It’s that time of the year again when colds, viruses, and the flu are making their rounds! Who wants to get sick? I know I don’t!
Ever since I began juicing I don’t get nearly as sick I used to. Here are a few herbs I include in my juice recipes to keep my immune system tip top!
Also known as coriander in many parts of the world, cilantro is eaten with a variety of different kinds of cuisine and foods. Here are a few very good reasons that cilantro should be included in your immunity boosting juices!
Cilantro has been shown to exhibit strong antimicrobial activity, which makes it useful against fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections (1). A compound found inside of cilantro leaves named dodecenal was tested against salmonella, and it was found that dodecenal killed the germ better than the antibiotic gentamicin (2). On top of this, cilantro contains vitamins A and C which both boost the immune system.
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
This popular herb used in Italian cuisine and sold fresh in many grocery stores contains some goodies that make it a welcome addition to your immune boosting arsenal!
I wanted to start out by saying this is not the same kind of basil that is used in most essential oils. That’s a type of basil called Holy Basil, also scientifically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum. While Holy Basil usually hogs the press for its immune system boosting powers, I thought it was cool when I found out that sweet basil had some immune system superpowers of its own!
Studies have shown that sweet basil contains a lot of promise for being a strong immune system booster! The immunity benefits of sweet basil lie in the presence of the flavanoids, alkaloids, tannins, saponin glycosides, and phenolic compounds found inside of it. These have been shown to improve immune response (3).
While most people pronounce this herb as “Time” I like to pronounce it how it looks with the “th” present. My sweet partner Liisa thought it was funny when I kept saying it this way, because I guess most people say it with the h being silent. Oh well, you say Time, I say Thyme.
Anyhow… The real point is this herb has some immune boosting benefits!
Thyme not only contains a large concentration of antioxidants, but also has the ability to prevent fungal and viral infections. Thyme protects your cells and reduces strain on your immune system (4). Thyme also contains a good amount of vitamin C, which further contributes to its immune system benefits.
A Juice Saving Tip When Juicing With Herbs!
When I was new to juicing herbs for an immune system boost I had no idea just how strong the flavor of their juice could be. I can’t tell you how many juices have either ended up going down the drain, or were drank by me while holding my nose so to speak. Yea, if you’re new to juicing with herbs I seriously recommend that you start out with a small amount of them in your juice. Herb juice has a very strong flavor and you can easily ruin your entire juice by adding too much!
I’ve also learned that I can fix the flavor of a bad juice simply by adding more of a base to it. What I mean by a base is an ingredient that adds a lot of volume to the juice, either sweetening it up or watering it down. If you want a bit more sweet in your juice go with some more apple. If you’re looking to keep it on the less sugary side and/or lower in calories then add some cucumber juice to even the flavor out a bit! If you happen to like celery or romaine lettuce juice you can also add some of those.
I will admit there are simply some juices that cannot be fixed, so don’t go wasting too much of your produce on a bad flavored juice if it just doesn’t seem to be working. If it’s fixable, then you can add some more base ingredients like I suggested above. I’ve fixed many a juice this way! 🙂
An Herbal Immune Boosting Juice Recipe
I’m not going to leave you hanging without a juice recipe that uses at least some of these herbal ingredients! I went ahead and put together an immune system boosting juice recipe that used all three!
Enjoy, and I hope you stay well!
Herbal Immune System Super Booster!
1 small handful Cilantro
1 small handful Basil
1 small handful Thyme
Makes roughly between 14 to 16 ounces of juice.
1. Antimicrobial activity of individual and mixed fractions of Dill, Cilantro, Coriander and Eucalyptus essential oils
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