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10 Herbs to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter

admin October 18, 2013

10 herbs healthy

This post is sponsored by Trilight Health.

This winter, rather than relying on OTC medications if your family gets sick, consider using herbs.  We’ve made the transition ourselves over the last four years or so and have found we much prefer herbs.  They’re inexpensive, fairly easy to obtain, and have few to no side effects — we can’t say the same about OTC or prescription drugs!

But, if you’re new to herbal medicine, you may not know where to begin.  Try these 10 herbs to help your family stay healthy this winter.

1. Ginger

Ginger is one of my very favorite herbs.  You can buy it in any grocery store (seriously, Walmart carries it) and it’s really inexpensive.  Even the organic is only $5/lb. and a large piece might cost $2 (that will last weeks).  Ginger is anti-inflammatory, it helps colds and sinus infections, general pain, stomach upset, and more.  It’s also safe for kids of all ages (even babies), and pregnant and nursing women.  It’s an all-round awesome remedy.

Try it: Boil 3 – 4 slices of fresh ginger in filtered water for about 10 minutes.  Remove ginger pieces and add honey and/or lemon juice to taste.  Drink warm or hot to soothe upset tummies, scratchy throats, or use for pain.  There is no limit on how much you can consume.  Try it in Trilight Health’s NR Glow.  We’ve used it for illnesses before and it’s helped us.

2. Mullein

Mullein is often a go-to remedy for me.  It’s been said to help with diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, colds, flu, and lots more.  For any respiratory infection, use a tea or a tincture made with mullein.  It can also help with insomnia. It’s fairly safe, including for pregnant/nursing women and children.

Try it: Boil 2 c. water and add 2 tbsp. mullein.  Allow to steep for 10 – 15 minutes and strain.  Add honey to taste, if desired.  Alternately, prepare this immune-boosting tincture to use during illness.  Find mullein in Trilight Health’s Flew Away, for flu or Lungs Plus to strengthen the lungs after any coughing-related illness (RSV, pertussis, etc.).

3. Elderberry

Elderberry is a very popular flu remedy, and for good reason: studies show it can reduce the duration of the flu from 6 – 7 days to only 2 – 3.  It’s strongly anti-viral and fights many infections.  Many people find it both effective and palatable.  It’s safe for kids from around 8 – 12 months

Try it: Make your own elderberry syrup, or use it in cough/cold syrup.

4. Peppermint/spearmint

Peppermint or spearmint are known tummy-soothers.  They can also help with headaches, and peppermint may soothe sore throats (peppermint has a high menthol content that can cool the throat, but spearmint doesn’t).  It’s also very safe for most.  Pregnant or nursing women should be cautious because large doses can present a problem in sensitive women (cause contractions or reduce milk supply), but most women will not have an issue.

Try it: Make mint tea with honey or try this multivitamin tincture.  Find it in Trilight Health’s Tummy Plus.

5. Catnip

Catnip is one of our favorite herbs.  It can help soothe a nervous child — it’s a mild sedative.  It can also treat stomach upset, and may be helpful with coughs.  It’s recently been shown to be an excellent insect repellent.  We use it to help teething babies with great success, and it’s also great for general insomnia.

Try it: Use it in a teething tincture, or make a tea with 1 tsp. catnip to 1 c. water.  Find it in Trilight Health’s Tummy Plus.

6. Marshmallow Root

This plant is where marshmallow, the candy, originally came from!  Today, the candy is made from gelatin and corn syrup, but the marshmallow plant remains in use for humans.  The plant is very high in mucilage, which means that it helps to coat the digestive system.  This means it is effective for coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough, diarrhea, and more.  It also may be used topically, because it is anti-inflammatory, and it may help cuts, scrapes, and infections.

Try it: Make a tea with 1 tsp. marshmallow root and 1 c. water (boil and steep for 10 – 15 min. then sweeten to taste).  You can also include it in cough syrup or tincture.  Or, find it in Trilight Health’s Tummy Plus.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric root has gained popularity lately as a strong anti-inflammatory.  It’s been shown to fight colds, infections, and even cancer.  It’s also been shown to help liver disease, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic illnesses.

Try it: Take it in capsules or consume the powder as a spice (it’s commonly used in curry).

8. Acerola berries

Acerola berries are extremely high in vitamin C.  For this reason, it may be beneficial against colds, flu, whooping cough, and other common winter ailments.  They’re also strongly anti-inflammatory.

Try it: Stir the powder into smoothies or applesauce (1/2 tsp. for kids, 1 tsp. for adults) or put in capsules.

9. Echinacea

For years, people have recommended Echinacea as a cold remedy — because it helps.  It’s beneficial against colds, flu, bronchitis, UTIs, ear infections, candida, and more.  People have used it for almost any infection.  It can cause allergic reactions in some, so be careful if your family has allergies to plants/pollen.

Try it: Find in Trilight Health’s Scout Out, for most any bacterial or viral infection.  (We’ve tried it and it helped our boys.)

10. Goldenseal Root

Goldenseal root is a very expensive, rarer herb.  It’s bright gold colored, and usually used topically.  It’s good for cord care in a newborn baby.  It can be used directly on diaper rash as a powder, including yeast or bacterial rashes.  It helps get rid of both bacterial and viral infections (topically and internally) and soothes sore throats.  Be warned that it’s very powerful, and it makes other herbs more powerful when taken in conjunction.

Try it: Use it topically as a powder, a paste (mix with raw honey), or add it to capsules or tinctures.  Find in Trilight Health’s Scout Out, for most any bacterial or viral infection.  (We’ve tried it and it helped our boys.)

What are your favorite herbs and how do you use them?

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  1. We would try the Scout Out first along with Tummy Plus!

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  2. My son got some nasty crusty (smelly) infection behind both of his ears from the milk running behind it and I could not seen to wash it away- it started getting yeasty. I put some goldenseal powder on it and it dried up in less than 12 hrs and never returned!

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  3. Hi Kate! How do you store all your herbs? I seem to have quite a collection now but not really sure how they should be stored. Or if there is a right or wrong way. Have you done a post on this?

    Reply

  4. […] 10 Herbs to Keep Your Family Healthy this Winter from Modern Alternative Mama […]

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  5. Thank you for this! I just wanted to clarify, is elderberry not safe for nursing mothers?

    Reply

  6. Kate, this is wonderful information. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am making homemade elderberry syrp this year, and am going to order some of these other herbs as well. Love all the stuff you share!

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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