Friday, December 2, 2011

An Herbal Approach to Winter Wellness

This time of year, there are a lot of germs on the loose. To support your immune system naturally, there are several herbs that are beneficial as part of your herbal medicine cabinet.

In addition to their flavorful and nutritious contributions to daily meals, herbs like garlic, ginger, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme contain essential oils, which have some antibacterial and antiviral activity.

For example, garlic (Allium sativum) can be a useful support for infections and colds, while parsely (Petroselinum crispum) can be a useful support for healthy digestion; it also can be used as an expectorant. Expectorant herbs help loosen chest congestion.

Here are some simple, do-it-yourself herbal recipes you can use to help keep you and your family healthy all winter long.

Garlic Syrup Sore Throat Support
  • 4 cloves garlic (Allium sativum)
  • 4-T honey
Directions: Crush the garlic. Soak the crushed cloves in honey for 2-4 hours. Sip on this honey mixture every 1/2-hour. This is a useful remedy for children who may find the taste of garlic unpleasant.

Ginger Infusion
  • ½-oz ginger (Zingiber officinale) root, cut
  • 1-pt boiling water
Directions: Steep the ginger in the boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes. Lemon and honey can be added. Strain. Use 4-6-T three times a day. Store the infusion in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

>> To learn more about herbal medicine classes from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, visit

>>Which herbs are an essential part of your herbal medicine cabinet? Why? We'd love to hear more about your favorite herbs and feel free to post recipes, too!

Image by Steven Foster. Reproduced under license.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information has been provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health routine. For more information about how to use herbs safely, consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Herbalist. In an emergency, call 911.


Holistic Lifestyles Guide said...

It's amazing that we can just find the ingredients right in our kitches. Holistic healing is really good.

Anonymous said...

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Medicinal Herbs and Hydrotherapy said...

I especially liked the idea of adding garlic cloves to honey. I personally know from experience that garlic works but taking garlic is really such a 'bitter' experience.Have you guys found a way of getting rid of the smell that results from taking garlic. I wish a way would be found so that I can freely take garlic. Especially when you have to take the recommended eight cloves of garlic. Looking forward to your reply.

Erika said...

Try chewing parsley to get rid of garlic breath :)