Flu season is rearing it’s ugly head again and if you have a green thumb, you may want to look into what types of herbs you can grow in your backyard that can fortify your family from getting sick. Along with the festive lights of Christmas and Hanukkah, flu season has slowly begun to infiltrate our neighborhoods. But even if your neighbors have started decorating a little too early, it’s never too soon to start taking preventative measures against the flu. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like which OTC cough syrup has the safest ingredients, how to get the kids gardening in the winter, & natural flu prevention tips, now join us as we explore the five herbs that you can grow in the backyard and bust out during flu season.
It’s estimated that the flu kills as many as 30,000 people each year across the United States. Though the elderly, children and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk for flu-related death, anyone can be harmed if they contract the flu. Luckily, there are natural ways to combat the flu, some of which you can grow in your own backyard. There are countless herbal remedies for preventing the flu before it settles in for the holidays. Here are five garden plants and herbs that can help boost your immune system and kick the flu to the curb.
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Sage-infused tea works wonders when it comes to easing sore throats and stomach pains associated with the flu. It might be hard to offer your children because of the bitter, pungent taste, but for the determined adult, sage is great for your body during times of sickness.
Sage is also jam-packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A to boost your immune system and send bacteria running. It’s also known as the “Thinker’s Tea” because it can help improve your memory. Keep this herb in mind when you start coming down with the sickness.
If the bitter taste of sage didn’t soothe your stomach, the refreshing taste of peppermint might. Peppermint and tea go together like snow and ice — it’s nearly impossible to have one without the other. And when it comes to treating flu symptoms, peppermint works wonders. Not only does it help your upset stomach, but it also cools down your fever, minimizes the pressure of headaches, and can even loosen sinus congestion.
If you’re not a fan of tea, you can even steep it in hot water to use as an herbal steam when you want to loosen your sinuses. Just sit with a towel around your head and rest your face above the water. The steam can help loosen this painful congestion. Just keep a few tissues around for when you’re done.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps because of the flu, Thyme can boost your mood along with your immune system. It’s another bitter herb that might not appeal to children but it works wonders when it comes to helping ease your sore throat. Similar to sage, this herb also relieves headaches and stomach cramps, but it also works to ease body aches many experiences because of the flu.
Thyme is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. So put down the ibuprofen and drink a pungent cup when you want to ease your cough.
Rosemary goes great with bread and the flu. This fever-reducing herb is essential for early stages of the flu when you’re stuck under a blanket trying to figure out if you’re hot or cold.
It works similarly to sage as well. It helps improve your memory, fight infection, and is packed with vitamins C and A. It also fights against just about anything. The list of anti-everything seems to go on and on:
Like peppermint, you can also use this herb as a steamer in the event you hate the taste of tea. Though, a spoonful of honey might help. I also like using rosemary as a concoction for my kid’s hair when there is a lice outbreak at their schools.
Rounding out our top five is another plant I want to put in my holiday bread. Another anti-everything herb, garlic is amazing as a backyard anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral medicine.
Unlike the other herbs, however, garlic can go in more than just your tea. Try it in bread, in soup, raw, cooked, or any number of ways to gain garlic’s greatness during times of duress. It’s one of the most powerful plants when your body is suffering from the flu.
Making garlic lemonade is great for this time as well. You only need 4 garlic cloves sliced, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon and honey to taste. First, boil the water then set it back to low and add the garlic slices and just let it sit for 10 minutes, then add the lemon juice and honey to taste.
These are just some of the great backyard herbs and plants that can help ease your cold and flu symptoms this holiday season. So stop sneezing and start singing your holiday favorites with these natural remedies.