Do you want to prevent winter ailments? Here's how...

iStock_000022516086_LargeAt this time of year my inbox gets flooded with clients and students asking:

“What foods can I eat to help heal this cold and 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 that I know can help them weather their uncomfortable winter ailments.

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 help 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 would 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.

To help you make it through this sniffling and aching season here are my top three herbs and some tips to keep your immune system strong to help ward off those winter bugs and pathogens:

Top 3 Herbs for Winter Health

  1. Astragalus – This adaptogenic herb is the great protector. It helps “seal” the body and prevent 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Licoricenot to be confused with Twizzlers, is a moistening, demulcent herb. It is also a powerful anti-viral that soothes irritation of the mucus membranes and supports the health of the kidneys and adrenals. Nourishing the kidneys and adrenals is essential for boosting winter health.

Along with using specific plant medicines to strengthen your immunity, it’s essential to get some 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 your herbs, and I’ll speak with you soon!