7 Herbs + Edible Medicines to Help You Fight the Fall Flu
It’s that time of year again for most of the country. You know — the kids are back in school, touching all kinds of germy nastiness and playing with that questionable little friend who’s nose is always running.
Yep, the summer months with all that healing, protective sunshine have ended and the fall has arrived. For y’all. I’ll shamelessly admit that New Orleans has about 3 more months of summer to go. It’ll get cold here around December, maybe. I’m also lucky to have the boys in a homeschool program with only 4 other students…but they get bugs too.
I try to get my winter preparations – like extracts, oils and herbal honeys – ready pretty early so the herbs have plenty of time to sit and marinate.
I’m sharing my personal list of herbs and edible medicines (i.e. FOOD) that I use every year to keep my family healthy. Some of these things you may know, some are less familiar. All of them can be used to help your body maintain good immunity.
I love to say that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, but sometimes you don’t know that a bug done got you til you wake up feeling like a Mack truck rolled over you. In that case, you can still use these herbs to help your body fight better, faster. And they’re all safe and effective for the rugrats too.
7 Herbs to Help You Fight the Fall Flu
- Burdock Root – Not traditionally mentioned on lists dealing with colds & flu, Burdock root is a wonderful helper for our liver. When the body is overloaded with toxins, it’s much more difficult for the immune system to work. Before the flu starts “going around”, use burdock to get your liver and immunity in tip top shape. Remember, “an ounce of prevention.”
- Garlic – Garlic is one of the best antibiotics you can buy. Unlike other antibiotics, the body doesn’t “get used to it” so it always works. I use a TON of garlic in cooking so I always have lots on hand. It’s pretty hard to take it raw and can actually burn the lining of your intestines that way. Try adding more to your food or boiling and adding to tea to reap the benefits without the burn.
- Elderberries – These little berries are wonderful for so many reasons. They’ve shown positive action against ADHD and they’re great for flu season. The berries are high in vitamin C and can be combined with the flowers to make a great syrup for coughs, colds, bronchitis and more. Elderflowers can also be used alone to make a healing tea, especially for bronchitis.
- Turmeric – Is it me or is everyone singing the praises of turmeric right now? This yellow root “been on”, it’s just been waiting for folks to realize it. Along with being anti-cancer and anti-tumor, turmeric is also effective at detoxifying the body. Good thing we have some growing in the garden.
- Catnip – Another herb I keep in the garden is catnip. Catnip is my favorite herb for children – because it’s a gentle sedative. (Cuz I am not above using herbs to put a child to sleep.) Catnip is also great for calming the nerves – because stress leads to sickness. It helps your body fight colds, flu and fever by causing you to sweat without heating your systems.
- Lavender – I’m one of those people who will spread lavender and coconut oil over my whole life. It’s such a great all around helper. From disinfecting our house (and hands) to brewing in a calming tea. Lavender has antiviral and antibacterial properties that make it perfect for prevention and cure. Try using a few drops of lavender oil in your castille soap to disinfect door knobs, toys, and countertops during flu season.
- Ginger Root – Ginger is one of those things folks either love or hate. When it comes to your health, Imma need you to love it. It’s so useful when you’re fighting off viruses and bacteria. If it’s hard for you to stomach try juicing it with apples, kale, and other fruits and veggies. I also grate it into muffins and use it in our teas. Along with helping your digestion after a really big meal, ginger is also antiviral and anti-inflammatory so it helps fight off the bugs that cause colds and flu.
The underlying reason behind all those winter sickies is our systems being overloaded with toxins. The best way to fight infection is to detox your body before the “season” arrives. Detoxing kids can be a doozy but these herbs are easily added to tea (iced or hot), and meals so you can hide the healing :).