7 Immune Boosting Spices

The best spices for a strong immune system

Spices are great for adding flavor to food but they can also strengthen your immune system during the winter months.

In this article I’ve listed 7 spices that can boost your immune system naturally.

Keep these spices on hand for times when you a feel a cold or flu coming on.

This post about spices for the immune system contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more info.


Benefits of Spices for the Immune System

Spices can help to:

  • Reduce the severity of colds and flus
  • Stop bacterial and viral infections taking hold
  • Soothe sore throats
  • Ease congestion
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Keep your immune system strong


1. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most well-known spices for boosting immunity.

It contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties and it’s one of the strongest natural antibiotics.

Garlic also stimulates the immune system to increase production of immune-boosting white blood cells and natural killer cells. [1]

To get the most immune boosting benefits from garlic, it’s best to eat it raw.

You can crush or finely chop a clove of garlic and sprinkle it on top of salads or other foods.

If raw garlic is too much for you, you can add garlic to your stir fries or curries just before serving to preserve the beneficial properties.

You can also try odorless garlic capsules.


2. Ginger

Ginger is a warming spice that has many health benefits.

It’s most commonly used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties but it’s also helpful for boosting the immune system.

Ginger can help the body to fight influenza and bacterial infections, while also acting as a natural decongestant.

Gingerol, a natural oil found in ginger root, is a strong antioxidant. [2]

Ginger can be added to many different types of foods including Asian and Indian dishes.

You can also drink ginger tea or take ginger capsules.


3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a bright orange spice that has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties.

It helps to boost immunity while also directly fighting bacterial and viral infections.

Studies have found that turmeric can modulate the activation of different types of immune cells including T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer cells. [3]

Turmeric can be added to curries and meat dishes or sprinkled on top of foods.

You can also drink turmeric tea or if you’d like to try a supplement, look for curcumin capsules. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.


4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular immune boosting spice that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for keeping the immune system healthy.

It’s also known for its ability to reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so it fights the bugs that cause colds and flus as well as strengthening the immune system.

Keeping your immune system strong is a good way to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria that are so prevalent during the winter months.

Cinnamon powder can be added to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies and baked goods.

You can also take cinnamon capsules.

Herbs for a healthy gut

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a warming spice that is great for warding off sickness.

It contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamin A and capsaicin, which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses.

Cayenne pepper is also helpful for boosting the metabolism, improving digestion and reducing pain.

You can add cayenne pepper to curries, rice, vegetables and meat for a flavor boost.

Cayenne pepper

6. Cloves

Cloves contain an essential oil named eugenol that helps to increase immunity and reduce the incidence of bacterial and viral infections.

They’re a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Adding cloves to your food helps to boost your immunity and reduce your chances of getting sick.

Cloves can be used to add flavor to meats and rice dishes.

Spices for good health

7. Cumin

Cumin is another immune boosting spice that helps the body to fight bacterial and fungal infections.

It contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties along with high levels of antioxidants.

Cumin is especially helpful for loosening and clearing mucus from the respiratory tract.

Cumin can be added to curries, soups, vegetables and meat.


Regularly consuming these immune boosting spices can help to keep you healthy, especially during winter.

Have you used any of these spices to keep your immune system strong? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, come and say hi over on Facebook for more immune boosting tips.

Best immune boosting spices

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a qualified Nutritionist and Herbal Medicine Practitioner. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. I created this blog to share my knowledge and inspire women who are looking for natural health solutions. Read more

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Ginger is one of my favorite things. So glad to hear it’s good for immunity too.

  2. Great read, thank you. I like to always include a variety of herbs and spices into my cooking. I swear by garlic and lemons too! I am hardly ever sick, in fact, i can’t remember the last time I was and I survived the flu season! (30 years in a row)

  3. I just started using turmeric. I have heard so much talk about it. So far… just a few weeks in and have not noticed a difference. But I am sure like anything you must give it time. Thanks for such a great post of helpful spices.

  4. Very informative article to read and I learned a lot from it. I actually include garlic on my every meal and instead of coffee I drink ginger or turmeric tea.

  5. I didn’t know about cinnamon or cumin!! I love garlic and my mom always used to give it to me when I was getting sick and congested!

  6. Keeping your immune system healthy is so important at this time of year. These are excellent sources of nutrients!

  7. Oh thanks for the information, I knew it, garlic and turmeric are so good for the body that’s why I always incorporate them with my daily meals.

  8. In Asia especially Bangladesh and India we use these spices vastly in our daily cooking. So,for this reason I have some idea of their benefits. Your post contains so much helpful information. Actually if we take this daily then we have no need of medicine. Living with an organic way may help us to live long!

  9. I definitely need this. My immune system is not good as I’m very sick. I have a genetic Illness. Saving this to look over later when I’m not so tired. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I regularly drink ginger and turmeric tea and I feel it has helped boost my immunity. I also am heavy on the garlic when I cook. I will have to try adding the other spices in my diet too.

  11. Garlic and ginger are my favorites. Also I like the smell of them in all my foods.

  12. Most of these are also very useful for raising immune and helping fight/prevent the COVID 19 virus also-:)

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