5 Essential Herbs for Winter Health

Staying healthy during the winter months can be a challenge, but herbal remedies can provide safe and effective solutions to supporting the immune system, fending off illnesses, and relieving uncomfortable symptoms. Below is a list of my five favorite herbs for supporting health during the cold and flu season.

1) Echincacea – supports immune activity, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties; best given in larger doses more frequently at the first sign of discomfort: initial dose – 3g (3 tsp of tincture) then 1g (1 tsp of tincture) every two to three hours for the first day and then 1g four times a day after that.

2) Goldenseal – has broad spectrum antibiotic activity, mucous membrane tonic, immune stimulating; specific for congestive and inflammatory states of mucous membranes – take 2 ml (2 dropperfuls) of tincture three times per day to help resolve infections; best taken three days into a cold.

3) Garlic – antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, expectorant, immune boosting; useful in all types of infections of the nose, sinuses, throat and lungs – here is a great recipe that can be taken as prevention or at the first sign of symptoms, great for kids too (not for kids under 1 year).

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup honey

Crush fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle; add to vinegar in a pot. Chop ginger and add to vinegar. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped garlic and honey. Allow to sit overnight and strain. May be kept in the refrigerator for about 4 weeks. Take 1 tsp, two to three times a day.

4) Olive Leaf – antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, health tonic, antioxidant rich; Barlean’s makes a great Olive Leaf Complex – take 1 Tbs daily.

5) Elderberry – specific for viral infections, stimulates immune activity and acts directly on viruses; available as a very tasty syrup that is great for both kids and adults. Take 1 tsp one to three times daily.

Article written by Margo Gladding, MS, CNS, LDN for Ellicott City Pharmacy.

Dec 13, 2011 | Category: Diet, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrtion | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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