This year, rather than relying on OTC medications if your family gets sick, consider using herbs. They’re inexpensive, fairly easy to obtain, and have few to no side effects — we can’t say the same about OTC or prescription drugs!
But, if you’re new to herbal medicine, you may not know where to begin. Try these 10 herbs to help your family stay healthy this winter.
🌿 Ginger is one of our favorite herbs. You can buy it in any grocery store (seriously, Walmart carries it) and it’s really inexpensive. Even the organic is only $5/lb. and a large piece might cost $2 (that will last weeks). Ginger is anti-inflammatory, it helps colds and sinus infections, general pain, stomach upset, and more. It’s also safe for kids of all ages (even babies), and pregnant and nursing women. It’s an all-round awesome remedy.
🌿 Mullein is often a go-to remedy for us. It’s been said to help with diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, colds, flu, and lots more. For any respiratory infection, use a tea or a tincture made with mullein It can also help with insomnia. It’s fairly safe, including for pregnant/nursing women and children.
🌿 Elderberry is a very popular flu remedy, and for good reason: studies show it can reduce the duration of the flu from 6 – 7 days to only 2 – 3. It’s strongly anti-viral and fights many infections. Many people find it both effective and palatable. It’s safe for kids from around 8 – 12 months
🌿 Peppermint or spearmint are known tummy-soothers. They can also help with headaches, and peppermint may soothe sore throats (peppermint has a high menthol content that can cool the throat, but spearmint doesn’t). It’s also very safe for most. Pregnant or nursing women should be cautious because large doses can present a problem in sensitive women (cause contractions or reduce milk supply), but most women will not have an issue.
🌿 Catnip is one of our favorite herbs. It can help soothe a nervous child — it’s a mild sedative. It can also treat stomach upset, and may be helpful with coughs. It’s recently been shown to be an excellent insect repellent. We use it to help teething babies with great success, and it’s also great for general insomnia.
🌿 This plant is where marshmallow, the candy, originally came from! Today, the candy is made from gelatin and corn syrup, but the marshmallow plant remains in use for humans. The plant is very high in mucilage, which means that it helps to coat the digestive system. This means it is effective for coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough, diarrhea, and more. It also may be used topically, because it is anti-inflammatory, and it may help cuts, scrapes, and infections.
🌿 Turmeric root has gained popularity lately as a strong anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown to fight colds, infections, and even cancer. It’s also been shown to help liver disease, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic illnesses.
🌿 Acerola berries are extremely high in vitamin C. For this reason, it may be beneficial against colds, flu, whooping cough, and other common winter ailments. They’re also strongly anti-inflammatory.
🌿 For years, people have recommended Echinacea as a cold remedy — because it helps. It’s beneficial against colds, flu, bronchitis, UTIs, ear infections, candida, and more. People have used it for almost any infection. It can cause allergic reactions in some, so be careful if your family has allergies to plants/pollen.
🌿 Goldenseal root is a very expensive, rarer herb. It’s bright gold colored, and usually used topically. It’s good for cord care in a newborn baby. It can be used directly on diaper rash as a powder, including yeast or bacterial rashes. It helps get rid of both bacterial and viral infections (topically and internally) and soothes sore throats. Be warned that it’s very powerful, and it makes other herbs more powerful when taken in conjunction.
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