Immunomodulators: These herbs are best taken daily, or worked into your families lifestyle routinely.
Immunomodulators are typically very gentle herbs that work slowly over a longer period of time. They support your immune system, helping to fine tune and balance it.
Medicinal Mushrooms (reishi, turkey tail, lions mane, shiitake, mistake)
(Both of these options can be made into a strong decoction and sipped as tea, cooked into our food, or added into your homemade broth recipe)
Immune stimulants: These herbs are best used at the early stages of an illness or if someone in your household was exposed to an illness. They help stimulate the immune system into action. They are typically believed to be fast acting and are not traditionally taken over very long periods of time.
Echinacea. typically taken as a tea.
Garlic. Can also help to expel phlegm from lungs. Can be eaten fresh or added to food. My favorite way to consume it medicinally is via honey fermented garlic.
Elderberry. Especially powerful when taken at the very early signs of the flu. Although it is typically made into a syrup, our family prefers a tincture. Elderflower is commonly used as a fever reducer for children.
Lemon Balm. Calming with a delicious flavor, especially for kids or picky husbands.
Licorice Root. Very soothing for a sore throat or dry cough. It can be added to a syrup or steeped into tea. Many people love the flavor by itself)
Thyme: The volatile oils are where most of the antiviral actions are. We like to make an herbal steam with thyme, which is simply breathing in the steam from a pot of steamy-hot water and fresh or dried thyme.
Some of my other favorite herbs for cold and flu:
Ginger: Warming, antiviral when fresh, anti-inflammatory.
Chamomile: Most children enjoy the flavor. It is a calming anti-inflammatory and a good base flavor for tea blends.
Hibiscus: High in vitamin C, this is typically the base of any herbal tea I make for my family. It is a wonderful base herb if your family doesn’t love herbal tea. When there is a bug in our home, I will make a half gallon of hibiscus tea, adding in whatever other herbs I think are necessary for the situation, for us drink all day. It is especially good with a bit of honey and/or lemon.
Ground Ivy: can help to relieve inflammation and congestion of mucus membranes. Typically used in tincture form.
Wild Cherry Bark: Ideal for a wet cough. Also may be a helpful decongestant. Great as a syrup.
Mullen: Respiratory support, especially helpful with a dry cough and sore throat. Mullen helps to loosen mucus in the lungs. Can be taken in tea or tincture form, but you may find the warm tea more helpful.
Marshmallow root: Soothes inflamed tissues, easing congestion, sore throats, and dry coughs.