5 of the Best Herbs to Boost the Immune System

5. Ginseng for immune system

Ginseng is the root of plants belonging to the genus Panax and another one of the immunity boosting herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. Many people think of ginseng as an invigorating tonic, and rightly so. The plant has traditionally been used for stimulating sexual desire in men, increasing athletic performance, and preventing and treating illnesses related to the immune system.

The most popular types are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Both contain the active biochemical ingredients ginsenosides and gintonin. Panax ginseng, in particular, is known for its immunomodulatory activity.

Ginseng can help your immune system by regulating T cells and other immune cells that help your body fend off threats from bacteria and viruses.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMC: PMC3659612
Ginseng extract shows antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may even boost resistance to infections in healthy people.

Note that many studies assessing ginseng’s effects on the immune system focused on how they may improve immunity in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment or surgery.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.5142/JGR.2004.28.2.104

Ginseng root can be consumed raw. You can also slice (or grate) and steep it in hot water to make ginseng tea to boost immune system function. But be warned that ginseng may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Although herbal tea drinkers describe the beverage as tasty and energizing, others can’t help but notice the bitter taste hidden in warm earthy flavors.

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Ginseng Infographic

Image Source – herbazest

The Takeaway

Both healthy and sick people can consume immune boosting herbs. These 5 herbs for immune support are generally considered safe for human consumption. On top of that, the risk of side effects is low compared to taking pharmaceutical drugs. However, limited studies have been carried out and scientists do not yet fully understand their safety and efficacy. There’s also a chance that dietary herbs may interact with medications you’re taking or worsen certain health conditions.

If you’re still interested in trying these medicinal plants, you may find them at your local whole food or herbal stores or online as loose leaves, tea bags, powders, liquid extracts, capsules, and dietary supplements. Besides their healing potential, you’ll probably enjoy their aroma and celestial flavors.

Lastly, you should not rely on immunity boosting herbs exclusively to fight sickness. Your doctor may advise you to continue taking your medication, consume nutritious foods, exercise, get enough sleep, and avoid habits that suppress the immune system.

 

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