Fall and winter seems to be the seasons where people are more susceptible to colds and flues (or influenza) are very similar and they both are caused by viruses, but flues tend to be more serious. The natural remedies for colds and flues are also similar, listed are some of the most popular herbs and their general uses:
- Astragalus – promotes the multiplication of white blood cells for fighting infection, enhances immune system (do not take if a fever is present).
- Echinacea – purifies the blood, promotes digestion, expels poisons and toxins, is a gargle for sore throats, and fights viral and bacterial infections.
- Fenugreek – expels mucus, a gargle for sore throats, has cooling effects on the bowels, lubricates the intestines, and has laxative properties, helpful for stomach ulcers and other stomach problems.
- Mullein – expels mucus, the tea is good for inducing sleep, coughs, hay fever, hoarseness and bronchitis, boil the leaves in water and breath in the vapors for nasal congestion and other respiratory problems.
- Elderberry – a tonic and blood purifier, diuretic, promotes sweating, has laxative properties, enhances the immune system, relieves coughs and congestion.
- Eucalyptus – boil and inhale the vapors of the leaves or oil to break up mucus and to aid in breathing, is a decongestant and expectorant.
- Cayenne (capsicum) – is a stimulant, it improves circulation, breaks up mucus, promotes the healing of the stomach lining, is an expectorant and anti-flammatory.
- Ginger – a hot ginger tea will promote a cleansing of the system through perspiration, it stimulates circulation, prevents griping or cramps, aids in clearer and easier respiratory breathing.
- Wild Cherry Bark – expels mucus, loosens phlegm in the throat and chest, good for coughs, asthma, bronchitis and digestive problems.
- Olive Leaf – fights viral and bacterial infections, has laxative properties, effective against fever, has a tranquilizing effect for nervous tension.
- Red Clover – powerful blood purifier, expels mucus, good for coughs, bronchitis, fights infection and calms the nerves.
- Hyssop – increases circulation, regulates blood pressure, expels mucus, good for fevers, and loosens phlegm in the lungs and throat.
- Garlic – expels mucus, powerful germ killer, detoxifies the body, fights viruses, yeast and fungus, and strengthens the immune system.
- Horehound – loosens and decreases the thickness of mucus and aids in expelling it, is a good stomach tonic, good for respiratory problems and builds the immune system.
Some other helpful hints are to:
- Avoid sugar, diary products (cheese, milk) and other mucus forming foods
- Drink plenty of fluids (plain water, herbal teas and pure juices)
- Throw your toothbrush away (it can prolong your illness by harboring germs and viruses)
- Wash your hands thoroughly every time you blow or wipe your nose or sneeze
- Take vitamin C (with zinc) lozenges at the first signs of a sore throat
- Boil raw apple cider vinegar with a little water and inhale the vapors to open a stuffy head or nose and to drain the sinuses. Also take 1-2 teaspoons in a glass of water to break up mucus in the body
- Chew crystallized ginger to aid in respiratory and mucus congestion
- Most importantly, keep your bowels open to allow the mucus and toxins to leave your body (colon cleansers, castor oil, aloe vera, coffee enemas or a herbal laxative will be helpful if needed)
The best defense against colds and flues is to strengthen your immune system. You can not take one kind of pill or herb and think that they will build your immune system up. The immune system is a system consisting of the complex interaction of cells, organs, and structures etc. within the body that function synergistically. It is very important to begin to learn about your body parts and how they function. Learn about and Love on your body, after all, you only get one!