This past spring has reminded us how important having a strong immune system is. As gardening season is here, it’s the perfect time to add some immunity-boosting herbs into the mix. If you aren’t a big gardener, you can still make a small herb garden with little effort.
Plus, many of the immunity-boosting herbs will make your favorite meals even more delicious!
How to Set Up Your Herb Garden
Your herb garden can be outdoors or indoors. Many people like to plant their herb gardens near the house by the kitchen or keep their potted herbs on the kitchen window sill. This way, you can easily get fresh herbs as you’re cooking!
If you’re starting an outdoor herb garden, make sure it’s in a well-draining area that receives 6 hours of sunlight per day. Prepare the soil by digging with a large garden fork that loosens compacted soil. This allows water to drain and creates space for plant roots to reach down into the soil. Add compost to your soil, about an inch or so on top and then mix it into the soil. You’re now ready to plant your herbs!
If you’re starting an indoor herb garden, try using glazed containers and saucers to keep water from damaging your windowsill or counter. Herbs like water, but too much will cause root rot and mildew problems. Add good quality potting mix. Choose a moisture retentive, well-draining potting mix for houseplants, never garden soil or garden dirt. Water your herbs routinely, as indoor air can be dry. Feed them every month with an all-purpose plant fertilizer.
Immunity-Boosting Herbs to Plant
Oregano isn’t only a great addition to Italian dishes, but it also brings a lot of health benefits to the table. Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight damage from harmful free radicals in the body. Oregano has also been found to help fight bacteria and even some viral infections. Learn more about the healing properties of oregano here.
You can use thyme to make a delicious pesto sauce, to flavor rice or even pair with fish. Thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. Drinking some thyme tea can help with a cough or sore throat. There are many awesome benefits to using thyme including lowering blood pressure and boosting your mood.
Recreate your favorite Chipotle bowl while also getting some health perks from your homegrown cilantro. Coriander, or its more well-known leaf named cilantro, is full of antioxidants that demonstrate immune-boosting, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.
Although garlic isn’t an herb, it’s incredible for your immune system. Garlic is usually planted in the fall, but you can make spring swing, too. Garlic is full of compounds like allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates, powerful molecules that help your body prevent and fight infections. The best way to use garlic for immune support is to consume fresh, crushed garlic.
Of course, you can buy any of these products at the grocery store, too. It’s just more fun when you grow them yourself!