It is that time of year when all the cruddy crud stuff starts happening, you know those sniffles, scratchy throats and the uggghhh “Mom, I think I am sick!”

Starting in December I noticed a heck of a bunch more folks getting sick than usual. I am beefing up the immune systems in my family trying not to have a full blown flu epidemic anywhere near here!!! Yeah I had the scratchy throat and yucky feeling but it only lasted a day or two, thanks to some good home remedies. 🙂 But my son and hubby would rather take the junk from the store because my medicine is not “REAL” medicine in their eyes. Although Jonathan is still taking the elderberry syrup and echinacea tincture so it’s got to be helping his cold some.

Here are my tried & true herbs to boost your immune system before, during and after colds. 

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*****First and foremost – lower your stress levels and sleep more!***** Seriously, those two things alone will be like a shield of armour against the icks.

“How do I lower stress levels?” You ask.

Drink a daily cup or two of Holy Basil/Tulsi tea. (Ocimum sanctum)

Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb from India that works with your body to regulate cortisol and adrenaline levels. Holy basil enhances the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress.


Elderberries(Sambucus nigra)

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral

Builds immune system

Cold and flu remedy

Improves resistance to infections and recurring colds and sore throats. A MUST HAVE for winter.

 Recipe for Elderberry Syrup

my absolute fave recipe!

Garlic(Allium satvium)

A natural antibiotic, use librally during cold season. Raw is better for you. Add to salad dressings or make the Garlic Oxymel.

Ginger(Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is used for upset stomach, anti inflammatory and antioxidant

Combine with honey & garlic or add to soups.

Ginger syrup to eat on oatmeal or take by the spoonful.

Ginger Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Yield: 1 1/3cups

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Echinacea(Echinacea purpurea)


Purple Coneflower

Powerful herb makes our immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells including cancer cells.

Take at first sign of illness

Stinging Nettle(Urtica dioica)

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

Strengthens the adrenals, allowing you to tolerate more stress with less harm

Nourishes immune system

Packs more energy than coffee without the downside of caffeine

Restores mood, guarantees sound sleep ****REMEMBER what I said about sleep earlier?****

You can make a nourishing infusion with it or add to ranch dressing instead of parsley and add to soups, no one will know except you! Shhhhhh.

Astragalus(Astragalus spp.)

Supports weak or compromised immune system


Used for chronic fatigue, infection, weakness, exhaustion

I add about 4-5 slices of astragalus root to my soup stocks and strain out later. Make sure you buy the root slices so you know what you are getting.

Winter Time Tea – borrowed from the Herbalista – Lorna Mauney-Brodek


We serve this nourishing blend during clinic to provide immune, respiratory, and
emotional support during the dark days of winter. The recipe below is written in parts
so you can blend as little or as much as you like. Please measure parts by weight.

2 parts Nettle Leaf
1 part Oat Straw
1 part Tulsi Basil
1 part Astragalus Root
1 part Lemon Balm
1 part Mullein Leaf
½ part Ginger
¼ part Cinnamon
¼ part Licorice

Blend ingredients and store in glass jar. Use 1 tbsp. per cup of boiled water. Steep
covered for at least 15 minutes. Strain, serve, and enjoy with friends!

If you are in need of any of the above, please visit the Mountain Rose Herbs link below.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin****By shopping at our affiliate links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. These commissions help me continue the blog , try new recipes and share everything I learn with all of you wonderful people! Thank you 🙂One last note, don’t forget your vitamin C, whether you drink a big glass of OJ, eat some greens or make a cup of pine needle tea – get it in there.Enjoy this winter day!Anne-Marie

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