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Immuni-TEA: Brew An Instant Herbal Tea For Immunity

Reports about the success of traditional Chinese remedies in treating symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a surge in demand for Chinese herbal medicines. 

In New York City and San Francisco, two of the most coronavirus-affected metropolises in the U.S., many herbal pharmacies are struggling to keep up with orders; some are sold out of raw herbs. 

However, there’s a way to benefit from time-tested, immune-supporting Chinese herbs without having to leave your house or having to spend hours preparing and cooking bulk herbs in your kitchen. 

Instant Herbal Immunity Tea

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Ahhh, the ritual of pouring a soothing cup of herbal tea…

For centuries, a hot cup of herbal tea has helped people relax at the end of a long day or wind down before bedtime. 

Now more than ever, in the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to practice stress-management techniques to help mitigate fear and anxiety. Die-hard herbal tea drinkers will attest to the soothing powers of herbal tea. 

And now, herbal tea enthusiasts can also benefit from sipping a daily cuppa for immunity support. 

Not one of the millions of people around the globe who enjoy brewing tea, patiently waiting several minutes for the herbs to steep, eagerly awaiting the first sip? 

Then good news for you! With instant herbal tea extract granules, there’s no need to wait. Simply add a scoop (scooper provided) of granules to hot water and stir for a few seconds. 

Herbal teas are, in part, helping manage COVID-19 symptoms in China. And by making instant herbal tea a part of your daily routine, you’re helping prime your immune system. 

So without further ado, here are our top immune support instant herbal teas…

Instant Herbal Tea #1: Astragalus (Huang Qi)

Huang Qi is a legendary immune-supporting Chinese herb. Modern research shows it boosts production of white blood cells, and studies such as this one suggest it may help  inhibit certain viruses. 

Traditionally, Huang Qi is used for several conditions, including fatigue. Research studies conclude that astragalus, which has a slightly sweet taste, has the following actions: 

  • Strengthens immune function
  • Supports normal liver function
  • Promotes urination (detoxification)
  • Normalizes blood pressure
  • Increases the body’s resistance to stress 

In one research study, the effects of astragalus on the immune function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was analyzed. Patients who received astragalus had significantly lower levels of interleukins 14 days after treatment. Interleukins are involved in immune cell function and proliferation. As a type of cytokines, interleukins aren’t necessarily bad. However, when a viral infection such as COVID-19 occurs, a “cytokine storm” occurs. This is when the immune system goes haywire, and in the case of the novel coronavirus, overwhelms the lungs. 

The result of the study and others like it suggests that astragalus may help prevent hyper proliferation of immune cells. Thus, the researchers of the COPD study concluded, “These results indicate that milkvetch root [astragalus] can improve the immune function of patients with acute exacerbation of COPD.”

Astragalus, in another study, has been deemed “generally safe and without major adverse effects.”

[Want Instant astragalus tea? Make a cup with extract granules. Each bottle offers the maximal strength of the herb with minimal filler, and includes a scooper for easy dosing.]

Instant Herbal Tea #2: Jade Defender Tea

On its own, astragalus is one of the most potent herbs for promoting healthy lung and immune function. But to maximize results, consider adding two other herbs to your Astragalus Instant Tea: Siler Root and Bai Zhu. 

These two herbs act as auxiliary herbs for astragalus in the classic immune-support formula, Jade Defender. By combining astragalus, siler root and bai zhu extract granules, you can make Jade Defender Instant Tea.

A research study in Oncology Reports concludes, Siler root (Saposhnikovia divaricata), which also has a mildly sweet taste, contains “potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and protective properties.” The Chinese name of the herb, Fang Feng, translates as “wind prevention.” In TCM theory, Wind is one of the 6 pathogenic, or evil, influences that can disrupt Yin-Yang balance (homeostasis). Fang Feng is a time-tested, immune-supporting formula that’s often combined with Huang Qi. 

In 2016, three new compounds in Bai Zhu (Atractylodes macrocephala or Atractylodes rhizome) were identified. Along with the 11 previously-identified compounds, the three new compounds were shown to have potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Relatively few people in the West are familiar with Bai Zhu. However, Bai Zhu is considered by herbalists to be on par therapeutically with perhaps the most well-known Chinese herb: ginseng. 

In Chinese medicine theory, Bai Zhu invigorates Qi and strengthens Spleen. When a pathogenic attack invades, it can cause fatigue and poor appetite and/or digestion. By invigorating Qi and strengthening Spleen, Bai Zhu may help resolve these major symptoms.  

Small Formula, Big Results: Licorice and Ginger (Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang)

Two other herbal extract granules to consider for supporting your immune system are licorice root and dried ginger. 

Licorice and Dried Ginger can be found in many TCM formulas. Collectively called Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang, some Chinese hospitals are using it as a preventative or treatment for viruses. 

Gan Cao, as licorice is known in Chinese, literally means “sweet grass.” Its use as a remedy was first mentioned over 4000 years ago in the oldest-surviving Chinese medicine guide: Shennong׳s Classic of Materia Medica

Arguably the most ubiquitous herb in all of Chinese medicine, licorice root, from a TCM perspective tonifies the Spleen (improves digestion), augments Qi (supports energy), moistens the Lungs, resolves Phlegm (stops the accumulation of fluids), and relieves coughing. 

Modern science reveals that licorice contains at least 73 bioactive compounds. Perhaps the two most therapeutic ones are glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid. These two triterpenoid compounds are responsible for the antiviral activity of licorice. 

For example, glycyrrhizin has been shown in research studies to inhibit full length viral particles and core gene expression. It’s also demonstrated the ability to proliferate T- lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that scavenge viral debris. Among several other anti-viral effects, glycyrrhizin has demonstrated the ability to weaken interleukin-6 activity in H5N1 virus. 

As for glycyrrhetinic acid, research shows it reduces the levels of certain viral proteins “at a step or steps subsequent to virus entry.”

(It’s important to note that no compound or herb has been proven on the novel coronavirus.)

Herbal teas are, in part, helping manage COVID-19 symptoms in China. And by making instant herbal tea a part of your daily routine, you’re helping prime your immune system.

From a TCM perspective, ginger warms the middle and disperses cold, creating a hostile  environment for viruses. And from a Western perspective, it’s the spice’s phenol compounds such as gingerol and shogaol (phenols are a class of antioxidants) that confer its many purported health benefits. A review of ginger research studies states that the herb “Possesses multiple biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, cardiovascular protective, respiratory protective, antiobesity, antidiabetic, antinausea, and antiemetic activities.”

But how does ginger support a healthy immune system? One way in which it does so is by enhancing glutathione activity. Glutathione is the body’s internal master antioxidant. 

In addition, ginger has been shown to effectively block viral attachment and internalization (entering the cells). 

Conclusion

Herbal extract granule tea is easy to make and take. Simply heat up water, add a scoop of the extract granules, stir for a few seconds, sip and enjoy. And of course, as the saying goes, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down; just make sure you don’t add too much sweetener, as sugar may suppress your immune system. You can also sprinkle the granules as a topping in yogurt or smoothies.

For thousands of years, the method of extracting the medicinal compounds from the stems, roots, bark and rhizomes (underground stems with lateral leaves) of herbs was a lengthy, messy and sometimes stinky affair. But now with extract granules, it’s never been easier to brew a cup of immune-supporting herbal tea. 

See for yourself how easy it is to brew a cup of Instant Herbal Tea in our YouTube video, below (1:22).

References:

Effect and mechanism of Astragalus membranaceus on coxsackie B3 virus RNA in mice

The efficacy and safety of concentrated herbal extract granules

Anti-proliferative and antioxidant activities of Saposhnikovia divaricata

Inflammatory Inhibitory Activity of Sesquiterpenoids from Atractylodes macrocephala Rhizomes

LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Milkvetch root improves immune function in patients with acute exacerbation of COPD

The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb

Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivities of Ginger