With the slight change in weather condition, we see lot of people queuing outside the general physician’s clinic. One of my close acquaintances always keeps complaining about frequent cough, colds, or some other infection every now and then. Immunity is not just a simple firewall for protecting the body, but a key building block of a strong & healthy body. When we battle germs inside our body, the body is self-programmed to respond to the foreign organism by producing antibodies and by stimulating specialized cells to neutralize the toxic products. This process of self-defense from foreign invasion is termed as “Immunity.” And when it comes to building immunity, Mother Nature has placed at our disposal ample sources of natural immunity enhancers. Let us check out some of the main immunity boosters, and know about them in detail :
Most of the beneficial health effects of garlic are caused by a sulfur compound “Allicin,” which is formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed, or chewed. It is highly nutritious and low in calories. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and Manganese, and contains smaller amounts of various other nutrients. Allicin prevents and reduces the severity of common illness like flu and common cold, is known to reduce blood pressure, and lessens the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Ginger is a true “wonder spice” with many therapeutic properties. According to Ayurveda, this spice, in itself, is an entire medicine chest! This is prescribed as a powerful digestive aid, clears the body’s micro-circulatory channels, and improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues. Ginger is also used as a remedy for joint pain, nausea, and motion sickness.
3. Fenugreek Seeds
Known in Hindi as “Methi,” this seed is a rich reservoir of medicinal properties. It helps reduce cholesterol level, presence of Galactomannan plays a key role in maintaining heart health, the high amount of potassium in it balances the action of sodium in the body, and ginger also reduces risk of heart disease. (Galactomannan is a natural soluble fiber which delays gastric emptying and it can be use strategically to alter glycemic properties of food.)
Clove is the dried bud of the flower from the tree Syzygium Aromaticum. This spice helps improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. In addition, it has antibacterial properties against numerous human pathogens, is said to have anti-carcinogenic properties, is helpful in controlling lung cancer in early stages, and also found effective against the specific bacteria that spreads cholera. Due to its medicinal property, this spice is also used in controlling tooth decay & halitosis – bad breath.
Phytochemicals in onions improves working of vitamin C, in addition to containing chromium, which helps in regulating blood sugar. For ages, onion has been used to reduce inflammation and for healing infections. Onion scavenges free radicals from the body, and thereby, reduces the risk of developing gastric ulcer.
This herbal extract is emerging as a very promising and unique one with multiple applications. It’s a powerful defender against sickness in general, increases energy and regulates healthy blood pressure. It is found beneficial in the treatment of conditions caused by viruses, retrovirus, and bacteria, like influenza, common cold, meningitis, encephalitis, hepatitis B, pneumonia, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, urinary tract infection, and surgical infections.
Giloy has often been called Amruta, the Indian name for the immortalizing nectar. It contains antioxidant properties that improve health and fight dangerous diseases. Giloy helps remove toxins from both the kidneys and the liver, and helps to flush out free radicals. In addition to this, it also fights with disease-causing bacteria, and also combats liver diseases and urinary tract infections, treats chronic fevers, increases the count of blood platelets, and alleviates symptoms of dengue fever. Combined with honey, Giloy is known to treat malaria as well.
In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse!” This basically indicates that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after illness. Ashwagandha alleviates stress, fatigue, lack of energy and difficulty in concentrating. Moreover, it stabilizes blood sugar and helps lower cholesterol, and also contains several anti-malarial properties.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has prominent antioxidant properties. It’s a powerful cancer fighter, inhibits the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells, restricts the blood supply necessary for tumor growth, improves liver function and decreases inflammation.
This is one of most popular herbs which is predominantly used to treat common cold and upper respiratory tract infections. It can be consumed as tea.
Author Credits – Alka Rao Yadav
- Charaksamhita by Ambika Dutt Shastri
- Bhavaprakash by Bhav Mishr
- Rastantrasar / Sidhprayogsangrah by Krishna Gopal Kaleda Trust
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