Even though it’s the middle of summer and no one is thinking about colds or the flu, it is NOW that you can be growing, harvesting, and making your medicine!
Below are 4 common garden herbs you may want to consider cultivating in your garden to help boost your immune system.
- Echinacea leaf & root (pictured above): This is the all-American ‘go-to’ plant for immune boosting support. This beautiful perennial is not only a powerful herbal ally, it is a wonderful plant for all of your pollinator friends such as birds, butterflies, and bees. Its beauty alone will enhance any garden. It is very easy to grow from seed and is hardy to zone 3. Parts used: roots, leaves, stems and flowers. Echinacea enhances the production of your white blood cells and is highly antibacterial to help fight off infections. It can be taken as an infusion, tincture, and in capsule form.
- Nettles: Often getting a bad rap for its sting, nettles are incredibly nutritious. Loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A, C and E, iron, calcium, phosphates, minerals and SO much more, what isn’t nourishing about this plant? If you choose to grow this perennial plant in your garden, contain it, like you do your mint. It grows bold and swiftly and soon will take up a space much larger than originally anticipated. Parts used: mostly the leaves, but the roots are highly medicinal as well. Best enjoyed as an infusion, tincture, or cooked into your favorite meal.
- Garlic: This delicious bulb is antibacterial and antiviral. It has been used for millennia by many different cultures for its infection fighting capabilities. You don’t have to suffer by eating it raw as it still contains its medicinal properties when cooked as well. May also be taken in capsule form. Easy to grow, plant your garlic in the fall and enjoy the bounty in the spring!
- Orange peel: Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, orange peel contains more vitamin C, flavonoids (similar to anti-oxidants) and enzymes than the fruit. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial. If only I could grow a citrus tree here in the mountains (zone 4) of Colorado! Many of you can and probably do! So, go pluck your orange and enjoy it. Save the peel and dry it for later use in your tea. It’s light and delicious flavor is a welcome addition to many of my tea blends. You can powder the peel and add to any of your culinary dishes.
In addition to aligning yourself with your herbal allies that will support your immune system such as those found in Spirit Horse Herbals Immune Booster tea, don’t overlook the need for getting plenty of sleep each night and giving yourself and your body enough movement each day. Lastly, and probably the most important aspect to staying healthy, is taking care and weeding your mind. Many studies have proven that our thoughts and beliefs, whether unconscious or conscious, deeply impact our immune systems. Negative and fear-based thoughts suppress our immune system while positive thoughts enhance it. So do your contemplative practices, bring a curious gaze inward to understand the nature of your mind, and begin weeding and clearing any negative thought and belief patterns. You WILL feel and see a difference.
Good growing to you~
For educational purposes only. This information is based on history and personal experience only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Woo!