Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Planting Herbs For Colds and Flu

The common cold and flu are two different diseases, which make most of us wince every year. This may be when we are under too much pressure and our immune system is weakened, or when we live closer to patients in winter. When I lived in London, I could almost guarantee that I would catch one of them several times during the cold months. All this is due to the sardine like environment of the subway and other public transportation. A person sneezes, OK, you see. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

OTC cold and flu treatments are common, but there are natural alternatives. You can find most of them in supermarkets or health food stores, but you can also grow them yourself. Simple herbs for colds and flu taste better and are milder than traditional medicines. Many are used in normal food recipes, so they are safe enough to be used for self treatment.

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Growth herbal cold medicine

Although some plants are used exclusively for medical treatment, other herbal cold medicines and flu treatments are more common. This means that if you have a bed of cooking herbs, some like thyme, lemon balm, hops and chamomile can also be used as medicines.

Although some herbal treatments should be planted and handled with care, the herbs further introduced are quite safe. This means that you can dedicate garden beds to growing them, or spread them throughout the garden. Plants such as Echinacea purpurea and Valerian have beautiful or fragrant flowers, while other plants are tall and have architectural characteristics, such as the stamen flower.

Some of the plants mentioned are actually shrubs and trees, so they need more space to grow. In a pinch, some can be planted in containers or window frames. However, a larger garden environment is best suited for most introduced plants. When planting herbs, harvest leaves when young and fresh, flowers when fully open, and roots in early autumn.

The common cold and flu are viral infections

Cold and flu are viral infections caused by viruses. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria. They are tiny biological machinery shells filled with DNA or RNA. The whole purpose of their lives seems to be replication and destruction. Viruses are very simple protein based machines that cannot be fully classified as actually alive. For many years, scientists have been debating this issue. I clearly remember that I was fascinated when I listened to a lecture on this topic in school.

The way a cold or flu virus infects you is through contact with saliva or other body fluids. You can become infected by inhaling particles suspended in the air or introducing them into your mouth, eyes, wounds or other exposed tissues. Cold viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to a week, and influenza can survive for about a day. However, just breathing the same air as the patient is enough to make you sick.

Once inside your body, viruses will attack your body's cells and hijack their normal functions for replication and transmission. Some influenza strains are highly toxic, can take over the body, and may cause extreme disease or even death. Because they are viruses, not bacteria, antibiotics have no effect on them.

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Herbs for colds and flu

The nature of viral infection limits what doctors can prescribe to help you after you have a cold or flu. Several types of antiviral drugs may be available, but their effectiveness is questioned. Traditional medicine tends to focus on treating symptoms - cough, congestion, fever, sneezing, pain - and you will be instructed to drink water and get enough rest. Basically, it's about relieving symptoms and waiting for your body's immune system to control the situation.

Herbal remedies for colds and flu work in a similar way to traditional medicines. There are immune system boosters, symptom pacifiers, warming agents and natural sleep assistants. You usually use them as capsules, tinctures or tea, and self dosage may not be as accurate as artificial substances.

Herbs for self-management

If you are currently taking prescription drugs or other herbal supplements, consult your doctor before using herbs. In fact, it's best to talk to your doctor before taking any herbs. Keep in mind that herbs can react with each other and drugs, and can cause quite serious complications. Also pay attention to the correct part of the herb and prepare it correctly. If you have a choice, stick with well-known and safer herbs and ensure that you do not become allergic before using new herbs.

Herbs for common cold and flu

  1. Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) – a wild perennial plant in North America, which can also grow in a garden environment. It is traditionally used by Native Americans to reduce fever, relieve phlegm and relieve symptoms of the common cold. It grows upright, up to five feet high, with lanceolate leaves and purple or white flowers.
  2. Nepetacataria – This perennial green leaf is a delicious tea, which can reduce fever by inducing sweating. If you have a cat, you may want to put the cat in a basket or where they can't enter. It has fluffy gray green leaves and delicate purple and white flowers that pollinators like.
  3. Echinacea – The roots of all three Echinacea species have immune stimulating effects and can be used for medicine. They can be taken in capsule form, made into tincture or boiled into soup. Echinacea grows especially well in most flower boundaries because it can thrive in dry or wet soil.
  4. • Sambucus nigra – native to Europe, the flowers and berries of Sambucus nigra are important immune enhancing herbs. Berries are particularly rich in vitamin C and immune enhancing properties. Herbal tea made from flowers is used for coughing and treating colds and flu. Elders tend to grow wild, but you can also plant this shrub in your garden. They thrive in woodland edge type environments.
  5. • Eucalyptus globulus - There are many kinds of eucalyptus, but it is used to treat colds and flu. It is a preservative, expectorant, and can be used as a warm chest friction agent to stimulate blood flow. Steam inhalation of leaves or essential oils can help open the airways and relieve chest coughs. Please note that this is a big tree and requires considerable space.
  6. Garlic (Allium) – Garlic is a powerful and safe treatment for the common cold and flu. As a natural antibiotic, it can help you stay healthy, fight infection, and relieve chest, nose and throat infections. It can also be used to reduce fever.
  7. Lemon (citrus lemon) - The juice of this familiar citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C, which can enhance immunity. It also relieves sore throats, as evidenced by the common cold treatment of lemon, ginger and honey tea. In temperate climates, lemons grow well in flowerpots. They can be left outdoors in summer and brought indoors or in greenhouses in winter.
  8. Melissa officinalis – The leaves of this lemon mint family plant contain antiviral polyphenols, which can help cure cold sores. Pick the leaves before they bloom and use them fresh in tea, or inject dry leaves into oil to make healing lipstick. This kind of plant is easy to grow, but likes rich and moist soil. It also has a tendency to spread, so it should be maintained like other mint family plants.
  9. Thymus vulgaris – The green leaves of this aromatic herb are used as tea or to make herbal cough syrup. Thyme is a powerful antiseptic and expectorant, which can enhance immunity. This perennial herb is easy to grow out of the seed and is a valuable herb in the herb garden. The fastest way to get started is to buy potted plants and place them in the herb garden. It winters well in temperate climates and can be used for food and herbal treatment.
  10. Achillea millefolium - The flowers and leaves of this garden's "weeds" can be used in combination with other herbs to help with colds and flu. It is a common wild plant in Europe, but it can also be planted in the garden. It doesn't make a fuss and can grow in most soils. Buy potted plants, and then further reproduce this flowering perennial by splitting.
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Herbs for cough and congestion

  1. • Gillette ointment (poplar x candida) - the bud and stem bark of this deciduous tree are used to treat sore throat, cough and respiratory problems. This is a rather big tree, which grows to 80 feet high. Collect buds and bark from twigs in spring.
  2. Cowslip (Primulaveris) – a perennial flower that is endangered in the wild. Planting its root on the edge of the flower is used to remove phlegm, congestion and treat chronic cough. It is said that flowers also have a mild calming effect. If you are planting them, the easiest way is to start from planting. You can plant them with autumn seeds, but expect them to germinate next spring. Cattle slide prefers slightly chalky soil, which performs well in forest land and hedge environment.
  3. Inulahelenium – The root of this plant contains a mucus substance, which can relieve cough and sore throat. It also promotes cough of lung mucus. Tuxiang is an easy to grow herb, which can reach more than six feet. It has cheerful yellow flowers, which are best placed behind the bed or on the frame.
  4. Ginger (ginger) - the staple food in Asian cuisine. The root of this spicy and citrus plant can warm and relieve sore throat and cough. Use several tablets alone or mix with other herbs to make simple tea. You can buy ginger from the supermarket to sprout and grow, but this plant works best in a warm environment.
  5. Horehound (Marrubiumvulgar) - The leaves of this European native herb are used to make cough relievers, usually with honey. A wild woody plant, you can easily plant this member of the mint family in your garden. It likes dry and open places, but make sure it is included, because like mint, it tends to spread.
  6. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch) - It is native to shrubs in southern Europe. Licorice is widely planted because of its sweet root. Although it is said to be 50 times sweeter than sugar, it is mainly used as a herbal medicine today. Among other properties, the root has an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps relieve cough and chest infection. This perennial plant grows to more than three feet high and has a wide range of roots, so please choose your site and soil. You can breed licorice by separating its roots in spring and planting it for another 3-4 years before harvest in autumn.
  7. Verbascumthapsus - The leaves and flowers of this tall biennial plant are used to treat cough and congestion. It is an expectorant, like several other herbs mentioned, which means it brings mucus from the lungs. It is easy for me to find the stamen flower for self seeding. Although I have it in my garden, I never plant it deliberately. It has soft, velvety leaves and a tall yellow flower stem, which grows in the second year. As the flowers on the stems bloom gradually, you may need to harvest them throughout the season and dry them before using them in herbal preparations.