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COVID-19: Herbal Decoctions To Boost Your Immunity

Good immunity is the need of the time as the COVID-19 virus is infecting people all around the world, especially people who have immunosuppressive conditions or chronic diseases.

Herbal decoctions or 'kadha' are considered warriors against multiple infections, illnesses or diseases. There are a plethora of herbs such as holy basil, turmeric and mint which are useful to prevent viral infections by boosting our immunity. To mention, a decoction is a plant-based liquor usually prepared by boiling parts of a plant (roots, leaves, flower, seeds or fruit) in water. Take a look at a few herbal decoctions which help boost immunity during a pandemic.

1. Turmeric And Milk

According to the Ministry of AYUSH, golden milk or milk with turmeric is one of the best ways to boost immunity and enhance our body's natural defence system. Since there's no cure for COVID-19 developed yet, preventing the infection by our strong immune power is the best way to deal with the situation.

According to a journal Frontiers In Microbiology, curcumin in turmeric is very effective against the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that causes respiratory tract infections in humans. It also prevents the duplication of RSV in the nasal chambers so that the virus doesn't get transferred to the lungs. [1] Another study says that curcumin in turmeric inhibits property which is effective against SARS-CoV. [2]

2. Tulsi And Kalimirch

A decoction made from five herbs; Tulsi (Holy Basil), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) makes for the best immunity booster decoction, as said by the Ministry of AYUSH. The decoction is recommended to be taken once or twice a day.

Tulsi is said to be an ayurvedic solution of all illnesses mainly due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Chewing its leaves help release flu symptoms and the problem of the lungs such as bronchitis. Piperine in black pepper is a potent antioxidant while cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties against infection. Dry ginger is known to everyone for its immunity-boosting compounds [3] while raisins are packed with vitamins and minerals to fight against viruses.

3. Cardamon, Pepper And Lemon

According to a study, lemon juice has an immunomodulatory effect due to the presence of protein components in it. [4] The high amount of vitamin C (a natural antioxidant), folate and potassium in lemon juice helps boost our immune system and keep us healthy. Also, the antiviral and antibacterial properties of this essential vitamin wards away all the infectious diseases.

Black pepper and cardamom are one among many herbs that have potential immunomodulatory effects. A study says that an extract solution of black pepper with cardamom has anti-inflammatory and antitumour properties. It helps enhance the natural defence system of our body and regulate inflammatory responses against many infections. [5]

4. Ashwagandha And Mushroom

Grifola frondosa, commonly known as hen-of-the-woods is a type of polypore mushroom grown mostly at the base of the trees. They are rich in beta-glucans which is an active immunomodulator. On the other hand, ashwagandha is known to increase the antibody response against pathogens and help fight diseases.

A study published in the North American Journal Of Medical Sciences talks about the immune-enhancing effects of ashwagandha and mushrooms. It says that the beta-glucan in both these herbs cause stimulation of phagocytes cells that protect our body by fighting and ingesting harmful foreign particles such as bacteria or viruses. [6]

5. Mint And Rosemary

Mint or peppermint has potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Methanol in it is effective against multiple infections. According to a study, peppermint leaves are rich in phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and luteolin which poses an immunomodulating potential. [7]

On the other hand, rosemary is a natural dietary ingredient that decreases the risk of chronic diseases and improves immune functions. Combination of mint and rosemary help fight against inflammatory diseases and other seasonal allergies. [8]