If there was ever a time to focus on boosting the health of your immune system, now is the time! With the coronavirus taking hold across the country, it can oftentimes feel like you have no control. Yet, when it comes to taking care of your body and preparing for illness, you absolutely have a few cards to play.
This is especially true when it comes to plant-based immune system boosters!
Plant-based foods have been found to boost T-cells, an essential component of our immune systems. These “white blood cells” scan our bodies and “circulate through our [bloodstream] to detect cellular abnormalities and invading pathogens.” Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The term immune system actually refers to a “network of organs, cells, and proteins that protects your body from outside invaders,” and, on top of that, there’s actually a combination of two immune systems: the innate immune system — “which you are born with” — and the adaptive immune system — “which you develop when your body is exposed to microbes or chemicals released by microbes.”
Simply put, one you are born with and one that you work to build over years of exposure to your environment.
Alright, so your body is readily equipped to protect you when the time comes. That doesn’t mean you can’t give it a little boost in these needful times!
While most herbs have been found to support the immune system naturally — many of which have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine — there are a few specific herbs that have been tried and tested by modern-day science and shown to boost the immune system. These herbs include echinacea, elderberry, astragalus root, and ginseng.
These Pure Mountain Botanicals Vegan Echinacea Goldenseal Capsules contain a unique blend of organic echinacea root powder, organic echinacea herb, and organic goldenseal root. They’re not only organic, but vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and exclude all those icky chemicals such as preservatives, fillers, flowing agents, sodium benzoate, and magnesium stearate. This supplement is designed to support both the immune and digestive systems. A 90-capsule bottle costs $21.45.
Will Chase says “All the Pure Mountain Botanicals we have received (3 diff ones) have an amazing strong herb fragrance like they just picked and processed. They have all had way better effects than any other organic herbs we have ordered. Not sure what they do but it is great!”
MaryRuth’s is an absolute must-have brand for those wonderful plant-based, vegan-friendly supplements in your medicine pantry! This MaryRuth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup (Extra Strength) Liquid Sambucol Extract is organic, non-GMO, pure, safe, and antioxidant-rich. For easy absorption and max benefits, MaryRuth’s sources organic black elderberry — known as an ultimate defense weapon for your immune system — for a blend expertly formulated by culinary chef, nutritional consultant, and certified health educator MaryRuth Ghiyam. A 1-ounce bottle costs $19.99.
Lana says “I am a nurse in the ER and I’m exposed to all kinds of germs and illnesses. I purchased this product to help build my immunity to fight against everything I’m exposed to. When I received the bottle I opened it to smell of it first. It smells like blueberries. I love blueberries so I was excited to try it. The directions say you can add it to water or just take it straight. I took it straight since I love blueberries. It’s a little strong but still has a good flavor. It is sugar-free, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO so that’s all a big plus. Only time will tell if it works. Here’s to hoping I don’t catch any ‘bugs!’”
Another widely trusted plant-based supplement brand! These Gaia Herbs Astragalus Supreme Vegan Liquid Capsules are vegan, certified organic, non-GMO, and exclude allergens such as gluten, soy, dairy, meat, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, yeast, or eggs. Gaia has formulated a unique blend of astragalus root, ligustrum, and Schisandra berries for a potent antioxidant-rich, stress-resistant, and immune-supporting supplement! A 60-capsule bottle costs $18.49.
Lee says “I have been using this product for years to boost my immune system. I have hypothyroidism, I use to get sick frequently but, not anymore. If I feel run down or feel like I am coming down with something I take two of these for a couple of days. Listening to your body and taking these on the onset makes all the difference. I am 65 and trust me an old dog can learn new tricks…this one really works!”
These Rejuvenation Therapeutics Elderberry Capsules are designed to boost your immune system through a blend of powerful elderberry extract, — containing bioavailable flavonoids called anthocyanins and antioxidants — hypromellose, and organic potato starch. Along with boosting that immune system, this supplement also aims at protecting your body against heart, liver, and kidney damage, as well as maintaining a healthy body weight. Rejuvenation Therapeutics uses all-natural ingredients! A 60-capsule bottle costs $12.95.
Amazon Customer says “Great product and quality ingredients.”
If capsules and liquids simply aren’t you’re thing, why not give a powder supplement a try? This Nutricost Vegan Astragalus Root Powder is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Plus, Nutricost creates its products in GMP compliant, FDA registered facilities. An easy to use scoop is already included meaning all you need to do is supply a shake, smoothie, or creamy beverage. A bulk one-pound tub costs $17.95.
This Herb Pharm Certified Organic Vegan Super Echinacea Liquid Extract is a great on-the-go immune-boosting option. This product is certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and herb potency is tested through High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) analysis. As this Echinacea is in liquid form, it’s more rapidly absorbed into the body meaning quicker results, plus you get a mixture of four different Echinacea plant parts. A 1-ounce bottle costs $13.95.
Melanie B. says “I bought this to treat poisonous snake and spider bites because echinacea has a naturally occurring compound that neutralizes venom. Living in the country, getting to medical care or having them get to me can take a little time. While I haven’t had to use it for any bites, I did taste it and was pleasantly surprised by the numbing action. That is one little benefit I know will come in handy sometime lol!”
These Mortar and Pestle Herbs Panax Ginseng Vegan Capsules is, as advertised, 100 percent vegan and made from pure ingredients without any binders or fillers. This organic Korean Panax ginseng offers a powerful maximum strength dose of 1000 milligrams per serving to help naturally reduce stress levels and enhance your body’s resistance to illness and infection. On top of that, ginseng has also been found to “promote physical endurance, concentration, memory, and focus.” A 60-capsule bottle costs $19.99.
Trenton I. says “I took this product having felt run down and low on energy from work and working out. Within a few days, I felt fantastic! I didn’t know what to expect but I can say I noticed and felt a difference and will be a consistent purchaser.”
Another powder option for those that can’t stomach capsules or liquid! This Micro Ingredients Maximum Strength Organic Ginseng Root 200:1 Powder is not only vegan, but it’s also certified USDA organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains no pesticides, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. The scoop included ensures that you’ll get the right dose every time. Simply add to your favorite shake or smoothie. A 40-ounce bag costs $21.95.
Clarity of Thought says “Taste is delicately sweet and then bitter. It reminds me of licorice without the sweetness. I added some Banyan licorice to my next cup. It totally covered the bitter flavor. I noticed clarity of thought and I could focus better. May add to every cup of tea.”
Looking for that perfect immune system boost for your kids? These Vita Miracle Sambucus Elderberry Gummies may be exactly what you’re looking for! These gummies offer a tripple strength dose of Sambucus Black Elderberry blended with vitamin C and zinc for the ultimate immune support. This product is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher certified, and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, or colors. A 60-count bottle costs $15.97.
Disbarbabe says “I’m a hospice caregiver. One thing that I’m always aware of, is the possibility of getting sick. I not only use them every day but give them my people. It staves off even an irritating cough. THANK YOU.”
Another Gaia Herbs makes the list! These Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Vegan Liquid Capsules are the perfect go-to supplement when you’re preparing for the flu season or are already feeling down. Echinacea is known to support your immune system and respiratory response, as well as supports mucous membranes and helps your body manage stressors. Gaia Herbs sources its ingredients from a 340-acre certified organic farm and promises only high-quality ingredients. A 60-count bottle costs $49.98.
Cyanoch says “One of our favorite immunity-boosting herbal supplements by a great company. We take 3 times a day for 5 to 10 days when a cold or virus is around and it works great at keeping sickness away. Since both these herbs stimulate the immune system they should not be taken for more than 15 days and require a rest of at least 15 days before resuming.”
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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