Immune Boosting Herbs and Spices
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:17 March 2020
As the season of sniffles, coughs and colds nears here are some tips for how to protect yourself naturally. The body has an automatic defence system that kicks in to protect you when a new virus or bacteria enters your body. The following single herbs and herbal combinations work to support this natural protective mechanism helping your body be most effective just when you need it to be!
A couple of the single ingredients you may know already - garlic and turmeric. Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Ashwagandha may not be as familiar. Read on to see what is common to them all...
Known as Lashan in Hindi and Allium sativum Linn in Latin has a pungent, hot and cleansing influence on all tissues. Garlic has a particularly good effect on the circulatory, digestive, nervous, reproductive and respiratory systems. It helps to balance Vata and Kapha dosha as it brings heat to the body helping to balance the cold quality of both Vata and Kapha.
It is used when the blood and lymph need to be cleansed of ama (with arteriosclerosis and asthma) and acts as a nerve and bone tissue Rasayana or tonic. As it has a heating nature it is not used with symptoms of hyperacidity or blood toxicity or when there are signs of Pitta imbalance. As garlic creates mental dullness it is not recommended for those who meditate, unless it is needed as herbal medicine. Haritaki is its spiritual substitute.
Known as Haridra or Gauri in Hindi and Curcuma Longa in Latin is bright coloured and comes from the root of a flowering plant of the ginger family. Turmeric has been used as an Ayurvedic spice or herbal to support the balance of Vata, pitta and Kapha as it brings balance to all tissues and is particularly supportive of the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. The marvellous medicinal properties of Turmeric have hit mainstream attention with the recognition of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Traditionally Turmeric is ingested to support healthy blood formation, to help purify the blood, for arthritic support, to aid circulation, with anaemia, cough, diabetes, worms, jaundice, eye problems, fevers, gas, haemorrhoids, water retention, indigestion, to help reduce mucus and to support an irregular metabolism, to aid the digestion of protein and to help heal skin disorders, boils or abscess. It is a natural antibiotic that also improves intestinal flora. This marvellous spice is helpful in all types of inflammatory conditions. Mixed with honey or aloe gel it is helpful for topical application for bruises or sprains.
Tip: Use Turmeric liberally in your cooking. Also, you can take 1 tsp of turmeric powder in a glass of warm water in the morning and afternoon if you have a sore throat, cough or respiratory imbalance.
Tulsi or Holy Basil
Known as Kala Tulasi in Hindi and Ocimum tenuiflorum in Latin Tulsi helps the plasma, blood, bone marrow/nerves and reproductive tissues and is particularly supportive of the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Revered within the households of India it is described in ancient texts as the most holy plant on earth and has been given the title of Queen of Herbs, The Incomparable One and The Mother Medicine of Nature.
Traditionally Tulsi is used
- with colds and flu to help purity and cleanse the respiratory tract of toxins
- to help relieve digestive gas and bloating
- when antioxidant support would be useful especially when under stress or feeling low
- to support the body providing anti-inflammatory support
- In the treatment of pain and joint discomfort
- to support healthy blood sugar levels
- to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- to enhance immune support
Ayurveda synergistically increases the power of herbals by preparing them in traditional ways and combining herbs that enhance each other into one herbal compound. So here below are some herbal combinations that work well with Holy Basil:
- Bio Immune helps support the immune system naturally. Amazingly it takes six months to prepare and combines purifying herbs along with nourishing minerals such as mica, zinc and pearl.
- Sniffle Free Tea with a minty flavour helps the body resist cold weather and maintain healthy fluid balance throughout the day. Holy Basil in this formulation helps to support the long-term health of the respiratory system.
- Aller Defence helps strengthen the immune system and supports a normal histamine response without drowsiness or dullness.
- Healthy Hair and Nails strengthens and balances the metabolic processes that support healthy hair and nail growth and resistance to stress which can be damaging to hair health and growth.
Known as Asgandh or Asgand in Hindi and Withania somnifera in Latin Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurveda. I often recommend it when a person is feeling stressed and need a boost to increase resilience, improve concentration and immunity. Ashwagandha:
- Is an adaptogen (helps to reduce stress cortisol and build resilience to stress)
- Helps to improve memory and reaction time, while reducing anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness.
- Supports rejuvenation of tissues including brain-cells, muscles and bones
- Stabilizes blood sugar and is rich in iron, supporting healthy haemoglobin, blood circulation and absorption of nutrients by cells
- Supports the thyroid
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Provides anti-inflammatory support
- And is traditionally used to enhance sexual potency for both men and women
Tip: Bring Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Garlic and Turmeric into your diet to help protect you from viruses that attack the respiratory system this Autumn and Winter. This combination provides your immune system, digestive system and respiratory system with high powered fuel just when you need them as Autumn and Winter settle in.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.
Linda and the Get Balance Team.