Now that the holidays have come and gone, we arrive at the worst part of winter. We've had way too much sugar, and we're under lots of family and self-inflicted pressure to be our best selves in the new year. That, along with the dreary weather, makes the long slodge to spring frequently a sick one. Hello, cold and flu season.
But before you run to the nearest pharmacy aisle for cough syrups and nasal sprays and pills, give your garden a second look. Many common kitchen herbs were known as cold-busters before modern pharmaceutical medicine, and they're still just as effective. Many have the added bonus of improving your mood and fending off the winter doldrums too!
Herbs can grow indoors quite happily all year long, so if you've considered growing your own herbal remedies, now is a great time to get started--and Copiana can help! Here are eight common herbs and flowers that are immunity superstars:
A common ingredient in bedtime teas, chamomile promotes restful sleep, and soothes upset stomachs and headaches. It is very gentle, and is excellent to give to children. Take it as a tea or an herbal infusion.
A powerful cold-fighting herb that can still be found in modern medicine, echinacea (also known as coneflower) strengthens a weakened immune system and fights infection and inflammation. The flowers of the plant contain compounds useful for long-term immune support, while echinacea roots help combat sinus inflammation.
- Holy Basil
A powerhouse herbal remedy, this basil varietal, also known as Tulsi, has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Use it to manage stress and boost your immune system before you get sick, or use it to fight bacterial and viral infections once the cold or flu sets in. No wonder Ayurvedic monks refer to this herb as "the incomparable one."
- Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is great for managing stress and achieving healing, restful sleep. Named for its bright, citrusy flavor, the herb makes a delicious and calming tea that can help with indigestion. Lemon balm is traditionally known for its power to increase sweating and break a fever.
Full of antioxidants, oregano is great for fighting infection and maintaining a healthy gut. Up your dosage of oregano by brewing tea with the leaves, or infusing sprigs in a neutral oil.
A great headache banisher, rosemary is antioxidant rich, which makes it friends with your immune system. If you feel a cold coming on, cut it short by taking some rosemary. Try infusing it in a neutral oil, adding a sprig to tea, or roasting it with chicken.
Sage has been used as a healing herb since the ancient Roman era. The Romans liked it so much they named the herb Salvia, "to save." Tea infused with sage can settle an upset stomach, soothe a sore throat, and ease a cough.
Another ancient healing herb, thyme was used by Egyptians in embalming rituals and strewn on floors in Roman homes to deter snakes. Thyme has strong antimicrobial properties, and is frequently incorporated in mouthwashes and cough drops. Thyme fights infection, inflammation, sore throat, and bacteria and will help support your immune system.
Add a few of these herbs to your gardening repertoire, and you'll be ready for anything this winter season throws at you! All of these herbs can be taken as an herbal tisane--simply cover your chosen plant with boiling water for about 10 minutes, and enjoy your soothing tea.
Remember, medicinal herbs aren't the only plant that can get you through cold and flu season. Be sure to eat plenty of whole vegetables to keep your body in tip-top, cold-fighting shape. And with Copiana's state-of-the-art aeroponic technology, you can grow delicious, nutritious greens, herbs, and vegetables year round!