At this time of year my inbox gets flooded with people asking:
- “What foods can I eat to heal this cold and stop my runny nose?”
- “What herbs should I take to ease my achy flu symptoms?”
- “How do I clear the congestion from my chest and head?”
- “My throat is so sore, can you recommend a soothing tea?”
With these folks, I share time-tested natural healing remedies.
When winter arrives, it’s best to be prepared with a variety of medicinal recipes and herbal remedies to help get you back on your feet again.
But the truth is, it’s always better to boost your immunity to PREVENT illnesses than it is to catch the bugs and then have to deal with the onslaught of nasty symptoms that can make you feel downright miserable!
Most health-minded people think taking Echinacea when they get a cold or flu can help them recover more quickly. That’s not entirely correct.
After the pathogens have already compromised your system it may be too late to take Echinacea for it to be effective. To correctly use Echinacea you need to start taking it at the very onset of the illness before it fully presents itself. Echinacea works by stimulating your immune system to make B cells, T cells, and macrophages. It would be wise to take high doses of Echinacea for 48 hours at the very beginning of cold or flu. That’s means you start taking it at the very first sniffle or tickle.
To help you make it through this sniffling, sneezing and aching season here are three healing herbs and some tips on how to use them.
3 Healing Herbs for Winter Health
Astragalus – This adaptogenic herb is called the great protector. It helps “seal” the body and prevents pathogens from entering the system.
It’s excellent for people that have general low resistance and always catch whatever is going around. Use it in soups and decoctions to keep immunity boosted all winter long.
I like to use it in this delicious Immune Boosting Congee. It’s very easy to prepare and your body will thank you for it.
Echinacea – This immune stimulant is used best for prevention of colds and flus.
Echinacea stimulates the production and release of immune cells. The key to making Echinacea work best for you during the winter season is to take it before the illness fully presents itself. Take it as soon as you feel the very first signs of a cold or flu; slight malaise, headache, fatigue, itchy nose or scratchy throat.
Also, if you know you are going to be traveling on an airplane and you have low immunity, I would take it for 2 days before you get on the flight. Airplanes can be a hotbed for viruses to be passed around from passenger to passenger.
Take it as a tincture for it to be most effective. You can purchase it at any health food store or online.
Licorice – not to be confused with Twizzlers, is a moistening, demulcent herb.
It is also a powerful anti-viral that soothes irritation of the mucous membranes and supports the health of the kidneys and adrenals. Nourishing the kidneys and adrenals is essential for boosting winter health.
Some people don’t like the flavor of licorice, but I love it! It’s sweet and deeply nourishing. I like to use it in tea as a harmonizer with other herbs. Like this Lung and Respiratory Support Infusion
Along with using specific plant medicines to strengthen your immunity, it’s essential to get sunshine during the winter months.
Yes, I know it’s cold outside!
Quit yer kvetchin’ and bundle up with your favorite soft scarf and warm cozy mittens and get outside into the nearest park for a brisk stroll.
The sunshine will provide warmth and vitamin d, plus physically moving your body helps the lymphatic system flow better.
You absolutely, positively need good lymph flow to stay healthy and keep immunity functioning at it’s best during the winter season.
Bundle up, get outside, use herbs as medicine, and I’ll speak with you soon!
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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