Immune system plants have a great impact on well-being. Gardening is such an amazing way to improve the way you feel. If you are looking for a natural way to boost your immune system and feel better it is an amazing place to start. We will explore some of the plants; herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
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HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM NATURALLY
Where it all Began
Hello friends, if you are looking for some way to boost your immune system and improve the way you feel, I need to tell you my story. You won’t look any further than gardening!
I have suffered most of my life from Hashimoto’s, a virus that attacked my thyroid when I was very young. For years I was able to control its impact on my life with medication, exercise, and doing activities that would reduce stress. I spoke some about my journey and how I use the garden in the post ‘GARDEN WITH PURPOSE | Gardening Changed my Life!’.
Then it Happened
Over a decade ago, the pressure of a divorce and work commitments began to take a toll. I remember spending a weekend on the sofa with a fever and not being able to move. I had suffered from agonizing pains and thought it was related to my thyroid. Monday arrived and of course, I had to make it to work regardless of how I felt. I sat at my desk, took a sip of water and it hit me, the water tasted like metal. I decided to go get some breakfast and see if it made me feel better.
As I sat on the counter and ordered some fruit, upon placing it in my mouth, I could not chew the food at all. My world stopped, it was thought as everyone around me was frozen. My thought was that I was suffering a stroke. I got in the car, and called my mother in another state on my way to the doctor. The words that came out of my mouth were “Mom, I think I am having a stroke, going to the doctor. I love you, Mom, just in case. I guess I have lived a good life”.
Someone Help Me Please
Although I advised the doctor of my symptoms and worry, she refused to see me because it was their lunchtime. I was getting worse by the minute with my vision being affected. I realized I needed to make it to the hospital and took off before my eyelid completely collapsed. After many doctors and hours, I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and on top of it, a blinding causing headache. It was very severe and it took me over 15 pills a day for a long time and 8 months to recover. To this day I live with some ramifications of the virus. Though after all the medications, I was lucky not to be left facially deformed or having issues with my vision. I have a droopy eye, but to me, this is nothing compared to what could have been.
I Did Not Learn to Respect my Immune System
Still knowing that the severe stress, from my personal and work life, caused this to occur, I continued on the same path knowing that my immune system could not handle so much. I felt angry, sad, frustrated, and helpless, and didn’t know how to make things better. A few years ago I hit menopause and my whole life changed. Suffering from depression and many immune issues for years, I continued to work non-stop, no matter the intense pain and state of mind I was in.
The Hashimoto’s flared like never before, along with debilitating depression that showed its ugly head, and at times it felt as though I would not make it through the hour, let alone the day. I knew the possibility of getting bell’s palsy again was high and that terrified me. I finally hit that brick wall and I was not able to function at all, spending my days in a fetal position crying from pain, depression, lack of sleep and not knowing what to do next. It cost me so much, my career, and almost my marriage because, I did not want to burden my husband, even though he was there for me and supported me. It cost me many friends and the desire to keep going.
I knew my daily habits had to change, boosting my immune system, treating my body better and reconsider my lifestyle, to emerge from darkness and heal.
What were my Symptoms?
There is a misconception that this disease is just a simple immune disease that is treatable with pills and you go about your day. No immune disease is simple. The pills did not work for me, they helped at times, but they did not cure it or helped the flare-ups. I had so many physical flare-ups that it was not something I wanted to deal with, I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up to another day full of pain.
Some of the symptoms were very painful rashes that felt like acid was poured over my face, and would last for months, bleeding rashes, weight gain, and joint, stomach, and muscle pain. At times the inflammation was so severe, for example, my socks would leave an indentation so deep, making my feet purple and taking hours to clear. Sleep was on 1 -3 hour intervals, which made the depression reach a new high. I would isolate myself in a dark corner for hours at a time. The shower became my crying corner until I could not cry any longer.
Below is a photo of one of my flare ups that lasted for months and one of today.
But change was coming!
What I did Next to Begin Making Changes
I knew something had to change, I was so scared that this was going to be my quality of life from here on. Even when I could barely move from all the medicines for depression and physical pain, the garden was going to be my healing oasis. I was about to embark on a deeper journey and pour myself into it in order to heal my body and soul.
Gardening became an excellent form of dealing with it all, an amazing stress relief. But I needed to dive deeper and understand what to grow in the garden to benefit in the most effective way. Planning the design of the garden to be able to use every square foot available was critical. Yes, I wanted a beautiful garden to heal my soul, but I needed to also boost my immune system with plants by growing the critical plants I needed to improve my well-being.
It is not a linear path, it took trial and error, but today I keep improving methods and understanding that a more holistic approach to the garden counts; on planning, nature connections, and adding immune system plants. Even the air I breathe feels fresher and the colors brighter, it is home.
If you are suffering from an immune disease, you are not alone, so many of us are. The healthcare system let me down and I was determined to find ways to get the most out of my garden. Let me share some of what I have discovered.
10+ TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR IMMUNITY
- Grow a garden.
- Get active in the garden
- Grow flowers that benefit your immunity.
- Grow herbs that benefit your immunity.
- Grow fruits and vegetables that will benefit your immuity.
- Make sure you are sleeping enough.
- Include sensory experiences in the garden.
- Keep in touch with friends and family as a support system.
- Try not to isolate yourself, even if you have to select a couple of days a week to be out with others.
- Believe that you can get better with time.
- Spend time watching wildlife and nature.
Always consult your healthcare provider before using any of the things I mention or applying them to your life. I am speaking from my own experience and sharing what has transform and made a positive impact in my life
Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before using any herbs or supplements to support your immune system, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication.
DO PLANTS HAVE HEALING POWERS?
I concentrate more on their impact to the immune system, which is how I decide what I am going to grow in my garden. What do I need help with and what plants will benefit my wellness journey that season.
But if you think of aloe vera, how it is use to heal wounds or help with rashes. It is an excellent plant if you are not allergic to it.
But there are so many plants that you can grow in your garden that will really enhance your wellness.
The most powerful immune system plants are green herbs that can be used in so many ways. Look at the mediterranean diet and how beneficial it is with reducing obesity and helps diabetes. Herbs are really magical, consider growing these in your garden:
- Parsley: Such a common herb for cooking that is rich in vitamin C, which is so critical for the immune system.
- Basil: A good anti-inflammatory herb. It is rich in antioxidants.
- Oregano: It has antimicrobial properties that help fight off infections.
- Mint: A refreshing herb, I love it in my tea! It contains menthol which helps with the digestive system.
- Rosemary: The aroma alone is amazing! It contains rosmarinic, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Thyme: I don’t use enough of this herb and need to add it more to my cooking. It also has antimicrobial properties which help fight off infections.
The green herbs can be used in so many ways, fresh, to make soups, or even add them to smoothies. My favorite is adding them to make tea. Use your favorite tea and add the herb to enhance it and boost your immune system. Read more about ‘10 BENEFITS OF GARDENING! | It can change your life.”
I great, budget-friendly way to grow herbs is by using vertical grow bags. This is my favorite way to dress up my wall and such a beautiful look you get with the different herbs. Read ‘Simple Outdoor Decorating Ideas | DIY – BUDGET FRIENDLY AND LITTLE EFFORT!‘ for all the tips and tricks.
MY FAVORITE FLOWERS FOR HEALING
My favorite immune system plant to grow in my garden are flowers.
Flowers can improve and impact your health in so many positive ways. You don’t only benefit from growing them, but also from the beauty they bring to the garden, creating bouquets from them, the pollinators that buzz around them, and all the healing benefits. Do you want to add color to your garden? Read my post ‘COLOR IN THE GARDEN | It Will Boost Your Mood.’
SHOP BELOW FOR HERB DRYING EQUIPMENT!
My top Immune System Plants
- LAVENDER: If you think of relaxation and something to calm you, this is the one. It reduces anxiety and improves sleep. A dear friend gifted me an eye mask of lavender and WOW! My new best friend… LOL!
- CHAMOMILE: I use this mostly on teas because it reduces inflammation and at the same time relieves anxiety by promoting relaxation.
- ECHINACEA: This year I am adding more varieties to my garden. This one is mostly used in supplements and herbal remedies to boost the immune system and help with severe colds. The best part of the echinacea is that you can use the whole plant; roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. Dry them and add them to tea.
- CALENDULA: My favorite and Kai, my bunnies favorite. I dry it in my dehydrator and use it on tea often. But you can make creams, balms, or even ointments to soothe irritated skin.
- ROSE: Another one that is amazing on teas and it is used mostly for reducing stress and relaxing. Teas, place them in your bathtub or make candles.
Gorgeous Flowers that Boost the Immune System
- HIBISCUS: This is the one I have not grown in my garden yet. A sweet friend gifted me some Roselle Hibiscus seeds and I am beyond excited. Even though it is cold here, I am going to find a way to grow this amazing plant. It contains antioxidants and Vitamin C. I plan to use it as a cold tea since it has a great tangy flavor.
- BLUE PEA FLOWER: Not only beautiful with the blue color it turns the water on the tea, but it is full of antioxidants that are link to many benefits. Hair and skin improvement the are one that I concentrated on.
Keep in mind that it is super important when you are doing immune system plants to use organic methods for pests. You do not want to add any pesticide chemicals to your body.
FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM PLANTS, NATURAL WAYS SOMETIMES ARE THE BEST WAY
Think about this also
Immune system plants are such a great way to start.
Here is one tip that does not have to do with plants that have enhance my wellness, quail eggs. The are full of nutrients and it has been such a great addition to better my health. I will be talking more about them on another post.
You Don’t Have the Space to Grow
Here is another one to consider if you don’t have space outdoors. Grow microgreens, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Best thing is that is so easy to grow. the variety you can get is immense and they grow very quickly. You want to learn more about gardening, read ‘Gardening for Beginners | You Must Know this First!’
Life hit me hard and I thought I would never be well again. It is an ongoing journey with ups and downs, but I feel confident that with the knowledge I have gained through gardening, it will get easier. When I say easier, I mean easier to find some relief and solutions that are available to me at any time.
Dealing with Immune system issues is so difficult and isolating. Many have no idea how this impacts you, suffering in silence. I was scared to show the photo at one of my worst moments, but it was more important to me, to support your journey.
You are not alone, I am here to support you with my experience, teaching you how to create a garden that works for you and the resources to help you.
My hope is that I can encourage you and motivate you to feel empowered, and take the step towards better health and a new journey. I know is not easy, but sometimes it is just necessary.
You want to get going with creating your garden? Check out Learn more on “Gardening for Beginners | You Must Know this First!’. You can also take a look at ‘More About Me!‘ and get to know me.
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