Even though it is wintertime, you should not forget about the potency of medicinal herbs. Herbs can naturally maintain energy levels, fight inflammation, improve circulation, improve brain health, stabilize your mood, fight sickness, and relieve insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Therefore, it is important to stockpile herbs for wintertime health.
You can either grow your own herbs in an outdoor garden, grow them indoors all year round, or buy them from your local health store or online in bulk.
These 7 selected herbs are essential for wintertime health, and you should keep a stockpile on hand all season long.
7 Herbs You Should Stockpile For Wintertime Health
1. Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Asian ginseng is a 2,000-year-old herbal remedy for promoting energy, controlling the emotions, enlightening the mind, and increasing wisdom.
Since the 1960’s, extensive research has been performed on ginseng. It shows that this herb can fight colds and the flu, improve heart health, help with type II diabetes, increase mental performance, improve physical performance, is a natural stress reliever, reduces the risk of cancer, and relieves symptoms of menopause.
Ginseng contains over 18 active chemicals called ginsenosides which are used in Chinese Traditional Medicine to treat fatigue and loss of concentration.
Ginseng is readily available in health stores as a nutrition supplement and is a potent herb to use for wintertime health.
2. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile has been used for centuries as an anxiety reducer and sleep aid. Researchers credit its soothing sedative properties to alpha-bisabolol, a component found in its oil.
Because of its antibacterial properties, chamomile tea may aid in the prevention of colds while defending against bacterial-related illness, as well. If you get a cold and have a sore throat, chamomile tea is also good for relieving sore throat symptoms.
Furthermore, chamomile can reduce stress and soothe stomach aches.
Chamomile is a potent herb for wintertime health, and you can easily grow it in your garden or even in indoor pots. Simply harvest the flowers after they fully open, and allow them to dry out before using them.
To make a tea, steep the dried flower heads for 5 minutes and add honey to taste.
3. Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, E. purpurea)
Echinacea is praised by the Native Americans to cure ailments ranging from the common cold to cancer. In fact, it was the best selling plant for curing sicknesses in the United States until 1920 when antibiotics became more readily available. However, in Europe, it is still prescribed by physicians today and is a potent herb for wintertime health.
Echinacea enhances the activity of white blood cells and boosts the immune system. If you are already sick, taking echinacea or drinking echinacea tea will accelerate in killing the virus and increase healing.
Echinacea is incredibly easy to grow yourself in a garden. In fact, it comes back every year with no work at all. Just pick the flower heads and dry them out to make your own echinacea tea.
4. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
St. John’s Wort can offer the same benefits of a prescription antidepressant but without all the side effects. Because depression is common in the winter, St. John’s Wort is a beneficial herb for wintertime health.
In the middle ages, St. John’s Wort was considered mysterious, having mystic properties. By the 19th century, physicians were readily using it as a mild sedative, and today, it’s used to promote good emotional health and to battle depression.
St. John’s Wort is easy to grow, and once you get it going, it grows like a weed. Simply harvest the flowers to make powders, tinctures, and teas with them.
To make a tea, steep 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the dried flower in 1 cup of hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. Add honey for flavor.
5. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Bilberry is the cousin of the blueberry and has been a popular medicine since the 16th century.
The leaves can be used to fight pain due to inflammation. They can also be used topically and internally to fight infection, stop diarrhea, fight scurvy, and be chewed on to treat mouth sores and pain.
The berries are extremely high in vitamin C, which makes them a super antioxidant to help fight disease. In fact, a lack of vitamin C is extremely dangerous. Read about how an entire village vanished due to a lack of vitamin C.
Bilberry is also used to treat eye problems and to promote good eyesight.
You can grow a bilberry bush in most climates. To use as a herb for wintertime health, use the fruit to make and can jams. Dry out the leaves to use as slaves, powder, and to steep teas.
6. Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis, S. nigra)
Elderberry is part of the honeysuckle family. Herbalist use Elder fruit and elder flower to treat fevers, colds, and the flu.
Furthermore, the plant’s bark, when ingested, is a safe way to induce vomiting in case of a poisoning.
Make homemade, nutritional jams with the antioxidant berries. Can the jams for wintertime use.
To use as a herb for wintertime health, dry out the leaves and flowers to make teas and powders.
You can grow an elderberry bush in most climates.
The ancient Romans and Greeks had a great appreciation for oregano, due primarily to its many medicinal uses.
Oregano is antioxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, and has anti-inflammatory qualities.
Furthermore, oregano is a carminative, which means it lessens gas formation in the stomach, and a cholagogue, enabling bile to released more easily and aiding in the digestion of fats.
Oregano is excellent for treating respiratory illnesses if inhaled or ingested, skin ailments as a salve or oil, and arthritis or muscle pain as an oil. Furthermore, you can use oil of oregano to ward off heart disease.
When you feel a cold or the flu coming on, place a drop or two of oil of oregano under your tongue and let it sit there for 30 seconds before swallowing it. The antiviral properties will begin to fight off viruses, and the antioxidant properties will give your immune system a proper boost.
Oregano is an easy kitchen herb to grow and cultivate on your own.
To learn how to make homemade oil of oregano, read 5 simple steps to making oil of oregano.
In conclusion, it is essential to stockpile with wintertime herbal treatments for medicinal use.
Time doesn’t lie─many cultures use these potent herbs to treat many medical conditions and have for centuries. More importantly, you don’t get all the side effects of OTC and prescription meds.
Robin and the Zen team.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Cover Photo Source– Pixabay.com