When we were children, most of us didn’t have a care in the world during the snowy months. No jacket, no scarf, no hat, no precaution (we were invincible, or at least that’s what we thought). But nowadays, we go to great lengths to protect ourselves during the cold and flu season.
Germs thrive in colder weather, passing from person to person while we’re pent up indoors with windows closed. To help combat germ transmission, I turn to the healing power of herbs.
Green medicines are my family’s go-to for boosting immune function and warding off cold symptoms — and the science now shows (without a doubt) that they work!
Used for centuries to combat all types of illnesses, many herbs have antibacterial and antiviral properties that help to improve resistance to infections. And when it comes to boosting your immune system and fending off those pesky colds, there are specific herbal remedies that everyone should have in their natural medicine chest.
To give you a spoonful of wellness, we’re sharing two super easy herbal recipes that will boost and protect your immune system as we descend into the colder months.
Recipe #1 Chai Tea Immune Booster
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than a nice cup of hot tea to warm you up and relax you.
The tea recipe below is spicy, creamy, and perfect for the holidays, especially when topped with star anise or a cinnamon stick.
This tasty tea is also effective at strengthening your immune system thanks to its adaptogenic properties…
Adaptogens and adaptogenic herbs, like ashwagandha and shatavari, have the amazing ability to work with your body to restore balance. They “adapt” to whatever stressors (whether physical, chemical, or biological) that are attacking your body and increase white blood cells when necessary to reduce your stress response.
Top that off with the antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory healing properties of ginger, cinnamon, and honey, and you have yourself a tea that is sure to get you through the blistering cold and flu season…
Not to mention, this trio combination also helps to soothe your gut (where the majority of your immune system resides!).
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 tbsp dried holy basil (also known as tulsi)
- 1/4 tbsp dried ashwagandha root (chopped)
- 1/4 tbsp dried shatavari root (chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped)
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Raw honey to taste
- Milk or almond milk to taste
- Combine water with holy basil, ashwagandha, shatavari, and ginger in a small saucepan and heat on medium.
- Once liquid comes to a slight boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Strain out herbs.
- Pour into two mugs, and allow to cool to lukewarm. Add honey and milk to taste. This helps to sweeten and cut some of the spice. Enjoy!
Recipe #2 Herbal Cider Immunity Syrup
Many have heard of the famous herbal remedy called Fire Cider. We’ve even featured it a few times on our site. It’s an immune booster I stand behind and routinely use. But if Fire Cider isn’t for you, here’s another powerful herbal cider blend to try.
It’s similar to Fire Cider, but incorporates a few different herbs and eliminates the “fire.” Because of the heat used in Fire Cider, some people with autoimmune disorders have to proceed with caution.
This herbal cider immunity syrup uses some of the core medicinal herbs used in Fire Cider including:
- Horseradish – combats sinus congestion
- Ginger – aids in respiratory support
- Cinnamon – helps with digestion, gas, and bloating
- Garlic – has antiviral and antimicrobial properties
- Turmeric – fights inflammation
But instead of adding peppers, this herbal syrup uses fruit to get the immune system in drive.
Oranges, fresh rosehips, and elderberries are all loaded with vitamin C — which helps to reduce the duration of cold symptoms. Rosehips and elderberries also have very strong anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which greatly improves your immunity by inhibiting the flu virus from attacking your healthy cells.
70% to 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, so it stands to reason that to have a strong immune system you must have a healthy gut. This is where the apple cider vinegar comes into play. ACV contains gut-friendly bacteria that keeps your digestive system happy and functioning properly.
- 1/2 cup fresh horseradish root, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh orange peel
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp dried rosehips
- 1 tbsp dried elderberries
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp whole clove
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar with “the mother”
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- Combine all herbs in a glass jar and pour vinegar on top. Leave one inch from the top.
- Cover jar with wax paper and secure lid.
- Shake to combine.
- Store in a dry and dark spot for 4 weeks. Shake periodically.
- Strain out the herbs and stir honey into the remaining infused liquid until dissolved.
Take 1 tablespoon daily for immune support or to increase daily frequency if you are experiencing cold/flu symptoms.
Herbs are truly nature’s medicine. There’s almost nothing they can’t do.
Protect yourself this cold and flu season with these two herbal immunity boosters. They take minutes to make and have lasting health benefits that will keep you enjoying the most wonderful time of the year!
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science
I’m looking for a natural way to fight off the stomach bug . And chest congestion
These remedies may be useful to you. However, depending on the symptoms you may wish to use or avoid certain herbs. These recipes are more helpful to keep your immune system strong and resilient to avoid sickness. When treating an active illness, other remedies may be more suitable.
Stop eating food rich in toxic sugar, will also help not getting the flu.
It is a hard thing to do, as most food manufacturers shove toxic sugar in their products, it is done so you eat more and it gives brilliant results.
Yes, dietary changes will help in many areas for vibrant health, wellness, and resiliency!
For the chai immune booster tea is 1/4 Tbsp. correct?That would be equal to 11/2 tsps.
It looks fantastic!
Yes, that is the proper amount. You may choose to use less initially and modify the recipe to your taste.
These recipes are much appreciated!
Wisdom from the ages helps so very much during these difficult times! (Just to add to your recepies..old Eastern European Cure:
2-3 TBS. Chopped Garlic; 2-3 TBS. Chopped White Radish; 2-3Tbs. Chopped Ginger; cover completely with Good Strong Whiskey or Brandy; let set. Ingest one (1) TBS. Every 3 hrs. Followed by hot tea with lemon & honey!! – This recipe is used when one is really GRIPPED with all those horrible Flu Symptoms! It works like a Charm! in 2-3 days!) Best regards!
Awesome tip! Thanks for sharing this folk medicine recipe with us!
Hi I have enjoyed ‘Remedy’ bought the set too! My sons both have eczema, one on the back of his knees and the other on his face, and behind his ears. I would like to know how to help them if not to cure, at least ease their discomfort. Btw, they are in their late thirties. Thank you so much!
Good question – yes, there are lifestyle remedies they can do to help. Firstly, nutrition and diet are key. You can look at the anti-inflammatory diet by Dr. Andrew Weil. Eliminate dairy, wheat and sugar from the diet. Increase water intake, if they are thirsty throughout the day, they are already dehydrated. Next, eliminate any artificial fragrances from their life – cologne, soap (body and hand), laundry detergent, cleaning products. Fragrances show up everywhere in modern life so look at the labels. Natural fiber clothes will be helpful too, avoid unnatural fabrics. Other than that, it may be best to work with a local practitioner who can individualize and optimize treatment options. Hope this helps!
Are these remedies safe for breastfeeding women?
Good question. The herbs listed are not traditionally noted as suppressing lactation of being harmful to the nursing baby. The said, any herbs listed that the nursing mother is allergic to are to be avoided. These herbs are mostly Kitchen herbs and common foods, so these are well-known for their safety. Hope this helps!
Omit sugar, dairy and gluten from your diet and that will be the best thing that you can do for health and immunity. Those 3 culprits lead to leaky gut/candida yeast overgrowth which then clogs the lymphatic system. During flu season and pandemic Cat’s Claw herb, 3 tablets per day is strong protection against viruses and the common cold.
Thanks for sharing those tips!
Excellent article !!!
A much overlooked herb, fenugreek has a plethora of applications to dis-eases.
In general its regular use keeps the body clean and healthy.
Can be made into living sprouts for high nutritional value.
The leaves are aromatic, cooling and laxative.
The seeds exercise a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes, relieving any irritation of the skin and alleviating swelling and pain.
Relieves flatulence and also promotes lactation in nursing mothers.
Highly mucous solvent so good for winter sinus conditions.
To your good health
Absolutely, great insights! Thanks for sharing!
Can the apple cider mixture be used before the 4 weeks? or it needs 4 weeks in order to have the affects? Wondering if I can use now if have a cold/cough?
The intent of this article is welcome and health-oriented. Fine. The information could be improved by thorough research, important research that can truly aid the independent reader – you know, the one who thinks for her/himself. 1. How can anything be antiviral when there are no pathogenic viruses? Go ahead. Ask the independent scientists, the ones who challenge the status quo 2. The terrain theory has always trumped the germ theory. Okay, bacteria ain’t so good, not all of them. Germs? Deeply research Pasteur and his admitted flaws. Again, the article intent is worthy, and no one is ever perfect. Good luck.
I have made this recipe Freaking AAWESOME!! taste good too!!
Thank you for sharing