Our immune system continuously protects our bodies from outside invaders like germs, viruses, and toxins. For this system to effectively do its job, we need to keep it balanced and strong, no matter our age. One way to do this is by consuming immune-boosting herbs.
At MDbio, we focus on developing naturopathic products that target four core areas: calm, immunity, sleep, and pain relief. We're proud to create supplements like MDimmune+™ that incorporate several key immune-boosting ingredients.
Keep reading to learn how the ingredients in our MDimmune™ product can strengthen your defenses, keeping your body strong. We'll also share some more details on how to take care of your immune system and how plant-based medicine can help tackle immune-compromising symptoms.
Taking Care of the Immune System
The immune system is composed of cells, organs, and chemicals that fight off infections, including:
- Bone marrow
- Complement system
- Lymphatic system
- White blood cells
There are many ways to care for these cells and organs. You should eat healthily, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Focus on feeding your body immune-boosting herbs like full-spectrum hemp oil, vitamin C, and zinc.
Several herb varieties support different aspects of your immunity, many of which you can find in our MDimmune+™ supplement. We'll cover these next.
The 7 Essential Herbs for Immunity
A strong immune system begins with understanding how immune-boosting herbs will help your body. Then, you want to decide what the best herbs for immunity are. It's here that you'll begin your naturopathic medicine journey.
You'll find the first seven remedies, amongst others, in MDimmune+™. There are also several worthwhile benefits to be had from the other herbs for immunity mentioned. You'll find other supplements at MDBio that contain extracts from some of these incredible herbs.
1. Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
Full-spectrum hemp oil is a remedy that contains more than one cannabis plant extract. These extracts can include terpenes, essential oils, cannabinol, cannabidiol, and other cannabinoids. However, taking cannabidiol (CBD) for immune support will not get you high. Instead, it's used to help alleviate illness symptoms, aches and pains, and sleeplessness.
While benefits have been observed, there is not enough research available yet to back up these observations conclusively. However, many herbalists swear by using cannabis or hemp oil for overall health and well-being.
Forming part of the plant pigment group known as flavonoids, Quercetin is typically present in vegetables, fruit, grains, and nuts. When used in a supplement, it is more commonly extracted from the buds and dried flowers of the Japanese pagoda tree.
The substance is said to have powerful antioxidant properties. This means it helps to balance free radicals, which have been noted to cause aging as well as various inflammation and other chronic health issues. It's an essential addition when you're taking herbs for immune system health.
3. Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil has been used for decades in folk medicine. It is often used to boost weight loss and support brain health and conditions like asthma, high cholesterol, and skin irritations. These benefits and uses of the seed are detailed as far back as 1025 AD in The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna. It is also spoken about in other Ayurvedic chronicles.
Black seed oil has also been well researched in the West, as ascertained by the president of Herbal Pharmacist Media (Oceanside, CA), David Foreman, who claims the substance indeed has immune-boosting benefits. The seed has several immune-boosting benefits but is known especially for how it reduces and balances inflammation in the body.
Monolaurin, also known as Glycerol monolaurate, or GML, is believed to be effective in reducing and preventing cholesterol issues, as well as in preventing cardiovascular disease. It is a coconut extract and acts as an emulsifier. It is generally known to be safe and not cause any adverse side effects.
It is easily absorbed into the body and does not cause any fat accumulation. The substance also has antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, and anti-diabetic properties.
Zinc is found throughout the body naturally. It is said to be effective in keeping the immune system and metabolism functioning optimally. The nutrient promotes timeous healing and helps enhance the senses of smell and taste.
So long as you eat a variety of food groups, you should absorb enough zinc via your diet. The nutrient is typically found in breakfast cereal, red meat, and chicken.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for overall good health. It's well known for warding off colds and flu. In the old days, sailors used to get scurvy from a lack of vitamin C in their diets after months at sea.
Vitamin C is found in a number of fruit, vegetables, and herbs for immune system health, including:
- Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruit
- Kiwi fruit
When putting together your herbs for an immunity package, make sure the supplements you choose have a good vitamin C quota. Men should consume about 90 mg of vitamin C a day, and women should have 75 mg. It's best to get your daily dose directly from your diet, doctors will advise, but if you feel you need a boost, you can take vitamin C supplements as well.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays various roles in the body when it comes to overall health and well-being. It is especially important for boosting the immune system as it boosts immune cell production of proteins that fight harmful microbes. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be the root cause of many illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
Sources of vitamin D include getting out in the sunshine, as well as from animal products such as:
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
- Egg yolk
- Tuna fish
Other Immune Boosting Herbs for Immunity
In addition to the herbs that you can get a daily dose of by taking MDImmune, there are several other herbs that you can take and enjoy additional immunity-boosting benefits. Here are seven of our favorites.
Grown in the world's more tropical areas and widely consumed all over, ginger is said to support several key immune functions. The aromatic herb is excellent for digestion and blood circulation. These two bodily functions are also at the core of healthy immune responses, so ginger is considered one of the best herbs for immune system health.
Ginger contains shogaol and gingerol, which are strong compounds that stimulate blood circulation and provide overall benefits for the rest of the body. It is also very effective in preventing and alleviating the symptoms of colds and flu.
You can find ginger in several manufactured immune-boosting herbal products. It's also delicious in its raw form. Try a steaming cup of ginger, lemon, and honey tea to treat a chill.
Also called purple coneflower, Echinacea is believed to be one of the most effective herbs for immunity and overall health. It forms part of the daisy family and is native to Europe and North America. It is an ancient remedy for overall well-being used by both Native Americans and Europeans. Like ginger, vitamin C, and vitamin D, it is also a powerful cold and flu preventative treatment and is still widely used for this purpose today.
There are several species of Echinacea. Each variety acts on the body in different ways. There are also various ways of preparing the substance, impacting its activity.
When the spring tops of the flowers are harvested, they are rich in polysaccharides. These compounds help to support basic wellness. In the fall, they are rich in alkylamides. These compounds are what support foundational immune responses in the body.
Oregano has been used since ancient Greek times and across Europe through the ages. It has been used for its perceived positive impact, especially on respiratory health, as well as overall health and well-being. Oregano preparations are often rich in thymol and carvacrol, which have highly effective respiratory support properties.
As one of the most readily available immune-boosting herbs, oregano can be used in your cooking every day, or you can take it in a supplement form as part of your general well-being regime. You can get a highly concentrated oregano oil for extra support when you need it.
The properties of olive oil for antiaging and health support are widely drawn upon, but the leaf of the olive tree may also have powerful antioxidants. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used the olive tree for all kinds of health benefits. It was also revered as a symbol of peace, wisdom, and longevity in these ancient cultures.
The olive tree typically grows in hot, unforgiving climates. The leaves are evergreen, and they produce antioxidants to help the plant cope with its harsh habitat. The leaves have also long been used to support overall immune health, as well as cardiovascular and glycemic well-being, and stable body temperature.
Also frequently used by the Native Americans, Grindelia is said to be an excellent herb for supporting the respiratory system. It helps to soothe and repair issues in an irritated respiratory system.
The Grindelia flowers have a sticky sap, which is used to create syrups and other supplements to help alleviate any respiratory issues. It is still widely used today by modern herbalists and is one of the most well-known immune-boosting herbs.
Goldenseal is one of the most iconic American herbs for immunity. It was also used commonly by the Native Americans in previous centuries. It was brought into mainstream culture by the eclectics during the 19th century when they learned about its properties from the Native Americans. The herb is believed to have several benefits for bodily health and is said to support the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, thus improving respiratory and digestive processes in the body.
Goldenseal almost went extinct due to over-harvesting in the 1800s. Programs by the United Plant Savers (UPS) have managed to stabilize Goldenseal populations in their natural habitats in the US. Still, it is best to limit the use of Goldenseal to times when you most need it. That is, if you have a respiratory irritation flare-up, for example. The herb is often combined with Echinacea, which forms a highly effective combination of herbs for immune system boosting.
Maitake has an established history in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and ancient Japanese medicine. The mushroom's fruiting bodies have betaglucans, which are said to support overall well-being at a cellular level and treat diseases such as cancer.
Maitake grows perennially on hardwood, oak, and maple tree boughs and branches. Translated from Japanese, the plant is known as the “dancing mushroom." The Japanese also call it the “hen of the woods.” It is quite palatable and thus is sought after for both its flavor and medicinal properties.
Reishi has long been used in ancient Chinese medicine as a health-boosting tonic and adaptogen. It has formed part of China's medicinal tradition for over 2000 years. Reishi is known for promoting healthy responses to stress. It is also believed to balance and support the good health of many of the body's organs and has been used to balance the cardiovascular system and support liver and respiratory health and function.
The plant is still used for these purposes today, as it is rich in betaglucan polysaccharides and is highly effective as an immune support substance.
The substance is also known as “Ling Zhi”, which translates to “spiritual mushroom”. In nature, the mushroom grows on hardwood tree branches and stumps. Luckily, Reishi is also very easy to cultivate and is thus one of the most sustainable herbs for immunity.
Start Your Herbal Journey
As you can see, taking immune-boosting herbs and other support for immunity may significantly boost your overall health and well-being. By taking herbs for immune system support and supplements like MDimmune, you can ramp up your immunity and avoid getting sick more effectively. A strong immune system means a better quality of life, so you'll also have more energy and vibrancy to do more of what you love, making just a small dose of these herbs every day well worth it.