8 Spices and Herbs to Boost Your Immune System

While scientists agree that it is not possible to “boost” your immune system from one day to the next, there is certainly a wide range of spices and herbs that, if consumed regularly and over a long period of time, can help keep your immune system strong and to keep you healthy in general.
8 Spices and Herbs to Boost Your Immune System

When you implement our selection of herbs and spices to boost your immune system into your eating habits, you will not only live a conscious lifestyle, but you will also eat healthy recipes with amazing flavors!




1. Turmeric

This bright orange, ground root is one of the healthiest spices out there. As a sacred plant of Ayurveda it is a staple of Indian cooking and its medical benefits have been known for thousands of years. 

Tumeric’s main active substance, curcumin, is said to help reduce inflammation, and to fight viral as well as bacterial infections and fungal growth.

There are many options how to include turmeric in your diet regularly. So you can for instance add half a teaspoon of it to your tea or drink it with milk. It will give your vegetables and your dips some extra flavor and you basically can’t cook an Indian curry without turmeric.




2. Black Pepper

Black pepper is said to have antimicrobial properties, which help you fight off coughs and colds, but more importantly it may have positive effects on absorption on curcumin, tumeric’s main active component.

 So everytime you use turmeric, add a small pinch of pepper to help your body absorb all the healthy goodness.



3. Garlic

Are you one of those people who automatically double the amount of garlic given in any recipe? Good for you! You are living the healthy life!

Garlic’s medicinal properties have been known for thousands of years. It is specifically helpful in fighting the common cold and flu. It contains antioxidants stimulating the immune system and might even reduce high blood pressure. 

Additionally there some evidence that garlic helps prevent certain types of cancer, but research is still going on and we will have to wait for the final results. 

Garlic is best eaten raw. One clove daily and you are good to get through cold- and flu season without a scratch.

Garlic might have a bad reputation because of the bad body smell it can cause, when you eat a lot of it. But other people would only smell it, when they haven’t eaten enough garlic themselves and let’s be honest, we don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives anyhow!




4. Cinnamon

This is another highly effective spice to help you boost your immune system. The dried bark of trees of the genus Cinnamomum has its origin in Asia and its healing properties have already been known to the ancient Egyptians. 

Cinnamon is supposedly richer in antioxidants than all other spices. Antioxidants are friendly little buggers, who help protect your cells from damage through free radicals and with that may help prevent cancer, heart disease and other nasty things.

One of its active ingredients, cinnamaldehyde, also may have antiviral and antibacterial properties and with that help reduce certain diseases and viral infections as well as fight inflammations. 

Cinnamon also may help your digestive system.

Last but not least, there are ongoing studies about cinnamon’s effectiveness in fighting diabetes.

In the western world we mainly use it for baking, especially around Christmas time. But don’t take this as an excuse to increase your cake-intake! Indian, Middle Eastern and Persian cuisines on the other hand also incorporate it into savory dishes, which gives them an extra boost of flavor. Cinnamon goes especially well with meat, eggplants and many other vegetables. You will find many healthy recipes. You can also add a pinch to your tea or hot chocolate.




5. Sage

As a perennial subshrub from the mediterranean region, sage is relatively easy to grow in your garden or even on your balcony – so you always have some fresh leaves to add to your tea. 

Compared to other spices and herbs, the medical benefits of sage are relatively well researched. 

There is some evidence that it has a positive effect on the brain function and may even help to enhance the memory of alzheimer patients.

Like many herbs, it also has antibacterial properties, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which all help your body to fight against intruders and keep you healthy and fit. 

Sage may even help fight diabetes and high cholesterol.

No matter if dried or fresh leaves, sage is always a good addition to your tea. Many meditrranean dishes use sage or just get creative in the kitchen and invent your own recipes for your conscious lifestyle!




6. Honey

A “spice” only in the broader sense, nevertheless honey is very healthy and another “medicine” that has been in use for most of our history. Some even go as far as to say that “nectar and ambrosia”, the food of the Greek gods, which gave them beauty and immortality, was a specific kind of honey. 

It has been used in treatment of burns and wounds since ancient times and preliminary scientific evidence supports an increased healing speed and less complications during healing after the application of honey. It is said to have antibiotic properties and research is ongoing.

Honey has also been used as a cough remedy for centuries.

Thanks to its antioxidant properties it may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, stroke and heart attack.

And whatever research will conclude on its antibiotic effects, honey is definitely much healthier than sugar, so this is the right time to switch your preferred tea sweetener!





Image: Wikimedia

7. Cloves

Another winter spice, besides cinnamon, which makes all those Christmas cookies a little bit healthier and helps boost your immune system.

Cloves may have antifungal and  antibacterial compounds, which help protect you from infections. They are rich in antioxidants and may help reduce fever and the blood sugar level.

They are even said to help fight the aging process. 

Now, before you run to stock up your clove supply, let us also tell you that additionally cloves may work as painkillers and as the cherry on top, may even be a mosquito repellent.

Add some to your tea, also during other seasons than winter, and explore new cuisines like the Indian or Middle Eastern ones, who often use cloves in their dishes.




8. Ginger

Used in cuisines worldwide, but especially in Asia, ginger is said to be particularly effective in fighting off cold viruses. But it is also a real allrounder containing antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial compounds. It may help prevent cardiovascular and infectious diseases as well as help fight certain types of food-poisoning. 

So the best thing to do when you are feeling a cold or any other illness brew inside you, is to drink some tea of fresh ginger with lemon and honey. 


Most spices and herbs, not only those mentioned, have when consumed regularly at least one health benefit that has been passed on for generations. These spices are no miracle workers in boosting your immune system though, and to keep it strong in the long term, you also need to live a healthy lifestyle, avoid stress, work out, avoid alcohol, don’t smoke, and generally eat a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.

If you take care of yourself with a conscious lifestyle, implementing these herbs and spice in your diet with healthy recipes, you will certainly help you stay strong and healthy!



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