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10 Best Kitchen-Friendly Herbs To Boost Immunity During COVID-19

Having good immunity is essential to combat COVID-19. A person can become naturally resistant to disease-causing agents by their strong immune power. Becoming immune to a particular disease means the production of antibodies for the specific virus. In the case of COVID-19, millions have become infected but a large number of people have also recovered due to their strong immunity.

The best way to boost immunity is through natural ways as they come with zero or minimal side effects. There are several kitchen-friendly herbs which are very effective in combating pathogens. Have a look at the herbs that help boost immune power.


1. Giloy

Scientifically termed as Tinosporacordifolia, giloy is an Ayurvedic herb which is used as a medicine since centuries to treat multiple ailments. This ‘root of immortality' is widely known for its immune-stimulatory, antioxidant and therapeutic activity. Giloy also helps fight bacteria and viruses and prevent recurrent fevers. [1]

How to use: Prepare giloy juice by boiling its stem in water. Take 15-20 ml of giloy juice with water and consume in an empty stomach.


2. Tulsi

Also termed as holy basil, tulsi is famous for its medicinal properties in Siddha and Ayurveda. It has a range of therapeutic benefits and boosting immunity is among the top of it. According to a study, the aqueous leaf extract of tulsi is very effective in treating viral infections and shows a promising effect on the immune system. [2]

How to use: Prepare a tulsi tea by boiling 5-7 tulsi leaves in around 400-500 ml of water.


3. Garlic

Garlic is very essential to maintain the homeostasis of the immune system. It is known to stimulate the production of white blood which acts as a natural killer for a pathogen. Garlic also helps to enhance the functioning of the immune system due to the presence of the immunoregulative compound. [3]

How to use: Take 1-2 cloves of garlic with a glass of lukewarm water and drink it every day in empty stomach. Also, try to include garlic in your meals.


4. Turmeric

Curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. Including turmeric in daily meals helps fight seasonal flu and improve the symptom of cold and cough. According to a study, curcumin also helps decrease the inflammation of the lungs and enhance immunity. [4]

How to use: Prepare a tea by mixing turmeric, fresh ginger and lemon. Drink it twice a day. Also, use it while preparing food.


5. Ginger

This ancient herb helps promote the body's immune system and fight against inflammation of the lungs. A study shows that ginger extract delays pneumonia and respiratory distress syndrome in adults. [5] Ginger also helps fight against cold and cough by increasing the production of T-cells.

How to use: Prepare ginger tea with water and add honey to it. Drink it twice a day. Also, add it to your daily meals.


6. Cinnamon

This flavoured herb is a great source of antioxidant compounds. Cinnamon acts as an immune stimulator and ward off cold, cough and inflammatory diseases. A study shows that cinnamon polyphenol extract regulates immune function and fight against microorganisms. [6]

How to use: Mix honey and cinnamon powder in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it early morning.


7. Clove

It has long been used in folk medicine to treat several illnesses. A study says that clove enhances humoral immune responses which helps bind viruses and bacteria and neutralize them. The anti-inflammatory property of cloves also help reduce the inflammation of the lungs and expel mucus. [7]

How to use: Drink clove tea by boiling 4-5 cloves in water. Also, add cloves to your desserts and curries.


8. Onion

It is loaded with multiple immune-boosting compounds like vitamin C, selenium and zinc. Onion contains a flavonoid called quercetin which is a very potent antioxidant. Quercetin is known for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help enhance the immune system response against pathogens. [8]

How to use: Soak some onion slices in water for around 7-8 hours. Drink 3-4 tbsp of the water thrice a day. Also, include onions while cooking foods.


9. Oregano

It has antifungal, antibacterial and immunomodulating properties. According to a study, oregano improves the health and performance of an individual by stimulating the production of t-cell phenotypes and increasing white and red blood count. Oregano also helps reduce the inflammation caused due to pathogens. [9]

How to use: Take 1-3 drops of oregano oil and add to warm water. Drink or gargle with the water.


10. Saffron

Crocus sativas or saffron is rich in carotenoids that affects the immune power of an individual. The bioactive compounds in saffron promote cellular and humoral immunity and help ward off pathogens. A study shows that consumption of 100 mg of saffron for six weeks improves the white blood cells count, blood platelets and lymphocytes. [10]

How to use: Make a saffron tea by mixing a pinch of saffron with water. You can also include it while preparing desserts.

Story first published: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 18:00 [IST]