Herbs That Boost Your Immune System

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea- A beautiful perennial herb grown easily from seed. Commercial echinacea is extracted from the roots and sold in health food stores. You can make an immune boosting tea from the flowering tops of the echinacea flower. Tea made from the leaves is a remedy for sore throat and bleeding gums. Native Americans called the echinacea the “snake doctor plant,” as the fresh roots were used to treat snake bite, burns, and hard to heal sores and wounds.

Garlic – Is more than an essential ingredient in many dishes, it’s also a powerful medicinal herb.Garlic builds up the immune system. Garlic capsules can be purchased at most food and drug stores, GNC stores. Garlic, when taken daily helps ward off germs, colds and the flu.

Sage – The dried leaves when brewed for tea or used as a warm water gargle is another anti-bacterial herb that helps to heal sore throat, sniffles, flu and colds. Boost the healing power of sage tea by adding a little honey and fresh lemon juice when preparing the tea.

Rosemary – Used mostly for steam inhalation, it also has some antibacterial effects when the dried extract of rosemary is used in a cool vaporizer or in inhalation remedy.

Peppermint – Aids in digestion. Peppermint tea helps settle a queasy stomach, and relieves headache and sinus problems. Peppermint is wonderful as an immune boosting herb when combined with a soothing cup of green tea.

Parsley – Not just for cooking, it’s a wonderful medicinal herb as well . Dried or fresh, parsley helps to cleanse the blood, flush the kidneys, and helps prevent bladder infections.

Lemon Balm – a soothing herb. Known for its ability to calm and soothe the nervous system. Lemon balm acts as a antioxidant and supports the immune system. Lemon balm leaves when brewed as a tea, promotes restful sleep and aids in digestion.

Chamomile – Chamomile tea and capsules are recognized as a restorative herb. Chamomile is used to treat insomnia and depression.Chamomile contains the same substances that effect the same part of the brain that anti-anxiety drugs do. Chamomile is not habit forming, and you can drink a cup each day or take a capsule as needed.

Ginger – Grated ginger is excellent when added to boiling water and allowed to steep for a few minutes. Drink a cup or two for an immune boosting “lift” if energy is low. Add a teaspoon of honey to the ginger drink for a little added sweetness.

Thyme – Is a traditional medicinal herb with so many uses. Make room for it in the herb garden or container gardening. In addition to making a great medicinal tea and gargle for sore throats, thyme is also used in steam inhalation [ croup tent, vaporizer ]. Soothing and healing as a chest compress, or a as poultice for sore throats.

I’ll be back later this month with instructions on how to prepare tinctures, compresses, and poultices.

~ Meadow Walker

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