Herbs for Colds and Flus

using elder flowers for natural treatment of flu and cold

Here is some helpful hints to help you combat the seasons colds and flus. Rest, lots of fluids and try to eat go without saying but please do read on.

At this time of year there is little that we can do to avoid the bugs that cause colds and flus. There are so many bugs that are floating around looking for friendly hosts in which to multiple! One of the best herbs for strengthening your ability to fend off an attack isĀ Echinacea (Echinacea spp.). Research has found that people who take this herb as a supplement during the cold season may not be immune to the bugs but they recover from any illness far quicker and their symptoms are far reduced. Make sure that you load up on your anti oxidants and make sure if you are taking a vit C supplement that it contains riboflavins; without which the vit C can not be utilized by your body! You can take up to 3 g Vit C per day ; what is not used by the body will pass through without causing any harm. Bear in mind fresh is best but when you are feeling under the weather just take lots of fluids and rest.

Old Flu Tea

When you’re huddled at home nursing a cold or flu, a warm cup of herb tea is comfort in itself. An advantage to drinking tea is that the liquid thins congestion and flushes out toxins. It’s true that tea is time-consuming, but try to find time to take care of yourself when you’re sick. Drinking two to three cups of the following tea, nice and hot, will make you sweat and lower a fever. Afterward, if possible, tuck yourself into a warm bed.

– 1/2 teaspoon Yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium)
– 1/2 teaspoon Elder flowers (Sambucus canadensis)
– 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint leaves
– 1/2 teaspoon Echinacea root
– 1/2 teaspoon Rosehip berries
– 3 cups boiling water

1.Combine the herbs in a teapot and pour the boiling water over them. Steep for at least 20 minutes.

2.Strain and drink throughout the day. You can make a double batch and keep it in the refrigerator. Just be sure to warm it before drinking.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the herbs in your cupboard the first three alone will help considerably.

Sore Throat Gargle with Sage

The Sage (Salvia officinalis) used in the following recipe is a classic gargle, but other herbs such as Marjoram, Thyme or Hyssop can replace it. Opera singers once used Marjoram to ease a strained throat.

-1 cup boiling water
-2 teaspoons fresh or dried Sage leaves
– 1/4 ounce salt

1.Pour the boiling water over the sage, cover and steep for 20 minutes.

2.Strain and add the salt. Gargle as needed. Store in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Herbal Steam

Warm, moist air opens nasal and bronchial passages. Combined with herbs, steam is one of the most effective, all-purpose cold and flu cures. To humidify and disinfect the entire house, simmer the water with the herbs or essential oils on low heat for half an hour. Essential oils can also be used in most commercial humidifiers, but check the instructions.

-3 cups water
-5 drops essential oil of Lavender
-5 drops essential oil of Rosemary
-5 drops essential oil of Bergamot

1. Simmer the water in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the oils (you can get the same effect by putting 1/8 cup total of fresh or dried herbs in the simmering water instead of the essential oils).

2. Hold your face over the steam and cover your head with a bath towel. Tuck the ends of the towel around the pan so the steam doesn’t escape. Breathe in the fragrant steam as deeply as you comfortably can, coming out for fresh air when needed (about every minute or so).

or there is always olbas oil!
Lemon Antiseptic Throat Spray

A diluted lemon spray is one of the most effective tools to knock down a cold or flu. Other herbs to use in a throat spray are lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint. When sprayed through the air, terpene compounds in these oils combine with oxygen to increase the oil’s antiseptic properties.

-15 drops Lemon essential oil
– 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
– 1/4 cup water
– 1/4 cup lemon juice

1.Combine the ingredients and pour the concoction into a spray bottle.

2.Shake well, then gently spray into your throat throughout the day.

Essential Oil Vapor Rub

Ointments called vapor rubs are designed to be rubbed directly on the chest and throat. They rely on essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus to produce a heating sensation that reduces constriction by stimulating blood circulation. The oils in a vapor balm are also absorbed through the skin to relieve congestion and kill infection. They serve double duty – the antibiotic scent is also inhaled into the lungs. Vapor balms sold in pharmacies still use compounds derived from antibiotic essential oils (or synthetic counterparts), such as thymol from Thyme and menthol from Mint.

-10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
-10 drops Peppermint essential oil
-3 drops Thyme essential oil
-1/8 cup Olive oil

1.Combine the ingredients and rub on your chest and throat.

2.To increase the warmth of the balm, rub the oil briskly onto the skin. A warm piece of flannel placed on the chest afterward will increase the warming sensation.

or there is always olbas oil!

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