5 Ways Bird’s Nest Helps with Your Respiratory Health
Published | 6 min read
You’ve heard the claims about bird’s nest and its benefits for respiratory health. These 5 reasons will make you a believer.
Bird’s nest has shown to have many numerous health benefits. There are different grades and the higher the grade, the
Why Birds’ Nest Is Great for Respiratory Health
Bird’s nest is known to promote overall immunity, with many anti-ageing benefits. According to TCM physician Anita Pee, bird’s nest is traditionally used to clear phlegm, relieve chronic dry coughs, and reduce fatigue.
“Bird’s nest contains many proteins and nutrients that can aid in recovery from chronic illnesses. It can also be used to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, and promote smooth bowel movement,” she further shares.
1. Naturally antiviral
Many studies demonstrate the possible ways in which bird’s nest can help inhibit viral activity. Of note are bioactive compounds such as sialic acid and thymol derivatives that have been isolated in these studies and then tested both in vitro (in test tubes) as well as in vivo (in living organisms).
One possible mechanism is that these compounds help inhibit the replicated virus from exiting host cells. It reduces an infection and paving the way for a person’s healing. In several studies, it is believed that the compounds in bird’s nest function similarly to antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir and amantadine. These studies have also shown that bird’s nest increases the amount lysosomes which are essentially the cell’s trash disposal system. This could help explain its activity against invading viruses in the human body.
2. No major side effects
Unlike many antiviral drugs or vaccines, which directly enter and affect systems in your body, often with side effects, bird’s nest consists of complex organic material that have been shown to have very little harmful side effects.
“However, take caution, especially for those consuming bird’s nest for the first time,” advises Physician Pee. In some rare cases, a few people may have an allergy as one of birds nest side effects. However, studies have shown there is no known major or harmful side effects to consuming bird’s nest.
When your body’s immune system detects a virus, your body sets off its defences by attacking the virus. In some people, especially those with a compromised or overreactive immune system, this “attack” unleashes a cytokine “storm” that can overwhelm the body. These inflammatory responses usually contribute to the typical symptoms of a viral infection of the respiratory system. Examples are mucus and phlegm formation, sore throat, coughing, fever, and soreness.
Studies on bird’s nest also show that not only does it have anti-viral properties to work against the virus, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. They help address the symptoms caused by the body’s immune response to the infection. So, is bird’s nest good for coughs? It can help with easing it.
4. A pleasant, mild flavour
Despite the exotic air surrounding this health food made from bird’s saliva, bird’s nest has a mild taste. It is similar to egg whites, making it another reason why it makes great medicinal food. It’s more appealing and
This mild flavour, sometimes even perceived as bland by some, makes this food relatively easy to prepare. Bird’s nest soup is popular and it harmonises with other TCM ingredients such as red dates (hong zhao, 红枣), goji berries (gou qi, 枸杞), and dried longan (long yan rou, 龙眼肉). Add a little rock sugar for sweetness. Some people even consider well-prepared bird’s nest soup to be a delectable dessert, minus the guilt.
5. Great for overall health
We often think of respiratory and lung health as a practice of fighting pathogens with potent drugs. While drugs do work to try to thwart an ongoing infection, they don’t often have other health benefits.
Studies on rats have been able to show, for example, the regenerative effect that bird’s nest has on human cartilage formation. There’s great potential for patients with osteoarthritis, a condition that usually inflicts the elderly as their bodies age.
The Poor Man’s Birds’ Nest
With all the great benefits of bird’s nest, one setback is just how expensive it can be.
Studies have been able to identify polysaccharides in white fungus as the bioactive compound of this medicinal food. This compound has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-radiation, and anti-ageing properties. White fungus also has a skin-moisturising effect, promotes wound-healing, and can fight fatigue. Like bird’s nest, you can enjoy it as a dessert beverage made with rock sugar, goji berries, red dates, and longan. Adding lotus seeds (lian zi, 莲子) almost makes it a full meal.
Bird’s nest is a health food that has been shown to help with respiratory health, with little to no side effects. For a more affordable alternative, you can take white fungus. Share this article with someone who is interested in bird’s nest so they can benefit from this superfood too.
- Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021. Edible Bird’s Nest: The Functional Values of the Prized Animal-Based Bioproduct From Southeast Asia–A Review. [Accessed 17 June 2022].
- Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021. The Anti-Viral and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Edible Bird’s Nest in Influenza and Coronavirus Infections: From Pre-Clinical to Potential Clinical Application. [Accessed 17 June 2022].
- International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. 2021. A review on the production, structure, bioactivities and applications of Tremella polysaccharides. [Accessed 17 June 2022].
- Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2019. The anti-fatigue and anti-anoxia effects of Tremella extract. [Accessed 17 June 2022].
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