Herbs will help strengthen the body before the fall / winter infection season or after illness. It is worth using them especially if your diet is poor in vitamins, you do not have time or desire to exercise, you are stressed and you often don’t sleep much. Which herbs for strengthening are the most valuable and how to use them to bring the expected effect?
Strengthening herbs, as the name suggests, support the body’s defenses, helping it to prevent infection – or fight it faster if it does occur despite prophylaxis.
They do not work miracles, that is, they will not protect us from every fall / winter infection, especially if we do not care too much about immunity on a daily basis, remembering it only when we become an easy target for viruses and bacteria.
But when used regularly, they can significantly strengthen us, especially if we choose those whose effects have been confirmed by modern medicine.
It is worth remembering that each of these plants has slightly different properties and acts on the body in a different way. However, each one will strengthen it and help reduce the risk of autumn and winter infection. Discover the most effective herbs for strengthening the body.
6 best herbs for immunity, colds and flu:
1. Echinacea purpurea
The polysaccharides, flavonoids, polyphenolic acids, alkylamides and polyacetylates contained in the herb and echinacea root have a strong immunostimulating effect. It has been proven that they stimulate the activity of lymphocytes and increase the body’s natural immunity, thus reducing the susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections.
Echinacea infusion and preparations made from it protect against typical autumn infections, such as colds, flu, pharyngitis or bronchitis, as well as against fungal infections of the oral cavity, as this herb also has antifungal properties. A decoction of this herb will also help with fatigue and weakness during convalescence.
To prepare it, just pour a teaspoon of crushed echinacea roots with a glass of water, boil it and keep it on low heat for 10-15 minutes, then leave it for a quarter of an hour and strain – drink this decoction for half a glass three times a day. On the other hand, homemade Echinacea tincture is a great way to shorten the infection time.
To prepare it, pour 10 grams of dried and ground roots or herb over 1/2 liter of pure vodka, and close the vessel tightly. Set aside in a warm place and shake daily. After two weeks, decant the tincture and squeeze the sediment out through thick gauze. Take 2 ml of the tincture every 2-3 hours to shorten the infection time.
It is worth remembering that Echinacea treatment, especially with the help of ready-made preparations, should be carried out for a maximum of 10 days – its long-term use may reduce immunity.
2. Wild Rose
Its ripe fruit is a very valuable source of vitamin C, necessary for the proper course of phagocytosis (i.e. neutralization of pathogenic microorganisms by white blood cells).
Its effectiveness increases when combined with bioflavonoids – and they are also found in large amounts in this plant. There are also significant amounts of other ingredients in rosehips, including B vitamins, vitamin E, carotenoids, mineral salts and organic acids that improve health and support immunity.
Rosehip infusion should be taken both prophylactically and during convalescence. Pour a tablespoon of crushed fruit with a glass of boiling water and leave it covered for a quarter of an hour, then strain. Drink a glass of warm infusion 2-3 times a day.
3. Ginseng root
Hides a very valuable substance: up to 12 percent. Damarane-derived triterpene saponins referred to as ginsenosides. They make ginseng a versatile medicinal use and a very positive effect on our immune system.
These substances stimulate immune cells (lymphocytes, macrophages), triggering their rapid response to pathogenic microorganisms entering the body. Ginseng also contains numerous vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polysaccharides, peptides, flavonoids and essential oil.
It has a very strong effect and therefore it is safest to use ready-made preparations with a standardized amount of root extract. Before that, it is worth consulting a doctor, as some diseases (e.g. hypertension or heart problems) preclude taking it on your own.
4. Black lilac
For therapeutic purposes, elderberry flowers and fruits are used, with the highest concentration of biologically active compounds. Flowers contain a lot of flavonoids, organic acids, tannins, triterpenes, and fruits additionally contain vitamins, especially vitamin C and provitamin A.
Black elderberry works preventively, but also perfectly strengthens the body during an infection, accelerating recovery. Elderberry flower decoction and fruit juice have a strong diaphoretic effect, help fight fever, and have expectorant properties, so it is worth using them, for example, during bronchitis and other throat diseases.
They also strengthen the mucous membranes of the throat and respiratory tract, which reduces the spread of microbes. They also have antiviral properties. To prepare a strengthening decoction of elderberry flowers, pour a tablespoon of dried flowers with a glass of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes, then set aside for a quarter of an hour, strain and drink 1/3 cup 2-3 times a day.
5. Rowan fruits
They have versatile properties – including strengthening the body. They can be used against bacterial infections, as well as preventively against colds and flu, they are also recommended during convalescence.
Rowan fruits contain organic acids and carotenoids, as well as tannins, carbohydrates (including sorbitol), a lot of vitamin C and provitamin A. Fruit decoction can be prepared at home – just pour a tablespoon of crushed fruit with a glass of lukewarm water, bring to a boil and heat for 5 minutes, covered, then set aside for a quarter of an hour and strain. You can drink half a glass 2-3 times a day.
This ornamental shrub has been used in natural medicine for centuries in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Cistus contains a lot of polyphenols and flavonoids, which strengthen the body and support the functioning of the immune system.
In case of infection, drinking tea from the purge can perfectly complement the treatment prescribed by the doctor, improve well-being and speed up recovery. You can buy it ready-made in a herbal store or prepare it from the leaves of a plant grown on your own windowsill. A tablespoon of fresh (crushed) or dried leaves should be brewed like regular tea, set aside, covered for 8-10 minutes, then strained and drunk two or three times a day.