Top 5 Herbs That Enhance Your Immune System   



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 they are:
1. Ginseng
2. Echinacea
3. Astragalus (Huang qi)
4. Garlic
5. Medicinal mushrooms

Ginsengs – The all rounder.

Although 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 for fatigue.

Echinacea – Your immune system’s answer to health panacea.

It 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 used medicinally.

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.

Astragalus 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 choice.

A 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 macrophage) levels.

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 mushrooms?

Mushroom 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.

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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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