As we deal with the new concepts of quarantine and self-isolation while trying to avoid the Coronavirus, many of us are fortunate that it’s time to get the garden growing. Tilling, planting and tending the garden helps me work off the boredom and frustration I’m feeling, so it’s sure to be just as useful to others.
One thing I’ve decided to do while waiting it out is growing more immune boosting herbs in the garden. A healthy immune system helps avoid the virus, and many herbs are useful to boost immunities. Even once this Covid pandemic ends, there are still plenty of reasons to improve immunity. Which herbs work best? Here are my favorite herbs for boosting a healthy immune system.
- Echinacea – Commonly known as purple coneflower, this is a versatile plant when used for medicinal purposes, and you may already have it growing in your garden. There are more than 40 types of coneflower, with Echinacea purpurea being most used. Flower petals, leaves and roots can be used medicinally. Make a tincture or a tea with these parts to prevent infections and awaken and stimulate the immune system.
- Turmeric – Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a beautiful flowering plant filled with Curcumin, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. It is used to treat some forms of cancer and is popular in supplement form these days. It is also known as a preventative to help avoid disease (and viruses). It can be used as a spice. You can grow turmeric if your conditions are humid with warm weather and significant rain.
- Ginger – Ginger contains anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, and antispasmodic properties which are obtained largely from its rhizome. It is chock full of antioxidants that kill free radicals such as those presented by the coronavirus. Folklore claims it cures many conditions. These include the easing of pain, like arthritis, and aiding digestion. It is also said to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Use the fresh root for best results.
- Ashwagandha – Indian Ginseng not only strengthens the immune system but increases energy and longevity. It improves vigor and immune power. Grow the drought-resistant herb in a sunny location in sandy, well-draining soil. Roots of the plant are turned into a powder and used for cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol and stress management. Use roots in a tea, limiting the powder to no more than a teaspoon.
While there are many other immune boosting herbs out there, these are some good ones. Growing herbs is a great way to have access to your own natural medicine cabinet. Just be sure to thoroughly research the plants and their specific uses beforehand. I find this a wonderful way to pass the time and fulfill my days during this uncertain time.