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Herbs have been used as natural remedies for colds and flu and are well-known for helping to build and strengthen the immune system. They can help keep you healthy and help you get better should you get sick, They can also help to ease the symptoms of colds & flu. Herb Lore offers a detailed article on natural remedies for colds and flu under our Premium Articles section, that includes herbal and natural suggestions for ear infection, fever, and even yeast infections. You can access this information here or at the link at the bottom of this page. In the meantime, here is a summary of some of the herbs used for illness and to help strengthen the immune system so that you stay healthy. (These products are safe and appropriate for use by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers unless otherwise noted.)
To help you stay healthy: Astragalus used on a daily basis helps to build and strengthen the immune system, helping you stay strong and healthy. It’s a fantastic herb for those who get sick easily or frequently, for those who seem to get sick each season. It's also helpful for kids who are starting school, when they seem to be sick constantly and bring home everything. Astragalus is a natural remedy that helps build and strengthen the immune system so to help one from getting sick in the first place.
What to take should you get sick: Echinacea works extremely well. It stimulates the immune system to help combat the cold or flu virus, even bacterial infections. Echinacea stimulates white blood cell production (our body's infection fighters) to help fight illness or infection. Note: This herb should be used no longer than two weeks at a time, otherwise your body will get used to it and it can become less effective.
If there is infection with yellow goop: Goldenseal. This herb is an effective infection-fighter and works like a natural antibiotic. Its a great natural remedy for sinus infection, or any infection where there is "yellow goop". Note: Do not use for longer than two weeks at a time as it can impact the balance of gut bacteria. Not for use by pregnant women until the due date. (We no longer carry Goldenseal because it has become endangered. We encourage you to use this herb with care and only as needed so as to not contribute to its endangered status.)
For coughs: Quiet Cough Formula. This helps quiet the irritating spasmodic cough, leaving you with one or two coughs that are productive to help keep the lungs clear. Most cough remedies sold over the counter stop cough completely, which causes the secretions to sit stagnant in the lungs for hours at a time. Once the cough syrup wears off, those stagnant secretions may have now become infected, and are even thicker and harder to clear, which poses a risk of infection or pneumonia. Products like that can make the situation even worse. This product however, keeps a little coughing present – perhaps one or two which are good and productive - helping keep the lungs clear and mucous moving out, while stopping the excessive, painful and spasmodic cough. Because the Quiet Cough Formula is not appropriate for pregnant women or breastfeeding women, Mullein is an appropriate and effective alternative. It's a great choice for very young children too.
For alleviating symptoms of cold & flu and making one feel more comfortable: Cold Comfort Tincture. This combination of herbs has traditionally been used as a natural remedy to help combat cold and/or flu symptoms, including fever. It may also shorten illness duration. It’s great for use in combination with Echinacea. The Cold Comfort Tincture is not appropriate for pregnant women, but the Echinacea is fine.
For overall health and for those who are nutritionally-challenged and depleted: Moringa. Read HERE for details on it's nutritional status and the numerous and amazing ways that it can help you. This herb can also help support and increase breastmilk production in women who are nursing. This is helpful as when a mom is sick, her milk production can go down, so this herb is perfect to help her regain her health while keeping her milk production plentiful. Moringa should not be used by women who are trying to conceive or who are in their first trimester of pregnancy,
For those with auto-immune disorders, please remember that using herbs to stimulate, build or strengthen the immune system may also trigger your autoimmune disorder. Please check with your doctor before using these herbs, especially Astragalus and Echinacea.
Herbs for the Immune System and the Cold & Flu Season - the In-Depth Version ~~
Ear Infections, Eye Infections, Fevers, Coughs, Colds, Flu, and even Yeast Infections!
In this article, you will learn how to:
- deal with fevers and learn what purpose they serve
- ease and even prevent ear infections
- how to clear eye infections
- eliminate a yeast infection
- balance and regulate the intestinal and digestive system,
- why you should NOT use Echinacea and Goldenseal for prolonged periods of time.
Products Discussed in this Article
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written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist --- Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist