Wintering Well: Herbs to Combat the Common Cold with this Winter

Ebony Nash - Integrative Naturopath - Bayleaf Wellness - BHSc (Nat)

Waking up to the dark mornings, the cold brisk air, condensation covering the widows and perhaps even some frost… yep, winter is here. Fortunately, not all is doom and gloom! We have some pretty spectacular everyday herbs that you can have throughout winter to help combat symptoms of the common cold. These are herbs that are readily available at your local store; are easy to grow at home; or if you’re lucky, are already growing in your backyard. I’ll give you some tips at the very end on how to best consume these herbs during winter as some can taste… ahhh… a little herby.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

This beautiful herb is well known for its astringent and antimicrobial properties and its these properties that help to soothe an irritated throat while killing off bad bacteria. But did you know that sage can also help reduce excess sweating that coincides with cold and flu? Now, I don’t condone completely stopping these sweats as this is our body’s natural process to help fight and eliminate viruses, but this could help you have a more restful night’s sleep without waking drenched in sweat. But, before you get any ideas, sweating in excess can lead to complications like dehydration. If excess sweating sounds like you when battling a cold or flu, then sage is for you and remember to keep up your fluids.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme is my absolute favourite winter herb, one that I drink whenever I feel run down and on the verge of getting a cold. Thyme has wonderful natural antibacterial and expectorant properties which can help to expel mucous and kill bad bacteria. The phytochemicals in thyme also have antispasmodic properties that can be helpful in conditions like bronchitis. Thyme helps to reduce bronchial spasm which is the cause of that notorious cough that coincides with bronchitis.