Fall is a glorious time of year, but the sudden chill in the air, the leaf mold piling up, the wind and cold rain that herald this season of transition can be very hard on the respiratory system.
Colds, flus, allergies, and lung irritation can come upon us quickly and intensely, and who wants to miss the bright sunshine and stunning foliage of Autumn for a lousy headcold?
Preventing cold and flu means taking good care of yourself: eating well, sleeping well, and managing your stress. That’s a great baseline, and we certainly all try our best, but sometimes we need a little extra help! Fortunately, herbs can provide that help.
Particular herbs, such as Lemon Balm and Elderberry, are an extra defense against viral infections. The common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses. These are tonic herbs and are safe to take all through the season.
Astragalus and Reishi are more general immune support, helping the body to respond quickly and efficiently to attack. And Stinging Nettle, one of my all-time favorite herbs, has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory actions. Nettles support the body to defend against allergies and irritations in the upper (sinuses) and lower (lungs) respiratory tracts.
If we do get ill, it’s important to rest, keep warm, and stay hydrated. Herbs like Echinacea and Oregano are great for the early stages of a respiratory infection. These anti-microbial herbs are strong stuff. They’ll hit those bugs hard and fast to help you recover quickly.
For a deeper cough, Osha is strong medicine, easing a hacking cough, and is especially good for the middle and later stages of a cold in the chest.
There are plenty more good choices out there, these are just a few of my favorites. Remember to get some good rest, drink lots of hot tea, and enjoy this glorious Autumn!