A significant part of our health is dependent on our immune system. A vital part of our immune system is dependent on what we put in our bodies. We catch ourselves in this cycle where we get sick, take medicine, and repeat it over and over again. We fail to ask if there is a way we can stop this cycle so we can consistently live our life the way we want. The answer to that question is yes, there is.
Plants are one the best ways to boost your immune system. Whether it be fruits, vegetables, or roots, they all come from plants. Some of us may enjoy these delicacies often, while others only consume them as a casualty. Today we want to show you how helpful they really are to your life. We’ve underestimated and undervalued plants for a long time, but now it’s time to reverse the effects with the help of Mother Nature herself.
18 Plants That Boost Your Immune System
When life gives you lemons, boost your immune system! Lemons are one of the more common fruits that we enjoy. Lemons can be very versatile as a delicious drink or as a seasoning for tasty meals. One of the main characteristics lemon possesses that makes it so helpful is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and antioxidants help your immune system tremendously. For one, they remove free radicals that can damage cells in your body. It has also been studied that Vitamin C can shorten your time with a cold or flu.
Elderberries may not be as common as other fruits but are just as essential. Elderberries are considered a “superfruit” as they contain many antioxidants such as Vitamin C, A, and B. Like lemons, elderberries are linked to shortening the duration of the cold and flu. Another significant effect of elderberries is stopping viruses from replicating or spreading.
Ginseng is a well-known root as it is regularly used in herbal medicine. It’s known to be one of the best immunity-boosting products in the world. Not only does it help resistance to illness, but it also maintains the homeostasis of the immune system.
4. Aloe Vera
Most people know aloe vera as the gel promoted to help your hair and skin, but aloe vera can also be turned into a juice. When consumed like other plants, aloe vera helps your immune system by fighting free radicals. This specifically reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer—good hair, good skin, strong immune system; how can we not love aloe vera!
We know you probably weren’t expecting to see licorice on this list, but it is a root, and you’ll learn that roots are powerful. Licorice has been found to have components that have antiviral and antimicrobial effects, which ease the symptoms of infections while fighting them off.
Good ole fashioned garlic. Garlic is known to enhance the taste of a lot of food but what people may not know is that it also enhances your immune system. Garlic directly boosts your T cells, which are your virus-fighting cells. So during those cold and flu seasons, don’t hesitate to add some garlic into your meals. Here’s how to grow an endless supply of garlic indoors.
One of the worst parts of any virus, infection, or cold is the effect it can have on our respiratory system. That is why thyme has made this list. One of the significant reactions thyme has on your immune system is clearing out any respiratory toxins. In addition to its respiratory benefits, thyme also has vitamin A and C to help you heal.
Who doesn’t love peppers? Red peppers, green peppers, and even black pepper have all been a must in many of our favorite dishes, and now we’re going to tell you why they should remain that way. You know that Vitamin C is a holy grail when it comes to your immune system, and red peppers are packed with Vitamin C. We can’t forget about black pepper either, as it contains compounds that boost white blood cells that help fight any invading bacteria or virus in your body. Peppers are not only tasty, but they’re also beneficial too.
Never turn your back on the almighty roots. Ginger is another root that has a lot to offer to your immune system. Like other roots, ginger contains many compounds that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Some people take ginger in “shots,” mixing it with lemon and turmeric; now that’s a real shot.
Coriander may be unfamiliar, but you’ll want to get familiar after learning everything it does. Coriander contains many antioxidants, but it goes deeper than that. It also has compounds linked to being anti-cancer and having neuroprotective effects. Here’s how to grow healthy coriander.
We use mint in our teas, toothpaste, and candy due to the fresh taste we get from it. We surely weren’t thinking of any health benefits, but there are plenty. Mint leaves possess vitamin A, C, D, and E, all allies to your immune system. Here’s a detailed guide to help you grow mint from seed.
12. Holy Basil
You have no choice but to trust any plant with a name like holy basil to do some kind of good. You’ll be glad to know it does more than just some. It helps improve asthma and type two diabetes symptoms. It has antimicrobial properties that increase T levels to fight infections.
13. Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of nature’s biggest miracles. There are many forms of mushrooms, but today, we’re focusing on shiitake mushrooms. Being rich in polysaccharides, Shiitake mushrooms boost white blood cells and protect against cell damage.
Echinacea is a great herb, and of course, if it is on this list, it can help your immune system. Echinacea boosts the functioning of your immune system while also relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Remember, herbs help curb any possible immune issues.
15. St. John’s Wort
If you ever see or use St. John’s wort, you will witness how beautiful the plant is. Like many plants listed, St. John’s wort has multiple purposes. It can be put on your skin topically to help heal wounds. St. John’s wort reduces one of the substances found in cells that lead to depression. A plant like St. John’s wort may not get the attention it deserves as we often underestimate how mental health plays a role in physical wellness that can lead to an uncompromised immune system.
You’ve probably seen this bright yellow spice before, as turmeric can be found in many grocery stores. Turmeric has a specific compound called curcumin, responsible for most of its benefits to your immune system. Those benefits are its anti-inflammatory properties.
Every plant on this list is unique in a way, but a few of them are in a different class, and neem is one of them. Considered a “superfood,” neem not only boosts the immune system, it regulates body temperature. On top of that, it has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Guess what, that’s not all; it also has blood purifying properties.
Last but certainly not least is chamomile. You probably heard of chamomile in terms of chamomile tea. Tea is the most common way for chamomile to be consumed. Rich with phenolic compounds, chamomile boosts our immune system by protecting our bodies from pathogens.
Your immune system deserves a helping hand in keeping you healthy. Whether you choose herbs, roots, or fruits adding any of these plants into your daily routine is a great idea. What makes each of these plants truly special is they have loads of other benefits as well that help with your body. Your immune system will be thankful you decided to make plants a part of your life.