There is a lot of fear and anxiety in the world right now. We all do the best we can to protect ourselves from getting the virus. Everyone knows that it is important to mask up, shower, and change the clothes when returned home to prevent contamination. However, not everyone thinks about the internal protection. So, I would like to share some ideas on how to strengthen the immune system, how to create a habit of using herbs to develop strong internal protection, how to correctly use them, and where to buy them.
Viruses, including Coronavirus, are everywhere, and we can encounter them multiple times during the day and carry them on our cloth, but it is up to our immune system to recognize and fight or let the virus win. Even though Coronavirus is known to be one of the most deceiving and difficult to recognize as a pathogen by immune cells, if the immune system is sharp and functions to its full capacity, the chances to be tricked and defeated are much smaller. Scientists found high levels of bacterial debris in the bloodstream in patients with severe cases of COVID infection compared to patients with a light form of COVID. That can mean that the reason for high severity can be other previously existing bacterial infections that weakened the body since it has been in long-term continuous battle. With that said, keeping your immunity in a good shape can prevent multiple infections and inflammatory diseases distracting the whole system from COVID when the protection is needed the most.
There are herbs with strong antiviral and antibacterial action that we can use at home on daily basis. Among them, I want to name the most popular ones and easily available on herbal websites (from wild harvest or grown organically on farms).
Rosehip. It is a vitamin bomb! Rich in Vit A, B5, C (76% of daily value), Vit E, flavonoids, pectin, and much more. Can be used as hot tea or cold infusion. Boil water and pour onto whole or crushed berries in a jar and soak overnight, or cook on a water bath for 15 minutes. Drink multiple times a day. Main action: reduces inflammation, improves skin, a strong antioxidant. Contains high amounts of betacarotene, chromium, niacin, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, thiamine, tin, crude fiber, and dietary fiber. They contain average amounts of calcium, fat, and phosphorus, and low amounts of cobalt, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, silicon, and zinc. Excellent for everyday use. Fill your thermos with herbal tea and take to work.
Elderberry. Elderberry has a long history across different cultures and nowadays is one of the most-used herbs with antiviral and immunity activating properties. It is poisonous in raw form, but in the form of tea or decoction, it is safe. Rich in Vit C and other antioxidants. Due to the activation of immune system properties, people with autoimmune disorders should be careful about consuming Elderberry and consult with the doctor. As a home remedy, keep berries in a water bath for 15 minutes and enjoy hot or cool. They can be alone or mixed with other herbs. More detailed information can be found here:
Calendula. Calendula is well known as an antiseptic and immunity strengthening agent and can be used in multiple ways. For example, it can be steeped alone or added to your regular tea.
Rowan berries. Rowan berries are included in the group of “Arctic berries”, which is considered “superfood”. They are an important source of vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, and other necessary elements for a good immune system and a healthy metabolism. They are not supposed to be eaten raw but cooked or boiled they are a great addition to your antiviral home remedy kit. More information can be found here: https://en.heilkraeuter.net/herbs/rowan-berry.htm.
Chamomile. Chamomile is amazing and easily available health-promoting medicinal plant. Studies showed anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial properties. It also improves cardiovascular, nervous, skeletal, skin, and GI systems. Why not drink this wonderful tea?! Look for more information here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
Tulsi (Holi Basil). Studies reveal that Tulsi has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects, increases resilience and adaptation to stress. Tulsi also can be made in a form of tea in a pot or cooked in a water bath for more intense and full extract. More information read here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
Echinacea. And, of course, Echinacea! World-famous plant to prevent and fight infections and boost the immune system. Please, look up this great herb here: https://www.rxlist.com/echinacea/supplements.htm.
Fireweed (Ivan Chai). The last herb I will mention today is Fireweed or Ivan Chai. It has been used since ancient times due to its great healing and detoxing properties. It is very pleasant for taste and can substitute regular black or green tea.
I recommend everyone to have some of these wonderful herbs at home and make teas and decoctions every day, mixing them together or using separately. Especially during the pandemic, it is beneficial to stay away from stimulants (strong coffee and tea and energy-boosting drinks), artificial additives in your food (they can be taken as allergens by the immune system and cause long-lasting inflammation and delay response to pathogens). Produced during stress adrenaline and cortisol, weaken the pathogen-defense forces.
Being deeply interconnected with nature, we should turn to it and gratefully use what it can offer for our protection. And of course, not forget to protect it back.
Author: Anna Kushnareva