Strengthening the immune system can be more than a necessity, when something weakens it , making us vulnerable to viral, fungal and bacterial infections. In this regard, there are several natural supplements on which we can rely. Let’s see what are the best .
Today I would like to talk to you about 5 natural remedies that are very useful for strengthening the immune system.
These are plants and agricultural products that I personally cultivate in my fields, in the hills of Fermo, in an absolutely biological way.
So we do not talk about “over-the-counter” supplements, such as those found in pharmacies or supermarkets, but of truly natural products, which come directly from the earth, without undergoing any kind of manipulation.
Coming back to life, eating and healing is natural, it has always been a fixed nail in my mind and it is the philosophy on which my work rests.
Many people ask me if I also produce tablets or tablets, but it is not in my interest to treat something that is not 100% natural.
So today we will talk about really natural solutions to get back to health and increase the immune system.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is the first line of defense of our body, to stem threats from the outside (pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc.) and from the inside as the abnormal proliferation of some cells (tumor cells).
To fulfill this very important task, the immune system relies on certain organs, tissues, cells and glycoproteins (eg antibodies). Taken together, these elements constitute a defense weapon capable of activating in times of need.
Why must the immune system be strengthened?
There are some circumstances in which our immune system can be weakened .
The causes can usually be:
- the change of season;
- the stress;
- the smoke;
- the excessive use of antibiotics;
- the intake of certain drugs (such as chemotherapeutics);
- excessive consumption of alcohol;
- a bad diet;
- the absence of hygiene;
- excessive sedentariness;
- lack of rest.
When this happens we are more inclined to get sick and remain victims of viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Cold sores and frequent mouth ulcers, chronic fatigue, drowsiness, brittle hair and nails, white tongue, flu symptoms, are some of the classic symptoms that signal low immune defenses .
In these cases, to strengthen the immune system and thus avoid the risk of getting sick (or to accelerate healing) as well as improving our lifestyle, we can resort to some supplements, which nature provides us with.
How to increase immune defenses
In the opinion of the WHO (World Health Organization), the best way to increase the immune system is to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Not smoking;
- Limit the consumption of alcohol;
- Improve nutrition: increase the daily intake of fruit and vegetables (possibly organic), foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, (such as fish, algae and nuts) and monounsaturated fats (contained for example in extra virgin olive oil and almonds), whole grains (better if gluten-free) and legumes, while reducing the consumption of industrial foods, sugary drinks, sweets, cured meats, smoked foods, and refined flours .
- Making healthy and regular physical activity (without exceeding);
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day;
- Make use of drugs and antibiotics only if strictly necessary;
It would also be useful to reduce stress levels to a minimum, now recognized as one of the main causes of a lowering of immune defenses . In this context it can be very helpful to cultivate a hobby, listen to good music, practice sports and / or meditation.
In addition to these simple rules to follow, we can enhance the immune system by making use of some natural supplements .
The 5 best natural supplements to increase immune defenses
1 – Fresh Aloe juice
In the fresh juice of Aloe (both Aloe Vera and Aloe Arborescens ) we find over 75 compounds and 200 phytonutrients such as vitamins, mineral salts, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides, anthraquinones, polyphenols and many other substances, which give this plant medicinal properties that few other plants can match.
In particular the acemannano , one of the most studied substances of this plant, present mainly in Aloe gel, has important immunostimulant properties .
The acemannan acts:
- Stimulating the activity of macrophages and with it the production of cytokines by the macrophages themselves;
- Promoting the release of substances that boost the immune system (such as nitric oxide);
- Provoking cellular morphological changes (in particular, it intervenes in the expression of surface antigens);
- Enhancing the activity of T cells and increasing the production of interferon.
Due to its immunostimulant action, fresh Aloe juice is often used to strengthen the immune system in debilitated individuals, for example due to a disease (such as the flu ), or for the intake of certain drugs, such as chemotherapy . Aloe in these cases is a valid supplement, because it helps to reduce the side effects of chemo, keeping the immune system high and at the same time supports cancer treatment, contributing to the destruction of cancer cells.
It is no coincidence that Aloe – especially in some poor countries of Brazil, where the poorest do not have access to medical care – is often used as a real cure for Cancer . In these cases the whole leaf of Aloe Arborescens (including peel) is blended, with honey and a little distillate. The shake in question is also known as ” Father Romano Zago’s recipe “, the Brazilian friar who first discovered and disseminated this ancient anti-tumor recipe. To know more…
Aloe is contraindicated in pregnancy, lactation and for children under two years of age. People with intestinal disorders such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and diverticula should opt for an aloin-free product. The latter is in fact a laxative substance that could further irritate a gut already in itself inflamed because of the disease.
” How to use?
Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of Aloe juice a day, always on an empty stomach, at least half an hour before main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
If you buy fresh juice, produced without pasteurization and without the addition of preservatives (which I strongly recommend), it is important to store the product in the fridge and to allocate it from sources of heat or light, including direct sunlight.
You can buy Aloe Arborescens juice here:
Aloe Arborescens juice, Father Zago’s original recipe 325ml/750 ml
- Packaging of 325ml and 750ml
- Ingredients: Aloe Arborescens, honey and distillate
- Italian product
- Company: Erbe di Mauro
2 – Rosehip berries
Rosehip is a shrub of the Rosaceae family, which grows wild in the countryside and up to 1500 m. of altitude. For medicinal use of this plant we use berries, flowers and buds.
The berries have a very high content of vitamin C , so much so that 100 g of rosehip berries have a quantity of vitamin C equal to 2 kg of oranges.
Vitamin C is very important because in addition to having a powerful immunostimulatory action, antiviral, and antioxidant , it also stimulates the synthesis of collagen, a protein that is part of the skin tissue, bones and cartilages, tendons and blood vessels. Moreover it favors the assobrimento of the iron.
In addition to vitamin C, rose hips are rich in flavonoids , antioxidants that fight the action of free radicals, those responsible for the so-called “oxidative stress”, a mechanism that leads to aging and cell death.
Finally, these berries contain beta-carotene, provitamin-A, and tannins with astringent, anti-diarrhea and anti-inflammatory action.
Dog rose is recommended especially for those particularly weakened, for example due to diseases, infections, drug therapies or surgical operations. It is in fact an excellent tonic that fights both physical and mental fatigue, loss of vitamins and minerals and stress syndromes.
Dog rose is contraindicated during pregnancy. It can also interact with some drugs, so it is best to consult with your primary care physician first. The drugs with which the rosehip definitely interacts are: antacids and lithium.
” How to use?
The berries can be eaten fresh, taking care to remove all the seeds, as they are a bit ‘stinging, or dried, using them also for the prepration of excellent teas.
In the latter case, dip a teaspoon of rosehip berries in a cup of boiling water. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then filter and drink.
Recommend 2-3 cups a day.
You can buy Rosa canina here:
3 – Echinacea root
Echinacea is undoubtedly one of the most used herbal remedies to strengthen the immune system, especially when it comes to preparing for the change of season.
Its use dates back to the American Indians , who used it to treat infections, colds, coughs, colds and sore throats, as well as to disinfect and heal wounds and burns.
Recent scientific studies have done nothing but confirm the notions that North American Indians had already acquired through years of experience and practice.
Today, echinacea is widely used all over the world as a natural remedy to prevent and combat winter ailments .
This plant uses the root , which contains important active ingredients such as glycoproteins, polysaccharides and echinacoside. These substances act:
- stimulating the activation of the phagocytes that become more inclined and voracious towards foreign bodies;
- increasing the production of some T lymphocytes;
- increasing the production of interleukin 2;
- increasing non-specific defenses (acquired immune system).
The object of careful study was above all the echinacoside , a caffeic acid present in the echinacea root.
Research has shown that this substance has strong antibiotic properties . Stimulates salivation, sweating, wound healing, lymphatic vessels and last but not least the resistance of the immune system.
Echinacea is contraindicated to patients on immunosuppressive therapy who have undergone or have to carry out transplants, or with autoimmune diseases.
” How to use?
Since the root is a part of the plant particularly hard and woody, for the extraction of the active ingredients must be made a decoction.
To prepare the decoction, pour a teaspoon of Echinacea root in cold water, light the fire and bring the water to a boil.
Boil a few minutes and turn off the heat. Cover with a lid and leave the decoction to stand for 10 minutes. After which the decoction should be filtered and drunk.
Recommend two cups a day.
You can buy Echinacea here:
4 – Gynostemma pentaphyllum
In the East it is nicknamed “the plant of immortality” and the name already speaks volumes about its medicinal properties.
Also known as Ginpent and Jiaogulan, Gynostemma pentaphyllum is a medicinal plant used since the Ming dynasty in China.
It possesses adaptogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties , as well as stimulating mental and physical performance, useful in cases of physical and mental stress, but also to restore energy reserves in case of fatigue, depression and lowering of the immune system.
It has a less aggressive action on the central nervous system compared to ginseng and has no contraindications for those suffering from hypertension (indeed, in these cases favors a return to normal blood pressure).
It performs an effective tonic action in case of fatigue and depression , but is also able to exercise a natural sedative activity, able to induce a state of physical and mental relaxation, thus favoring on several fronts the rebalancing of the organism in case of stress.
It is described in various texts as one of the most valid adaptogens , with anti-aging effects and increased physical strength (viability). The ability to stimulate the immune system is due to the numerous triterpenoid saponins, to the different flavonoids and gypenosides that counts in its phytocomplex.
Moreover, the similarity of its active ingredients to those of ginseng, of which it is even more powerful, also causes the Gynostemma to be indicated as an adaptogenic plant that can increase the body’s resistance to stress, anxiety and fatigue , intervening in regulation of bodily systems including blood pressure and the immune system.
Gynostemma should not be taken by pregnant women and people taking anticoagulants or with coagulation disorders.
“How to use?
The leaves are used in the Gynostemma.
You can eat them raw, alone or in salads. 2-3 leaves a day are enough, eaten together or separately (for example a leaf in the morning, one for lunch and one for dinner).
The taste is quite pleasant.
You can also use the dried leaves to make herbal teas or combine with tea.
You can buy the Gynostemma herbal tea here:
5 – The pollen of Bees
These are the substances contained in the pollen
- 35-40% of proteins and 21 of the 23 amino acids present in nature including all 8 essential amino acids. A precious protein front especially for those who do not eat animal proteins (such as vegetarians) and for those who play sports, where pollen is a valid alternative, 100% natural, which can successfully replace the traditional amino acid and protein supplements;
- We find about 35% of carbohydrates (glucose and fructose) which also make it a substance with strong energetic and revitalizing properties;
- It contains almost all vitamins: pro-vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotenes), B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12), folic acid, vitamin C, E, and H.
- In pollen we find in a bioavailable form mineral salts such as: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, silicon, manganese, copper, iron, sodium, chromium and zinc.
- Finally, in the pollen we also find unsaturated fatty acids, enzymes, flavonoids and phytosterols with antioxidant action, antibiotic factors and lecithin
Due to its exceptional characteristics, the nutritional properties of bee pollen are the subject of numerous researches all over the world.
In particular, the results on its immunostimulant and antioxidant activity of in vivo research are interesting:
- Against viral and bacterial infections : in vitro research has shown that substances contained in bee pollen are effective in fighting certain bacterial and viral infections, such as salmonella and certain strains of viruses.
- Fighting anemia and fatigue : laboratory studies have shown that consumption of bee pollen has a positive effect in anemic patients. Their hemoglobin levels (red cells that carry oxygen) visibly improved. Considerable growth has been observed in both the number of white and red cells.
- It counteracts the pathogenic bacteria of the intestine : on a clinical level, studies have shown that its action against pathogenic intestinal bacteria is enhanced thanks to some carbohydrates and dietary fibers that pollen contains in considerable quantities.
- Increases glutathione levels : glutathione (a peptide consisting of 3 amino acids) is the most powerful and important among the antioxidants produced by the body. In laboratory studies , animals that had oxidative damage from X-ray radiation reported a growth of Glutathione content following the administration of pollen.
bee pollen is contraindicated to subjects allergic to pollens and to pregnant and lactating women. It is instead ideal for debilitated children with low immune defenses.
” How to use?
The pollen should be taken on an empty stomach, for example, before breakfast and generally half an hour before meals or 3-4 hours later.
It can be taken in the measure that varies from one to a maximum of 4 teaspoons a day and can be accompanied by a spoonful of honey, or dissolved in a lukewarm (not hot, heat drink would destroy many vitamins and nutrients).
You can buy the bee pollen here:
NB : All information published on this site is informative and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or other.