A healthy woman in a red sweater

5 Antiviral Plants to Boost Your Immune System

Combat the flu and allergies with these powerful and natural ingredients

The first commandment for being healthy is good nutrition. When you eat protein, vegetables and fruit every day, you nourish and revitalize your body. A little natural boost to increase the body’s defenses and help it fight off different viruses – including COVID-19 – is always a good idea. All you have to do is incorporate a few plants, roots, and spices into your diet to strengthen your immune system. Learn more about the therapeutic active five plants worth keeping in your cabinet or garden below.

Echinacea flowers and roots.©Istock
This plant can be consumed in teas and tonics

Echinacea: Purifying Plant

Native to the Midwest, this wildflower can be identified by its narrow purple leaves. It is a common antiseptic and, more importantly, an immunostimulant, as it increases the number of white blood cells, also known as T cells, and other antibodies. This preventive measure is recommended during the changes in season, although it should not be consumed while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Licorice root and ground licorice©Istock
This root also acts as an expectorant and a mucolytic

Licorice: traditional and effective

Another well-known antiviral – one indispensable in Eastern medicine – is licorice. With an almost alcoholic flavor, it offers a wide range of antioxidants including glyceric acid, which halts the growth of certain bacteria and increases interferons, a group of proteins responsible for blocking viruses from entering the body’s airways. The best way to consume licorice is in tea. Just slice the root and add hot water.

Bunch of fresh sage©Istock
Fresh or dried, sage is an adjuvant against viral infections

Sage: more than just an aromatic herb

Nature is the basis of pharmacopoeia, and if you’d like to give your immune system a boost, round out your diet with sage tea. Rich in astringent and antibiotic compounds, as well as safficinolide, a compound that actively fights off viruses found both in the leaves and the stems of the plant. You can find sage in health food shops or grow it at home.

Bowl of ground turmeric©Istock
This colorful spice comes from India and is rich in vitamins

Turmeric: the antiviral spice

This intensely yellow spice is a powerful ally to your health thanks to its high vitamin C and E content, antioxidant richness, and neuroprotective effects. Arabinogalactan, which prevents the development of infections by eliminating toxins and external microorganisms, deserves a special mention. Ayurvedic medicine holds turmeric in high esteem thanks to its cleansing capabilities.

Cloves of raw garlic©Istock
Garlic is a great natural defense booster.

Garlic, and if it’s raw, even better!

An ingredient that has been used for thousands of years, garlic is also one of the best immune system stimulants and modulators, because it is a natural antibacterial agent. Its properties notably include the activation of white blood cells and T cells, as well as blocking the toxins in germs. Protect yourself from infection by getting into the habit of eating a few peeled cloves first thing in the morning every day. Easy, right?

Add these plants to your healthy diet to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. That said, remember that none of these plants will cure any specific illness. If you suspect you may be sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, follow the protocol recommended by the who and contact your doctor as soon as possible.

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