Herbs for Easing Winter Ailments

Bulk Herb are Affordable & Easy to Use!

Bulk Herbs are Affordable & Easy to Use!

The best way to deal with cold & flu viruses…. is to avoid them altogether! Getting plenty of rest, sticking with a whole foods diet, staying well hydrated with plenty of pure water, reducing sugar, caffeine & alcohol, frequent hand washing, and big doses of good old vitamin C….. these are all keys to staying healthy year round! But lets face it… most of us will get at least one cold or flu virus during the winter months. The goal then is to reduce the duration and severity, and prevent secondary infection. Nature’s pharmacy offers a multitude of safe, gentle, and effective remedies to help us accomplish these goals. Here are a few of my favorites.

ELDERBERRY (sambucus nigra) Valued since Roman times for it’s wide ranging power to heal, elderberries have been the subject of many a modern scientific study. Powerfully antioxidant, elderberry extract has been found to interrupt the replication process of viruses, including  8 strains of influenza type A & B. It also soothes coughs, congestion, and sore throats. Elderberry is safe for young and old alike; for children under age 6, give half the adult dose.

Soothing Elderberry Syrup
Add 1/4 cup of dried elderberries to a quart of  boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until mixture reduces by a third.

Remove from heat and cool slightly, strain. Add raw honey to desired taste, bottle and store in fridge for up to 3 days. To dose, take 2 tablespoons straight or add it to a cup of hot water and take 3 times daily at first sign of cold or flu.

Kick it up a notch:
Add 1 tsp. of any or all of the following herbal tinctures to your elderberry syrup: echinacea, astragalus, mullein, cherry bark, marshmallow root, or slippery elm.

ECHINACEA (Echinacea purpurea or augustifolia) Echinacea has been in the spotlight for many years, and is one of the most well-researched herbs in the world. It helps to boost immune function, fight infection, and reduce the frequency and severity of colds and flu. But don’t take echinacea for more than 5 consecutive days.

Calming Cold Tea

½ cup echinacea root
½ cup elder flower
1 tsp eucalyptus leaf
½ cup peppermint (or spearmint) leaf
1 cup mullein leaf

Blend all ingredients and store in an airtight glass container.
To make tea: place one heaping tablespoon in a teapot or pyrex glass measuring cup. Add 1 cup boiling water, steep 7-10 minutes.
Strain, sweeten if desired,  and enjoy 3 cups daily.

Remember, whether you choose capsules, teas, or tinctures, do not take echinacea for more than 5 days, and avoid it altogether if you have an autoimmune disorder or a degenerative neuromuscular disease.

EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus globulus) Throughout history and across continents, Eucalyptus has been used for teas, chest rubs, and inhalations. One whiff and you feel it working to clear congestion, kill bacteria and speed relief. Here’s a recipe for an outstanding essential oil blend that can be used many different ways:

Breathe Easy Essential Oil Blend

1 ml (approx 30 drops) each eucalyptus, peppermint
½ ml (approx 15 drops) each rosemary and geranium.
Combine oils and store in amber bottle w/ plastic dropper insert.

Add 2 drops per tablespoon of base oil for chest rub, or to massage across sinuses and under nose. Add a few drops to a small pan of very hot water for tent steam inhalation, or a few drops to a humidifier reservoir to help keep breathing clear during the night.

All of the ingredients mentioned here are available at Bailey’s Naturals. We can also blend a custom tea designed specifically for your needs!

You’ll find us at 470 2nd Street North, in historic downtown Safety Harbor. Reach us at 727-725-1617.