15 Best Remedies To Increase White Blood Cell Count At Home

Boost your immunity naturally with garlic, spinach, and citrus fruits.

Medically reviewed by Reda Elmardi, RDN Reda Elmardi Reda ElmardiRDN facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Dipti Sharma MA (English) Experience: 2 years
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Leukocytes or white blood cells are formed in your bone marrow and are responsible for fighting infectious pathogens. The human body creates more than a million white blood cells every day that identify the different pathogens out there and get ready to fight it. If you experience any inflammation, it means that the white blood cells in your body are working hard to get rid of the infection. When you experience bouts of cold often, it could be an indication of low white blood cell count in the body. Don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this article, we take a look at the different types of white blood cells in your body and a few home remedies to help you increase the white blood count. Scroll down for more information on how to increase white blood cells!

Did You Know?

The number of leukocytes in the blood is an indicator of a disease. Hence, the white blood cell count is an important component of the complete blood count.

What Are The White Blood Cell Counts?

  • Average Normal Range Of WBCs 3,500-10,500 white blood cells per microliter of blood.
  • Low WBC Count Less than 4,500 white blood cells per microliter of blood.
  • High WBC CountMore than 11,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood.

WBCs are of different types.

Types Of White Blood Cells

  • Neutrophils: Fight infections by ingesting microbes like bacteria and fungi.
  • Eosinophils: Fight large parasites like intestinal worms. These cells also secrete IgE antibodies to combat allergens.
  • Basophils: Secrete histaminei  A chemical found in the body cells of humans that triggers allergic reactions, like runny nose and sneezing. during allergic reactions.
  • Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes consist of three cells – B cells, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. B cells recognize viruses and release antibodies against them, while T cells and NK cells fight cells infected by viruses and cancer.
  • Monocytes: Monocytes convert into macrophagesi  Type of white blood cells that destroy harmful organisms, clear dead cells, and stimulate the cells of the immune system. and ingest cell debris.

Let us now understand how white blood cells protect the body from foreign body invasion.

How Do White Blood Cells Help Us?

White blood cells are the body’s first line of defense against infection. They protect our body from infections by fighting off bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and other foreign invaders. These cells also facilitate the production of antibodies and help destroy infectious agents as well as cancer cells.

Fluctuations in the number of white blood cells can occur due to several reasons. You may notice an increase in your white blood cell count during exercise, while the count may drop while you are resting.

Pregnancy and postpartum are two important stages of life where you may notice a fluctuating WBC count. A 2021 study in eBioMedicine noted the pattern of the typical white blood cell count in the first week following birth, depending on the mode of delivery. After the delivery of the baby, the WBC count significantly declines and attains a stationary stage. Elective cesarean birth shows the highest decline, while emergency cesarean birth shows the least. For further information, see the graph below.

Total white blood cells in the postnatal period

Source: White blood cells in pregnancy: reference intervals for before and after delivery

However, in some cases, the count might drop abnormally. There could be various factors at play, which we have discussed below.

What Causes Low White Blood Cell Count?

White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside some of your larger bones. A drop in the WBC count could be a result of the following:

  • Viral infections
  • Congenital disorders
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Severe infections that require a lot of white blood cells
  • Medications like antibiotics
  • Poor nutrition
  • Alcohol abuse

A low WBC count that is ineffective in fighting infections results in a condition called leukopenia. What are its signs?

Signs And Symptoms Of Low White Blood Cell Count

These include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Sweating

If your WBC count has dropped because of an infection, you may notice the following symptoms:

A low WBC count is not always critical unless it drops so low that the cells cannot protect your body anymore from infections. In such a situation, certain home remedies can help. Let us find out how to increase white blood cells quickly.

How To Increase White Blood Cell Count Naturally

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil in a glass bottle
Image: Shutterstock

Lavender oil is often used to treat stress and anxiety and promote sleep  (1). It also boosts the WBC count, thus enhancing your overall immunity.

Essential oils like sweet almond oil, tea tree oil, and cypress oil also have similar effects in improving the production of white blood cells (1).

You Will Need

  • 20 drops of lavender oil
  • 60 mL of any carrier oil (sweet almond or jojoba oil)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add 20 drops of lavender oil to 60 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and use it to massage your body.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

2. Garlic

Garlic in a wooden bowl
Image: Shutterstock

Garlic possesses immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties (thanks to the presence of allicini  A yellow oily liquid found naturally in garlic and is responsible for its characteristic odor and bitter taste. ) that boost your immunity by stimulating the production of various white blood cells, which include lymphocytes, eosinophils, and macrophages (2).

You Will Need

1-2 teaspoons of crushed or minced garlic

What You Have To Do

  1. Add crushed garlic to your favorite dish and consume it daily.
  2. If you can handle the strong flavor of garlic, you can have it raw.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume garlic regularly.

3. Spinach

Ever wondered what foods increase white blood cells? Here is the answer. Spinach is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also exhibits antioxidant properties (3). These properties can help in increasing the number of white blood cells.

You Will Need

A portion of cooked spinach

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a portion of cooked spinach to your daily diet.
  2. You can consume spinach directly or add it to your favorite salad or pasta.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume spinach daily.

4. Papaya Leaves

Papaya leaves and juice
Image: Shutterstock

Papaya leaves contain acetogenins, which are important compounds that boost your immunity by increasing WBC count. Papaya leaf juice serves as an excellent remedy for dengue fever (4).

You Will Need

  • A bunch of papaya leaves
  • Water (as required)

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a bunch of washed papaya leaves and blend them.
  2. Add a little water to the mixture and blend again.
  3. Strain the mixture and consume one tablespoon of the juice.
  4. You can add some honey to the mixture if the juice is too bitter.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

5. Vitamins

Vitamins A, C, E, and B9 play a major role in improving your white blood cell count. Vitamin A plays a special role in increasing lymphocytes, whereas vitamin C is known to boost your overall immunity (5), (6). Vitamin B9 is necessary for the production of neutrophils, and vitamin E promotes the production of natural killer cells (7), (8).

Consume foods, like spinach, carrots, cheese, meat, eggs, fish, sweet potato, and citrus fruits. You can also take vitamin supplements after consulting your doctor.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt in a wooden bowl
Image: Shutterstock

The probiotics in yogurt boost immunity. They also have stimulating properties that help increase WBC count (9), (10).

You Will Need

1 bowl of probiotic yogurt

What You Have To Do

Consume a bowl of probiotic-richi  Food rich in living microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, that has good health benefits for the digestive system. yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once daily.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can add fruits, seeds, or nuts to your yogurt. Yogurt can also be added to your smoothie or used as a substitute for sour cream.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3i  Healthy fatty acids present in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts) or supplements to maintain health. supplements have immunomodulatory properties that boost your immunity by increasing WBC count (11).

You Will Need

1000 mg of omega-3 supplements

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume 1000 mg of omega-3 after consulting your doctor.
  2. You can also consume fish, like mackerel, sardines, salmon, and other foods, like walnuts and avocados, to increase your intake of omega-3s.

How Often You Should Do This

Take these supplements only once daily.

8. Zinc

Zinc can help restore the normal functioning of white blood cells, thereby boosting immunity (12).

You Will Need

8-11 mg of zinc supplements

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume 8 to 11 mg of zinc supplements after consulting your doctor.
  2. You can also consume foods rich in zinc like oysters, red meat, beans, and nuts.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

9. Broccoli

The sulforaphanei  Sulfur-rich compounds are generated when chewing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy. (SFN) in broccoli can help regulate your white blood cell count and boost your immune system (13).

You Will Need

1 cup of cooked broccoli

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a cup of cooked broccoli.
  2. You can sprinkle some salt and consume it directly or add it to your favorite salad.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

10. Selenium

Dietary intake of selenium has a positive effect on the production of white blood cells, especially lymphocytes and neutrophils. Selenium also enhances your immunity against infections and diseases (14).

You Will Need

200 mcg of selenium supplement

What You Have To Do

  1. Take 200 mcg of selenium supplements daily after consulting your physician.
  2. You can also meet your daily selenium requirement by consuming more of tuna, sardines, chicken, and turkey.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume the selenium supplement once daily.

11. Kiwi

Kiwis contain powerful antioxidants and are also rich sources of potassium and vitamins C and E. All these nutrients play an important role in enhancing your immunity and increasing the number of white blood cells (15).

You Will Need

1-2 kiwis

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel the kiwis.
  2. Cut them into pieces and eat immediately.

How Often You Should Do This

Have 2 to 3 kiwis daily for maximum benefits.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can add kiwis to your salad, smoothie, jam, salsa or as a filling for your dumplings.

12. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which enhance immune function (16). They also help increase WBC count. Some citrus fruits that are easily available are oranges, kiwis, strawberries, lemons, and grapefruits.

13. Noni Fruit

One of the major nutrients in noni fruit is vitamin C, which is why this fruit works well in enhancing immunity. It exhibits stimulating properties that help increase the count of T and B lymphocytes (17).

You Will Need

30-60 mL of unsweetened noni juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume 30 to 60 mL of unsweetened noni juice.
  2. You can either drink store-bought organic juice or extract the juice directly from the fruit and consume it.

How Often You Should Do This

Have noni juice every day.

14. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and have immunity modulation properties (18). Hence, they may help boost your immune system.

You Will Need

1 red bell pepper

What You Have To Do

Cut it into small slices and toss them raw in your salad. Enjoy the crunch!

How Often You Should Do This

You can eat them on a daily basis.

15. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B 6. These nutrients and antioxidants boost white blood cells to fight infection and keep your body functioning properly (19).

You Will Need

A handful of raw or salted sunflower seeds

What You Have To Do

Toss them in your salad, or sprinkle on sautéed vegetables or munch on them.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this daily.

So these are some remedies that answer your “how to raise white blood cell count” query. We strongly recommend you begin treatment and also use the above remedies if you happen to notice a fall in your WBC count. Not restoring a low WBC count to its optimum levels can lead to complications.

Complications Of Insufficient White Blood Cells

  • You become more prone to microbial and parasitic infections.
  • If you have cancer, your treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be delayed because of your weak immune system.
  • In severe cases, the condition may result in the death of the individual.

Low white blood cells may weaken your immunity but their excess may be an indication of an underlying issue. What causes high white blood cells? Learn more about it in the next section.

What Causes High White Blood Cell Counts

Abnormally high white blood cell count is known as leukocytes. It can occur due to the following factors:

1.   Infection

When your body is under attack from pathogens such as bacteria or viruses, it can trigger the production of white blood cells to build immunity against them. White blood cell count may also increase in response to stress, leukemia, or parasitic infections (20).

2.   Autoimmune Response

Autoimmune disorders can cause your body to confuse between the pathogen and healthy tissues. This can raise the white blood cell count, resulting in them attacking the healthy tissues. This is seen in medical conditions such as rheumatoid diseases, cancer, and allergic reactions (21).

Infographic: Ways To Prevent Low White Blood Cell Count

White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. They defend your body against several diseases and infections. So, maintaining sufficient levels of WBCs is essential for proper body functioning. However, many factors can cause low WBC count in the body. You can prevent it by taking some precautionary measures. Check out the infographic below to learn some ways to minimize the chances of a low white blood cell count.

ways to prevent low white blood cell count (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

You can improve a low white blood cell count with certain natural remedies. Viral infections, cancer, autoimmune diseases, congenital disorders, poor nutrition, and antibiotics may cause low white blood cell count. You can treat the condition by using herbal supplements, lavender essential oil, garlic, spinach, sunflower seeds, red bell peppers, citrus fruits, noni fruit, and kiwi. You can opt for other treatments and remedies like acupuncture, meditation, yoga, massage therapy, blood transfusion, or stem cell transplant to help increase the white blood cell count and assist in stress management. In addition, selenium, broccoli, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, yogurt, vitamins, and papaya leaves effectively improve low blood cell count. Try any of the remedies mentioned above that best suit you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to increase white blood cells?

It can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to increase white blood cells with proper treatment and remedies.

How many white blood cells are there in the human body?

In normal adult bodies, there should be about 4,000-10,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. Any variation in this count is a sign of an underlying infection in your body.

What foods to avoid if you have a low white blood cell count?

Avoid uncooked food, raw meat and sushi, and unpasteurized beverages as they may increase your risk of contracting infections and further lower your white blood cell count.

What vitamin deficiency reduces white blood cell count?

Studies suggest that deficiency of vitamins B and D can be linked to a weaker immunity (and a low white blood cell count) (20), (21). Hence, consuming a diet (or supplements) rich in these vitamins can boost your immune function. Consult a doctor for more information on the right diet and supplements.

Does a low white blood cell count make you tired?

No, a low white blood cell count itself is not associated with fatigue. However, if you continue experiencing increased fatigue, it may be the symptom of an underlying issue that needs medical attention.

Key Takeaways

  • White blood cell fluctuation might indicate infections, autoimmune, cancer and congenital disorders, poor nutrition, or the effect of medicines.
  • White blood cells help fight infections and produce antibodies to fight damaging cells.
  • Some of the signs of a low white blood cell count are high fever and sweating.
  • Lavender oil may help boost white blood cell count and overall immunity.
  • To maintain white blood cell count, an optimal balance diet rich in vitamins, fatty acids, and zinc, and exercise is essential.
how to increase white blood cell count

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Get a detailed insight into ways that will help you naturally increase the white blood cell count in the body to keep your immune system strong and fight off infections. Watch this video now!

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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  2. Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds, Journal of Immunology Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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  3. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives, Food & Function, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27353735
  4. Effect Of Papaya Leaf Juice On Platelet And Wbc Count In Dengue Fever: A Case Report, ResearchGate.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271854156_EFFECT_OF_PAPAYA_LEAF_JUICE_ON_PLATELET_AND_W
    BC_COUNT_IN_DENGUE_FEVER_A_CASE_REPORT
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  6. Vitamin C and Immune Function, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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  8. The effects of vitamin E on NK cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation in treated mice by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19259883/
  9. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracaseissp. Paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalisssp.lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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  14. Effect of Oral Supplementation of Biogenic Selenium Nanoparticles on White Blood Cell Profile of BALB/c Mice and Mice Exposed to X-ray Radiation, Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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Reda Elmardi

Reda ElmardiRDN

Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. He has more than 10 years of experience and has been an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Trainer since 2015. He shares sports nutrition tips and gives guidance on exercises, sports, and martial arts through his website. Reda is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt,...read full bio

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