For thousands of years, herbal teas have been used in traditional medicine to improve immunity against illnesses. More recently the effectiveness of these natural remedies has been backed up by research.
With an increasing amount of highly contagious viruses, such as COVID-19, having a healthy and effective immune defense is super important.
Read this article and find out what are the 5 best herbal teas for boosting your immune system.
To give you a more comprehensive guide for this topic, I will begin by explaining what our immune system consists of and how it works. This is important so you can have a good understanding of how to use herbal teas for building up your immunity.
The Immune System and How it Works
Our immune system is made up of organs, cells, and proteins that work to protect the body from foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites (pathogens), and harmful substances like toxins.
The most important components of our immune system are:
- White blood cells, or leukocytes, circulating in our blood vessels, as well as the lymphatic vessels, are constantly on the lookout for pathogens. If they find a target, they start multiplying and sending signals to other cells.
- Antibodies are proteins that our immune system produces to protect us. A healthy and effective immune system has a large surplus of different types of antibodies.
- The complement system enhances the ability of phagocytic cells (a type of white blood cell) and antibodies with attacking germs, promoting inflammation, and clearing damaged cells.
- The lymphatic system has an important role in the immune functions as it is the first line of defense against disease. It consists of vessels and nodes circulating the lymph fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells.
- The spleen helps our body with fighting infection by detecting any unwelcome micro-organisms (like bacteria or viruses) in the blood.
- Bone marrow has a very important role in our immune system because it produces all of our blood cells including the white blood cells.
- The thymus has a vital role in the training and development of T cells (also known as T lymphocytes).
Proteins on the surfaces of pathogens trigger the immune system and cause it to make antibodies to destroy the harmful invaders. The system also produces inflammation to fight off infections and help the body heal itself.
The immune system keeps a record of all germs that it encounters. So after defeating a threat once, it can recognize and eliminate it more effectively, if it attacks our body again.
White blood cells can be divided into 5 main types:
- Neutrophils are the most numerous type of white blood cells and they defend us against bacterial or fungal infection.
- Eosinophils are mostly found in the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and lower urinary tracts, and their main function is to deal with parasitic infections. They are also the main inflammatory cells related to allergic reactions.
- Basophils are the rarest type of white blood cells and have an important role in allergic and antigen response. They can release histamine that causes the dilation of blood vessels.
- Monocytes are the largest white blood cells and act as cleaners, and they also help T cells with recognizing and killing pathogens. Monocytes first circulate in the bloodstream for about one to three days and then become tissue macrophages that remove dead cell debris and attack micro-organisms.
- Lymphocytes are commonly found circulating in the lymphatic system and include B cells that secrete antibodies, T cells that kill infected host cells, and natural killer cells that provide rapid responses to virus-infected cells and respond to tumor formation.
People get sick when the immune system grows weak or is overcome by a new type of threat it can not suppress. In this state, it is unable to fight off aggressive germs, including unfamiliar ones that never attacked the body before.
Common reasons for weakened immunity are poor nutrition, smoking, chronic alcohol consumption, and illness. Meanwhile, risk factors include stress, lack of exercise, medication, obesity, and exposure to radiation.
In some cases, the immune system becomes hypersensitive to things that are not harmful, like your own body cells. Too much inflammation is produced as a result and can eventually cause damage to healthy cells, tissues, and organs (an autoimmune response).
This, in turn, lowers the body’s ability to protect itself against illnesses. An overproduction of inflammation is linked to chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
Best Herbal Teas for Boosting Your Immune System
When you feel sick, it is just too easy to take a painkiller to make you feel better. But that means you are only treating the symptoms and not the actual cause.
There are many ways to improve your overall health and avoid getting sick. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a sufficient amount of sleep are some of the most important aspects of taking care of your body.
Yet, sometimes you might need something extra to provide further assistance to your immune system.
It’s time to start using natural remedies for boosting your body’s own defenses!
Certain herbs contain powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-bacterial compounds that can bolster immune function.
I have put together a list with 5 best herbal teas that help you with staying fit and avoiding illness. You can use them for many purposes including relieving of cold and flu symptoms, reducing inflammation, and promoting cell repair.
The roots, leaves, and flowers of the echinacea plant have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans of the Great Plains region. This popular herbal remedy is long known for its ability to fight cold and flu symptoms in the early stages and even shorten their duration.
A study from 2004 found that drinking immune-boosting echinacea tea at the early onset of cold or flu symptoms is an effective way to relieve these symptoms. Not only that, but the symptoms also subsided in a shorter period of time compared to using cold and flu medicines. The study was carried out on 95 participants and each of them ingested 5 to 6 cups of Echinacea Plus tea per day.
Researchers believe this herb has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral agents that work to strengthen the immune system, so it can fight off cold and flu viruses. The antioxidants it contains are able to destroy toxins in the body that damage or cause our cells to deteriorate faster.
Echinacea can also help in the growth and repair of immune cells damaged from chronic inflammation in the body. Additionally, it has anti-hypersensitive properties that may reduce the body’s overreaction to harmless things.
With all these qualities, echinacea tea is definitely one of the best natural remedies for boosting your immunity!
You can order Echinacea Plus tea from Amazon:
Low immunity can make you especially prone to frequent colds and flu. If this tends to happen to you, elderberry tea may help boost your immune system and prevent you from getting sick.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) is a fruit traditionally used for its anti-influenza effects and for fighting upper respiratory infections.
A study evaluating the antiviral effects of concentrated elderberry juice found that the juice was especially good for treating influenza and colds. They also concluded that it can stimulate immune system response as well as prevent viral infections because of the antioxidants it contains.
Another study on the use of elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections suggests that elderberry extract is a safe, efficient, and cost-effective treatment for influenza. The patients receiving elderberry syrup daily experienced that the flu symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier compared to the placebo group.
What’s more, the antioxidants and vitamins found in elderberry tea, extract, or juice can help to counteract oxidative stress on the body. Oxidative stress refers to the immune system’s inability to neutralize free radicals (toxins). When this happens toxins build up in the body and damage healthy body cells.
Oxidative stress can also cause chronic inflammation, which may then cause or worsen certain diseases or conditions. They include inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome. The same study on the juice of elderberry also found that elderberry may help prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
If you are going to buy elderberry tea, I recommend these organic tea bags from Buddha Teas.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a plant used for generations in traditional Chinese medicine. Like elderberry tea, it has antioxidant and antiviral effects and can stimulate the immune system to help prevent colds.
This root herb also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds that help with preventing infection and promote wound healing.
Here are some other things to bear in mind about astragalus:
- It can lower blood sugar of diabetics
- Can be used to treat chronic viral hepatitis B
- Aids with protecting against heart disease, kidney disease, and seasonal allergies
- It also has anti-tumor effects that may help fight cancers such as leukemia and melanoma
Studies done on mice found that astragalus is a potential treatment for the Coxsackie virus B3, a pathogen linked to heart disease. Researchers also tested astragalus as a possible treatment for a weakened immune system caused by radiation or chemotherapy.
Astragalus tea has definitely earned its place as one of the best herbal teas for the immune system. It is easy to make it with astragalus tea bags or by boiling dried, shredded astragalus root in water.
You can the best organic astragalus root tea from Buddha Teas Online Store.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a root herb with an active compound called curcumin. It is known especially for its anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This ties in well with the immune system function, which is to regulate inflammation production.
Inflammation disorder is an underlying cause of chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Thus, a steady dose of turmeric tea may help with preventing immune overreaction and overproduction of inflammation.
Turmeric is seen as a potent agent that activates the T cells, B cells, and other immune cells that function to protect the body. Research also suggests that turmeric may lower cortisol levels and prevent immune system impairment.
Furthermore, curcumin’s antibody response and ability to regulate the immune system functions suggest that it may have beneficial effects in people with allergy, asthma, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Based on turmeric’s ability to influence positive immune response, more research is underway to test its potential as a therapy for immune disorders.
With all these positive qualities, drinking tea made from turmeric is another effective way to boost your immune system.
Ginger tea is an ancient Chinese herbal medicine that is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. It supports immune health because it is rich in antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents that help combat inflammation.
Even more, ginger root has antiviral and antibacterial properties that may help the body fight off common colds, flu, and germ invasion. One study concludes that ginger is a potential treatment for diseases such as diabetes and cancer since it nourishes the immune system and fights inflammation.
Chronic digestive issues, such as Crohns’s disease and ulceration colitis, are often due to problems with the immune cells in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As ginger tea aids our digestive function, it can be used to prevent and treat these conditions.
You can brew a warm cup of ginger tea from fresh or dried ginger root, or make things even more convenient by using high-quality tea bags. Add fresh lemon and raw honey to taste if you like. While you sip this delicious goodness, think of its immune-boosting benefits.
Want to order some ginger tea? Read this guide and find the best ginger tea products on the market.
Boost Your Immune Defense With Natural Remedies
Today, many people choose herbal medicine to avoid the unwanted side effects of drugs. And it is no mystery that herbal teas are a natural way to boost the immune system. After all, people drank them for centuries to help the body fight against a variety of illnesses.
There’s also little to no side effects compared to taking pharmaceutical drugs that may also impair your immunity. While herbal teas are generally considered safe for consumption, they may interact with medicines you are taking. To avoid this, you should consult your doctor if you are on permanent medication.
Now that you have read this guide you know which herbal teas have the most powerful immune-strengthening properties.
These herbal teas are delicious, easy to make, and are packed with medicinal benefits to beef up and help balance your immune system. Just follow the links in this article to find the best herbal tea brands and products.
Here are a few more articles that you might find interesting:
- Fresh Ginger Tea Recipe
- Best Herbal Teas for Allergies
- Buddha Teas Turmeric Ginger Tea Bags Review
- Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes for Summer
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Enjoy your herbal teas and stay healthy!
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