Natural protection from plants
The botanical world, both wild and harvested comprises a healthy heap of benefits for our wellbeing. Consume more organic herbs, spices and Allium foods to boost your body’s natural defences.
The protective power of plants
With the fresh scents of herbs and shrubs, cheerful colours of blossoms and flowers, and diverse shapes of leaves and fronds, the world of flora is often a boon for our senses. Hidden within this world too though is the power of protection – many plants have evolved over the years to prevent themselves and those who consume them from potential aggression from our external environment. Herbs, spices and allium bulbs all offer benefits to guard our immune system and general wellbeing – and they are easy to prepare and enjoy as ingredients in dishes and beverages.
A little help from herbs
The tradition of herbalism harnesses a whole wealth of botanicals to help alleviate or even treat some symptoms. Even the herbs we can grow on our own balcony not only taste great but offer a boost to our health.
Related herbs sage and rosemary both have a wonderful, uplifting fragrance, just like the N.A.E. Freschezza line, but that’s not all. These evergreen shrubs help calm inflammation, contain natural antioxidants and generally support the immune system, so be sure to add a few sage leaves to your next pasta sauce and make a vegan roast with sprigs of rosemary. Sage tea is great for cooling the body – so enjoy a cup of this steaming beverage if you feel a fever coming on.
Thyme is the perfect herb to consume if you have a dry cough or infection with its natural anti-viral, expectorant and antiseptic properties. As a member of the mint family, thyme also aids digestion and helps stimulate your appetite. Add some fresh sprigs to your next casserole to gain all those benefits. Bees love thyme flowers, too, so growing it in a pot outside will keep our busy friends happy!
Echinacea is also known as a powerful immune-boosting herb but as the taste or smell in this instance are not so pleasant, it’s best taken quickly as an organic supplement in tablet form!
Support from the spice world
Anyone who enjoys a comforting mug of chai latte – a blend of spices with oat or soya milk – will understand the healing properties of these magical ingredients from plants and trees.
Cinnamon helps prevent oxidative damage from free radicals, thanks to polyphenols, and reduces both bacterial and fungal infections. It’s also known to help maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Clove oil has been used for decades to treat toothache and freshen the breath, thanks to its natural antimicrobial properties. Adding cloves to boiled rice and savoury dishes is a delicious way to warm the body against the first signs of a cold and their spice can even calm nausea.
Ginger is another warming spice which aids digestion and keeps breath fresh, even combatting garlic odours! It helps ease migraines, helps stimulate circulation and protects our bodies against colds. Related spice turmeric adds a vibrant colour to every dish. It’s high in antioxidants and is naturally anti-inflammatory, so it’s worth cooking a spicy golden dish if you suffer from bouts of sinusitis. These knurled plants have been enjoyed as therapeutic ingredients for thousands of years, proving that looks aren’t everything!
Make a tea with slices of orange, lemon and apple and add a cinnamon stick, sliced ginger and some cloves for a harmonious, spicy-fruity flavour, plus all the health-boosting benefits these ingredients offer. Yum!
The Allium family, including onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and chives may have a pungent scent, but they add key flavour to diverse dishes and help bolster our wellbeing. All of the Allium family support our bodies’ normal resistance to infections. Garlic, especially when eaten raw or lightly cooked, offers anti-viral benefits and even helps lower our cholesterol levels. Versatile onions or shallots can be chopped and added to most sauces and soups with the added advantage of natural anti-bacterial properties. If you have a chesty cough or cold, onions aid your body in shifting catarrh and mucus, thanks to the phytonutrient quercetin. Chives and leeks are naturally warming foods so help ward off chills and support your immunity with a range of vitamins and minerals.
Try to add a range of these powerful botanical ingredients to your daily meals and drinks to ensure your immune system gets all the help it needs from nature!