Botanicals to boost your Immune System
One of the best things you can do in life is to have some control over your health. The benefits of plant-based food is becoming heavily researched, and we are starting to realise that we have radically underestimated the power to restore and enhance our own health through our diet.
The foods that we choose to eat everyday can activate our defences or damage them. Our defence systems are blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body. These create the fight against disease. Simply, these foods make us stronger and healthier, which means we can eat to defend ourselves against conditions such as chronic illness.
Wholesome World has teamed up with Wild Life Botanicals, who are passionate about the power of plants, to bring you a list of Mother Nature’s finest herbal remedies that can help support your body’s defences.
Their respected medical herbalist and naturopath *Rachel Boon, compiled the list to offer a concise overview of several everyday ingredients to support our immune system.
This is one of nature’s most powerful medicines being both antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant in action thanks to several active constituents including allicin, which is released when crushed. Also found in onions, leeks and shallots. Studies have shown if regularly consumed it helps reduce the number and symptoms of colds, alongside decreased risks of the digestion tract; stomach, prostate and colorectal cancers.1
Recipe Tip: You can add this to almost any home cooking recipe on a daily basis, for a simple and quick garlic intake. Wholesome World’s recipe Golden Hummus makes a vibrant and detoxifying side dish.
And includes the Turmeric & Black Pepper benefit too. (See below).
A herb worthy of its current fame with over 200 active constitutes that we know of so far, including the powerful curcumins – turmerics active ingredient. This herb is proven to be antiviral, antifungal and strongly antibacterial in studies. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol and is prebiotic, which means it helps feed good bacteria in the gut. It is used a lot for musculo-skeletal issues including treating joint aches and muscle pains, in addition it is used in the treatment of asthma and skin issues.
1-3 g / day is a safe and beneficial quantity, and it can have a boosted absorption when combined with black pepper. 1
Recipe Tip: Start your day with a blast that will surely have your immune cells zinging. Try the Wholesome World recipe Immunity Booster Shot. This combines turmeric, black pepper, fresh ginger and garlic for the ultimate health defense drink.
4. Lemon Balm
A gentle yet powerful herb that is a delicious smelling member of the peppermint family, it is also a potent antiviral that works by stopping the virus from entering the cells. It is super easy to grow at home and worth having a pot of it in your garden. Used for people that are run down and experiencing coughs and colds or cold sores but also very helpful to reduce anxiety as it has a calming effect on the nervous system. Lemon Balm is also a natural mood lifter, antidepressant as well as being a diaphoretic herb which helps cool the body during a fever.
Recipe Tip: This is a key ingredient in Wild Life Botanicals uplifting elixir and can also be enjoyed as a simple tea. A good one to grow in your garden or on a kitchen windowsill.
A herb that grows wild all over the UK in areas near the sea, this beautiful botanical contains many active essential oils including Oleanolic Acid, which has been used successfully as an antiviral against many viruses including influenza. It is also antiseptic, antioxidant and a circulation booster. Research into polyphenol antioxidants present in Rosemary shows that they frequently suppress virus’ from entering the body. Rosemary is also used as a decongestant so helpful with a cough to elevate catarrh as well as helping with headaches.
Recipe Tip: Rosemary is the perfect winter herb and is part of the delicious Wholesome World recipe Beef Cacao Stew. A warming combination of chilli and cacao, alongside all the wonderful therapeutic effects of rosemary.
Life is full of choices. It is so important to support your body and the simplest way is through a good diet filled with vitamins and minerals. The Wholesome World app was born from my own experience of cancer, which started when I lost my husband to Synovial Sarcoma cancer and shortly after surviving my own grade III /IV brain tumour.
I have used my experience to explore how to improve my health and support my treatment at home, alongside understanding the scientific treatment paths. Wholesome World is a space to share the advice and expertise that I received during this time. You can find invaluable resources and a place to start your health journey using a compilation of knowledge, recipes and links to support your immune system and self care.
Wholesome World provides digital access to healthy lifestyle information and medical research.
*Rachel Boon has been a practicing Naturopath and dispensing Medical Herbalist since she graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2005.