Want to avoid cold and flu in time for the back-to-school season? Following is a special excerpt from my new eBook “Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose” (now only 99¢!) in which I share a few immunostimulants, herbs that help build up the immune system. It’s the perfect time to start so the cold and flu season doesn’t catch you or your kids unprepared.
Whether you’re building up your kids’ constitution to avoid catching viruses at school, or you’re sick and tired of getting sick and tired from your coworkers’ colds, having a good immunostimulant or two as part of your herbal medicine chest is a fantastic idea. These herbs will help you to beef up your defenses so it’s tougher for those viruses to set up camp.
I can’t go without mentioning echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia or purpurea) right from the get-go. Echinacea can be taken before your kids even head back to school — say about a week or two before, 5 or 10 drops a day in some water for prevention — and can be continued right through the school year, if you so choose. I’ve heard talk about taking a break from echinacea so your body won’t “get used to” the herb. Not necessary. I’ve also heard grumblings that taking echinacea doesn’t allow your body to build up its own defenses. Simply not true. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. Echinacea helps your body build up its own defenses, which is what makes this herb such a powerhouse.
If you didn’t remember to start up that echinacea before cold and flu season has begun, you can still grab some as soon as you feel those first signs of illness. Other potential herbs at this point would be: balsa wood (Ochroma pyramidale), arbor vitae (Thuja spp.), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), or even arnica (Arnica spp.) These are all great immunostimulants. Even if life is getting particularly stressful and you’ve been wearing yourself thin, making you the perfect target for a virus, it’s good to have these herbal friends at hand. Take them when you’re burning the candle at both ends so you don’t find yourself stuck in bed later.