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Spicy and Savoury Broken Wheat Pongal Recipe
Health is wealth. Especially in the current scenario, there’s increased focus on wellness and natural herbs to boost the immune system and protect the body against diseases. If you are looking for a natural way to stay healthy, organically grown herbs will not only add more flavour to your food but also boost immunity with their medicinal effects.
Herbs are plants with savoury or aromatic properties. These are used for flavouring food, extracting fragrances and for medicinal purposes like using herbs to boost the immune system. However, herbs are different from spices. Herbs are derived from the green or flowering parts of a plant while spices are generally dried and produced from other parts of the plant.
Herbs can be divided into medicinal herbs, aromatic herbs, culinary herbs and even sacred herbs. Traditionally, medical herbs like Holy Basil or Tulsi have been used in various concoctions over centuries to boost the immune system and treat issues like cold and cough.
Overall, herbs have several benefits for the body besides adding tons of flavour to our daily food. Many people suffer from chronic fatigue or general weakness, and using herbs to boost the immune system can naturally improve these symptoms.
But which are top herbs to boost immunity that you should add in your arsenal? Below, we have rounded up five best Indian herbs to boost the immune system.
Ashwagandha is a small woody plant. Its root and berries are used to produce several Ayurvedic remedies. It is one of the most popular Indian herbs to boost the immune system. According to studies, ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This means it helps your body to manage stress more effectively.
There’s also evidence to prove that the herb lowers the level of anxiety and improves sleep in people with stress and anxiety disorders
According to Ayurveda and some research, ashwagandha may also enhance male fertility, as well as muscle growth and memory. Besides all these benefits, there is also evidence that ashwagandha reduces inflammation and may boost your immune system. Overall, consumption of ashwagandha has several benefits, especially in terms of stress relief, which is also related to better immunity.
Tulsi is one of the most important herbs to boost the immune system. It is also found commonly in most Indian households in different varieties that are consumed for different health benefits. Traditionally, Tulsi is believed to be a powerful herb to boost the immune system and also relieve lung-related issues like asthma, bronchitis, flu, congestion, etc. Tulsi is also related to clear skin, reduced blood sugar and relief in gastric disorders.
According to a published research paper, “tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions.” The paper adds that Tulsi protects organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals. It also protects against the ill-effects of physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has the potential to counter metabolic stress through normalisation of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels. It also has positive effects on memory and cognitive function as well as broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against a range of human and animal pathogens, making it one of the super herbs for boosting the immune system.
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is again one of the most popular herbs to boost the immune system. It is loaded with Vitamin C, making it extremely popular during the ongoing pandemic to keep the immune system strong and prevent any viral infection. Amla is also known to aid digestion and detoxifies the body, leading to better health and immunity.
According to research, amla fruit has 30 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Intake of Vitamin C can reduce the severity of colds and flu and also boost the immune system naturally.
Amla can also help prevent free radicals, fight cancer and reduce inflammation due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals like quercetin, gallic and ellagic acids and corilagin. Other benefits of eating amla fruit include regular bowel movements and relieving constipation, owing to its high fibre content. Amla may also prevent cataracts in diabetic patients by blocking aldose reductase that leads to the onset of cataracts in such patients.
Brahmi is one of the popular herbs to boost immunity in Ayurveda. Various tests indicate that brahmi has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can prevent and protect against minor infections. Brahmi extracts also possess neuroprotective properties, having “nootropic activity with therapeutic implications for patients with memory loss.” This means brahmi can have potential in improving memory, attention span and the learning rate in kids and adults, while addressing the symptoms of ADHD. Studies have also indicated that brahmi helps the body fight stress and anxiety, making it a natural immunity booster.
Neem is also known as the miracle herb. It possesses vast antimicrobial properties and is one of the well-known herbs to boost the immune system. Every part of the Neem plant has therapeutic effects. Besides improving immunity through consumption, neem acts as a natural pesticide and fungicide in organic farming to keep your food clean, healthy and also maintain the ecological balance. In general, neem is exceptionally useful in treating diabetes, gum issues, skin ulcers and diabetes.
Neem boosts the immune system and cools down the body internally. It possesses blood purifying properties that clear toxins and impurities from the blood, leading to a strengthened immune system. Research on several animals like chicken and cows has also shown an improved immune response after being fed on neem oil or supplements.
Medicinal shrubs or herbs to boost immunity have been popular in India since ancient times. Tulsi, neem, amla, etc., are revered and regularly consumed by Indians to boost their immunity and keep illnesses at bay. Modern science has also evaluated Indian herbs to boost immunity and come up with favourable results. Of course, more research is needed in many aspects to come up with conclusive dosages, but you can enjoy moderate amounts of these herbs to flavour your food while improving your health, too. That being said, you must be conscious of only using organic herbs, that are free of pesticides and other impurities. Organic farming also saves water and improves the lives of the farmers involved in growing these herbs, making it a win-win situation for everyone. Herbs like tulsi and neem can also be grown at your home for daily use.
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Spicy and Savoury Broken Wheat Pongal Recipe