Cold season is definitely upon us, bringing the usual sniffing and sneezing to many families, especially those of us with small children!
If you're looking for some help preventing and treating colds this winter, we hope you'll remember that herbs can be your friend. Here are four plants to get to know this season which may help you stave off colds, reduce the severity of your symptoms, and make you feel better.
Elderberry. Long used to prevent and treat colds, this dark berry is usually sold in the form of a sweet syrup, making it an easy sell with kids! Research indicates that it may boost the production of immune cells, and block the ability of a virus to spread. It may also reduce and shorten the duration of some symptoms.
Garlic. This “stinking rose” may help you fend off a cold (not to mention vampires!). Research suggests that garlic can reduce your chances of becoming sick, and shorten the duration of your symptoms if you do come down with a cold. Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years, valued for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Echinacea. This North American native is one of the most commonly used herbs for preventing and treating colds. Though there is some debate about the its effectiveness, one large analysis found that it reduced the likelihood of developing a cold by 58%, and reduced the duration of symptoms by 1-4 days. It's Motherlove founder Kathryn Higgins' go-to herb for staving off colds!
Goldenseal. Known as “the king of the mucous membranes,” goldenseal is recommended by some herbalists for its anti-inflammatory and antispeptic properties, and may soothe a sore throat. It is toxic in large amounts, so consult your healthcare provider for dosing information.
This information is provided for educational purposes, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for medical information on this topic.