• Next to Nature

7 Immune Boosting Herbs and Spices for Your Pantry

Updated: May 23

If a world crisis can teach us anything it’s how to be a bit more resourceful. It can also teach us to be ahead of the game. As Dr. Davis teaches his patients, be proactive instead of reactive. But what does this mean? We must have our homes stocked with healing remedies, our kitchen filled with herbs to support our systems, and supplements to rid or keep away any pesky illness. When something comes up, you don’t have time for “Due to this we are behind 5-10 days for delivery.” You need to be ahead and already have your natural medicine cabinet stocked. You can stay right in your home to get well.

We want to help you gracefully enter your pantry or spice cupboard, a medicinal treasure trove of humble herbs and spices with powerful immune-boosting properties. Even if you don’t cook often, I’d bet you have at least two or three (if not more) of these common herbal allies on hand right now.

Here are our top 7 favorite herbs & spices for immune health and beyond:


This is one of the most overlooked, under-appreciated immune-boosting herbs in everyone’s pantry. Greek mothers and grandmothers have a reputation for using cinnamon as a home remedy for nearly every type of ailment and their wisdom has now been validated by modern science.

First off, in a study of 26 different herbs, cinnamon was shown to have the highest concentration of anti-inflammatory, free-radical scavenging, immune-supportive antioxidants than any other spice (including garlic!).

Second, cinnamon has proven antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which explains why those clever matriarchs used it for everything.

What we carry:

We have teas and supplements with cinnamon, or just the ground herb for cooking. Organic Ceylon and Organic Granules. Did you know there is an essential oil as well? It is GREAT for cleansing the air and making your home smell like baked goodness!


This herb is one of Jamie’s favorites for many health reasons. It has been used in Italian, French, and Middle Eastern cooking for centuries as a culinary herb but also holds unrivaled medicinal strength. The majority of studies have focused on particular essential oil compounds in thyme leaves like thymol, showing significant antiviral properties. But other evidence demonstrates it is also antibacterial when combined with cinnamon, and helps modulate the immune system. Thyme is delicious in soups, bone broths, and marinades and it also makes a yummy, medicinal tea when combined with honey. To make, combine 1 tablespoon dried thyme with 1 teaspoon raw honey and a squeeze of lemon. Yum!

What we carry:

We have the dried herb and essential oil.


Oregano isn’t just great on pizza and pasta, it’s been traditionally used to support the lungs and fight cold and flu. Its active component: carvacrol, has been shown effective against such pathogens as norovirus, salmonella, and E.Coli. It’s also been proven to help inhibit biofilms (which are shields that bacteria create to protect themselves from antibiotics) which form during UTIs. While oil of oregano is typically recommended by health practitioners, the whole herb is also effective when taken as a tea, used in cooking, or you can make your own extraction or tincture with the herb. Oregano is one to be on the cautionary side as well, if taking regular doses for healing. It has the ability to remove good bacteria from the gut, which is not something we want. This would be larger dosages of either an essential oil or supplement, so do not stray away from cooking with it every single day.

What we carry:

We have the dried herb, essential oil, and dietary supplement.


We LOVE Turmeric. It’s is one of the most studied medicinal plants on the planet, boasting over 5400 studies to date. Its active components, curcuminoids, act as powerful antioxidants that have been proven to modulate the immune system while increasing antibody response. Some examples of this include its ability to fight flu, pneumonia, allergies, and asthma. It also has extensive research backing its anti-inflammatory actions which makes it a good herb to have around for pain. Hints our “Flame” tea we keep in stock!

Turmeric can be added to grains, soups, curries, dressings, etc. We also like mixing it with raw honey to take at the first sign of a sore throat or tummy trouble. To do so, mix about a teaspoon of turmeric with enough honey to make a paste and take it directly.

What we carry:

We have teas, season blends, the powder, and root herbs.


Oh, this one is so good! Astragalus root has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It’s an adaptogenic herb that helps the body to fight off stress and disease. It boosts the health and function of your immune, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, helps to heal wounds, prevents diabetes, slows the growth of tumors and alleviates symptoms of chemotherapy. The antioxidants found in astragalus root help you to combat disease and aging due to free radical damage. You can find astragalus in many forms, including as a tincture, capsule or topical ointment.

What we carry:

We have teas, smoothie powders, supplements, and the powdered herb.


This spicy rhizome is second only to turmeric in its documented research studies and is commonly found in pantries and refrigerators throughout the world. The immune health benefits of ginger could fill thousands of pages (it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-biofilm, antiviral, amazing for digestion…the list goes on and on), however, one of the most relevant and impressive is its protective effect on the lungs during infection. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed fresh ginger was effective in blocking the viral attachment of human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) to the lungs by stimulating mucosal production in the lungs. Studies show that ginger may prevent and treat nausea and vomiting caused by various conditions. If you are prone to motion sickness take 250 – 1000 mg powdered ginger before riding in a car, boat, or airplane. (but also look into chiropractic care for this.) Fresh ginger makes a delicious tea ⅛ t powdered ginger = 250 mg. or can be added to sparkling water with a bit of honey to make a healthy ginger ale. Yum!

What we carry:

We have teas, seasoning blends, smoothie powders, and the powder and root herbs.


Fennel seeds are traditionally served after Indian meals to help support digestion—and when our digestion/gut microbiome is healthy our immune system is healthy. (See our recent article on this.) Additionally, fennel contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin, and has been shown effective against pink eye (use as a poultice), fevers, diarrhea, and tummy aches due to its antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-stress compounds. Fennel is also excellent for nursing mothers, which is why it is an excellent ingredient in our “Mother Nurture” tea.

What we carry:

We have tea and the dried herb.

The importance of having a cabinet full of herbs goes beyond tasty dishes. You don’t just have to cook with herbs, you can put in water or make tea and drink up or get very creative with a tincture.

Either way, having herbs like our favorites above, in your home and ready to use, will in the long run, help you be ready to fight off unwanted illnesses. Get in the habit of using them more so you stay well! Proactive approach!

To better health, friends.


Jamie Vess

Health Line

India Times

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