The holidays (and colder weather) are just around the corner and you know what that means? The best time for flus and viruses is when each family and friends get together and spread a virus or two around to others while enjoying the holidays. There is a way to prevent illness by cooking food with herbs that prevent illness.
Now is the time of year to boost the immune system with herbs that help prevent ailments. The holidays allow more viruses to spread as people get together to celebrate the upcoming holidays.
Eating will run rampant with all the great food during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Since you’ll be eating all this good food you might as well use herbs and spices that will enhance you and your guest’s immune system.
Herbs to Boost the Immune System
Adding turmeric to soups, stew and rice is a good start as well as adding sage and mushrooms to salads, stuffing, or even a big bowl of sauté mushrooms. They all contain ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant, which doesn’t get destroyed by the cooking process.
Add avocados during the winter months to support your adrenal function and keep your immune system happy. Avocados also have essential amino acid, antioxidants, and healthy fat to balance hormone production. A 1/2 cup of avocados a day will serve your adrenal system just fine.
Other Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Add green vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and berries to your diet to keep your immune system strong, so it can fight off the viruses that are transmitted during the holidays.
Here is a recipe found at Motherearthliving that will enhance your immune system, if you catch the flu. It also boosts the immune system to fight off viruses and other bugs hanging around looking for a host.
Elderberry Cordial Recipe
1 quart fresh, ripe elderberries, stems removed or 1 ounce dried elderberries
1 cup water
1 teaspoon-size piece of whole fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon whole cloves
Combine elderberries and water. Simmer over low heat for 40 minutes, or until berries release their juices with the help of a potato masher.
Strain pulp and seeds from hot berry juice and return liquid to a clean pot. Add the ginger and cloves. Simmer 15 minutes and strain again.
Measure amount of spicy elderberry infusion, then add an equal part honey and a half part good brandy. Stir until honey melts and is incorporated well with juice and brandy. Allow to cool completely.
Bottle and store in the refrigerator until it can be enjoyed on the first chilly night of fall or the upcoming holidays. Click here to download these two recipes.
—Recipe courtesy of Hollerbeier Haven, newsletter of The Three Sisters Center (e-mail: Thr3Sisters@aol.com).
Echinacea – The Mother of Prevention
Of course, Echinacea is not only immune boosting during the flu, but it can help prevent illness since your immune system will be strong and healthy. Any bugs trying to get in will be killed by your immune system.
The easiest way to get your daily dose of Echinacea is to take a tincture, but you can also take a capsule as well as a nice cup of Echinacea tea. Add a teaspoon of nettles and you’ll be set to fight off most illness.
Echinacea also promotes tissue regeneration and scar formation, so taking a daily dose is more beneficial than fighting off illness.
At the first sign of flu or a cold, take 1 teaspoon an hour until symptoms go away. For daily use, (during flu season) use one dropper full on an empty stomach. Take for a month and rest the body for a week and start taking for another month. When cold and flu season is over, you can still take Echinacea tincture or a tea once or twice a week to strengthen the immune system.
For the kids:
If you do happen to catch a bug, then using a wild cherry cough syrup along with Echinacea will keep the symptoms of the flu down as well as get you over the flu faster.
Rosemary Gladstar has the perfect solution to flus and colds. She actually keeps a pot of it cooking on the back burner of the stove during flu season. Her formula follows below and is very effective in preventing colds and flus.
Hair Raising Cider
Make a batch and keep it around for cold and flu season
1 quart vinegar
1 onion, chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish, bottled if you don’t have fresh
2 tablespoons powdered turmeric
Cayenne — just a pinch
1 cup local honey, store bought honey, if you don’t have access to local honey
Combine vinegar, horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric, and a pinch or two or three of cayenne in a glass bottle. Let sit for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain, then add the honey and rebottle. Refrigerate. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons at the first sign of the flu or a cold. Take every 2 to 3 hours until symptoms subside. Click here to download these two recipes.
If you have a lot of family members over for the holidays, you might want to make this up and let it sit on the back burner of the stove for those dropping by bringing in more germs. When it runs low, add more ingredients.
— Recipe courtesy of Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, p76
Below is a list of herbs for various types of ailments – you don’t have to make a tincture or any of the formulas. You can use the herbs and make a tea or grind them to make capsules, whatever you are more comfortable taking. Use one teaspoon of each herb and pour hot water over them. Let them steep for 3 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want the taste.
I do have to warn you, some of the herbs don’t taste very good, but they will help prevent and heal any cold or flu.
Colds, flu, colds
Catarrh and congestion
Shortness of breath
- Sea buckthorn
What do to take to keep the flu and colds away from you and your family?
The Herbal Explores – always exploring herbs and how they work –