Cold and flu season is here.
With the cold and influenza season in full swing, we need all the help we can get to keep our immune systems healthy and strong. Here are a few of my top picks that are found in our Essential Winter Defense Bundle. Whether maintaining lung health, boosting immunity, or reducing fevers, each herb supports overall well-being this winter and beyond.
Lungwort Lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria)
Typically used for a range of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, and tuberculosis, lungwort is a natural antibiotic and is also known to clear mucus from the bronchial passages. It reduces inflammation as well due to high concentrations of antioxidants.
Warning: As safety has not been established, avoid lungwort lichen if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
A powerful medicinal herb in the treatment of lung complaints, mullein reduces mucus formation and acts as a potent expectorant. It also calms coughing spasms and wheezing.
Warning: If you experience skin irritation, stomach pain or breathing difficulties, it may indicate an allergic reaction. Discontinue immediately if these symptoms occur. Do not use mullein if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum)
My top herb for reducing and loosening mucus, yerba santa is also effective in alleviating chest and sinus infection symptoms due to the common cold and influenza. It assists in lowering fevers as well.
Warning: Since yerba santa can inhibit iron and mineral uptake, it is best to avoid the herb if you are nursing or pregnant. .
Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea)
One of the most important herb remedies to keep on hand, blue elderberry is an outstanding antiviral that lessens the intensity and duration of influenza and other viral illnesses. If taken as a preventative, it helps to reduce your chances of catching the flu. Moreover, blue elderberry reduces inflammation, promotes the drainage of mucus, and encourages perspiration. When combined with yarrow the pair is an exceptional fever reducer.
Warning: Each part of the plant is mildly toxic. Do not use the fresh plant without first cooking or drying. The bark and root should never be taken internally. Elderberry leaves and unripe berries are poisonous.
Usnea Lichen (Usnea barbata)
A potent antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral, Usnea is a must have for any herbal medicine chest. It helps to heal a wide variety of complaints, including: bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, strep throat, the common cold, and influenza. I keep blue elderberry and Usnea with me when I travel and for those times when there is a risk of exposure to people who are sick. Both herbs help to prevent and heal illness. For this purpose, I put it in a spray bottle. To avoid catching the latest germ spreading through our community, I will spray the back of my throat with the solution. I find it to be incredibly effective in keeping me healthy, even during the worst of influenza outbreaks.
Warning: Usnea lichen should not be taken continuously in large doses as it is extremely concentrated. Only use it to target specific problems as needed. Avoid if pregnant or nursing since safety has not been established. Keep in mind that usnea absorbs pollutants from the environment. Do not harvest in areas exposed to roadway traffic, heavy metals or industrial waste.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
An excellent tonic for reducing fevers, yarrow encourages perspiration by opening the pores. It also helps to purify the blood. Additionally, this herb is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal. Yarrow lessens the duration of colds and the measles as well.
Warning: Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Some individuals are allergic to yarrow. Avoid if you have a known allergy to the Aster/Daisy family or if you develop a rash and/or irritation of any kind. Yarrow is contraindicated before surgery.
Essential Winter Defense Bundle to the rescue!
Here’s a wonderful success story about how these herbs helped one customer maintain exceptional health:
“Saturday I got both the flu shot and the shingles shot. The Dr. (and subsequently EVERYONE else) started warning me about the shingles and likely getting sick for a day or so from that one (and maybe the flu, but more so the shingles).
As you know I have your tinctures and I have been doing many of them, but on Saturday morning I started doubling down on the cold/flu set of tinctures [Essential Winter Defense Bundle] and wouldn’t you know it, not one symptom – I feel great!”
– Carol G.
Would you like to learn more about these herbal remedies?
Visit the Apothecary today and have a look at my Essential Winter Defense Bundle.
Roll Up Your Sleeves and Do it Yourself?
Are you interested in making your own herbal remedies at home and learning about the many plants, lichens, and mushrooms you can find out your own back door? If so please pick up a copy of my book: "The Lost Book Of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine" today!