Surviving winter without cold meds!

Now that we are in the midst of the cough, cold & ‘flu season, it is important to ensure that we are prepared with natural remedies so that we don’t need to reach for the pseudoephedrine or other prescription medicines designed to suppress the symptoms.

Eyebright (Euphrasia nemorosa)

If nasal catarrh is your winter woe, then goldenrod is the herb for you. Not only does it help to moderate excessive mucous production, it also helps with urinary tract health and can be beneficial in supporting and anti-candida diet/lifestyle. Eyebright is another great herb for nasal issues, in fact it helps to treat infection of all the mucous membranes – eyes, nose, throat, along with infections of the middle ear.

Elderberries and elderflowers are great for immune support and balance, being an effective all-round winter tonic.

Elderberry Wine

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) Photo credit: Liamfm

Ear infections, coughs, colds, allergies, catarrh, and hayfever are all conditions where using the delicious elderberry or delicate elderflower can help.

In New Zealand we are currently hearing a lot about an influenza virus called Influenza A virus, subtype H3N2. Along with the clinical naming of the virus, there has also been some clinical trials which have indicated that elderberry extract is key in fighting this virus. In fact, elderberry extract has been shown to inhibit a wide range of influenza viruses and support immune function.

Barberry bark is fabulous for respiratory tract problems, but if it is a nagging cough which has you down and miserable this winter, then you can’t go past thyme. Thyme is ideal for individuals prone to asthmatic conditions, and can also benefit those who suffer from sinusitis. Thyme supports the immune system and is an all round wonderful cold & ‘flu herb to have in your garden or kitchen. In fact, Weleda have a specific Cough Elixir – which is the only thing that seems to shift a cough in this household. It is the only remedy I choose when one of my children comes down with a barking cough, and the tried and true recipe has been used since 1954!

weleda cough elixir

Weleda’s Cough Elixir

Weleda’s Cough Elixir includes herbs such as thyme, aniseed, marshmallow root, and white horehound, along with homeopathic ipecac, drosera, and pulsatilla all in a base of raw cane sugar syrup and malt extract. It doesn’t suppress symptoms, rather it works to stimulate the body to effectively rid itself of the catarrh and clear the airways. We usually add the elixir to a shot glass of warm water, and find that this is a pleasant tasting remedy to take for both children and adults.

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