Support your immune system naturally in the time of the covid-19 pandemic

Natural modifiers of the immune response.

In times of a global epidemic, which we have been dealing with for a long time, topics related primarily to the immune system are popular. Vegetable preparations with immunostimulating properties have been the focus of many researchers’ interest for many decades due to the increase in the number of patients struggling with infectious diseases. In this article, you will find information on how you can naturally support your immunity. Most of the used biogenic stimulants are treated as auxiliary and complementary drugs.

At the outset, it should be noted that the dosage regimen of the substances given should be strictly adhered to, as drugs or supplements contain a number of substances with a strong and multidirectional effect on various systems of our body. This information should be found in the leaflets attached to the preparations.

Among the plant materials that will help activate the immune system, there are:

Aloe arborescens (Aloe arborescens) is considered to be the most biologically active plant as it has over 75 active substances that stimulate the immune system. The most important chemical compounds are present in the leaves, including: antraglycosides, which have strong antibacterial, fungicidal and antiviral properties. In vitro studies have shown immunochemical and haemagglutant effects as well as an absolute increase in the number of lymphocytes, aloctin isolated from Aloe arborescens [1]. Lectins take part in the non-specific immune response by binding to α2-macroglobulins, therefore they should be assigned the role of an immunomodulator [2], [3].

aloes w białej doniczce

Echinacea purpurea (Echinacea purpurea) is famous for its greatest immunostimulatory effect, thanks to its chemistry it has alkamides, essential oils (borneol), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol) and chicory acid. The active compounds present in echinacea stimulate the activity of the adrenal cortex and the formation of interferon and properdin, as well as increase the number and mobility of white blood cells, and inhibit the activity of bacterial and tissue hyaluronidase, thus increasing the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections.

jezowka purpurowa

Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa). Fresh, ripe fruit is used to make food preparations: syrups, juices. On the market we can find dietary supplements: Bioaron C, Aronox, Aronia and other herbal medicines. Anthocyanins, phenolic acids and flavonoids are responsible for protection against viruses, bacteria and fungi. In addition, aronia, thanks to the high content of vitamins C, E, P, has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system.

aronia na drzewie

Ginger (Zingiber officinalle Roscoe). The pharmacological effects are attributed to gingerols, which inhibit the activity of prostaglandins (comparable to NSAIDs). Gingerols, especially [8] -paradol, inhibit COX-1 more than aspirin [5]. Ginger, as well as compounds isolated from it, have the ability to modulate the proliferation of T cells and the cellular immune response. Additionally, essential oils inhibit the secretion of IL-1α by macrophages. Therefore, it is postulated that the influence of ginger oil on the secretion of IL-1α by macrophages causes its anti-inflammatory effect [4].

imbir na brązowym stole

Honey. The active components of honey are responsible for the immunomodulatory effect of honey: proteins royal jelly-1, endotoxins, phenolic acids, flavonoids and ellagic acid. However, the molecular mechanism of action of honey is still unclear.

łyżka z miodem

Bee putty – extracts of propolis show strong antioxidant, sedative, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immunostimulating properties, thanks to the presence of very diverse compounds, including: aromatic esters, flavonoids, triterpene alcohols, enzymes, microelements [6]. Interestingly, propolis has been used in the treatment of people infected with HIV [7].

kit pszczeli - propolis

The efficiency of the immune system can also be found in: garlic (Allium sativum L.), ginseng root (Panax ginseng), elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.), raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.), as well as cereal products – β- glucan.

To sum up, the discussed natural compounds of plant origin have a wealth of properties supporting the immune system, which nowadays can help us in the fight against infectious diseases, and above all, prevent them.

The author of the article is mgr. pharmacy Natalia Małachowska

If you want to get more information or are looking for someone who will explain your doubts, we invite you to a safe consultation with a doctor here.

Bibliography

[1] Park SJ, Ahmad F, Philp A i wsp. Resveratrol ameliorates aging-related metabolic phenotypes by inhibiting cAMP phosphodiesterases. Cell 2012; 148:421-33.

[2]  Gretarsdottir S, Thorleifsson G, Reynisdottir ST i wsp. The gene encoding phosphodiesterase 4D confers risk of ischemic stroke. Nat Genet 2003; 35:131-8. 

[3] Lee KY, Weintraub ST, Yu BP. Isolation and identification of a phenolic antioxidant from Aloe arborescens. Free Rad Biol Med 2000; 28:261-5.

[4] Zhou H, Deng Y, Xie Q. The modulatory effect of the volatile oil of ginger on the cellular immune response in vitro and in vivo mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2006, 105: 301-305.

[5] Ali BH, Blunden G, Tanira MO, Nemmar A. Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). A review of recent research. Food Chem Toxicol 2008, 45(2): 409-420.

[6] Kędzia B. Pochodzenie propolisu w świetle teorii i badań naukowych. Herba Pol 2008, 54(4): 179-186.

[7]  Basista K. Propolis – naturalny produkt o właściwościach immunomodulujących i przeciwwirusowych oraz jego potencjalne zastosowanie w terapii wspomagającej u HIVpozytywnych pacjentów. Farm Pol 2010, 66(9): 617-620.

Dymarska, A. Grochowalska, H. Krauss, Z. Chęcińska-Maciejewska, Naturalne modyfikatory odpowiedzi immunologicznej, Probl Hig Epidemiol 97 (4), 297-307

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