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Herbal Top 5 – Immune-Boosting Ingredients

Herbal Remedies – We have been getting asked a lot what herbs people should be keeping in their pantries, we thought we would take your question to our panel of herb loving gurus and see what they suggested. Below are our top 5 herbs that the team keeps on deck, especially with everything happening in the world at the moment!

It’s often the rationality that becomes a thing of the past when panic sets in so there is a big thing to remember, which your guts will thank you for later and that is…

Viruses do not respond to antibiotics, antibiotics work on bacteria. Bacteria and Viruses are vastly different. Here is how they differ:

Bacteria: Bacteria are a single but very complex cell, coming in many forms and independent of the host for survival and are capable of replication with or without an animal or human host.

Virus’s: Require a host cell for survival, they need the animal or human cell to reside in and replicate to prolong its survival. Their genetic material melds with the host’s DNA. this is how it survives.

The reason that Antibiotics don’t work on Viruses is that it can target strains of bacteria residing in the host, but because of the way viruses reside in a cell and meld with our own DNA, this means that antibiotics actually cant target anything specific.

So, taking an antibiotic will not cure or protect you from viral infections such as the covid-19 virus.  People with low immunity such as the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease are the most vulnerable when it comes to viral infections such as influenza or the new Covid-19 virus.

Here are five ingredients backed by scientific research that may boost your immunity and help protect you during these challenging times.

 

1.    Myricetin

Myricetin has been shown to be a SARS-CoV 3CL protease inhibitor.  3CL protease enzymes are needed for the virus to replicate, so the more we can inhibit enzymes like this, the harder it is for viruses to take hold.  Myricetin is a flavonoid found in many vegetables such as broccoli, kale, onions, peppers, rutagagas, turnips greens and watercress.  It is also found in herbs such as chives, corn poppy leaves, dill, dock leaves, fennel leaves, lovage leaves, sweet potato leaves and tarragon.

A good reason to not skip on the vegetables when stockpiling supplies.

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2.      Herbal Nerds Unite – Wormwood

Artemisia annua, or wormwood as it is more commonly known, has been shown to display anti-SARS-CoV effects from a screening analysis using hundreds of Chinese medicinal herbs according to the below study:

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Artemisia contains many active ingredients including dihydroartemisinin (DHA) which seems to help balance how the immune system responds in those with weakened immune function or immunocompromised individuals.  According to some studies DHA seems to increase the number of lymphocytes and CD8+ T lymphocytes in circulation whilst reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines, making it both immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory.

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3.    Ganoderma mushroom

Ganoderma lucidum or reishi mushroom as it is more commonly known, has traditional use in supporting healthy immune function.  Reishi mushroom seems to stimulate NK (natural killer) cell cytotoxicity through the simulation of perforin and granulysin.  Essentially, reishi mushroom enhances the innate protective response of the immune system which helps to protect you against viral infections.  Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi also contain polysaccharides known as beta glucans that can interact with our immune system’s receptors and thus activate the complement immune system which then enhances the activity of our macrophages and natural killer cells.

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4.      Herbal Commoner – Astragalus

One common herbal ingredient we hear about is Astragalus membranaceus, like Ganoderma lucidum, has traditional use as an immune tonic and modulator.  Various studies have shown that Astragalus works by stimulating the production of interferon-gamma through the upregulation of T-helper cells from our immune system, and by enhancing the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells involved in killing viruses. Interferon-gamma (IFN-g) works by binding to cell surface receptors which then triggers signalling molecules to be released inside the cell.  This process activates enzymes inside the cell that helps to stop viruses from replicating and spreading inside the body.

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5.      Andrographis

Andrographis contains the active ingredient andrographolide which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.  Andrographolide is also an immunomodulatory ingredient and works by enhancing cytotoxic T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, phagocytosis, and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, all very important mechanisms when it comes to protection against viral infections.

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This is for information purposes and is not intended for diagnosis, to treat, prevent or cure any condition. Please consult with your health care professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.