Germs are all around us. Some reside in our bodies and provide us with benefits, including the friendly bacteria in the intestines, lower urinary system, and upper respiratory tract. But not all do us good as there are other microbes like viruses, parasites, and bacteria that wreak havoc into our system. In fact, there are over 400 types of viruses that have the ability to cause infections, such as flu, hepatitis, common cold, and HIV.

Fortunately, you don’t have to visit the pharmacy or a store’s medicinal aisle to help stave off infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Herbs are a great way to naturally boost your immune system and fight off pathogens that can harm your body. Here are the best antibacterial and antiviral herbs for you to try:

Cinnamon

This spice has antibacterial properties that can also aid in digestion, while keeping the body warm. Cinnamon is usually used in teas, as well as a supplement and natural food flavoring.

Elderberry

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine said that this herb can be used for treating both influenza A and B because it can kill influenza virus effectively.

Echinacea

This herb is quite popular for strengthening the immune system and improving overall health. The phytochemicals in Echinaceaare said to reduce infections caused by viruses and can even stop tumor growth.

Calendula

Also known as pot marigold, calendula has been used for treating various maladies since the 12th century. It is a popular antiviral herb and contains high amounts of flavonoids that can protect healthy cells against free radicals.

Garlic

Many studies have already proven how effective garlic is in killing different microorganisms that can cause infections, such as pneumonia, herpes, thrush, and tuberculosis.

Ginger

This herb has always been praised for its ability to improve immunity. When consumed, it can warm the body and help reduce toxin accumulation in different organs. It acts as a detoxifier for the lymphatic system, while stopping the body from becoming susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections.

Lemon Balm

Plant this in your yard and you can take advantage of its antiviral effects by simply harvesting it. It’s very easy to grow and does not need a lot of attention. Brew as tea for colds, flu, cold sores, and even chickenpox.

Many foods do contain defense against fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Consume the herbs listed above, along with others, such as oregano, cranberry, licorice root, and tea leaves to prevent infections.

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