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5 Ways to Boost Immune System with Plants

Boost Immune System with Plants

Herbal medicine is a powerful tool that you can easily grow, forage and make at home with hardly any money spent. There are many herbal concoctions that humanity has been using since ancient times that help us naturally boost immune system so we can fight off colds and flus . Many plants hold anti bacterial, anti viral and even sometimes anti biotic properties.

Many of these are found abundantly growing in your garden or shoved in your pantry. Simply make a tea to boost your immune system. Or take the extra step and concoct herbal remedies that put up a defensive wall against the worst viruses and bacteria.

We cant seem to get away from cold and flu season. It’s no longer a seasonal issue. It’s all the time. This is because we haven’t been taught how to take care of ourselves. We haven’t been taught how to use plants as medicine. We haven’t been taught the importance of water and sunshine. And we haven’t been taught how to live our lives in a healthy way that can prevent us from getting sick. It is important to get proactive about staying healthy. But even when a virus penetrates your defense system there are ways of taking care of it quickly. Here are a few of my favorite herbal remedies that you can try at home.

Garlic Honey

Garlic honey is the first thing I grab when I feel a cold coming on. In my experience it is the most preventative medicine and most powerful medicine that gets rid of a cold fast. As soon as you feel that tickle in your throat or if you are feeling more tired than usual that is the time to take a spoonful of garlic honey.

Garlic has been used as medicine before recorded history. The Garlic contains a compound called allicin which helps break down cell walls for viruses and bacteria. It binds to free radicals and marks them as invaders. This is due to the antioxidant properties. The expectorant properties help release lymph congestion during severe colds like bronchitis.

When you make garlic honey you want to peel the garlic cloves whole, fill a jar with a few heads, and cover with honey. Let sit for about 1 month. Take a spoonful or eat a clove every time you feel something coming on.

*Garlic can cause digestive upset, especially in people with hot constitutions. Consult your doctor before using as medicine.


A common wildflower that is native to North America. Echinacea is one of the best ally’s for the immune and lymphatic system. The best varieties to cultivate and use medicinally are Echinacea pallida, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea agustifolia.

In herbal medicine we typically use the root because it contains more powerful constituents. But the areal parts, flower, leaf, and seeds, are also used. It is best to harvest fresh root to tincture if possible. But dry root can also be used in tea or tincture. I personally love the flavor of echinacea tea.

Many of the chemical compounds in Echinacea act as immunomodulators which work against inflammation. If you are feeling the chills, lymphatic congestion, swollen glands, mental fog, dizziness, and low or high grade fevers, most commonly associated with bacterial infections. Echinacea will be one of your best allies.

Today we are constantly faced with the fear of contracting upper and lower respiratory viruses and infections. But Echinacea will take that fear away. Use her as an extra preventative measure to build your immune system.

To ward off a cold, take 2 tsp of the tincture every half hour at the first sign of symptoms. If you already have a cold, take 1 tsp of the tincture every 2 hours.

* There are several contraindications with Echinacea. Consult your doctor before using. It should be carefully considered by a doctor especially for immunocompromised people because of its nature to produce white blood cells.

Fire Cider

Fire Cider is an old age elixir that was originally known as a oxymel in ancient Greece and Persia. The term “fire cider” was created and made famous by Rosemary Gladstar, a world renowned herbalist. And now you can find a different take on fire cider in every apothecary.

Make this elixir with a number of different ingredients that are easily accessible at the grocery store. Or grow the ingredients in your garden. Once harvest season comes around you will be ready for winter. The best ingredients to use in fire cider are garlic, onion, cayenne, lemon, horseradish, turmeric, ginger, etc. But add your own special ingredients to make your unique recipe.

Fire cider will fortify your immunity when it is compromised. Calms inflammation, aids in respiratory, circulatory, and digestive function. And is warming on a chilly night or for when you have the chills associated with fighting off an infection.

Here’s how you make it. Chop and grate everything and put in a jar. Cover with apple cider vinegar. Cover with lid and leave sitting for a month, shake everyday. Add honey afterwards and take a spoonful everyday to help boost your vitality. Learn more about fire cider here.

Daily Herbal Tea

Drinking a daily tea is the best way to stay healthy. It is like taking a multi vitamin without all the additives. And your body can more easily process a whole plant rather than a processed vitamin pill.

If you aren’t an herbalist you can start with just one herb to start to get to know the plants and learn what you like. You can also make an appointment with a local herbalist to get a customized blend specific to what your body needs based on the health issues you are facing. Or you can buy a nice blend from a apothecary. There is always one specific for immunity health.

Boost immune system health I recommend trying these preventative herbs:

Yarrow, peppermint, elderflower, ginger, astragalus, calendula, lemongrass, tulsi, elder flower or berries, red clover, burdock, rose hips, alfalfa, cordryceps, reishi, propolis, ginseng, and so much more.

Also try these herbs in a tea if you are already sick:

Yerba Santa, Gingko, Moringa, Rose, Rosemary, Damiana, Mullein, Echinacea, Elecampane, licorice, usnea, cherry bark, Marshmallow.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information is not a substitute for medical treatment. 

Elderberry Syrup

Grandmother Elder is found in most medicine cabinets today. But let’s dive in and get to know her better. Traditionally elder flowers were used medicinally. More than the berries. Use in the early or late stages of cold and flu and other infections. Specifically with dry fevers and hot skin.

The flowers are especially great for nasal irritation, chronic sinusitis, spasmodic croup, night sweats, and skin eruptions from metabolic disturbances. The berries are specific for rheumatism neuralgia(sever nerve pain), colds and flu. Especially when ailments are congested in the face and lungs.

Taking Elderberry when you are sick can help you recover quickly. It helps block virus cells from entering our healthy cells. The antimicrobial properties help fight off pathogens and is especially effective when the pathogen becomes resistant to antibiotics.

Make elderberry syrup by simply adding the berries and other warming spices to warm water and cook on low. Strain the liquid and add honey and a touch of brandy if desired. Brandy will help preserve it and acts as a relaxant for coughs.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information is not a substitute for medical treatment. 

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