9 Ayurvedic super-herbs – Guduchi, Holy Basil, Licorice, Kantakari, Bhunimba, Turmeric, Amla, Vidari, Punarnava – are highly recommended for their immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory benefits. They use a variety of specialized mechanisms to activate the right set of immune agents while simultaneously minimizing inflammatory damage.
A variety of phytochemicals in common kitchen herbs and spices like cloves, ginger, cinnaomon, cardamom, nutmeg, holy basil, turmeric, licorice and ginseng help increase immune agents such as antibodies, restrict immune system crosstalk, suppress inflammatory pathways, capture free radicals and control pain perception.
Lemon myrtle is an Australian shrub (Backhousia citriodora) that has had favor with the aboriginals for thousands of years – and not just culinary. Its flowers and fruits can be eaten, but its leaves are the real treasures. Citrusy in smell and zesty in flavor, they’re home to an essential oil filled with healthy compounds.Continue reading “Lemon Myrtle”
Lemon verbena (Aloysia tryphilla; also called Lippia citriodora) is a flowering herb originally from South America with, as the name suggests, a citrus flavor. The leaves and flowers release their fragrance when bruised. Milder than other “lemony” herbs, the leaves blend easily into desserts, salad dressings, soups, jams, and drinks. But that’s not where itsContinue reading “Lemon Verbena”
Literally, red bush tea, rooibos tea is a popular drink that originated in South Africa. The tea is made by fermenting the leaves of a plant called Aspalathus linearis, which is what gives it the red hue. The unfermented green tea has more antioxidants and is more expensive. Mandarin rooibos is a flavored version ofContinue reading “Mandarin Rooibos”
Saffron (Crocus sativus) is much more than a rich and warm flavoring agent in foods and cosmetics. It is known to relax the mind and lift your mood, thanks to its components safranal and crocin, which can run the communication system in the brain more efficiently. It also helps relieve stress by reducing the levelsContinue reading “Saffron”
The black pepper-like fruits of vidanga (Embelia ribes) help your body better respond to leptin, the satiety hormone. The result is better portion control. Embelin in the herb also protects heart tissue from free radicals by supplying and activating antioxidants. By increasing the efficiency of a nerve-calming chemical called GABA, Vidanga can also make youContinue reading “Vidanga”
Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) is a nerve tonic and immunity booster, thanks to a compound called levodopa which is a precursor for dopamine, a mood-lifting hormone. Velvet bean also reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases the happiness hormone serotonin. It also makes you feel energetic by driving the production of ATP, the body’s fuel,Continue reading “Velvet Bean (Kapikacchu)”
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is gaining in popularity because of its multiple health benefits. It strengthens your immunity by attacking bacteria and increasing the production of an immune molecule called CAMP. But at the same time, it also controls the resulting inflammation by inhibiting the function of certain enzymes and signaling molecules. Turmeric curcuminoids fight freeContinue reading “Turmeric”
Saponins and flavonoids make the fruits and roots of tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) so healthy. The herb can lower your blood pressure by inhibiting ACE, an enzyme that narrows down the blood vessels. Thanks to the nitrates and potassium salts in it, tribulus can help your kidneys by increasing urine output and flushing out toxins. AnContinue reading “Tribulus (Gokshura)”