It is here…the dreaded cold and flu season. It has hit my home in the form of nasty colds for three out of four of us so far. I’m the one to escape its clutches and I’m determined to keep it that way. If you are not so lucky to escape this winter without getting sick or want to be prepared, here are a few simple herbal recipes that can really help you make it through.
1. Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill any bacteria. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.
- Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties) .
- Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
- Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
- Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
- Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
- Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
- This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses.
2. Hot Ginger Tea
This is one of the best teas to sip when you’re feeling stuffed up and congested. As a microbial, ginger provides a range of application for cold and flu, as a digestive aid, and as a general anti-inflammatory. The ginger is delicious, warming, a just a little spicy. Herbalists use ginger’s anti-microbial activity to thin mucous, as well as its diaphoretic action to help the body progress through infection or cold/flu. The below recipe is for an infusion, rather than a decoction (which is when you actively steep the herb in simmering water), but you can do either or.
You will need…
6-8 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
A squirt of lemon juice (optional)
A dash of honey (optional)
4 cups of freshly boiled water
A glass jar (at least 1 quart)
Place the ginger in a 1 quart glass and sprinkle in some cinnamon if you are using it. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and then carefully pour it into the jar to cover the ginger. Steep for 30-40 minutes, and be sure to cover your jar-this is important because it keeps all that evaporating essential oil goodness right where it belongs-in your cup! Strain (use hot mitts or a towel as the jar may still be quite warm) and then pour yourself a piping fresh mug. You may find that you want to reheat the tea slightly. Add honey and lemon if you are using them, sip and savor, and be sure to breathe in the steam. Store the rest of the tea in the fridge for up to 24 hours, reheating and drinking 3 to 4 times throughout the day.
3. Honey and Cinnamon Remedy -for Coughs
Pour some honey in a small container ( I used an 8 ounce mason jar) and mix in some cinnamon to taste. Take one spoonful as needed to quiet cough. Both cinnamon and honey are anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and the honey coats and soothes the throat.
4. Lemon Mint Tea – for Colds
You will need…
- This remedy is excellent for colds.
- 1/4 cup dried peppermint leaves
- 1/4 cup dried lemon balm leaves
- 3 Tbsp dried organic lemon rind, grated
Combine Ingredients. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and steep 1 -2 Tbsp of the herb mixture in the water for 15 minutes; strain and drink. This is delicious both hot or iced.
5. Garlic Honey – for Colds, Sore Throat, Flu, and Sinus Infections
Garlic is know to pack a powerful punch as an immune booster. It contains allicin and other sulphur compounds which make it antibacterial. anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. To release these medicinal compounds, garlic must be crushed or chopped raw.
You will need…
- 3 fresh garlic bulbs
- Raw local wildflower honey
- Clean, sterilized, dry jar and lid
- Peel and separate the garlic cloves and chop finely or grate. Let sit for 10 minutes
- Fill a jar 1/2 full with chopped garlic cloves
- Cover with honey. May be used immediately but will keep for a few weeks.
- Place 1 Tbsp in tea several times a day during active infection
6. Cayenne Cough Kicker
While this remedy is not exactly tasty, it really packs a punch to soothes a sore throat and help to stop coughing.
You will need…
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon honey
Dissolve the spices in the vinegar and water (if you’re making a larger batch, do this in your storage container). Add honey and shake it up.