Optimising Immune Health with herbs
While being vigilant and practicing good daily habits such as eating a variety of wholefoods, getting enough sunshine, adequate sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene are key to the defence against bacterial and viral infections, there are many clinically researched herbal medicines and their active constituents which have shown to be effective in supporting various aspects of the immune system to enhance the body’s innate defences.
Our immune systems work in symbiosis with all other body systems and needs to be kept in a state of balance or homeostasis. Sometimes things can be thrown off balance when we encounter a virus, or injure ourselves, or even if over time we have been consuming a western style diet with lots of high sugar, processed foods we can trigger an inflammatory state in the body.
Inflammation has historically been given a bad rap; however, it is the body’s chief defence against injury or infection and is a vital element in the healing process. It communicates to the immune system to heal damaged tissue, as well as defend against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
Where it becomes a problem is when it becomes chronic and goes on for too long, or the inflammation becomes systemic and occurs where it is not needed.
Some of the immune modulating and anti-inflammatory herbs we use at Little Wildling Co below are little immune boosting warriors here are some of the key immune centric benefits:
Main actions: Anti-inflammatory, mucoprotective, adrenal tonic, expectorant, demulcent, mild laxative, anticarcinogenic, antitussive, anti-viral, anti-ulcer, immunomodulating. Indicated acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma, cough, bronchial asthma. A PubMed study on “Herbal Immune Boosters” stated “Glycyrrhizin is the chief constituent of Glycyrrhiza glabra root and are rich in flavonoids, coumarins and glycyrrhetinic acid. Glycyrrhizin, since the ancient times have been employed in treatment of various ailments including bronchitis, gastritis and jaundice. Furthermore, they have been affirmed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential that induce the formation of interferons in human body. It was observed by Pilcher (2003) that Glycyrrhizin lowers the ability of SARS-Cov agents to attach to the cell particularly in the early stages of viral infestation”.
Main Actions: Tonic, adaptogen, mild sedative, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, anti-anaemic. Indicated in chronic immune deficiency, leukopenia, fatigue, physical stress, convalescence, during chemotherapy or radiotherapy, tonic for the elderly, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-viral syndromes.
Main Actions: Anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, choleretic. May be helpful in prevention of viral infection and replication. Indicated in Peptic ulcer, dyspepsia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, enhancing phase II detoxification by the liver, asthma, Anticancer, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, hypercholesterolaemia.
Main actions: Actions: Anti-Inflammatory, spasmolytic, mild sedative, carminative, vulnerary, diaphoretic, anti-ulcer. Indicated in Gastrointestinal inflammation (up to 80% of our immune system lies within the gut wall), IBS, nervous dyspepsia, motion sickness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Main Actions: Immune modulating and enhancing, anti-tumour, adaptogen, tonic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, nervine. Indicated in adjunct therapy in cancer treatment, chronic infections, autoimmune, chronic immune deficiency, convalescence, post viral syndromes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, tonic for the elderly.
Main Actions: Antiemetic, carminative, peripheral circulatory stimulant, Anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, diaphoretic, aromatic digestive. Indicated in acute infections, fever, common cold, acute & chronic bronchitis, asthma, bronchial asthma. May be helpful in preventing viral replication.
Main actions: expectorant, carminative, anti-catarrhal, spasmolytic, diaphoretic, mild sedative. Indicated to help relive excess respiratory mucus including nasopharyngeal catarrh, acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma & bronchial asthma, sore throat, fever, common cold, flatulence, liver and gallbladder complaints.
Main actions: antiviral, immunostimulant, antioxidant. Indicated in upper respiratory tract infections including common cold and influenza.
Main actions: spasmolytic, carminative, cholagogue, antiemetic, antitussive, antimicrobial, mild sedative, diaphoretic, analgesic (topically). Indicated in common cold, influenza, cough, nasopharyngeal catarrh, sinus headache.
Enjoy some of the benefits of these herbs in LWC teas:
PubMed article, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532351/, viewed 11th of Jan 2022.
Herbal Extract Company Article: “Anti-inflammatories and Immune Health”, viewed 4th of May 2021
Mediherb website: “Clinical Applications for Immune System support”, viewed 11th of Jan 2022.