From October through February, households around the United States stock up on cough medicines, update vaccinations, and double down sterilizing routines, all in an effort to keep the flu at bay. Try as we may, the flu still hits hard and infects millions every year.
Though vaccines and other medicines are essential to flu prevention, sometimes the best line of flu defense is your own body. An individual’s immune system is built specifically for keeping out viruses and bacteria. Supporting your body’s existing defenses through clean eating and natural supplements can protect your family from all kinds of winter sicknesses.
This flu season, help your body fight off illness naturally. Try keeping these five garden herbs and plants in your kitchen to boost your immune system and fight off the terrible symptoms of the flu:
#1. Sage (Salvia officinalis)
When used in teas, sage has been known to help both sick and healthy people alike conquer their days. Sage enhances memory, alleviates stomach cramps, and soothes a sore throat. Sage is also antibacterial and high in vitamins K, C, and A. These properties mean sage can lessen flu symptoms and help prevent the illness in the first place.
Make Sage Tea
If a flu fever has your stomach in knots and your head feeling fuzzy, pour a cup of hot water over one teaspoon of dried sage or two fresh leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink up!
#2. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme can help clear mucus on the tongue, in the lungs, and in your throat, which alleviates coughing. Thyme also provides relief from the headaches, body aches, and cramps that the flu brings. This herb has even been used to enhance mood and fight depression.
Make Thyme Tea
If you’re sick with the flu or just feeling bad, steep one teaspoon of dried thyme or two teaspoons of fresh leaves in hot water. Strain and sip to start feeling better.
#3. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Peppermint is known for its delicious, cool, and fresh taste. While that cooling sensation certainly helps a sore throat, peppermint packs other benefits. This herb can soothe an upset stomach, sinus infection, and a headache simultaneously. Peppermint might even help reduce a fever.
Make Peppermint Tea
To enjoy some minty benefits, let one teaspoon of dried peppermint or two fresh teaspoons of leaves steep in hot water. After ten minutes, strain and drink.
Make Peppermint Steam
As a steam, peppermint can also help loosen congestion. Place a handful of leaves in a medium bowl. Pour just-boiled water over the leaves. Wrap your face in a towel, and then hold your head over the bow to inhale the steam. Use caution to avoid burns, and repeat as necessary.
#4. Garlic (Allium sativum)
For thousands of years, this strong-smelling root has been used to fight off all kinds of illnesses. Garlic is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal, making it the perfect immune-boosting food.
To utilize the health-boosting magic of garlic, simply eat it whenever you can! Try following your garlicky snacks with some mint tea to keep your breath smelling fresh.
#5. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Finally, rosemary boasts a long list of healthy benefits. It fights inflammation, dangerous bacteria, and harmful fungal infections. Rosemary also contains excellent quantities of vitamin A and C. Like sage, rosemary boosts memory, and it can even alleviate the chills associated with a fever.
To enjoy the benefits of rosemary, follow the steps above to make a tea or steam as you would with peppermint.
This flu season, fight infection naturally with ingredients from your garden or spice cupboard! By working with your body to boost immunity, herbs and vegetables can keep you feeling great throughout the winter. Whether your symptoms involve headaches, fever, or just a runny nose, try these easy home remedies to hasten your recovery.