Herbs for illness
The idea of using herbs to heal is not a new one. Often, a warming herbal tea is just the thing needed on a cold winter night. You don't need to stop there, however. Herbs can be used to support and enhance your body's own resistance to illness. There are two kinds of immune boosting herbs: Those that stimulate the immune system and those that strengthen it. Constantly stimulating the immune system is damaging and can deplete your body's resistance. Ideally, you want to be able to fight off any virus or germ by having the strongest immune system possible. You do want to stimulate your immunity if you know that you are coming down with something or you feel you were just exposed to an illness.
Early autumn is the time to start thinking about winter health. You should be creating some preventative formulas to help your body fight off any germs it may encounter. Teas are easy to create and easy to use. Some good herbs to mix for their immune enhancing capabilities are:
Echinacea, which has been shown to enhance white blood cells and the antibody response, it also neutralizes viruses and kills bacteria.
Ginseng, which enhances white blood cell production.
Astragulus, which enhances T-cell immunity, primarily for viral infections.
Shiitake which triggers immune response and white blood cells.
There are also the antibiotic herbs that help fight off infection and help heal from any illness that make take over our systems. A few of them are:
Garlic, Mint, Echinacea, Astragulus, Oregon grape, Valerian, Goldenseal, Sage(not to be used if you are lactating as it dries up the milk),Cinnamon, Plantain.
A nice herbal mixture to create and have on hand if you are feeling ill is equal parts of the following:
� Lemon Balm
� Rose hips
� and the amount used for the others of licorice root.
As a preventative tea, drink 1-2 cups a day. If you are already sick with cold or flu, increase dosage to 3-4 cups a day. If you are sweetening your teas with honey, use the wildflower honey for its antiviral properties as well.
Hopefully, you won't need to use any of the above advice this flu season. If you do find yourself under the weather, then all you will need is a few simple herbs and some hot water.