Winter is upon us, and that means spending more time indoors. But it's not all bad! The cold weather can offer some great opportunities for self-care. For example, now's a great time to try out some new winter herbs for wellness.
Oregano is a natural anti-inflammatory that has been used for centuries to help with colds and respiratory issues. It's also great for digestion and bloating, so it can be used in the kitchen as well. Just don't try drinking it like tea: The oils in oregano will irritate your stomach if you do!
Sage is a great herb for boosting the immune system. It can be used to treat sore throats and coughs, which often indicate a compromised immune system. Sage also has antiseptic properties that help with digestion, which makes it an excellent herb for seasonal wellness.
Since sage has such an earthy flavor, you may be surprised by its ability to bring balance to the body's systems and restore healthy skin health with regular use.
Yarrow is a great herb for colds and flu. Yarrow is also one of the best herbs to use for respiratory infections. It can be used both internally and externally.
Yarrow can be used in teas, tinctures, capsules or salves (made with beeswax). The common way to take yarrow is as an infusion: steep 1 tsp of dried yarrow in 8 oz hot water for 10 minutes. Strain out the herbs and sip throughout the day.
While you’re at it, why not make some yarrow honey? Add fresh or dried leaves to your jar of local honey and let steep for 2 weeks before straining out the plant material and enjoying!
Catnip is a common herb that can be used to help with colds and flu, but it can also be combined with other herbs to help with sleep issues. You'll need:
1/2 cup of catnip
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
Add the catnip and ginger powder to a tea bag or large mug. Pour boiling water over the herbs, let steep for 5-10 minutes (or longer if you'd like), then strain out the herbs before drinking. Or for a stronger tincture: fill a quart jar halfway with dried catnip leaves; add enough alcohol (such as brandy) to cover them by 3 inches; leave in a warm place for 30 days; strain off liquid and store in dark bottles at room temperature.
Rosemary is a strong antioxidant that can be used to treat colds and flu. It can also help with digestive problems, headaches, respiratory problems (like allergies), skin problems (like acne), and even strengthen your hair!
Thyme is a good source of iron, calcium and vitamins A and C.
The plant can be used to help with digestion problems, as well as soothing the stomach. It can also help with coughs and colds by promoting respiration through its antibacterial properties.
Angelica - for respiratory, digestive and circulatory issues. Angelica root is a good source of potassium and calcium, which helps regulate blood pressure. To make a tea from this herb, boil one teaspoon of chopped or powdered root in one cup of water for 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups per day until symptoms subside.
Bayberry - an antifungal herb used for colds and fungal infections like athlete's foot and jock itch; it also helps with sore throats related to colds/coughs/bronchitis (in addition to its antioxidant benefits). To make some bayberry tincture at home, place two tablespoons of fresh bayberry leaves into 1 cup vodka in a jar; cover tightly and store out of direct sunlight for three weeks; then strain the liquid through cheesecloth before using it as needed!
Well, that's all we have to say about the herbs of winter. As always, remember to consult a qualified herbalist before trying any new supplement or remedy. Also, if you're in need of more information on how to heal yourself naturally (and perhaps more cheaply than with prescription drugs), visit our website for more.