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Herbal Medicine Kit for Colds & Flus

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

As we start into the winter season, it may be fun to invite some friends over and create an herbal medicine kit for #colds and #flus. Taking the time to get a few things into the medicine cabinet now may help you combat any surprises, particularly since we are still combating COVID while simultaneously having quarantined which may not have sufficiently prepared our immune systems for the challenges of winter. These are some of my go-to recipes for the season.

If you begin sipping on an herbal tea or taking a few drops of your tinctures at the earliest signs of illness, you can give your immune system a major boost as you start to fight off any bacterial or viral infection. Echinacea is popular, as are elderberry syrup and of course, vitamin C. Rosemary tea is often utilized at the first sign of a chest cold. Turmeric can support your body's efforts in fighting a scratchy throat. Warming socks also seem to be a trick from the generations of #healers before us and they found they offered great relief.

Fever-Busting Tea

Tylenol has had some really bad press and we've learned that fevers are physiologic, protective, and necessary, so this recipe is one I'd utilize when the fever is creeping at the upper limits or if the #fever is causing more discomfort than one would prefer to tolerate.

  • 2 parts Yarrow Leaves

  • 1 part Boneset

  • 1/2 part Peppermint

Mix together the above ingredients and then steep (boil water and then add ingredients after turning off the heat) 1-2 teaspoons in hot water, covered for 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of agave or maple syrup. You can collect these anytime, dry them, and keep them in a glass jar for storage for up to a year.

Cold/Flu Bath Salts

  • 5 pounds of salts of your choice

  • 1 ounce each of Eucalyptus leaves and Rosemary Leaves

Put salts into a clean, dry bucket that has a tight-fitting lid. Take herbs and mash up into the bucket. Put the lid on, shake every 3 to 4 days. In two to three weeks, this will be ready to go!

Respiratory Syrup

3/4 ounces of Elderberries

1/2 ounces of Reishi Mushrooms

1/2 ounce Mullein Leaves

1/4 ounce of Turmeric Root

Add #herbs to 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low with the lid ajar until liquid is reduced by half. Double strain and save the liquid. Add 2 cups of maple syrup to warm liquid and stir until dissolved. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Allow to fully cool and put into amber bottles for storage. Be sure to label.

Throat Spray

Steep one teaspoon of ground sage, echinacea and lemon verbena in half a cup of hot water for thirty minutes. Strain and then combine with half a cup of grain alcohol or other liquor. Once cool, pour into a spray bottle and spray into your throat every two hours as needed.

Warming Socks

These are best utilized before going to bed, leaving them on while sleeping. I often have my kids use these a few nights in a row as well. Try them for sprains, strains, pain, inflammation in the feet and ankles, even fevers, headaches, migraines, ear infections, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs, colds, bronchitis, and sinus infections.

Grab a pair of medium weight, 100 percent cotton socks and a pair of thick 100 percent wool socks. Also grab a towel and a warm bath or just a footbath, as well as rosemary essential oil if you'd like.

Make sure your feet are warm before applying treatment. Warming can be accomplished by soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5 to 10 minutes or taking a warm bath for 5 to 10 minutes. Dry your feet and body with a dry towel. Then rub on the rosemary essential oil for added immune support. Soak cotton socks in icy cold water, wring out well and put on your feet. Put heavy wool socks over the wet socks, being sure that the dry wool socks cover all of the wet cotton socks. Immediately go to bed, snuggling in tight with adequate blankets. Leave on overnight.

The thought is that your brain gets the message that you feet are cold and wet, so you need to warm them up! This message increases the overall body temperature slightly and increases blood circulation in an attempt to warm the feet. Increased body temperature makes your body an intolerable place for bacteria and viruses to live. Our immune cells are then mobilized to fight infection, reduce congestion, and remove blood stagnation if there is injury of some type. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Nighttime Treat

Try warm almond milk with one tablespoon of coconut milk, agave, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cacao powder for an immune-boosting sweet treat.

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