Finally, it’s that time of the year when we can legitimately call our cozy razai bae! Yes, winter is indeed around the corner—but it’s not just the nip in the air that’s coming for us. Winter also means an increased risk of infections like the flu and common cold.
Blame it on the changing season or the fact that colder climates make it easier for certain kinds of viruses to spread. The truth is flu season is here and given the already-exhausting pandemic, it’s time to protect yourself from seasonal infections.
Yes, you can stay home, keep yourself warm, and take all the necessary precautions to keep that nasty viral fever at bay. But, while you are at it—don’t underestimate the power of herbs that can guard you against infections.
Before you wonder what these magical ingredients are, here are five herbs you must consume this winter to keep infections away:
Mulethi or liquorice might be your saviour from a sore throat, but it can do so much more. According to a 2015 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB), mulethi features two chemical compounds that work as antiviral agents. This gives liquorice the power to stop the spread of viruses in the body.
Long used in Unani medicine, unnab is the dried version of the fruit we know as ber. Also known as Indian jujube or common jujube, it is used to relieve cough as it soothes the respiratory tract. But here’s the thing you might not know: this fruit is rich in vitamin C, which can boost your immune system.
In fact, a 2017 study from the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules even suggests that unnab can boost the production of immune cells in the body.
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Now, you may not have come across this herb—but we bet you’ve seen plenty of “golden shower” or laburnum trees lining the streets of your city. And it just so happens that their flowers and seeds are loaded with tonnes of benefits for your health.
For that matter, the National Health Portal of India states that amaltas extracts can reduce fever, help decrease inflammation and chest congestion, and ease throat troubles. What more could you want?
Now, this is a no-brainer! Tulsi or holy basil has been a part of winter home remedies since time immemorial. And for all the right reasons! A 2014 paper published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine states that tulsi has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes tulsi the perfect antidote for infections that might come knocking on your doorstep this winter.
Sapistan or Cordia myxa is not a herb that you hear of every day. But once you’ll get to know just what it can do to safeguard you from infections, you will want to embrace it.
An essential part of Unani medicine, sapistan is used to treat cold, cough, and other upper-respiratory ailments. Moreover, a paper from the June 2016 edition of the IOSR Journal of Pharmacy found that this herb also has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties—making it your perfect companion for the winter.
Well, if sourcing these herbs and making individual concoctions isn’t your cup of tea, then fret not. You can always opt for an OTC preparation, like Hamard Joshina which features tulsi, mulethi, unnab, amaltas, and sapistan–along with 7 other herbs to give you much needed protection.
So the next you feel a cough or cold coming on, trust the power of these herbs to avert trouble.