Top Herbs for Colds, Coughs, & Flu’s Plus Bonus Tea Recipes
Cold viruses are always present and most Americans suffer from a cold at least once or twice a year, if not more. Now that the kids are back to school and cooler weather is upon us, it is time to remind you about avoiding colds and flu. The cold and flu season is upon us. The best way to avoid colds and flu is to keep our immune systems strong.
The most important thing you can do to keep your immune system strong is to eat lots of natural, organic fruits and vegetables, keeping processed sweets and foods to a minimum. Keep stress levels low, or if you are under a lot of stress, take extra vitamin B complexes, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin C.
-Ensure proper blood levels of vitamin D3. “It appears to have the ultimate defense against the cold and flu. Vitamin D3 is shown to provide the activation key that stimulates T cells into action when invaders are detected.” – The Nature Immunology Journal. Make sure to get out into the sun for at least 15 minutes a day or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
-Vitamin C is wonderful immune support. It prepares the body’s white blood cells for action.
Here are other herbs to help you avoid or heal colds and flu:
There is evidence that Native Americans may have used Echinacea for more than 400 years to treat infections, snakebites, wounds, and as a general “cure-all.”
Echinacea extract works against an enzyme called hyaluronidase that destroys the body’s defenses against diseases. Studies also suggest that Echinacea may be helpful in not only destroying viruses like certain strains of influenza, but also slowing tumor growth.
– Consuming cayenne pepper, raw or in powder form, loosens nasal and sinus congestion, allowing mucus to become more liquid, making it easier to breathe. According to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods” by naturopathic doctor Michael Murray, “Cayenne pepper also stimulates blood flow to mucus tissues, relieving a congested sinus or a stuffy nose.”
According to “The World’s Healthiest Foods” by nutritionist George Mateljan, 2 tsp. of cayenne pepper contains about 30 percent of your daily value of vitamin A.” Vitamin A protects the body when an infection is present.
-Cayenne pepper reduces your core body temperature and naturally cools the body, so if you have a fever, cayenne may help decrease your fever.
Extra hot Cayenne is my preferred herb for colds and flu, along with my turmeric tonic Rest Easy™ – together they make a powerful healing aid. My Super Tonic contains extra-hot cayenne pepper mixed with ginger, garlic, horseradish and vodka – not for wimps! If you take a couple of droppers full when you first feel a cold or fever coming on, you’ll likely stop it in its tracks. Rest Easy™ helps boost the immune system, important for avoiding colds and flu! As you know, colds are usually viral, so you need a strong immune system!
Elderberry tonic has been used for centuries to aid in the healing of colds, flu and sinus infections. The seventeenth century herbalist, John Evelyn, referred to it as a remedy “against all infirmities what-so-ever.”
Recently it has been discovered that Elderberry has a compound called viburnic acid that encourages perspiration in the body, aiding in the detoxification of tissues. This may help the body reduce fever, purify the blood, and cleanse the body’s cells of pathogens.
Israeli virologists have found that elderberry extract has proved to be specifically active against the influenza virus by blocking replication very effectively. Elder has many other health attributes and is safe for consumption by children.
We have several elderberry bushes on our property and harvest the berries to make a very effective syrup for use during the fall and winter. Elderberry is easy to grow, and even the elder flowers can be made into a mild, delicious tea that assists the immune system, In Europe, many young children are given a tablespoon of elderberry syrup to ward off colds and flu.
Ginger and Turmeric
Fresh ginger and turmeric are warming roots that has been used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions since ancient times. Ginger is often used to promote good digestive health to settle stomach upset and nausea.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine has used it to help treat the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches and painful menstrual periods. In Rest Easy™, we combine turmeric with probiotics to aid in rapid absorption.
A great antiviral whose strong bitter taste helps dry mucus and stimulate digestion of toxins, boneset has been said by many herbalists to be one of the best choices for herbal treatment of flu. Boneset was traditionally used to treat fever and flu, respiratory allergies, chills, rheumatism, bruises, broken bones, urinary tract infections, and jaundice. A powerful herb recommended as a tea, but be cautious about taking too much, as it contains powerful alkaloids.
A few teas that you can make at home to help aid in the healing of cold and flu symptoms.
Garlic Tea – Garlic shines as an antibacterial and antiviral herb for fighting colds, coughs and the flu.
Peel 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic and lightly crush them. Add them to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain the garlic and allow the tea to cool to mouth temperature. Add raw honey, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Raw honey and lemon Tea
A mixture of fresh lemon juice and raw honey provides soothing relief for sore throats. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons Raw honey with the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and sip throughout the day as needed.
My best tea mixture is 5 bags of black tea, brewed with 2 to 3 tablespoons raw honey, juice of ½ a lemon, and 1-2 tsp. Ginger. Boil together and drink warm.
A few extras we thought you may like to try.
Good Old Fashioned Chicken soup
As your mother always said, chicken soup really does act to knock out a cold or the flu. As long ago as the 12th century, the Jewish physician Maimonides recommended consuming chicken soup to fight colds and flu. The high antioxidant properties and nutrients found in organic vegetables and chicken will give your body what it needs to heal quickly. Use a whole free-range chicken in a pressure cooker to really get all the nutrients from the bones.
Red onion and raw honey cough syrup –
For adults and kids suffering a cough.
Wash, peel and slice the entire onion horizontally. Layer the slices in a bowl alternating with layers of raw honey, stevia powder or brown sugar. Continue adding layers of onion and sweetener until the entire onion is reconstructed in the bowl. Cover and allow the sweetened onion to remain in the bowl on your counter for about 12-15 hours or overnight. The next day, there will be about a cup or more of sweet syrup in the bowl. The cough syrup contains a range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the onion and the honey to help fight infection and soothe sore throats and quiet a cough. Take a spoonful as needed. Has no oniony taste.