Herbs, like precious essential oils, have been used for thousands and thousands of years to for medicinal purposes.
Herbology is often referred to as traditional medicine and about 25% of modern drugs are derived from plants. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), something like 80% people in some places in the world use herbs rather than pharmaceuticals, which are cost prohibitive for most of the world, as their primary solution for their health care. With the increasing concern about the over use and side effects of many prescription medication and a resurgence of “all things natural,” there is a renewed focus herbs for remedies in our western society.
In addition to plants, herbal medicine can also include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and even some animal parts. There are different ways that herbs can help boost the body’s immunity – by working directly with the immune system, by aiding the body to better deal with stress, and by helping the body fight infection. And there are many forms in which herbs can be administered, such as herbal teas, infusions, dried or fresh, and as extracts or tinctures (which can be added to beverages), salves, balms, creams, etc.
Many herbs are known as immune boosters:
- Lemon balm
- Milk thistle
Others can help the body fight infection:
- Cat’s claw tea with ginger
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Oregano oil – potent anti-bacterial agent – use as short term remedy only
Some herbs are adaptogenic and can help the body better deal with stress, which suppresses the immune system:
- Tulsi (Holy Basil)
- Shisandra Berry
- Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng
Holford, P. The New Optimum Nutrition Bible. Crossing Press, Berkley. 2004.
Glastar, R., Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health. Storey Publishing, 2008.