3 Herbs That Support Skin & Immunity
Okay so you’re probably pumping yourself with zinc, vitamin-c, selenium, and all of the nourishing vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity as we’re facing a pandemic. This all significantly helps your immune response and overall health… but did you know about these herbs that are natural immune boosters AND great for your skin health?!
Ohhhhh echinacea! This lovely herb is just an all-round winner. It’s a great one to have stocked in the cupboard for colds, flus, viruses, infections and to support skin, fluid retention, or lymphatic drainage. Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia are often combined together. These herbs have been found to behold powerful antioxidant properties (Ganjuri, 2016). When our bodies are inflamed, it means that there is excessively high amounts of oxidative stress and free-radical damage occurring on a cellular level. The cell membranes become compromised and so does it’s DNA. This means that the cell won’t work properly and puts a lot of stress on the body to fix it or to detoxify.
Echinacea reduces oxidative stress through its abundance of healing compounds possessing pharmacological properties. This wonderful herb has been shown to significantly improve respiratory and urinary tract infections, along with acne-fighting properties (Azimi, 2012). You can use echinacea as a tea, tincture, or as a herbal supplement.
Andrographis paniculate is another fabulous herb known as ‘the king of bitters’. It has been known to support digestion by improving digestive secretions in the mouth, stomach, gallbladder, liver and is also a potent anti-bacterial herb. This is effective against dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), very important for supporting overall health and immunity. If you are gassy, bloated, nauseous after meals or feel your digestion is lacking, this herb is an excellent choice (Mohammad Abu Bin Nyeem, 2017).
Andrographis is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and liver detoxifying herb. It has been shown to detoxify the blood, improve blood sugar regulation, fevers, and has been used effectively to reduce respiratory tract infections. If you suffer from recurring boils, chronic skin eruptions, or general fatigue, Andrographis can tonify and nourish the body (Priyanka Gaur, 2018). By supporting digestive processes, nutrient absorption and cleansing the blood, it helps the body to get back on track for optimal health.
*Note, if you’re on medications, please speak with a health professional to ensure combinational therapy is not a risk.
You’re probably very familiar with the benefits of this bright little spice of sunshine - turmeric (Curcuma longa). It’s not one to be undermined just because of its popularity. I love it because it’s easy to access, you can make your own tinctures, teas or powders – even better, it’s relatively cheap! Turmeric is a herbal legend when it comes to reducing inflammation, bacterial/viral/fungal infections, and has been used medically for treating dermatological diseases. There have been numerous studies outlining the benefits of turmeric and it’s active constituent curcumin in supporting acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, pruritis, and even alopecia (Sivamani, 2016).
Turmeric can improve wound healing times, strengthen the eyes, nourish the liver, and significantly improve inflammatory bowel disease. It has been shown to nourish cell proliferation and improve skin matrix signaling, ultimately enhancing skin structures and tissue layers. This is ideal when improving rashes, scars, skin injuries, and systemic inflammation (Ghorbani Z, 2018).
Turmeric pharmacology has indicated DNA transcription support and can improve immunity defenses against viruses through targeting and dismantling viral replication. It also prevents bacterial overgrowth and significantly increases antioxidants in the body to boost innate and adaptive immune pathways. This herb generally needs to be taken in higher doses around 5g per day. You can add it to smoothies, teas, curries, energy balls or you can make your own plant-based turmeric kefir.
*Turmeric has blood-thinning properties, please consult with your health professional to ensure there are no medication interactions.
These 3 herbs can be easily combined together for extra potency. Have you used these herbs before and found any improvements in your health? We’d love to hear from you.
If you would like to book an appointment with our clinical nutritionist and naturopath Renee Grandi, please contact us here.
Azimi, H. F.-T. (2012). A review of phytotherapy of acne vulgaris: Perspective of new pharmacological treatments. . Fitoterapia, 83(8, doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2012.03.026), 1306–1317.
Ganjuri, M. D. (2016). A Review on Pharmacological and Therapeutic Properties of Echinacea. Semantic Scolar .
Ghorbani Z, K. E. (2018). Therapeutic Applications of Turmeric and Its Principle Constituent Curcumin in Wound Healing and Skin Regeneration from the Perspective of Conventional Medicine and Iranian Traditional Medicine (ITM). J. Med. Plants., 12-21.
Mohammad Abu Bin Nyeem, M. A. (2017). Indigenous king of bitter (Andrographis paniculata): A review. Journal of Medicinal Plant Studies, 318 - 324.
Priyanka Gaur, S. S. (2018). Pharmacological and Clinical Effects of Andrographis paniculata. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res, 1889 - 1896.
Sivamani, A. R. (2016). Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytotherapy Research, https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5640.