Whenever I see symptoms of a stuffy nose, itchy throat or feel the early signs of a headache coming on I immediately make a tea with immune system supporting herbs. As you well know, as a mom there is no time to be sick and having sick kids is no fun. In my three-step herbal attack against colds, flues and other viral infections, I rely on the power of homemade herbal remedies. Homemade herbal teas are my first defense.
Immune Defense Tea
I love the spicy flavor the tea produces.
Mix 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp nettle leaf, and 1 tsp rooibos tea and steep for 10-15 minutes in one cup of water.
Turmeric – An anti-oxidant rich, adaptogenic, immune suportive and potent anti-inflammatory medicinal and culinary root
Nettle leaf – An immune supporting, anti-inflammatory herb and rich in nutrients, contains a number of essential minerals including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Roobios – A delicious red tea from South Africa that is very high in anti-oxidants, trace minerals, and nutrients
Drink 1-4 times through out the day.
Mushrooms for Immune Support
Wild chaga mushroom tea is a popular favorite around my house. A friend recently introduced me to this specific mushroom and I have really enjoyed the sweet robust earthy flavor! Chaga has been used in folk medicine for centuries, most notably in Russia, Poland, China and various Baltic countries. Reishi now has a lot of interesting scientific studies to support the 4000 year old historical claims of its herbal superiority to improve health, resistance to disease, and promote energy and longevity. Both are powerful tools in my medicine cabinet.
Reishi Mushroom – used for centuries to boost the immune system, combat viral infections, and promote lung health
Chaga Mushroom – an adaptogen, immune system supporting, gastrointestinal aid, and genoprotective agent (DNA-shielding).
Both of these teas are so delicious! I immediately feel better after these warming and very nutrient rich decoctions.
If for some reason making a tea does not suit you, these medicinal mushrooms are also available in tincture form.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is a very potent herbal remedy sometimes referred to as “nature’s antibiotic”. It is known to combat respiratory, yeast and parasite infections, support skin health and ease sore throats. It is a wonderful healing herb but has an extremely strong taste making it difficult to get kids to drink it. I find this topical treatment is a great solution for getting the medicinal benefits without the shocking taste.
I combine oil of oregano with a few drops of the essential oil of lavender. Lavender is calming for the nerves, which hopefully equates to a better nights sleep for you and your little one. Lavender also promotes respiratory health, supports the immune system, is a mild pain reliever and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
In about 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil I dilute 3-5 drops of oil of oregano and mix in 5 drops essential oil of lavender and rub generously on the bottoms of feet and chest. Put socks on to ensure the oils stay on the feet, not your sheets.
Gel capsules of oil of oregano look like another way to sneak this medicine into the body. I have not tried these yet but am very interested!
If you are curious about more herbal home remedies, check out the other DIY herbal tea blends in the series Herbal Tea: the first defense.