Treat your Flu and Cold with Healing Herbs
The summer is now waning and many people are dreading the fall and winter because of the usual flu and colds that accompany the turning leaves and drifting snow. Luckily these illnesses can be controlled and even avoided using herbs.
* Garlic: Is very effective in improving the function of the immune system and should be taken proactively to avoid catching the flu or colds.
* Yarrow: This lovely yellow flower is great to treat the fever associated with the flu and can be used in conjunction with Elder to fight this debilitating symptom.
* Elder: Most people have heard of elderberries in wine and never realized that the compound that gives these berries their deep color also can shorten the duration of the flu. The flowers are also useful to treat sinus congestion and fever. There are several sinus congestion teas on the market that have dried elder flowers as the main component.
* Marshmallow: This plant root has been used for centuries to treat sore throat and coughs due to many different viruses. It is very effective in relieving the irritated throat passages and ease lung congestion due to mucus buildup.
* Thyme: although most people use this herb with great effect in culinary creations it also is an extremely powerful antimicrobial which can treat respiratory infections successfully. Do not ingest the essential oil of this plant but instead infuse either dried or fresh leaves in boiling water and drink like a tea.
* Sage: This herb is actually an ingredient in many commercial preparations designed to sooth sore throats. Similar to thyme, sage has antimicrobial properties and can be used to gargle with help relieve sore throat symptoms.
These are the most commonly used effective herbs for the various symptoms relating to the flu and common cold but care must be taken just as one would with synthetic drugs. Dosage and preparation should be carefully adhered to and you should always follow the producers’ instructions or carefully study the best amount. People on blood thinners or heading towards surgery should avoid taking garlic and yarrow supplements. Elder berries need to always be cooked and elder flower must not be used for long periods of time. Avoid yarrow if you have allergies to Echinacea and stop taking it if sensitivity to sunlight develops. If you are on other medications marshmallow may reduce their effectiveness and do not take this supplement if you are diabetic. If you are pregnant or breast feeding any herbal supplementation should only be done with the supervision of a professional.