Cold and flu season is approaching in the coming months. Find out which are the best plants to grow to help you tackle those pesky coughs and colds. In the search for the cure to the common cold, it’s plants to the rescue.

The cold season

Cold weather may seem connected with catching colds but do cooler temperatures influence our ability to stay fit and healthy? Well, winter weather is not proven to cause illness, but it can leave us more vulnerable to infection.

cold season

Seasonal spikes in pressure, temperature and wind can irritate your nasal passages and block airways. This compromises your immune system’s built-in defences.

A study by Yale School of Medicine found that if you reduce temperature from 37 to 33 degrees Celsius it can limit immune response. This allows viruses to thrive; so, your body is better defended when the weather is warmer.

However, if your immune system is fighting fit, it’s perfectly capable of fending off bacterial and viral advances. You just need to boost immunity and inhibit intruders from interrupting you during the cold season.

Fine-tune your immunity

A regular intake of vitamins is considered vital for optimal health. But it’s widely recognised that a healthy individual can obtain enough from a well-rounded and nutritious diet. Some vitamins have stronger curative powers than others.

There are three main levels of immune system defences. Vitamins A, C, and E aid in enhancing the skin barrier function. Vitamins B6, B9, B12, A and D are thought to assist the other two levels of immune defences—cell production and antibodies.

Some research, however, suggests that acidic equilibrium is the key and too much acid in our diet. Such as those present in meats and dairy, which can throw our bodies off kilter. Vast amounts of fruits and vegetables are alkaline and restore the balance.

So, if you’re acid sensitive, beans, basil, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and courgettes will increase alkalinity to get you back on track.

Immune system foods

Top of the crops


Of all the crops in your care, purple-sprouting broccoli reigns supreme and is still cropping now. This is perfect for a pre-winter windfall of well-being. If you’ve got plenty of broccoli growing, you’re sitting on a health-loaded goldmine of vitamin and mineral content.

It’s best eaten fresh, so get planning your menu now. Blend it into soups, pop it into pasta, stir fry or add fresh as a crunchy addition to cold salads. Of course, any additional stocks can be frozen and used later.

So, if broccoli isn’t in your crop rotation yet, plan for it next year by sowing in April.


Though not perhaps your first call, red bell peppers can hold up to three times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.

And leafy veg, like kale, are rich in this resource too. In fact, my cold-fighting favourites are spinach and cabbage as they’re filled with iron (to help fight fatigue) and antioxidants.

These influence immunity by getting rid of free radicals—those mischievous molecules that damage healthy cells.


Garlic in its purest form is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal too. It needs a chilling period for optimal growth.

Therefore, plant this powerhouse now by starting in a cold frame and planting out in spring.

Rich in antioxidising manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, garlic has a lot to offer in the way of immune system support. And it’s so easy to incorporate into your cooking recipes.

Antibacterial beauties

If you’re feeling off-colour, all is not lost. There are still ways to use the produce from your plot to keep you healthy and cultivating.

To save from missing out on prime time at the allotment, try harvesting your blueberries and bolstering your breakfast with them. These little fruits have antimicrobial assets, and you can freeze them so that stocks last well into October.

Try to grow an onion or chilli surplus over the summer, as harvests available now can be frozen without blanching.

Onion is thought to fight against candida but also boosts circulation and lessens inflammation.

Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

Also, extracts of culinary herbs like peppermint, thyme, oregano, and fennel could be potent against antibacterial attacks too.


So, to keep producing spectacular propagation, nurture your nourishment and you’ll find you’re better prepared to dodge germs, bypass bugs and skirt sickness this season.

Find out more about natural medicines that you can grow at home:

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