The Herb’s Eye View On Cold and Flu Season
As we come into the winter season with all its colds, flu, sore throats and respiratory distress; it can only be helpful to approach this season with a healthy Immune System.
One of the myths about colds and the flu is that they are brought about by the winter’s cold weather. Actually it is quite the opposite. Because we tend to keep our home and or work environment warmer, we create a petri dish effect that encourages the growth of bacteria and viruses. So as their numbers survive and grow in the warmth, we are more likely to come in contact with them.
So it is important not to have a compromised immune system during the winter months. It is also helpful to wash your hands frequently, especially in public places. Our immune system is what fights off seasonal and other maladies.
There are many herbs that can be quite helpful in this endeavor. They range from astragalus root, kelps, mushrooms, garlic, onions, beets, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and any fruit or vegetable high in vitamin C. A good vitamin C supplement is also acceptable, do 1000 mg. per day. These various herbs can be done as tea, capsules and tinctures or in a pot of immune support soup.
Here is just one such recipe. Start by filling a muslin tie string bag (available at health or herbs stores) with a tablespoon of each of the following herbs; any or all of these herbs can be used:
- Astragals (use 4 – 5 sticks)
- Echinacea purpurea
- Dandelion root
- Fo ti
- Burdock root
- ½ teaspoon Ginger root (fresh is best)
- ¼ teaspoon Yellowdock
- 1 teaspoon Cleavers
- Clover whole blossoms
- Rieshi mushroom (small piece)
Cut lots of vegetables into big chunks, put in pot with lots of onions and garlic. Add lots of water, so it’s very soupy. Put the bag of herbs in with the whole mess and add the aforementioned spices. Cook in crock-pot for 6+ hours. At this time you could pull off some juice and add 1 heaping tablespoon of miso, put back in pot. The miso adds enzymes for digestion. Do not boil or you will kill the enzymes. Pull out the bag of herbs and discard. Now, soup is ready to serve. If someone was quite ill, you could strain off and just give the broth. Soup will last up to 4 – 5 days in the refrigerator.
That’s a wrap for this week. Any questions, I can be reached at [email protected] Keep it simple and keep your immune system supported.