If you're looking for natural remedies for colds and the flu, try growing medicinal herbs like elderberry and ginger to boost your respiratory health. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)
Before the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), people wouldn't always feel the need to go to the doctor's clinic if they are experiencing respiratory ailments. Many respiratory illnesses are viral, and a doctor would often send a patient home with the advice to rest, drink plenty of fluids, take some medication and a large medical bill.
If you have the winter sniffles, here are some herbal alternatives to consider if you prefer natural remedies.
You can grow echinacea, specifically Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea, if you want to have access to an herbal medicine that can help with certain health issues.
According to Cat Ellis book "Prepper's Natural Medicine," cold and flu aren't the best use of this herb. However, Ellis recommends echinacea in her elderberry and echinacea elixir, which is effective against rhinovirus. (Related: Study shows compounds in ancient herbal medicine can help increase longevity.)
Elderberry syrup is easy to make and it can help with colds and the flu.
Elderberry is an antiviral herb, meaning it attacks and destroys invading virus cells. If you take elderberry syrup within 48 hours of contracting the flu, it can help shorten the duration of your sickness. The herb is also a natural immune booster.
Elderberries are full of beneficial flavonoids, especially anthocyanins which are responsible for their deep purple, almost black, color. These powerful antioxidants help boost your immune health.
Anthocyanins clear your body of free radicals that damage cells at the DNA level. These compounds also have antiviral properties that may prevent or reduce the severity of certain common infections.
Keep in mind that if you want to make elderberry syrup, you should only use the fruits and berries because the rest of the plant is toxic.
If you want to grow elderberry, note that the plant is a large bush. If you are going to grow elderberry in a container, you should use a container that's at least 24 inches across and 20 inches deep.
You might need two compatible plants since elderberry requires cross-pollination. Also, elderberry might take over your garden so keep it contained in a large pot or bucket.
Another option is to forage for elderberries to make syrup.
Try the recipe below to make elderberry syrup at home:
You can grow some ginger at home by placing a fresh rhizome about two inches long in sandy soil and water.
Moisten the ginger occasionally with a spray bottle of water. After about five weeks, you should have enough ginger to break a piece off of as needed. Care for the plant so it will continue to grow.
Here is a recipe for a homemade ginger honey lemon tonic:
Ingredients for one serving:
Slippery elm has many uses. It can help support respiratory health and relieve associated ailments.
Star anise can help with respiratory ailment support, but make sure you are using the Chinese evergreen Illicium verum.
Don't take Illicium anisatum, the Japanese version, which is toxic.
Follow this recipe if you want a soothing tea made with ginger, slippery elm and star anise. This will help if you are dealing with a cough and sore throat:
Ingredients for one serving:
The longer you let the mixture sit, the more gelled (thicker) the slippery elm bark will become. If you increase the amount of slippery elm powder, the tea will have a more gelled consistency.
This cough drop recipe is made with ginger and chocolate, orange and honey. Take some cough drops if you have a cold, a cough or a sore throat.
Grow plants like elderberry or ginger in your garden so you have access to medicinal herbs that can help boost your respiratory health and protect against a cold or the flu.
Watch the video below to learn about the health benefits of ginger.
This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on Brighteon.com.