The “Dark Side” of Winter: Cold & Flu Season
Many times we send flower arrangements to our friends and family to help them smile, to let them know someone is thinking about them and wishing them well Who doesn’t like receiving flowers? But do they really help you “feel better”? Yes, some do, and I'll tell you some that do! Don’t let a nasty bug knock you out – instead use flowers and herbs to de-congest, soothe a sore throat, and feel better!
9 Common Herbs and Flowers to Soothe the Senses and Heal You Faster!
(Before trying anything run it by your physician first, especially if you are pregnant or nursing). I am just sharing my LOVE of flowers and herbs in a way other than a traditional arrangement!
Granted, basil is a summertime herb, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it around all year. To enjoy herbs through the winter, chop the leaves of freshly harvested basil and put them in an ice cube tray, fill the tray with water and freeze. Basil helps reduce fevers and relieve symptoms of colds, coughs, and the flu.
It can be hard to visualize warm country meadows with soft breezes blowing when you’re trapped inside feeling crappy with a cold or flu, but the root of these pretty yellow flowers might help. The roots have powerful expectorant properties. Place the roots and water (1 cup of water for ever 1 oz. of root) in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and drink.
3. Echinacea Purpurea
This pretty little diddy shortens the duration of the common cold and flu, reduces symptoms like sore throats, coughs, and fevers. It is most effective if taken during the earliest stage of infection. Enjoy it as a tea by simmering the root in water for 10 minutes.
The syrup and extracts can help to majorly reduce the swelling in your sinuses and mucus membranes. Think of the organic version of Mucinex. You can also make a tea from the flowers.
Back away from the vapor rub and pick up some eucalyptus. In fact, this plant is often the active ingredient in those over-the-counter chest rubs. Inhaling the vapor of a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil placed in boiling water can help clear sinus and bronchial infections.
Powerful anti-inflammatory agents, helps to open up the sinuses and aids in digestion and eases nausea. Make your own ginger infused herbal tea by simmering cinnamon sticks and freshly sliced ginger in hot water for 30 minutes. You can also use it as a gargle for sore throats.
7. Lemon Balm
Bursting with vitamin C, lemon balm makes a nice tea made by pouring a cup of boiling water over 5-6 fresh leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried leaves. Steep for 5 minutes and strain out the leaves. This tea will help you relax and ease an upset stomach.
If you’ve never tried an essential oil for healing, start here. Breathing in the aromatic rosemary with steam gives great relief to nasal and chest congestion. The benefits of eating rosemary (the plant, not the essential oil) are pretty fantastic, too!
The main active ingredient is menthol which thins mucus and loosens phlegm. Place a few mint leave under your nose and breathe in heavily or make yourself a cup of hot peppermint tea with real, fresh picked mint leaves.
There are so many that I could write about and that have been written about, but I wanted to put out there that flowers and herbs are so much more than soothing to look at! So help beat the Dark Side of Cold and Flu season with flowers and herbs – enjoy and feel better!