Top 5 Herbs That Enhance Your Immune System
The moment a baby exits from her mother’s womb, she is
instantly welcomed by a ‘Welcoming Party of Five’ (Not the US
teen drama Party of Five that starred Tori Spelling, a few years
back). The so called ‘well wishers’ are actually 'enemies in
disguise'. In our life time, most of us get sick or fall victim
to a certain disease. This is NO THANKS to those
‘wolves in sheep clothing’. But most of the times, we are
happily healthy. Why?
This is because our body has amazing ARMOUR called the immune
system. This ‘mighty knight’ can fight against these infections.
Although the immune system is extremely complex, its basic
strategies are simple:
1. Recognize the foreign bodies
2. Invade & mobilize forces
3. Attack & kill
Immune system protects you from a range of illness from colds
to cancer. Now, meet your TOP 5 Immune Boosters. ‘Treat your
knight and shining armour’ by taking some immune boosters. Here
3. Astragalus (Huang qi)
5. Medicinal mushrooms
Ginsengs – The all rounder.
there are many types of ginseng, such as American, Japanese,
Chinese/Asian ginsengs, all of them share a common action, which
is immunity enhancing capability. Generally, ginsengs help to
stimulate the immune system by stimulating immune cells
production to fight infections. Ginsengs also work as a tonic
Echinacea – Your immune system’s answer to
is one of the world’s top five-selling herbal medicines.
Echinacea treats or prevents colds, flu, sore throat, and boosts
our immune system. Out of the nine Echinacea species, three
species (E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida) are widely
Research showed that it is able to trigger the production of
interferon, which fights viruses. Besides, compounds in
Echinacea can increase the levels of foreign agents-fighting
white blood cells.
Astragalus / Huang qi – Tonic herb that
stems from the roots.
is one of the most frequently used Chinese herbs; as an immune
stimulant. Its historical use in Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM) can be traced back 2000 years ago. In Chinese modern
medicine system, patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiation
are also treated with a therapy called zheng fu. This therapy,
which utilizes astragalus, is
commonly used to revitalize the patients’ immunity.
Astragalus is usually used in combination with other herbs,
usually adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng. Astragalus increases
white blood cells production and their activity. This indirectly
improves one's immune function.
Garlic –Eating this stinky spice is a wise
strong-smelling herb used since ancient times, garlic is well
known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral
properties. It has positive effects on the cardiovascular
health, immune function, anti-microbial action and anti-cancer
action. Eating garlic helps increase immune
system players (e.g.: natural killer cells, white blood cells
On the other hand, experiments showed that natural
organosulphur compounds in garlic can kill tumor cells in animal
models. Yet, the similar effect may not be evident in human
models. Thus, further evaluations are required.
Medicinal Mushrooms – Have room for more
contains carbohydrate called beta-glucan, which boost our immune
system. Mushrooms not only enhance immune system but also
possess antibacterial properties which make them ideal for
preventing all sorts of infection.
Go for ling zhi or reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and shiitake (Lentinus
edodes), they are powerful immune boosters that are able to
remove toxins and prevent free radical damages. Reishii can also
stimulate the immune system by activating both B-lymphocytes and
T-lymphocytes natural T-killer cells. Coriolus versicolor
mushroom has potent anti-cancer
carbohydrate called polysachharide K or PSK. PSK is the
top-selling anticancer drug in Japan.