There are many herbs that help our immune system and aide the body when healing or recovering from an illness. I recommend using fresh whenever possible even growing them yourself. If getting fresh herbs is not possible you are still able to use dried but ensure you get them from a trusted and reputable supplement store or online retailer.
Some naturopaths/ herbalist say this is the only needed herbs for health and healing. It is a powerful herbal remedy as it contains large amounts of vitamins and trace minerals while also helping the body stay hydrated and remove toxins.
One of my highly recommended methods to take nettle leaf whilst ill is in a tea. As well as a powerful healer it is exceptionally delicious regardless of the deep and fluorescent green you may see in the glass before you! The nettle leaf should be simmered in water with raspberry leaf, Alfalfa and Peppermint making a powerful immune supporting and illness preventing remedy.
Elderberry is well known for supporting the body, especially during flu. You can find conventionally made elderberry syrups at many holistic or herbal stores now, or to save money, make your own. If you do buy from a non-holistic retailer always ensure that the elderberry is pure and not simply a flavored sugar syrup.
Ginger may be taken in 2 differing ways to aide with healing when you are ill. I would always advocate the use of fresh ginger however if you have a problem with the strong taste of you may take it in capsule form which is widely available in good health food stores.
If you opt to use fresh ginger you should steep 2-3 inches of ginger root, no need to peel, in 3 cups of boiling water. This ginger tea drink will assist with sinus issues and any congestion. Ginger will help enormously with any nausea and vomiting associated with the flu and also helps to combat high fever and headache
Yarrow is one of the best herbs if combating flu or fever. If used as a tea at the beginning of an illness it will usually shorten the illness to less than 24 hours. It is especially good for combating fever as it induces perspiration and allows the body to rid itself of toxins.
Because Yarrow is naturally bitter, it is often good to include peppermint and stevia leaf when making a tea. This simply adds natural sweetness and refreshing elements to the tea and makes it more appetising, especially for children. Yarrow tea is an excellent aide for the liver and kidneys and supports the endocrine system.
An absolute staple for health. Chamomile calms the nerves, aides sleep and reduces inflammation or fever. Soaking a chamomile tea bag in warm water and placing over an eye for 15 minutes every 2 hours will also relieve conjunctivitis in less than 24 hours. Chamomile tastes great so is usually the best tea to give children. As well as using chamomile for treatment of flu and fever it is also great for regulating hormones, excellent for the skin and if used regularly will promote and aide good sleep.
Peppermint is excellent for all digestive disturbances and for lowering fever. It can be used as a tea or mashed into olive oil and rubbed on the skin to bring a high fever down. It is antimicrobial and antiviral so highly beneficial. It is an excellent herb to use in times of illness as if used as a hot or cold tea, unlike many herbal products, you can consume unlimited amounts safely. Peppermint is highly recommended for children.
While it may sound strange Catnip is a traditional cold and flu remedy. It helps induce sleep and settles the stomach. As a tea it is a great herb for combating flu, cold or other illnesses. I promise you won’t start rubbing on the legs of guests or purring loudly when scratched behind the ears.
This herb is very high in nutrients. Red Clover is well known for purifying the blood and relaxing the body. More widely it has been used in hormonal preparations, but is also useful in treating almost any illness when steeped in hot water and taken as a hot or cold tea. As clover has a bitter taste you may sweeten with a little honey or add the steeped liquid to your prepared peppermint tea.
Fish oil is probably best associated with promoting cholesterol health but it is also an excellent addition to daily health promotion and aides quicker recovery when ill. Fish oil is also now beginning to gain wider popularity due to the suggested benefits to Crohn’s patients. Since Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties, a diet rich in omega-3 is considered helpful to reduce Crohn’s symptoms
As with any supplement or holistic herbal remedy if you suffer from a long term chronic illness or take prescription medication it is always advisable to talk to your doctor before adding any other type of treatments. While the above treatments are all safe to use and widely accepted it is possible that there could be an interaction with pharmaceuticals and therefore a discussion with your health professional is always advised.