like weed but will put you in a pleasant mood for sure!

Other uses of Ashwagandha include:

  •       It’s a kind of adaptogen, fights against stress and anxiety by reducing cortisol level
  •       Decreases blood sugar levels by controlling the insulin secretion in our body
  •       Increase testosterone level and improve fertility in men
  •       Good for your heart since it decreases cholesterol levels.
  •       Having trouble remembering things? Ashwagandha can be your solution. It helps improve brain health and memory. Hence useful to battle diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

 

2)  Anantmool:

Anantmool is a plant found more in South Asia. It is a kind of creeper plant which grows around trees. This is one herb that acts on all the three ‘doshas–Vata, Pitta, and Kapha’ in a body. It can bring a balance between them. Anantamool is one of the best detoxifying herbals extract available in today’s time. If you want to look healthy and bright always, then this extract is something you don’t want to miss. It has many other medicinal benefits too. 

  •       Being a good detoxifying agent, Anantamool cleanses our body inside and out. It removes toxic substances from the blood and increases strength. As a result, it will boost your immune system in your body, and helps fight infections.
  •       It assists in digestion and helps fight gastritis, ulcers, and other stomach disorders. It balances the acid secretion in our stomach.
  •       Are you craving soft and healthy skin? Anantamool can be your savior. It helps cure skin infections, inflammation on the skin, and similar skin issues. It nourishes the skin and keeps it healthy.
  •       This herb has diuretic properties. Hence acts as a good supplement for treating urinary and kidney infections. It also prevents painful urination.
  •       It helps prevent colds, cough, and other respiratory issues. This makes it useful to treat asthma, bronchitis, and other similar issues.
  •       Anantamool can provide good nourishment to the hair. It reduces heat and prevents dandruff, inflammation, itching, etc.

 

3)  Gokshura:

This beautiful yellow flowering plant grows in most parts of the world. But we can especially find it in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the middle east. Gokshura has many medicinal compounds in it. It has interesting names like Tribulus, puncture vine, and small caltrops. The major benefit of this herb is for its diuretic properties. It acts as a cleanser on our urinary system. Due to its cooling properties, it soothes the membranes of the urinary tract and eases the flow of urine. It also helps in dissolving small stones in the urinary bladder and kidney.

Gokshura increases sperm production and ovulation. Hence it is being used in many Ayurvedic products to treat infertility in both men and women. It also acts as a vitalizer improving strength, energy, and toning muscles. So, if you are looking to gain well-toned muscle, this herb can be of significant help. Athletes and bodybuilders often take this herb as a supplement.

 

4)  Licorice:

Having trouble with your stomach? Licorice can be your friend in need. You might already know that Licorice is a sweetener in candies. But did you know Licorice has anti-inflammatory property? It is a great soother for gastrointestinal problems. It helps to treat stomach ulcers, heartburn, food poisoning, gastritis, and stomachaches. It speeds up the repair of the stomach lining and calms down the stomach.

It has various other benefits too, such as

  •       Licorice helps to maintain your skin health. It is useful in treating skin infections, inflammation, itching, redness, and scaling.
  •       Keep smiling always by using this herb daily. Because Licorice helps fight bacteria in your mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  •       It cleans your respiratory system and is used in treating cough, cold, asthma, etc.
  •       Boosts your immune system and help handle stress.

 

5)  Vidanga:

Vidanga is one powerful herb that can treat worm infestation in our stomach. It is also known as False Black Pepper because of its appearance. This is a climbing shrub and its leaves, fruit, and roots are all used to treat various issues. It has antibacterial properties and is being used to treat fever and chest and skin diseases. It purifies the blood and reduces infections.

One other famous use of Vidanga is for its anti-fertility property. The right dosage of this herb mixed with other components can act as a contraceptive agent. But you must take this only under the guidance of a physician. The herb is also used to treat vomiting, constipation, and gastritis. It helps in reducing skin infections, tooth worms, and migraines.

 

6)  Ginger:

One of the most popular ingredients in most home remedies is Ginger. It has been used in traditional medicines for a long time. And I am sure you agree that it enhances the taste of the food. It has many healthy properties. So, most of the Ayurvedic supplements use it in their product. The medicines usually use rhizome (part of the stem below the ground).

I have listed the medicinal uses of Ginger or Shunti below:

  •       Ginger is effective against different forms of Nausea. It is especially useful to reduce morning sickness in pregnant women.
  •       The anti-inflammatory property of ginger helps reduce joint pain and muscle pain.
  •       It acts as a great soother for the stomach &intestine and helps to boost your immune system
  •       It helps reduce menstrual pain in women.
  •       Ginger can lower cholesterol levels in the body and hence lessens the risk of heart problems.

 

7)  Pepper:

Pepper is one common spice used daily in our kitchen and we often forget its medicinal value. We put a pinch of pepper on all the dishes to enhance the taste. But it has been a part of household medicine for generations. It gives a unique flavor to the food and hence termed as “king of spices”. It contains abundant nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and folate. It also contains fiber and a reasonable amount of protein and carbohydrates.

The various medicinal benefits of pepper include:

  • It is high in antioxidants which helps reduce the damage done by free radicals in your body. What are free radicals? They are unstable molecules that damage the cells of the body. An excess of these molecules can cause major health issues. Cancer, premature aging, and heart diseases are a few examples.
  • The compound present in the pepper called piperine improves brain function.
  • Black pepper has cholesterol-lowering properties.
  •  It has strong pain relief components and helps reduce joint pain
  • Black pepper helps improve metabolism and assists in weight loss

 

8)  Cumin:

Cumin is another spice that we all use in our day-to-day life. Indians especially use cumin in most of their dishes as ‘tadka’. A spoon of cumin added to any recipe enhances the taste and aroma of the food. Because of its health benefits, our ancestors used it daily in their dishes.

The below list shows few medicinal uses of the spice.

  •       Cumin is useful to improve digestion. It increases the activity of digestive enzymes and secretion of bile from the liver.
  •       Another major benefit of using cumin is in improving iron content in your body. One teaspoon of cumin can provide 20% of your daily iron need.
  •       Stomach giving trouble because of having unhealthy food? A cup of plain cumin tea can help you. It helps in reducing gas, bloating, and treats stomach pain.
  •       It has a cooling property, and helps fight inflammation.

 

All the herbs and spices mentioned in this list have enormous medicinal properties. When consumed together it can do miracles to your body. It keeps you healthy and fit throughout the year. The combination of these substances creates a balance in your body. You can try a cup of  Vitalitea daily which contains all the ingredients I have mentioned above. Also, let us know how it changed your health for the better.

Want to know more benefits of herbs? Check this article

6 Strong Reasons to adopt Herbal Lifestyle

6 Strong Reasons to adopt Herbal Lifestyle

Reasons to adopt Herbal Lifestyle

Are you the kind of cook who uses a lot of spices and herbs in your daily dishes? Did you know there are so many health benefits if you use them daily? If your answer is no, then this is the right article for you. I have tried to explain why we need to use those herbs and spices more and more in our cooking. If you have not yet started using them, then it’s time to refill your kitchen cabinet with those items.

I know for sure most of you have been using basil leaves, turmeric, ginger, and many such herbs and spices daily. These have been an integral part of our culinary and medicinal use for many centuries. Don’t you remember your mother and grandmother telling you to use them daily? Though we didn’t know their hidden benefits, we still use them. Now researchers are trying to find their health merits and prove the medicinal value of them. People all around the world are understanding the advantages of using them. They are adopting the usage of herbs and spices in their daily life.

I am a strong advocate of herbal and Ayurvedic lifestyle. Hence, I am often asked many questions about the reason behind following this regime. I try to make them understand the points below.

  1. Taking care of body health is important to have a healthy mind.
  2. Herbs and few spices are great skin and hair care products (natural products).
  3. If you are a food lover, you might already know that they offer great flavors for our palate.
  4. They help in improving memory, cognition skills, and boost your brain.
  5. Have a very positive impact on the environment.
  6. Little or no side effects (important point) and very much cost-effective.

Health is wealth (at any point in life!!!):

A great man once said – “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”, but having a healthy body is a tough task in today’s world. I know it’s easier said than done. But it’s never too late to be serious about your health and take care of it. Your daily lifestyle plays a major role in maintaining your body and mind. Eating and sleeping habits, exercises, hobbies, etc. play an important role in this. Since time immemorial, our ancestors have used a lot of herbs and spices in the food they prepared daily. Herbs were being used as a medicine for small babies. It helped to improve their immunity, memory, and strength. The antioxidant properties of herbs and spices are very well known. Several types of biomedical research are being done currently focusing on exploring the anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting constituents of herbs and spices. The Ayurvedic medicinal system of India uses these herbs for many purposes. Few treatments include healing wounds, gastrointestinal issues, deworming, and rheumatic disorders. They also help increase detoxifying enzymes, decrease tumor formation, improve DNA repair, etc.

As a great cosmetic product:

Have you all seen the word “herbal” in front of beauty salons? It has been a common practice to use such words for beauty and cosmetic products for quite some time now. Herbs have been used in skin and hair care products by many companies for the last few decades. They help in enhancing the beauty and maintaining them. Indian women have been using sandalwood, turmeric, henna, and shikakai to take care of their skin and hair for a long time. Ayurveda uses herbs and oil extracts for massaging the body and beauty treatments. These products are generally known as “herbal cosmetics”. They help in beautifying the skin and prevent the occurrence of any skin diseases in the future. We all know that long-time exposure of skin to chemicals, pollutants, and heat can cause skin issues. Dehydrated skin, sunburns, pigmentation, early aging, wrinkles, freckles, are a few examples. You can avoid these issues by using herbal products regularly.

 To make the food delicious:

Using spices in day-to-day cooking is a common practice in every Indian household. As you know a lot of our dishes end with a ‘tadka’ of basil leaves before serving them. Many people believe that spices are used to reduce the amount of salt in dishes, but that’s not true. Rather, spices add a unique flavor to your dish. They blend so well with almost all other ingredients, so it does not stand out as a single flavor. And as you think it’s not true, that spices are suitable only for non-sweet recipes. Certain sweet dishes also use these spices to give them that distinctive flavor. They are being used instead of less healthy ingredients like fats and salt. Herbs are used as a seasoning to certain dishes or there are many recipes prepared only by using herbs. They have proven to be successful both as a stand-alone dish or as a seasoning. We must be careful while using herbs and spices as an excess of either of them can ruin the original taste of the dish.

Helps improve your brain health:

How many times have you forgotten your wallet at home before leaving for office? Or do you look around for a calculator for calculating money at a grocery store? Most of us would answer yes to these questions. Our brain is a wonderful organ that works almost 24 hours a day. But it can perform well only when it is healthy and active. Many of the customs and traditions in India usually aim at improving the efficiency of our brains. We feed new-born babies with few medicinal extracts from herbs after six months of age. It helps in improving memory and immunity at a very young age. Extensive research is being conducted to prove the benefits of these ancient practices. Many of these herbs help improve reasoning skills. Also, they have a positive effect on diseases like Alzheimer’s (loss of memory). Using a few chunks of these herbs and spices in our daily food helps improve focus and control stress. Studies have shown that few elements present in spices like turmeric can help brain cells to self-repair. These were a few examples of uses of herbs in improving brain health. There are many such herbs that are not known yet to most people. Exploring them and studying them helps us and even our kids in the future.

Teaches us to coexist with nature: Herbs are a part of nature. The plants in your backyard, which you think are weeds, might help to improve the air quality in your neighborhood. They increase biodiversity in the ecosystem. Humans have been using herbs for their medicinal benefits for ages. Different parts of the world had their own way of using these herbs. This has resulted in cultural uniqueness amongst communities. Few studies have shown that pharmaceuticals are the reason for the accumulation of 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. In contrast to this herbal medicine contributes to better health of the planet. It helps increase the oxygen content in the atmosphere. They help to remove allergy causing germs from the air and hence very beneficial for allergy-prone kids or elders. Few types of herbs even prevent the growth of the unwanted weeds in your backyard. So next time you visit any medicinal plant nursery, get all those herbs, and grow them in your backyard. Even if you don’t end up using them for medicinal use, growing them won’t create any harm to you or your next generation.

Cost-effective and fewer side effects:

If you had visited any lavish skincare clinic or modern specialty hospital, you would have understood that one visit to them will create a hole in your pocket. And most of the medicines prescribed will have one or the other side effects. If you take medicine for body pain, you will get skin allergy and vice versa. Compared to the modern pharmaceutical industry, herbs and spices have very few or sometimes zero side effects. Most of these herbs are grown in the backyard and available all the time. This is one reason herbal products are available at reasonably lesser prices as compared to other cosmetic products. There might be few products which are a little expensive. But that is because they contain certain herbs which are rarely available in nature. But most of the products do not become a burden to our pocket.

So, are you ready to try out herbal products now? If yes, here is a list of herbs and spices available in our backyard or in our kitchen cabinet. Even if you are still not sure about moving to a herbal lifestyle, reading this list helps. You will be surprised to see that many of these items are very commonly used in our daily life.

  1. Turmeric
  2. Basil leaves
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Garlic
  5. Ginger
  6. Cardamom
  7. Asafoetida
  8. Coriander
  9. Cloves
  10. Fenugreek

This list has ten such herbs and spices. There are many more out there which I will explain in my next article – powerful herbs to boost the immune system.

Want to know the importance of herbals medicine in our lives? Check out this article on the introduction and importance of Medicinal Plants and Herbs.