Herbs for Sickness Relief

I know a lot about herbs and nutrition that makes me usually avoid getting sick– but there are those random moments when I’m just a little stressed and exposed to the right germ and don’t take Echinacea or Astragalus to help that I get a bug I can’t kick.

So here are some helpful suggestions for minimizing the debilitation that ensues with the anarchy sickness seems to cause.

1. PEPPERMINT
mintThe aroma of peppermint is very clearing and helps to snow-plow it’s way through the mucous and phlegm so you can have a nice clear breath for a few hours. Yes, for a few HOURS! You can diffuse some essential oil in a diffuser, just smell a little from the bottle, put a dab just under your nose (mixed with some carrier oil* like Jojoba especially if you have sensitive skin) or drink some tea. Peppermint is also good for tummy aches (stomach flu) and sore or tight muscles. A bottle of essential oil is relatively inexpensive (around $10) and the fresh herb is even better. Dried peppermint tea is available everywhere. If you hate the taste of mint, I’m sorry. 🙁 This is a great way to relieve your congestion.

2. LEMONGRASS
LemongrassThis wonderful herb, also called Melissa, has a component Citrole that has been shown to be anti-cancer! Melissa helps break fevers and is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. If you’re sick, the lemony scent also helps to clear your nasal passages and taken as a tea helps to warm you up and sweat out the bad stuff. It’s safe for kids as well and is also a tonic for the nerves helping you to relax (as opposed to stressing out that you’re sick). Lemongrass might be one of the best options for someone with a cold because of all it’s diverse and equally amazing properties. AND, it doubles, triples, quadruples its usefulness as a seasoning for food.

3. LAVENDER
lavenderA lovely aroma, a pretty purple hue and anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties makes lavender a great choice for helping your body feel better. A cup of lavender tea is so soothing and calming (did I mention lavender is soothing and calming?) for the stress and frustration of being sick. While lavender is fighting your cold, you’re also reaping the benefits of lymphatic system movement, pain reduction, and headache reduction.

4. NETTLE
urtica diocaNettle is full of minerals and vitamins to help you feel better– vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and more. Some schools of thought believe that a lack of minerals, vitamins, and other essential parts of a diet can cause sickness and that by taking a multi-vitamin or high dosages of vitamins you’ll get better. For that much, nettle is perfect! You can re-mineralize your body with the fresh weed (it grows commonly all over the world) while you’re getting a feast of other benefits: anti-histimine (to help with allergies), diuretic (to flush toxins from the body), astringent (to help dry up mucous and squeeze out toxins) and increased blood circulation (to spread helpful antibodies more effectively) amongst a host of other things. You can drink nettle even when you’re not sick and side effects are limited (if any) and uncommon.

5. FO TI
he shou wu This is also called He Shou Wu and it’s my favorite tea to drink when I’m sick. Fo Ti is one of the most amazing roots available more commonly to help get your body back to tip top shape. This root helps support the actions of the liver and kidneys and purifies the blood– the primary elimination organs in the body. When your body can clear itself of junk, it will function much better and can focus more on combating the bacterial, viral or fungal invasions creating sickness within your body. Fo Ti is a tonic which means it contains a host of vitamins and minerals to help your body function optimally (like nettle) and has a calming effect on the mind. When I drink a cup of Fo Ti tea I instantly feel better. While Chinese Medicine has its own explanations for why, I know what I feel and that’s what keeps me coming back to this herbal remedy time and time again. 🙂

Hopefully you’re not sick at all, but if you are, these remedies will give you some good things to try and combat the bummer of being sick.

Until next time,

Sarah

*Carrier Oil: a carrier oil helps to deliver a potent essential oil that might otherwise be irritating to the skin. A good example of this is peppermint which can be quite intense and leave a red irritation mark where direct contact was applied. Using a mild, unscented oil (almond, coconut, jojoba) will help to eliminate the “side effects” without diluting the essential oil. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Herbs for Sickness Relief

    • I can write a post just about that! In the meantime, a lot of the herbs on this list double up as blood sugar helpers which is a component of diabetes– Fo Ti helps raise blood sugar levels if they’re low (otherwise unaffected), reduces cholesterol and can help with numbness and blurry vision. And nettles can help lower blood sugar levels if they’re elevated, increase blood circulation, and improve the function of the thyroid and helps to flush excess liquid from the system. Lemongrass also flushes excess liquid from the body. 🙂

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