Plant your own “first aid kit” to boost your child’s immunity

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Your local pharmacy isn’t the only place to get medicine for your child when they’re feeling under the weather. Mother Nature has endowed humanity with a wealth of natural medications, therapies, superfoods, and overall nutrition!

Here’s why and how you can grow your own natural remedies and assemble yourself a little home-grown first aid kit:

Garlic can boost immune function

First up is Garlic – a cure-all, champion vegetable! Classified as part of the onion genus, garlic is jam-packed with the good stuff. It has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, which help relieve your child’s cold and flu symptoms. Garlic is high in nutrients and vitamins, especially flu-fighting Vitamin C and B6, which assist your child’s body in recuperating faster and shortening their downtime.

Planting garlic is fairly easy; pop them in the ground about 5 cm apart in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

Health benefits of lemon

Growing and tending to a lemon tree teaches patience, commitment, embodying what it means to reap the fruits of your labour, and for some, it even represents childhood memories and a sense of nostalgia. This powerful medicine is loaded with Vitamin C and is rich in potassium with twice as much Vitamin C as oranges.

Lemons support and strengthen your child’s immune system. If your granny believed in drinking lemon water, either hot or cold, she’s on to something. Freshly squeezed lemon juice increases the absorption of iron, which further promotes a resilient immune system.

Lemons are a great source of flavonoids – a powerful antioxidant, which improves blood circulation.

Nutritional benefits of blueberries

Another champion choice for your natural first aid kit is the powerhouse of antioxidants – the blueberry. These delicious little morsels are packed with flavonoids that not only support your child’s immune system but also reduce the chance of your child contracting upper respiratory infections.

Blueberries have a certain flavonoid called quercetin, usually found in dark blue and red fruits, which has antiviral properties. Quercetin also helps to prevent inflammation in cells and helps to protect the upper respiratory tract. You can easily add these little virus-fighting bombs to a smoothie, or give them to kids as a superfood snack.

Avoid paying a pretty penny for blueberries, and instead, grow your own! They thrive in sunny spots sheltered from harsh wind, grow in beds or pots, and love rich, well-drained soil.

Bioactive compounds of ginger

If you are committed, like us, to a home-grown medicine solution, we highly recommend this ancient natural remedy, used all over the world to ease cold and flu symptoms. Ginger is a hearty, healthy spice, loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that are not only healthy for your child’s body but also beneficial for their brain.

With its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is used to alleviate muscle pain and soreness after a long day on the school sports field. Ginger also supports the digestive system and helps to treat nausea, which is great news if your child suffers motion sickness.

The active nutrient in fresh ginger, known as gingerol, helps to lower the risk of infections. Gingerol inhibits the growth of many types of bacteria, especially oral bacteria, and can aid in the treatment of bleeding gums, gingivitis, and cold sores. This super spice also supports the lungs and upper respiratory tract to ensure the common cold or flu symptoms are less severe, therefore shortening your child’s recovery time. A sure must-have as part of your medicine garden!

Nutritional facts of sweet potatoes

This super starch is packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Sweet potatoes boast beta carotene, Vitamin A, and other antioxidants responsible for aiding your child’s immune system and supporting a healthy heart, teeth, and eyes. Sweet potatoes, especially the orange ones, aid the mucous membranes and ensure a healthy gut. This nutrient-dense, high fibre root veggie is versatile and can be added to your child’s diet in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Sweet potatoes can be grown in a variety of soils with some homemade compost, a good sunny spot, daily watering with adequate draining, and a little patience. We love sweet potatoes as they are not only a wonderful medicine but also a delicious and versatile ingredient with health benefits for the whole family!

The superfood that is red bell peppers

Another immune booster superfood for a go-to natural remedy, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, is red pepper. These beauties are rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and support immune function. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from oxidative damage. They are packed with carotenoids Lycopene and Beta-cryptoxanthin, which have cancer-fighting properties, especially prostate, bladder, cervix, pancreas, and lung cancer.

When planting red peppers, loosen the soil deeply and mix in fertiliser, manure, or compost thoroughly. They will start bearing fruit about 11 weeks after planting – not a long time at all for such a sweet superfood! Source: www.lifeisiagarden.co.za    





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