An Introduction to Herbal Therapies
The term “Herbal Therapies” may seem a little hokey to some of you, while others may swear by the use of herbs on various ailments.
Beginning in November of 2011 I began researching how one could use herbs and plants instead of over the counter medicines for the ailments most associated with wintertime. Each winter since then I have been updating and revising these pages to match the latest research. This post represents a summary of this years most up-to-date posts.
I am going to show you how you can naturally enhance your immunity, prevent illness and experience optimal health this winter using natural herbs. In western medicine, many of these herbs are not considered medicine and scientific studies have not proven all of the claimed benefits of each herb. In eastern medicine however, these remedies have been used for thousands of years with undeniable results. I am not talking about doing anything out of your usual routine to get the benefits of these remedies. Blending eastern and western medicine has allowed many of these herbs to be widely used in whole food supplements, in tea varieties available at any grocery chain, and even in commercial cough drops.
- Maintaining Resiliency and Preventing Dis-ease – This is the “Level One” of winter herbal therapies. If you are generally healthy and looking to give yourself a leg-up before you get too stressed, too tired, or feel that dreaded tickle in your throat, then an adaptogen will work best for you. Think of adaptogens as giving your entire body the ability to return to homeostasis quickly, and fight off small problems (such as “the winter blahs”) before they become big problems (like needing to take a full day off to sleep in).
Read about my 5 favorite herbs for prevention on this post.
- Enhancing Defenses – Herbs that enhance your bodies natural defenses against germs and stress are different from adaptogens in that these herbs will specifically boost immunity and related functions in a targeted way. These herbs are used when you know you could be getting sick soon. Maybe you don’t feel the sinus pressure building up just yet, but you know there were a lot of sniffles and coughs at your last holiday party.
There are countless plants and even fungi that enhance our innate immunity, the specifics herbs covered in this article are Eleutherococcus, Schisandra, Shiitake Mushroom, Maitake Mushroom, Andrographis and Astalagus. Herbs that benefit the immune system also work wonders on the digestive system and balancing mood. Keep these herbs around during the winter as well as the spring if you typically have unbalanced moods or tummy troubles.
Read more about the specific herbs that boost your immunity on this post.
- Treating Symptoms – Uh – oh, you will want to use these herbs once those dreaded symptoms do pop up. When caught early, herbal therapies, along with a solid supplement routine, may be enough to end the illness. It is also common to use these treatment herbs along with other western remedies. If you are one of the millions of people who experience a winter illness, this time reach for a more natural remedy. You may be surprised at how quickly herbs and foods you might already have in your kitchen can heal your immune system and soothe your symptoms.
There are a number of herbs featured in the specific post (linked below) are categorized by the type of relief you need; gentle expectorants, cough suppressants, natural antimicrobials or soothing demulcents.
Beat the symptoms now by using the herbs found on this post.