The Laya Center For Holistic Wellness here in Kansas City says there are many tried-and-true ingredients you can use to help boost your immune system from the inside out. The goal? To be proactive so your body’s natural systems and the therapeutic action of herbal compounds can do their thing. “The point of attempting to boost the immune system is so that you create an internal environment that is hard for the virus to thrive in,” says owner/operator LaToyia Mays. “Raising the pH levels, giving your body the right nutrients, and working to eliminate mucus build-up in the body are all very important to creating the internal elements that give you a chance to fight off the virus if infected.”
Mays swears by garlic, turmeric and elderberry for her family right now, but has a slew of other immune boosters you need to know about in this culture of COVID-19. Each, she says, are helpful in their own way.
Mushrooms are immune booster on steroids, but you must have the right mushrooms. While button mushrooms and portobellos taste great, the real medicinal mushrooms are reishi, maitake, shitake, cordyceps, lion’s mane and chaga. Making a nice mushroom broth that can be used in many recipes is a great way to include these in your diet. If you don’t like mushrooms, these are available in capsule.
Astragalus is a Chinese root that boosts the immune system from the T-cell organ, the thymus. The root resembles a tongue depressor and can be added to soups, broths, rice and stews or really anything that has water in it. It is wise to discontinue use when a fever is present.
Horseradish is known for clearing the sinus and releasing heat through the skin. If you like horseradish eat it daily as a condiment. We are trying to enhance the thermogenic mucosa within your entire body but especially the core.
Citrus is a great source of vitamin C and, more importantly, it clears mucous from the core. There is some evidence that this virus moves away from citrus (vitamin C) so enjoy an orange, grapefruit, kiwi or other citrus fruits.
Ginger is warming and diffusive, meaning it moves heat from the core to the skin. This action also moves water. The medicinal action is diaphoretic meaning that it makes us sweat. Sweating is a way to move toxins from the core to the skin where it can be washed for brushed away. The warming aspects of ginger helps reduce fevers but does not break it and is very comforting.
Echinacea boosts the immune system by contributing to the first line of defense. It has been used for centuries. Just like elderberry, echinacea is immune modulating which means it heightens our resistance. Additionally, it has a mild antibacterial that can further support the mucosa.
Garlic, garlic, garlic! Get some garlic in your life every day. Cooked or roasted garlic can help with immune function overall. We want garlic raw when working with cardiovascular disease but when its immune related, cooked is okay. I break apart the bulb into cloves, toss in olive oil and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. You can easily pinch out the soft clove, then add it to the soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, chili, casseroles or whatever. This also goes for onions. Check out her incredibly popular 52 Clove Recipe here.