Herbs for Colds & Flu

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Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1
Disclaimer: As always, check with a medical professional before using any homeopathic remedy or herbal supplement(s)! Also be sure to research any herb you are unfamiliar with to avoid harm, serious interactions with medication, or allergic reaction.
It's that time of year again, the time when the cold and flu season comes to town. I am posting a list of herbs that can help fight off viruses and bacteria, as well as boost our immune systems.
The following herbs can help inhibit viruses and bacteria. They can also help fend off issues with the throat, respiratory system, ears, and eyes. They can also help with coughing, digestion, and fever. There are teas that are made from some of these herbs, and some of which can be found in your grocery store in the coffee and tea section. I would recommend looking for a few of them and making and drinking the teas as soon as you feel the onset of a cold or the flu.
List of Antiviral Herbs:
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon Balm
  • Hyssop
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree
  • Ginger
If you already have a cold or flu, try adding garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger to your foods. They can help you get over colds and flues more easily.
The following herbs, when taken regularly can help strengthen our immune system and help us better fend of viruses and bacteria.
Immune Boosters:
  • Ginseng
  • Lavender, Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Echinacea
  • Licorice
You can actually find Echinacea in the tea section of your local grocery store. Target also has this tea in a sampler pack. Look for "Traditional Medicinals: Seasonal Herb Tea Sampler." It contains four tea blends. One is for sore throats, one is for colds, one is for respiratory health, and one is for boosting the immune system.
I have purchased the above mentioned tea pack and it is lovely, and works wonders. The tea for respiratory health contains organic licorice root, and it works quite well. If you are congested, inhale some of the steam off of the tea before drinking it. I've found that doing this helps speed up relief of the symptoms.
Sources:
www.mountainroseherbs.com/newsletter/11/january/herbsforcolds.php
www.organicgardening.com/living/stay-healthy-5-essential-herbs
www.blueridgeschool.org/herbs-for-colds-and-flus.htm
www.organicnutrition.co.uk/articles/colds.htm
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

This is so useful for me right now.

Thank you so much for posting.

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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By:
Post # 3
I use Tea Tree for ear infections, it helps more than antibotics in my opinion.
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4

When I was younger I remember my grandfather using garlic for ear infections. He'd bruise it and then wrap it in cheesecloth before he put it in his ear.

It seemed to work. I honestly don't ever remember him really going to the doctor. He swore by his remedies.
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By:
Post # 5

Very nice post, and thank you for sharing,

Garlic is actually a very potent plant as an antiviral and antimicrobial, if you can find or make tincture of garlic I would highly recommend this as an option, preferably tincture of garlic made with brandy or rum I find that it suits it better than tinctures made with vodka or gin.

Also another couple of herbs I would recommend are Golden Seal which is great, Burdock Root, and Nettles which are potent sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients that your body needs and having a cold or the flu can deplete and or leech these from your system. Tincture of Nettles is a great tonic regardless.

Sources:

Include my many years of medicinal herbalism study and practice but you can probably look up these herbs, their usages, their safety, their contraindications, and their dosages yourself. I would try looking them up in either Therapeutic Herb Manual by Ed Smith, Herbal Remedies by Asa Hershoff, or Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech which are among some of the most excellent books on medicinal herbalism.

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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6

My grandfather and my father would actually just eat the whole clove, wrapped in a basil leaf. I personally could never get by the sharp flavor of raw, fresh garlic, but it is a truly amazing plant to work with. I once read it has a natural antibiotic in it, similar to a mild penicillin. You just have to be very careful with it, as it can cause irritation to the stomach lining if you consume too much of it.

Indeed! I've actually had relatives use nettle in teas for colds. It's another good herb for such things. I've never used or worked with Golden Seal or Burdock Root, but I'll be adding them to my list.
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7
I have a particular blend of herbs, that I love for winter to just keep the flue symptoms at bay, and Yogi Tea makes it. It includes licorice, orange peel and cardamom (not sure of it is the black or green one), and I add tea spoon of organic honey to it for the throat.I have had homemade orange peel tea on itself before and it tasted bitter, but by some reason I do not taste bitterness in this blend. I love drinking it all the time, however licorice is one of the herbs one should be careful with. It can cause your blood pressure to raise, if taken on daily basis. It is better to avoid drinking the same herbal tea for few days in a row. I tend to change them frequently, despite that some blends and herbs are my favourite. It is not good idea to overdose on single herb or blend of the same herbs.As with anything the dose matters and the time of exposure as well. Sometimes, I leave my immune system to just battle things without any additional help, so it does not become too weak over time.
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 8

Thank you for adding this, Art! I've actually had a few of the Yogi tea blends. My husband got me some of the sampler packs of it. He got me some of the ginger and dandelion ones. They are both very good. The ginger was for digestion support and I believe the dandelion helps with liver and kidney function. I drink a lot of coffee so I drink the tea one or twice a week (along with a lot of bottled water) to help prevent kidney infections from all the caffeine. The tea is amazing and the ginger, I've found, works really well for tummy troubles (stomach aches, nausea, etc.)

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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9
You are welcome. Ironically, I drink ginger mainly when I start coughing, and I have very bad congestion. I hate the taste of it, even though I add lemon and honey to the ginger tea.

I have never tried the dandelion blend. I should give it a try, if I can find it in the same store I purchase my Yogi tea. My only worry with this herb is that it is rumoured to increase the appetite.Does this blend taste bitter? I find the taste of both ginger and dandelion to be bitter overall, but this brand tea are know to try to balance the taste of their herbs.

In my country, according to our herbal traditions linden tea is the staple during winter. It also tastes amazing, very flowery and sweet. My family uses the flowers mainly. I always bring some dried flowers from my country, when I visit my parents.My family gathers it from the near by mountains, where the air is clean and pollution levels low. Of course, I try to not overdose on it as well. However, overdosing on it might cause the speeding up of the onset of heart disease. People with heart disease and people with family history of it must be very careful. I also use it to battle my anxiety. I do not know what is about it that helps in this aspect, the taste, the smell or the active ingredients, but seems to work in my case.
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Re: Herbs for Colds & Flu
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 10

I personally find them both to be very pleasing to the palate, though I also add a lot of honey to my teas.

I usually drink a lot of Echinacea if I'm feeling ill or feel a cold coming on. It's one of the few teas that I can drink without an added sweetener.
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