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What is your favourite herbal cold/flu remedy or preventative?

 
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Herbal remedies or preventatives for colds and flu are on my mind just now as my older daughter and I have been fighting off some sort of 'bug' for the past week and I do feel that elderberries and mullein pulled us through.

This is the first year we've taken elderberries. My younger daughter had gifted us some elderberry syrup she made earlier in the fall, and we've been perfectly healthy through several local epidemics where it seemed everyone around us was coming down with whatever the seasonal illness of the week was, as long as we were taking that syrup. Alas we ran out of it last week, at the start of a week of snowstorms that had us stormbound at home.

And that was when we started getting the scratchy throat, coughing, chills, upset stomach, fatigue and achiness. From the symptoms I would have said we had the flu, but the intensity was more like a moderately bad cold. For that, I think the residual effects of the elderberry syrup may have saved us from the worst - with those symptoms you'd think we'd be incapacitated but in fact I was still able to go out and feed livestock and haul in firewood - just not as much stamina as usual.

Once we started getting the sore throats, on the day after we ran out of elderberry syrup, I started dosing us with mullein tea. I have been using mullein for colds since the kids were little - over 20 years. I collect and dehydrate several big mason jars of mullein leaves most years, as a winter supply for tea in cold/flu season. This year I was mixing it with honey and maple syrup, and it was the best relief I could imagine for a sore throat. We started feeling a lot better after a couple days of that.

As soon as I felt the first scratchy throat, to avoid having to cook if I got sick, I made a big crockpot of soup using dried beans and chickpeas, homemade chicken stock from the freezer, and odds and ends of celery, a can of tomatoes, an onion, and a bit of bacon. Threw in a bunch of dried herbs, probably thyme, lots of cayenne, turmeric, garlic, etc. Added whatever mullein tea was left in the pot. Lived off that for most of the week.

Younger daughter came to visit on the weekend after the roads improved, and brought elderberries. We put up two mason jars of syrup, so there's a good supply in the fridge now. She also reminded me there was some storebought licorice/ginger tea in the cupboard that would be a good immune booster, so we started adding that to the pot along with the mullein leaves.

At the grocery store today, we ran into a friend who seems to have the same thing but worse, described it as 'stabbing knives in the throat' and had all the other symptoms. She was waiting for the results of a throat swab for strep and told me what she'd been taking for the 'bug' - every possible throat spray and chemical-based cold remedy on the store shelves I think, and had her antibiotic prescription in hand to be used depending on the test results. Someone else I know has had it for weeks and can't shake it. Neither of these people has been using any herbs. Obviously everyone's immune system is different and I can't say for sure that the herbal remedies are what made a difference for us. But older daughter and I both have asthma and she has disabilities and has never had a robust immune system. She's never liked tea particularly but was asking for the mullein tea several times a day when she was feeling rotten - and not at all since she started feeling much better, now that I think about it. Obviously it was what her body needed, at the time. I took one advil one time during the worst of it when my muscles and joints were hurting and I was about to go out and load a wheelbarrow with firewood and haul loads of wood up a flight of stairs to the stove. Otherwise neither of us took anything for the bug.

What are your go-to herbal remedies for winter cold/flu season?

 
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Hello Andrea,

I love elderberries and mullein. They are both really wonderful healing allies for the respiratory tract. In answer to your question. Here is what I often do. Simple things really.

If I feel a cold coming on:
I like to make a strong cup of Ginger tea and lemon: Squeeze 1/4 - 1/2 a fresh lemon (depends on size of lemon) into the cup, add the leftover lemon peel and pulp to the cup (just drop it all in), add a tea ball with grated ginger (the size of the end of your thumb) then add hot water and a tiny bit of honey. I mush up the lemon pulp and peel a bit with the back of a spoon while mixing the honey in. This is a great way to get your vitamin C and other antioxidants. It keeps both colds and flus away and is helpful if you have a sore throat and/or cough. Both lemon and lime help decrease colds and flus as well as reduce mucus.

Nasal congestion:
When you need to get rid of nasal congestion short term, using Yarrow tea or tincture can do just the trick. A few drops of tincture under the tongue will start to clear up your nose and decrease the congestion in your tissues quickly. Yarrow can be used safely short term, but should not be used continuously over a long period of time. People use it orally and in the nasal passages. The tincture will irritate the nasal passages, so a tea is best for snorting it or spraying it in the nose.

Some of us work with sick people: When I owned an herbal company, we used an antiviral spray on the phones made with essential oils. Here is an easy one to make that most people like the smell of.

Making the spray: You can make a simple antiviral spray by starting with a water/alcohol base of 40% rubbing alcohol and 60% water or a Base of 20% grain alcohol and 80% water. Once you make your liquid base put the base into a spray bottle. For each 1 oz of  base add 40 drops of lavender essential oil.

Applying the spray: Use the spray on phones, door knobs or other devises and instruments that are shared with people at work. Make sure you don’t spray it on anything you think will be damaged by the essential oil or the alcohol. (I spray this on most things with no problem, but it can damage wood and may damage some fabrics etc. You can test an area first to make sure it will not harm the item.) I usually spray a paper towel or rag with the liquid and then wipe the phone or other item down to ensure I get it everywhere.

Flu: As far as the flu goes, I wrote a really long article on that and you can find it here covering prevention, treatment and case histories : https://youarethehealer.org/health-conditions/a-z/flu-influenza/

 
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We make a daily cold press juice comprised of a variety of fruit, usually an orange, apple, some carrots make up the majority of the juice and we always include a thumb of ginger. Not all guests like the mixture because the ginger makes it somewhat spicy for some palates, but we think it’s delicious. My sense is the daily ginger helps with health in general and reduces incidents of bad colds, making them a fleeting occurrence or reduces severity.
 
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For a sore/'scratchy' throat - fresh ginger is found to be effective, e.g. made into a ginger (finely grated) and lemon tea.  (I pour boiling water into a cup that has about 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger then allow it to infuse for a few mins, covered.  Then I'll sweeten it with some honey and add the juice of half a lemon.  Vit C is lost in boiling water, so cooling it a little offsets this).  Also, letting a spoonful of set honey (preferably manuka) slowly trickle down soothes the area.

To kill the bug/virus - raw garlic is nature's antibiotic!  Make garlic butter and spread it on toast - yum!  (Alternatively, rub it into toast - like a bruschetta - nice with sliced tomato).

For nasal congestion, I favour Oil Of Olbas - either as a steam inhalation (face over bowl, covered with towerl) or some drops onto a tissue and inhaled that way.  Also rubbing onto chest/lung area provides relief e.g. can feel it loosening the tightened lung area, freeing up breathing.
 
Andrea Locke
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Thank you all, for those fabulous ideas for fighting colds and flu. Some of them, that I had forgotten, took me back many decades in the past!

The lemon tea with honey was my mother's go-to recipe for colds and flu. She usually snuck a little whiskey into it too, even for kids. It doesn't seem to have done me any harm, I didn't become a closet alcoholic and in fact I don't even drink. It only just occurred to me that my disinterest in drinking alcohol might be that in my mind it is associated with childhood memories of being sick!

I also remembered back when I was a grad student that my husband came down with measles. We had both been vaccinated in our different Ontario schools (one in Burlington, one in Ottawa) many years earlier but his doctor said that there was a problem with all the vaccine administered that year in Ontario and that people our age were not well protected. I had in fact come down with measles in grade 13, which no one could figure out as I had definitely been vaccinated. I guess I must have been on the leading edge of our age cohort coming down with unexplainable measles. Anyway, the point of this story is that one of the other people in my lab went around once this diagnosis was known, and sprayed/wiped alcohol on every surface he thought my husband might have touched while stopping by our lab, including the telephone. It was an aquatic ecology lab and we had lots of ethanol around. It must have worked - no one in my lab got sick. I can picture that adding essential oil, especially something like thieves oil, would make that treatment even more effective.
 
pollinator
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Anything as a cold for me ended going down to the bronchia, so I took the habit of always adding inhalation with a few drops of eucalyptus.

Also sulfur helps, so garlic, and even a tea with onion - all with the peel - is traditional. I take raw garlic with some coconut oil because it also has sulfur!
Also rich in sulfur: eat raw cauliflower and radish.
In the south we have nasturtium in winter, and they are also very rich in sulfur.

Most people avoid dairies when they have a cold. In case of sorethroat, it seems that blue cheese "Roquefort" helps... and its mold is a penicillium! My trial seems to confirm, but if you try, tell me!
 
Andrea Locke
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:
Also sulfur helps, so garlic, and even a tea with onion - all with the peel - is traditional.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (edited to show that what follows is not part of the quote)

I have never heard of onion tea, so am interested to know how that is made. Is it with chopped raw onion (including, as you say, the peel)? Do you add honey?

I do make soups that include onions when we have a cold, but I think that probably is different from what you mean by onion tea. Also, I usually fry or caramelize the onions before adding them to the soup. Does cooking the onion like that have a big effect on its value as a food medicine for colds? I have a feeling it may drive off some of the sulphur but I am not sure.

 
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Amy Francis wrote:For nasal congestion, I favour Oil Of Olbas - either as a steam inhalation (face over bowl, covered with towerl) or some drops onto a tissue and inhaled that way.  Also rubbing onto chest/lung area provides relief e.g. can feel it loosening the tightened lung area, freeing up breathing.



First time hearing of Oil of Olbas, Thanks! Ingredients sounds like a soothing mix.

Oil of Olbas ingredients:

Cajuput Oil
Clove Oil
Eucalyptus Oil
Juniperberry Oil
Levomenthol
Methyl salicylate
Peppermint oil

For really stubborn congestion, sometimes I put a ball of wasabi on the roof of my mouth. Not very pleasant, but usually clears things up.

I brought a bunch of this tea with me when I moved with the goal of growing the ingredients myself by the time I ran out. It soothes a sore throat and seems to shorten recovery time for me.



Ingredients:

Echinacea,
lemongrass,
natural lemon flavor,
fennel,
licorice root,
peppermint,
sage,
plantain leaves,
elderflowers,
marshmallow root,
rose hips,
thyme,
lemon balm

Licorice, fennel, and marshmallow are proving hard to find, but everything else is in the garden. Hoping lemongrass makes it through this winter, fingers crossed!
 
master gardener
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This has been working for me when i have a sudden nasal pressure head ache.
I have been taking about 5 drops of wild oil of oregano. I hold it it my mouth for a minute or so to get it working with my saliva and than i swallow it. It seems to help quite effectively.
ill second garlic. especially eatting it raw along with ginger raw.

I believe you can soak the ginger in honey for a few hours and than eat it. I imagine it would make it easier to chew a piece of it...
 
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As a preventative, I really like adaptogens like ashwagandha and medicinal mushrooms. I grow ashwagandha here and make a tincture of the roots during the fall. I take a dropper of the ashwagandha tincture every night. As for the mushrooms, I find reishi to be very helpful as a preventative (it is sold in various forms), and I also add dried shiitakes to my homegrown herbal tea every morning.

Hope this is helpful ☺

~Rachel
 
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We buy the organic Traditional Medicine teas available at major grocery stores. Not very permie, Iknow. But they inspire me to plant herbs and flowers I can learn to use in the future. We find the Throat Coat an Gypsy Col Care blends to be particularly effective. One thing that stops me from making my own lends is biterness. We don't consume sugar or honey, and all recipes I see online use some kind of sweetener. I do use stevia as a sweetener, but find it biter in large amounts. Any suggestions out there for taking away the itterness of hebal cough and cold remedies? Thanks!

I love to make garlic eggs when we feel the first warning signs of a virus attack: melt butter in a pan, and mash up several garlic cloves. Heat them in the butter for just a minute, just enough to soften them up and being sure not to let them get brown, and then crack a couple of eggs on top. Cook, then flip, and finish cooing to your desire (I like my yolks runny) This is a great way to eat a lot of fresh garlic, fast! The eggs seem to soften the garlic impact to a sensitive stomach. Be sure to make enough for everyone in the house to have some!
 
Andrea Locke
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I like the sound of those garlic eggs!

For the tea, maybe adding some sweet herbs to your blend would help. Lemon balm, bee balm (bergamot), rose petals? Or some cinnamon. Possibly violet blooms although I have not heard of putting them in hot tea - should be good in iced tea and you could experiment with the hot. A very tiny pinch of baking soda might help offset bitterness too. Or chopped citrus peels? Dried apple peels? Maybe dried and powdered berries. Ginger too. There are probably quite a few herbs and spices that you could add for sweetness that I have not thought of here.
 
Andrea Locke
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Oo, thought of another. How about licorice root?
 
Amy Francis
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Andrea Locke wrote:Oo, thought of another. How about licorice root?



Yes that's good for colds and sore throats but to be avoided if you have high blood pressure.
 
carla beemer
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Thanks for those ideas, Andrea!
I love licorice root Amy! But my husband avoids it due to hbp-too bad, because it is really helpful for allaying bitterness!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Andrea Locke wrote:I have never heard of onion tea, so am interested to know how that is made. Is it with chopped raw onion (including, as you say, the peel)? Do you add honey?

I do make soups that include onions when we have a cold, but I think that probably is different from what you mean by onion tea. Also, I usually fry or caramelize the onions before adding them to the soup. Does cooking the onion like that have a big effect on its value as a food medicine for colds? I have a feeling it may drive off some of the sulphur but I am not sure.



I think it should be called onion broth! Yes I learned it as cooked onion. As I need sulfur, I looked for the importance of having garlic or onion raw, and it seems to be no, though I was surprised. So maybe the sulfur just has a different chemical form. Indeed the smell of cooking is not so strong so it does not seem to evaporate.

About the recipe of garlic egg. As I find it is important to eat yolks only raw and whites only cooked, I separate the 2. I cook the white with the garlic and either do something else or add the yolks after. For taste, you should try to add tomato paste into the egg white! I shake this in a jar and don't even put fat to cook it. And I add apple vinegar on it afterward.  

Egg also has sulfur... and think about another traditional cough remedy... radish! Sulfur too! Some people make a syrup from black radish slices and sugar. (nowadays we have ways to extract the juice without sugar I think. up to you about your taste and opinion!)
 
Amy Francis
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carla beemer wrote:Thanks for those ideas, Andrea!
I love licorice root Amy! But my husband avoids it due to hbp-too bad, because it is really helpful for allaying bitterness!



Yes I love licorice root too Carla but have high blood pressure so daren't take it.  Fortunately though, there are many other remedies for colds and flu shared by members here, including myself.
 
Amy Arnett
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This is the herbal I take for congestion, sinus headache, and random runny nose. Not sure if it's available overseas, but if you have the ingredients you could recreate it. It works well for me.

小青竜湯エキス (shouseiryuutou ekisu) 



ingredients:

マオウ        Ephedra  
シャクヤク  Paeonia lactiflora  
カンキョウ  Ginger  
カンゾウ     Glycyrrhiza  
ケイヒ        Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)   
サイシン     Wild ginger  (Asarum sieboldii)  
ゴミシ      Schisandra chinensis   
ハンゲ      Pinellia ternata   

 
pollinator
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This isn't really an "herbal" remedy, but it has worked for us for many years (I believe).  In addition to using herbal remedies for cold/flu prevention or should I say to stop one from progressing, I put peroxide in our ears when we feel something coming on.  This from Dr. Mercola's website on the practice:

"In 1928, Dr. Richard Simmons hypothesized that the cold virus entered your body through the ear canal and not the nose. His theory was dismissed by the medical community.  However, in 1938, German researchers had great success using hydrogen peroxide in the ear canal to treat colds and the flu. Although the data was vastly ignored by the medical community, I've treated many patients who experienced great results with this treatment.  You must start treatment in the first 24 hours to have a significant impact on reducing the length of the cold. You can watch more about how I've used this treatment to shorten colds and the flu in the video above."

If you are interested in watching the video, it can be found here:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/06/natural-cold-remedies.aspx
 
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In Albania, wild pomegranate. Nothing beats it, just eat it and no flu all winter.
 
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Surprised that Apple cider vinegar hasn’t been mentioned. We drink apple cider vinegar (with mother’s), ginger and raw local honey.  Seems to have many health benefits
 
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I work in a children's hospital ER.  I was trying to get them to offer elderberry instead of Tamiflu as research suggests it can shorten the course of the flu by 4-5 days compared to Tamiflu's 24 hours with none of the side effects that are inherent with Tamiflu...like hallucinations.  Although my suggestion won't be taken, I have been given the go ahead to make an informative flyer.  I do suggest it on my own if families show any interest in what they can do besides medicine to help.  I often suggest a strong steeped ginger tea with lemon and raw honey for sore throats.  
At home, we add to these sage honey.  (Cut up garden sage and fill a jar in the fall, cover with raw honey, add more sage or honey to keep sage covered and fill jar.  Let this sit and spoon off from the top all winter.  Add to tea or as stand alone tea is great for sore throats).  We also make fire cider (adaptations of Rosemary Gladstar recipe) for when your head is clogged, nose stuffy etc.  
My favorite addition this year is a cough syrup with Spikenard, Elecampane and Lobelia.  Imagine that, a cough syrup that actually works!!!  If anyone is interested I will dig up Richo Cech's recipe.
 
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The only thing I do which hasn't been mentioned is chew sage leaves at the first sign of a sore throat.  
 
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Think whole systems -

The body needs a way for toxins to exit.
The body needs nourishing nutrients to be absorbed.

Stop eating wheat, meat, sugar and dairy, they take a lot of energy to digest, cause acidity and create mucus. Redirect the energy that would be used to digest and direct it to healing. If you can do a day or two of just teas and mineral broths all the better. You are moving into a state of autophagy.

Anything alkalizing is good - if you are alkaline and oxygenated you are on your way to being practically disease proof. Germs, bacteria and viruses don't do well in oxygen and alkaline environments. Think lemon juice and green drinks (vegetable juices). Even a little baking soda in a glass of water will make you alkaline.

One herb I love that I haven't seen mentioned yet is andrographis paniculota. Great immune boosting herb. It is the only ingredient in a product called Kold Kare. (I wished I owned stock in it but I don't.) Two tablets 4 times a day to start, then 1 tablet 4 times a day. Those directions are from the box.

Also think about your lymph. Stagnant lymph is not a good thing. Think skin brushing or take some cleavers or poke root extract. Look into how to use these herbs before you use them, poke is great in small quantities and if properly prepared.

Be Well.






 
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A tea of honey and thyme has been my go to for years but I see a number of suggestions i'm aching to try... as soon as I'm aching.  The honey helps "ripen" the throat so your cough can be more productive. The thymol that is in thyme used to be the go to for whooping cough and has the ability to decongest the lungs quite well. Since I have all of the above growing around here, I will pick mullein and yarrow and elderberry.
For "preventative", I'd say eat enough oranges or aronia tea for the vitamin C these fruit have.
When I'm feeling so bad that I have trouble doing my chores,  a strong tea with vodka in it to help me sleep and rest fully has worked wonders. Alcohol will also help you 'sweat out' the toxins.
I've read a book called "I contain multitudes" by Ed Yong. It taught me a lot about what beneficial microbes we have in our bodies. More than a human being, we are a collection of microbes living in a single organism. I am not as afraid about microbes as I used to be as I know that if my body is in contact with microbes, the nefarious ones will be killed by the good ones, who are a strong majority in my body.
Frankly, I am concerned that our culture, which wants every food, to be totally antiseptic is not great for us: It weakens our "immune system" to the point that sometimes, our body will not react with a good infection when it is targeted by nefarious germs : If our body is never in contact with germs, then when it meets one, it does not know how to react. The "infection" which brings us discomfort is actually a sign that our bodies work the way they are supposed to.
Remember the true meaning of the term: anti-biotic= against life. Those products kill the life within along with the 'bad' germs.
But I'm pretty sure I'm "preaching to the choir" here.
 
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I really like all the suggestions they include a great list to include in my herb garden!

I have stopped any congestion and sore throat issues before they become full blown by these two simple methods:
1st for "Cold" where congestion is starting - Take two (4 if you have waited a day or so) fingertip sized raw/fresh garlic cloves. Peel, slice thinly, cross cut also thin then leave out for 10 minutes and swallow with plenty of water. I do this before bed and if I waited for the cold to progress I do it three times a day till symptoms are gone. If done at first symptom you knock it our right away. If you did not then it may take a day or two depending on how long you let it set in.
2nd for sore throat. The only thing I do is to put a spoon full of honey in my mouth and let it sit till it is gone. If done right away it normally stops the soreness. Otherwise keep taking the honey to sooth your throat until it stops being scratchy.

I have not had to battle a cold/sore throat for more than a day or two for the last thirty years.

I hope you will try this and tell others.
Blessings!
 
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Elderberry is excellent. Olive leaf extract is another good anti-viral.
 
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Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) works for our family.  A tea from dried leaves and stems taken when first symptoms are noticed seems to shorten the duration of symptoms.  Sometimes it knocks out the illness very quickly.  I harvest in late spring before flowers develop.
 
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Hi all,

My name is Dave Harrold and I live in eastern Washington.  I have been interested in good health for a long time.  I too like elderberries to boost immune responses.  I have a few European elderberry cultivars along my fence line that I gather berries from and juice.  It's important to heat the juice though to drive off any residual cyanide.  I then add xylitol to sweeten..  But I have another remedy more powerful than any herb.  I have observed over the years that colds and flu only seem to hit during a specific season of the year and that season is what most people refer to as the holidays.  I put two and two together and deducted that there is something about celebrating the "holidays" in the Roman calendar that weakens our immune system and allows our bodies to be susceptible to viruses.  Ever since I quit celebrating the "holidays", I quit coming down with the flu.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Try it, you may find yourself being flu free.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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David Harrold wrote:Hi all,

My name is Dave Harrold and I live in eastern Washington.  I have been interested in good health for a long time.  I too like elderberries to boost immune responses.  I have a few European elderberry cultivars along my fence line that I gather berries from and juice.  It's important to heat the juice though to drive off any residual cyanide.  I then add xylitol to sweeten..  But I have another remedy more powerful than any herb.  I have observed over the years that colds and flu only seem to hit during a specific season of the year and that season is what most people refer to as the holidays.  I put two and two together and deducted that there is something about celebrating the "holidays" in the Roman calendar that weakens our immune system and allows our bodies to be susceptible to viruses.  Ever since I quit celebrating the "holidays", I quit coming down with the flu.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Try it, you may find yourself being flu free.



It is logical since during the holidays, we meet family members and others we have not seen in a long time, so our immune system is no longer ready to battle *their* germs/ sicknesses. Add to that : It is a time of higher stress. Our extended family is "a bunch we just love ... in a far away town", as the saying goes. You might want to meet more people more frequently to boost your immune system. Or  take any of these remedies advocated here *before* you meet them again. Good luck in your family relations.
 
Andrea Locke
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Cris Fellows wrote:I work in a children's hospital ER.  I was trying to get them to offer elderberry instead of Tamiflu as research suggests it can shorten the course of the flu by 4-5 days compared to Tamiflu's 24 hours with none of the side effects that are inherent with Tamiflu...like hallucinations.  Although my suggestion won't be taken, I have been given the go ahead to make an informative flyer.  I do suggest it on my own if families show any interest in what they can do besides medicine to help.  I often suggest a strong steeped ginger tea with lemon and raw honey for sore throats.  
At home, we add to these sage honey.  (Cut up garden sage and fill a jar in the fall, cover with raw honey, add more sage or honey to keep sage covered and fill jar.  Let this sit and spoon off from the top all winter.  Add to tea or as stand alone tea is great for sore throats).  We also make fire cider (adaptations of Rosemary Gladstar recipe) for when your head is clogged, nose stuffy etc.  
My favorite addition this year is a cough syrup with Spikenard, Elecampane and Lobelia.  Imagine that, a cough syrup that actually works!!!  If anyone is interested I will dig up Richo Cech's recipe.




Cris, if it is not too much trouble, I'd love to see that cough syrup recipe.

It's been absolutely fascinating to see all these different approaches that you-all are using from your various traditions and climates. It's certainly given me a few new ideas of what I should be growing in the garden to have some of these on hand. Some of the remedies I knew already in other contexts, but did not connect them to cold/flu season. For example, hydrogen peroxide. I use that to prevent middle ear infections. I am a marine biologist and sometimes have needed to snorkel/dive for work in water that is (technical term here) kind of yucky. After I got into the habit of putting hydrogen peroxide in my ears every time I went underwater, I never had another ear infection. (Edited for clarity - you put a drop or two of hydrogen peroxide in your ears after you get out of the water)

And the suggestion to avoid holiday gatherings - yes, that would definitely reduce the exposure to germs wouldn't it! I was never so sick, so often, as when my kids were in daycare and elementary school and bringing home every possible bug.
 
Candace Williams
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  After I got home and thought about it I remembered another effective thing I do. I put sprouting onions around my living space and let them go at it. Then I use the tops in many dishes. Also I slice open an onion when I feel crummy and inhale the  onion. It makes sore throats, coughs, stuffy noses or general lethargy go away.  That's another different idea to add to the excellent pool of ideas others have posted!!
 
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Great ideas in this thread.  We also recommend, and use, Cat's Claw/ Una de Gato.
And, though not an "herbal", we have seen some good responses to Oscillococcinum, as a treatment.
If you know you are likely to be exposed, do a "next step dilution" of it.  Add the contents of a vial to spring water in a 2oz dropper bottle and succuss.
You can add about 10cc of alcohol to that bottle, to preserve it and stabilize the clathrates.  (Not enough time to explain that here, but it's a thing...  LOL)
 
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