Many of you may be familiar with echinacea and golden seal for fighting colds and flu, but I have a few other favorites as well!
Using dried powdered herbs, recognized as potent illness-fighters ;), I make my own herbal capsules.
Here are the herbs:
“echinacea raises the body’s natural resistance to infection by stimulating and aiding immune function. It works, in part, by increasing macrophage and T-cell activity, the body’s first line of defense against foreign antigens. It’s also rich in polysaccharides, which help protect cells against invasion by viruses and bacteria. And it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an effective medicine against certain types of fungal and bacterial infections. Though potent, it is safe, with few side effects; even young children and the elderly can use it safely.
Echinacea is always more effective if taken at the early signs of illness, before the illness has the opportunity to 'settle in.'"
"Cayenne is a warming circulatory stimulant, a safe and effective tonic for the heart, and an excellent digestive aid. One of its active ingredients, capsaicin, stimulates circulation throughout the body and assists in digestion by stimulating the release of both saliva and stomach enzymes. Capsaicin also signals the brain to release endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” hormones. And capsaicin has proved so effective as a topical pain reliever for arthritis, bursitis, and muscle and joint aches that it’s the active ingredient in several over-the-counter pain-relief creams. Rich in vitamins A and C, cayenne can aid and support the immune system, which is one of the reasons it’s so useful in formulas for colds and flus”.
“Goldenseal is considered a natural antibiotic, and it is often paired with echinacea to help fight off infections, colds, and flus. It is particularly effective in treating infections of the mucous membranes, found in the respiratory, digestive, skin, and reproductive systems.”
“Thyme is a powerful and effective disinfectant and can be used both externally (as a wash) and internally to help fight off infection. It’s often used to help ward off colds and as a rinse to treat sore throat and oral infections. It also makes a fine tea for treating coughs and chest complaints and is used in many antifungal remedies. A recent study shows that it’s rich in antioxidants (most plants are) and has a markedly tonic effect, supporting normal body functions”
Excerpt From: Gladstar, Rosemary. “Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.” Storey Publishing, 2012. iBooks.
“Astragalus root has been intensively studied by Western scientists. They found that it has an impressive range of immune activating properties. ‘The conclusion being drawn by most Western herbalists,’ comments leading US herbal authority David Hoffmann, ‘is that astragalus is an ideal remedy for anyone who might be immuno-compromised in any way. This can range from someone who easily catches cold to someone with cancer.”
Excerpt From: Infinite Ideas & Barbara Griggs. “Herbal Remedies A-Z.” Infinite Ideas, 2012-12-16T00:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
Here's the recipe:
-1 part Echinacea angustifolia root powder
-1 part Astragalus root powder
-1/2 part Thyme leaf and flower powder
-1/4 part Cayenne pepper powder
-1/4 part golden seal root powder (optional)
***NOTE: When I make my herbal remedies, I do not measure exactly. In my opinion, it's not an exact science. In addition, if I don't have any Astragalus root powder, I simply use more Echinacea in its place.
1. In a non-reactive bowl, mix all of the herbal powders together.
2. Using the Capsule Machine, fill capsules.
3. Store the capsules in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place.
These capsules should stay fresh for 6-12 months.
***Remember, prevention is the best medicine!! This blend is most effective when we use it at the first sign of illness.