Winter herbs and remedies
Herbal remedies can ease the discomfort of colds and flu; they may reduce the unpleasant symptoms, speed up recovery and prevent recurring infections. So let’s take a look at specific herbal tonics for common complaints.
This tip sheet is not designed to replace medical advice or contradict it. Always seek medical advice if experiencing an ongoing complaint or worsening condition.
Combinations of herbs such as echinacea, mullein, hyssop, horehound, and garlic (provided there is no sensitivity) are commonly used where there is a respiratory condition. Wild cherry bark tea is useful to relieve a persistent cough that keeps you awake at night. Persistent long-term coughing, particularly when not associated with a cold or flu, should be investigated by a qualified physician.
To help build up immunity, particularly if there is a tendency for frequent colds and infections, echinacea can be a great support. In addition garlic, onion and thyme are examples of herbal foods that have anti-microbial qualities.
Simple cough/chest syrup
- 1 big round brown juicy onion
- 100ml honey* or 50 ml brown sugar
- Chop the onion up into small pieces.
- Pour the honey over the top
- Leave overnight in the fridge.
- Strain the onion off in the morning (or leave in for a stronger concoction), put in a glass jar with tight lid.
- Allow a spoonful of the mix whenever necessary.
Other syrups may be made using licorice root, aniseed, thyme leaves, flaxseed, lemon and lime. Flaxseed syrup is particularly good for sore throats as well as stomach problems. Honey*, is effective in relieving the symptoms of a dry, non-productive cough.
SAFETY ALERT: DO NOT GIVE HONEY TO CHILDREN UNDER ONE YEAR OLD
A hot infusion of yarrow and boneset, particularly in the case of a fever and flu, can be very helpful; don’t forget that adding honey* will make any bitter tea sweeter. Or try adding elderflower and linden to create a more pleasant taste and have a stronger effect.
Coriander seed and ginger tea
- 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp broken licorice sticks(your health food shop will have these, please do not use confectionary red or black licorice)
- Bring all ingredients to the boil in 40fl oz of water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Children over two may have, on average, one cupful every two hours, sweetened with honey if required.
- Dilute with half water for one-to-two year olds.
- Incorporate any of the following: basil, boneset, chamomile, catnip, coriander seeds, echinacea, elderflower, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, limeflowers, meadowsweet, peppermint, rosemary, vervain and yarrow.
Turmeric at first sign of a cold or sore throat can prove a great help. Mix a teaspoon into some honey (preferably Manuka) and let the child lick a teaspoon every two hours or
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.