With winter just about here, it’s time to start preparing for cold, cough, and flu season. Though many people may stock their shelves with all kinds of store-bought items, we preppers tend to look for the all natural winter remedies whenever possible.
Fortunately, there are many that rival the pills, powders and ointments you’d find at a department store. If I get the same results, I’d much rather ingest something from a natural source than from some lab. Of course, they’ll also work wonders in a survival situation too.
If you aren’t sure about which plant is which, don’t eat it, drink it, or rub it on your skin. Part of maintaining our independence is making sure we stay healthy. Ingesting the wrong thing can put you in the hospital, not keep you out. Educate yourself!
It doesn’t get much easier than this. If you grow hot peppers or otherwise have access to them, they can be a lot of help when a cold has your entire head bound up with mucus.
These peppers contain capsaicin, which is the compound that gives them their hot flavor. As you may have noticed the last time you ate one, peppers can almost immediately thin out mucus, triggering a runny nose (that’s the capsaicin working). You won’t need many peppers to clear out your sinuses or you can even use freshly cut onions.
Compounds in ginger are believed to help with everything from chills to congestion to sore throats to headaches. Basically, it’s a great root for when you’re experiencing the flu.
You can make tea from it by steeping 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger in a mug of hot water. Never consume more than four grams a day or your attempt at self-medicating could backfire by way of diarrhea, heartburn and oral irritation.
If you have an upset stomach, it’s a great reliever of nausea – useful all year around, not just as winter remedies. I use it whenever I head out for a fishing tip where I’ll be in a boat. A little chunk of ginger “between your cheek and gums” has worked wonders against sea sickness.
If you live in an area where mullein grows, you have quite the decongestant waiting for you that works perfectly on stubborn head colds. This plant is easy to identify thanks to being four to six feet tall and surrounded by dead, brown counterparts from the prior year.
Mullein is green, with velvety leaves and flower heads that look like the kind you’d find on a saguaro cactus.
Crush Mullein leaves into boiling water and breathe the vapor for medicine that will start pulling that head cold apart for you.
All-natural herbal tea can begin relieving symptoms of the flu almost immediately, even dropping high temperatures within a couple of hours.
All it takes is an ounce of dried elder flowers and an ounce of peppermint leaves. Mix them together and add them in a quart saucepan. Then bring half a pint of distilled water to a boil and pour it over the herbs. Immediately cover it up and allow the mixture to steep in a hot place for at least 10 minutes (you don’t want it to boil).
At that time, strain it into another saucepan and add some honey, if you like, before enjoying.
There’s no getting around the fact that these little red berries don’t taste great. But that just means there will be more of them available when you need them for cold and flu season.
These berries contain berberine, which functions as an immune system booster, making them a great snack when the weather starts getting colder.
However, if it’s too late and you’re already sick, consume a handful a day to help cut the duration of the illness down.
Barberries are easy to find on small bushes throughout the US. Depending on the type, they should either have thorns in sets of three or on their own growing from the twigs. Inside the berries, you should see dark, thin seeds too, with usually about two in each one.
Yarrow is another flower that is found just about anywhere in the country where sun exposure isn’t an issue. It grows about three-and-a-half feet tall with leaves that are evenly distributed all the way up its stem.
They’re largest at the bottom and middle, but all of them display tiny hairs. When they flower, they generally produce a yellow, white or pink disk-shape. These flowers tend to smell like chrysanthemums.
Aside from making for nice decoration, yarrow can also be utilized for its anti-viral components. While those compounds are busy helping your immune system put up a fight, the diaphoretic elements in this plant will help break your fever with a sweat.
All you have to do is harvest this plant’s leaves and soak them for 10 to 15 minutes. Add honey if you like or simply drink the tea as-is.
If you know where to look, all the help you need to stay healthy this winter season is all around you. The above examples are just handful of ways Mother Nature makes the best pharmacist.