11 Immune-Boosting Plants You can Grow in Your Garden

If you’re into natural health and nutrition, then you probably know about the importance of the immune system. You’re familiar with the microbiome, probiotics, and leaky gut syndrome, and how important it is to support strong immunity for long term health. People like us love to invest time and resources into staying healthy as we age, but although we spend hundreds on probiotic supplements, immune-boosting herbs and detox tonics, we often forget that one of the best ways to boost immunity is with fresh, whole food. 

The supplement industry would have you believe that you need to spend piles of cash on the best remedies and supplements to stay healthy in the modern world. But there is real power in simple whole foods to keep you looking and feeling healthy and vibrant for many years to come. 

Here are 11 immune-boosting plants you can grow in your garden. Let’s start with some delicious fruits:

Blueberries: Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse, and when it comes to health benefits, they prove that good things really do come in small packages. They are rich in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, which have been shown to modulate levels of immune cells promoting improved immune function.

Grapes: Grapes contain a wide range of plant nutrients from carotenoids to polyphenols. These antioxidants are important for immunity because research shows the functions of the human immune system depend on the consumption of antioxidants. Antioxidant supplementation can significantly improve immune response. Point to note: The antioxidant content of grapes is the highest in the seeds and the skin.

Strawberries: Eating strawberries is associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases and may improve heart health, lower blood sugar levels, and help prevent cancer. Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, which have been shown to increase the immunological response of immune cells called T-lymphocytes and monocytes and help prevent the development of infections.


As a passionate food lover as well as a holistic health nut, I’m always searching for that sweet spot where flavor and nutrition meet. Herbs add enticing aroma, fresh flavor, and vivid green color to food, but they also have remarkable health benefits. When you move beyond thinking of herbs as mere garnishes and start to see them as major culinary players, a whole new world of healthy taste opens up to you.

Several herbs, like parsley, have significant amounts of the essential vitamins A, C, and K. Herbs also contain bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, phenols, and tannins. Studies show these constituents can boost antiviral action and immune response against illnesses such as influenza. 

These healthy herbs will grow easily on your windowsill:

Sage: Current research indicates that immune-boosting sage increases the levels of antibodies against viral infections and provides protective immunity.

Peppermint: The essential oils found in peppermint have been found to inhibit the production of a pro-inflammatory immune messenger called cytokine TNF-α. This indicates that peppermint has potential as a promising immune-boosting herb.

Rosemary: Three major constituents of rosemary called carnosol, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid have been shown to exert different immunomodulatory activities. For example, rosemary can suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion, helping keep you free of coughs and colds. 

Parsley: Touted for its natural cleansing, detoxing, and diuretic properties, parsley has been studied as one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices. It has been used to treat allergy, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders, with direct impact on bacteria and fungal organisms, as well as a modulating effect on immune functions in the body.

Oregano: Oregano is an important Mediterranean herb rich in phenolic compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Traditionally, oregano has been used for fighting infections and treating respiratory issues such as cough, cold, flu and bronchitis, and has been shown to fight infections such as H. pylori. It also promotes the integrity of the intestinal barrier, which is an important part of the immune system.

Not only can herbs keep you healthy, but they are beautiful too. Just set up your windowsill herb garden somewhere where you can enjoy the greenery and fresh scents.


I just love that I can go into my garden and harvest everything I need for a dish, like this amazing trio featured in my favorite “immunity slaw”:

Cabbage: Eating cabbage stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, inhibits the growth of cancerous cells, protects against tumors, helps control hormone levels, and improves blood flow.

Carrots: Carrots contain antioxidants, which help your body fight free radicals, cell damage, and inflammation. Vitamin C in carrot juice also provides an immune system boost, helping you get through cold and flu season.

Kale: Kale is an immune-boosting food that contains high levels of vitamin C, which packs a powerful antioxidant punch. Plus, it helps fight off infection in the body and contains folate, another immune-boosting nutrient.

Although all of these fruits, vegetables, and herbs will help keep you healthy if you buy them from the grocery store, growing them yourself is always a better option. Locally grown crops are…

  • Free of chemicals
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Have the added benefit of enzymes and probiotics from clean soil

Luckily, these powerful immune-boosting veggies are some of the easiest things to grow in your garden. You might be wondering, “How can I grow my very own antioxidant superfoods at home?”. You don’t need a fancy garden (or a big one) to grow the healthiest foods on the planet. Simply set up a few containers on your porch and patio, and you’re good to go!

So why not get your garden up and growing today and take care of your health for many years to come?

-Liivi Hess

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