Mullein leaves I found on the roadside

In addition to taking vitamin C, zinc, and D3 to keep the immune system up, I use the following herbal remedies to treat and prevent colds and flu. Please research dosages and usage, and consult your doctor before using any natural remedies.

Elderberry – Flowers and cooked berries are used for immune support, colds and flu, and many other ailments. Sambucus nigra variety is most prized for healing properties. Elderberry is considered a medicine cabinet unto itself.

Andrographis – Tea, Capsules, and extracts are used to treat a variety of viruses, including COVID in countries outside the US. Extracts are the strongest and most direct way to treat an ailment. Many extracts are made with alcohol, but you should be able to find alcohol-free extracts if you desire. Full name: Andrographis paniculate

Mullein – Flowers, leaves, and roots are used for medicine. Leaves can be smoked or steeped for tea to treat coughs and lungs. Only smoke mullein when needed for healing, not on a regular basis. You may cough more when using mullein, but that’s because it’s an expectorant, and productive coughing clears the lungs. Mullein flowers can be prepared in many ways and are commonly infused in oil for treating ear infections and skin conditions. Mullein is antibacterial for many gram-negative and gram-positive bacterium. Historically, mullein has been used to treat TB, asthma, viruses, flu, and bacterial infections, and much more. Mullein grows like a weed. I’ve spotted it along many roadsides. Official name: Verbascum thapsus. Commonly known as Great or Common Mullein.

Horehound – Good for calming coughs and soothing a sore throat. If nothing else, horehound hard candies are yummy.

Garlic – Great for preventing and treating all kinds of ailments. I cook with garlic regularly, and I enjoy fermenting it with honey. I eat the resulting honey-garlic right off the spoon as a daily illness preventative.

Manuka Honey – Great for topical and internal use. Manuka honey can be applied directly to wounds and bites. When sick, our kids eat the honey off the spoon three times a day. They think it’s a treat. If using Manuka in tea (or any raw honey), make sure the tea is lukewarm. High heat kills the healing properties of any raw honey. For this same reason, you should always buy raw honey for medicinal use, not pasteurized. Don’t feed raw honey to infants under one.

Essential Oils – To help alleviate cold and flu symptoms and to cleanse the air of pathogens, I like to use a few drops of essential oils, or a combination of several essential oils, in a diffuser. I also like to add a few drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil for a chest or foot rub. You can buy fancy carrier oils, like jojoba or primrose, but I use whatever is in my kitchen, such as olive oil, grapeseed, coconut, and avocado. My go-to essential oils: Peppermint, clove, thyme, rosemary, oregano, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, turmeric, ginger.

Super Simple Exercise – A great way to prevent all kinds of health issues is to exercise at least 5 days a week. Many experts recommend 30-90 minutes of exercise, depending on the activity and level of rigor. I don’t have time to meet the recommendations, but I have enjoyed the benefits of 10-15 minutes of light jogging per day. Sometimes I simply jog in place and add in a little jumping to get my heart rate up. This small amount of exercise improves my overall feeling of well-being, mitigates headaches, and helps me to breathe more freely. In my experience, some exercise is better than none.

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