Beat Cold & Flu ~ Vol. 3: 8 Medicinal Herbs to Minimize Symptoms

There are innumerable medicinal plants out there. They can be used to support getting you through the cold & flu, our homeostasis, and our immunity.

"Waters are distilled out of herbs, flowers, fruits, and roots"

–Nicholas Culpeper


Plants work on 'specific' indications — what kind of cough you are experiencing? where in your body are you congested? Are you shivering or experiencing hot flashes? There are so many ranges of symptoms. Plants can offer relief for your particular symptoms. Opening up to them and using herbs accurately is the key to be blessed with plants and... nature.

⚠︎ Herbs should be prepared in medicinal level (Strong infusion, Decoction, Tincture...)

◊ Astragalus (root):

Traditional Chinese herb. Great immune enhancement & tonic when weak and recovering from: colds, flu, bronchitis, and other upper respiratory tract infections.

    ***Avoid when in actively sick (such as feverish condition) due to its anti-diaphoretic action, which helps hot-flash/sweating from menopause.

   Preparation: Decoction, Tincture

◊ Echinacea (flower & root):

Traditionally a trusted herb for cold & flu, especially for prevention and early stages of onset. It should be taken frequently through the day to act on active cold & flu.

Its anti-microbial action can work on infections of the upper respiratory tract.

   Preparation: Infusion, Tincture, Electuary, Vinegar, Oxymel, Syrup, Oil, Steam

◊ Elecampane (root):

Coughing with mucus is our body's attempt to expel mucus out of the lungs. It's a necessary step in the healing process. Suppressing this natural healing step can cause mucus trapped in lungs, also lead to additional infections.

Elecampane works as expectorant, helping mucus leaving a respiratory tract.

   ***Great 'Prebiotic' as well. Probiotics (a kind of fiber) works as nutritional fertilizers for good bacterias in our gut, where 80% of our immunity is located.

   Preparation: Decoction, Infusion, Tincture, Honey

◊ Monarda:

Its strong anti-microbial action treats a host of infections — cough, sneezing, nasal discharge and congestion, fever, sore throat etc...

   ***oil Infusion, honey infusion, and strong infusion are useful methods to apply.

   Preparation: Infusion, Tincture, Electuary, Vinegar, Oxymel, Syrup, Oil, Steam

◊ Marshmallow (root & leaf):

Dry cough (without mucus) may be an indication that your respiratory tract may be dry and irritated. Marshmallow root has actions to soothe, moisten and cool down; it can be taken for dry/irritating coughs or an inflamed throat.

   ***DO NOT infuse Marshmallow with hot water, use cold ~ lukewarm water and let it sit at least for 4 hrs (over-night is ideal).

   Preparation: Infusion, Oil, Syrup, Capsule

◊ Mullein:

Very versatile herb for a respiratory issue! It has similar properties to Marshmallow, including soothing, toning, and cooling inflammations, while stimulating fluid production.

For a painful, cracking cough and cough coming from deep place (M. Wood), Mullein will show its benefits.  

   ***Plantain (leaf) can be used in the same box.

   Preparation: Decoction (root & seed), Tincture, Infusion (leaf & flower), Oil, Capsule

◊ Wild cherry bark:

Another known cough remedy in history. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, and cooling properties. It's great especially for a persistent cough, and irritating, tickling throat — Calming spasmodic coughs.

   Preparation: Infusion, Tincture, Syrup

◊ Wild lettuce:

Not only calming spasmodic coughs or cooling heated lungs, but also super sedative and calming (physically and mentally). This potency helps those who wake up over night from non-stop irritating coughs and induce better sleep. SLEEP is the MOST important while sick!

   ***This herb is not very widely sold, so do some research in your area! Here is one location in NYC.

   Herbs & Alchemist, Mountain Rose Herbs, Woodland Essence are online vendors carrying Wild lettuce.

   Preparation: Infusion, Tincture