Herbs for Cold and Flu Season

At this time of year we tend to feel the effects that a long winter brings on our mental and physical being. It is important during our Canadian winters to keep focused on our overall wellness. Practicing self care and using immune boosters found from herbs is a great way to keep yourself feeling well and able. With the pandemic still surrounding us these tips and tricks can help us gain a sense of control and forward thinking as we try to keep ourselves healthy and safe. 

**I would like to disclose now that I am in no way a doctor or health practitioner. All information is provided for knowledge building only. Please see your Doctor/Naturopath before taking any new supplements or herbs.**

Before we jump into some great immune supporting herbs there are some other things you can be doing to help support your body throughout the winter months. 

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet, high in vegetables that reflects the season, low in dairy, carbohydrates, and meats. Soups, bakes and stews are all great hearty meals that are packed with nutrients.
  • Get lots of rest, de-stress and exercise regularly.
  • Practice good hygiene. Routine is the best way to keep track of this. Wash your hands regularly. 

Herbs can be added into your daily life in many ways by drinking teas, tinctures, and adding into recipes. Here is a short list of some great herbs to take over the course of the colder months. 

Echinacea: One of the most common herbs used to combat the common cold. Triggers the immune system into action by encouraging the building of extra white blood cells. Use for up to 14 days at a time, then rest for at least 14 days before taking it again. Great for immune boosts and has anti-inflammatory properties. I have found drinking echinacea tea is currently my favourite method as it also helps sooth a soar throat and warms the body. Can be mixed with lemon or ginger. 

Raspberry Leaf: High in Vitamin C and folate, calcium, iron, zinc. Has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Personally, I enjoy drinking raspberry leaf teas with some local honey. This herb is a great for women, here is a great link to read more: https://thepracticalherbalist.com/advanced-herbalism/raspberry-the-female-toner/

Elderberry: Supports the strengthening of cell walls. Nutritive, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Rich with antioxidants. Elderberry syrup is a great way to get these properties into your system. 

During the pandemic many of us have experienced feelings of uncertainty and despair while we struggle to keep our sense of normality. However, I believe there is comfort in knowing there are things within our ability that can help support our general help. By partaking in some simple herbal and self care practices I have personally found that the structure of this routine has not only improved my mental health, it also keeps me in tune with my body. A great way to start is just by having a herbal tea in the evening while making time for yourself to ‘unwind’ from the day. 

I hope some of this information can give you a little bit of motivation as it has for me, and I can’t wait to continue sharing some herbal practices for daily use.

Stay well, stay safe everyone. 

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