Sunday, February 8, 2009

Immune System Boosters

Echinacea purpurea Photo by Jacobolus

Yes, perhaps this is a tad bit tardy, but we still have plenty of cold/flu season left to go through here in the North!

This is an article that we done by Registered Holistic Nutritionist and friend, Rebecca Mullins (posted with her permission), that was originally published in Alive and Fit in December 2008.

Enjoy the read!



Immune System Boosters by Rebecca Mullins

One of the easiest and most delightful ways to equip your immune system is by drinking herbal teas. Herbal teas are made from fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds, or roots of herbs.

Loose lead teas are consistently higher-grade, making them higher in anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins than tea bags. Teas made with organic herbs (grown in conditions without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms) and grown in nutritionally rich soil provide you with the greatest amount of health benefits.

Teas That Boost Your Immune System


Echinacea is a traditional favourite for colds and flus. It stimulates the immune system and is helpful to the lymphatic system. It fights viral infection, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing, making it a key herb to use whenever the body is under attack. It has a distinctive, rather strong taste.


This staple remedial root has proven very effective in treating infection and inflammation of the mucus membranes lining the upper respiratory tract. It has powerful antibiotic properties. When combined with echinacea, goldenseal effectively shortens the duration of colds and the flu. It has a bitter taste, and is best sweetened with honey.


The Asian variety of ginseng has immune-enhancing properties that prevent infection with influenza. It is an adaptogen; it increased the body's resistance to stress while doing no harm. It also reduces inflammation from ailments such as sore throats. It tastes a little bit like green tea, but has a milder flavour.


Elderberry prevents a virus from invading respiratory tract cells, and relieves bronchitis, asthma, sore throats and colds. It is an excellent internal cleanser, and has anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and immuno-stimulant properties. It has a very mellow, dried fruit kind of flavour.


Mullein, also known as flannel flower and velvet plant for its soft , velvety feels, is an herb that has long been used to treat all kinds of ailments, including breathing and lung problems. It contains compounds that inhibit flu viruses. A tea made with mullein flowers or leaves provide throat-soothing mucilage and also have an expectorant effect. It has a honey-like fragrance and an almond-like taste.


Astragalus root enhances the immune system and strengthens the body's resistance to disease. It also increases the number of stem cells in bone marrow and speeds their growth into active immune cells. It can help shorten the duration of colds and flu and boost white blood cell production. It has a very mild taste.

Linden Flower

At the onset of flu, linden flower tea with 2 drops of lemon balm oil is very effective. When you start to sweat, quickly go to bed and continue sweating for one hour. Change clothes, rub body dry and try to sleep. This therapy often stops the flu before it becomes full-blown. It was known in ancient times as the 'nectar of the kings' because of its sweet taste.


Anonymous said...

i have heard that elder berry is good for allergies as well, like hay fever.

shanna said...

Good article. There are so many herbs that can help during the cold and flu season. The author hit on many useful ones.

nefaeria said...

Anon: I never knew that, very interesting!

Shanna: I am glad you liked the article!

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