Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical sciences in the world. It works on the system of holistic healing and believes that good health depends upon the balance of mind, body and soul. It was set forth and practiced by the same spiritual Vaids, who laid the foundations of the Vedic civilization in India, by organizing the fundamentals of life into a proper system.
Ayurveda lays down a principle for improvement and maintenance of immunity in our body. They emphasize on the right diet, yoga, exercise, and sleep and on protecting your health with the help of medicinal plants and herbs.
Here are ten medicinal herbs to boost your immune system:
1. Giloy, (Botanical name- Tinospora Cordifolia) is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used and advocated in Indian medicine for ages. In Sanskrit, Giloy is known as ‘Amrita', which means ‘the root of immortality', as it has several health benefits. It’s an excellent immunity booster and treats chronic fever. The warming effect of the herb reduces respiratory problems and improves liver functions. This herb is also helpful in treatment of diabetes.
2. Tulsi (Botanical name- Ocimum Tenuiflorum) is also known as “Holy Basil.” The warming effects of the herb combat respiratory ailments, detoxifies the body and helps regulate blood sugar level. Tulsi works as a natural immunity booster and it is also used in treatment of ulcers, gastric & indigestion. Boil a few Tulsi leaves in water and drink it. You can add a little bit of honey to enhance the taste.
3. Turmeric (Botanical name- Curcuma Longa) has been used in several product formulations for over the years now and it is a very popular ingredient across the world. It is known as Haldi in Hindi and Haridra in Sanskrit. The healing properties of Turmeric lies in the golden finger like stalk, also known as Rhizome. It is commonly used in preparation of Indian curries, skin care products, health supplements and preservatives in food items. Haldi has antibacterial properties that help fight infections. You can add a pinch of Haldi to lentils and vegetables or drink a cup of turmeric milk before going to bed. Consumption of turmeric in food also lowers the risk of cancer. The warming effect of the herb also relieves the body from cough and cold.
4. Amla (Botanical name- Phyllanthus Emblica) is a gift to mankind. In Sanskrit, it is called ‘Dhatriphal’ meaning a motherly boon. It is also acknowledged as a Rasayan in Ayurveda and balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It helps to improve immunity and prevent infections. The cooling properties of this herb make it useful in treating high blood pressure and acts as memory enhancer. The antioxidants found in this herb protect body from free radicals.
5. Ashwagandha (Botanical name- Withania Somnifera) is one of the most important herbs classified as adaptogens in Ayurveda. Adaptogens are the herbs that help the body adapt to stress. It’s not only known as an antidepressant herb but also a powerful immunity and energy booster. The warming effect of the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Mulethi (Botanical name- Glycyrrhiza Glabra) is also known as Licorice in English. The anti inflammatory effect of the herb helps to keep respiratory tract healthy. It’s cooling properties acts as an excellent decongestant. It also helps in maintaining a good digestion & immunity of the body.
7. Garlic (Botanical name- Allium Sativum) is endowed with antiviral and antibacterial properties. The sulfur compounds found in Garlic have multiple health benefits. The warming effect of the herb stimulates the immune system by boosting white blood cells in body, the cells of the immunity system that protects body from infections. Garlic contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of common brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.
8. Black pepper (Botanical name- Piper Nigrum) is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide. The warming effects of the herb have anti-inflammatory effects that help in relieving bronchitis, asthma and cough. It is also enriched with antioxidants that promote gut health.
9. Cinnamon (Botanical name- Cinnamomum Verum) is a very popular spice in India. A powerful bioactive found in Cinnamon, Cinnamaldehyde has several health benefits for the body. The warming effect of the herb has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Hence, it improves immunity and also lowers the risk of heart problems. Some studies also suggest that Cinnamon helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also has anti-diabetic properties.
10. Ginger (Botanical name- Zinziber Officinale) is known to be the most healthy and delicious herb in the world. The warming effect of the herb has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing risk of osteoarthritis and sore muscles. Gingerol, an active ingredient in Ginger helps to improve immunity and fight against infections. Adding little bit of ginger in morning tea helps to boost energy and clears throat infection.