Winter is when we are most likely to catch a cold or the flu. With my help, you can prepare yourself with herbs and home remedies to avoid infection and to build a strong immune system.
I prefer safe antibacterial herbs such as echinacea, usnea, or poke root, which not only kill infection, but also help us keep our immune systems strong. These herbs have an extensive history of countering resistant bacteria and strengthening the body's natural defenses. I also recommend medicinal mushrooms, garlic, and ginseng to help you during the winter season. And remember: our thoughts affect our health too!
Echinacea root is the all-American immune system strengthener. It triggers production of white blood cells, interferon, leukocytes, T-cells, and B-lymphocytes, as well as directly inhibiting the growth of most bacteria and viruses. Peter Holmes, author of Energetics of Western Herbs, cites it as being effective against anthrax. Echinacea tincture is my first choice for countering infection. (Capsules and pills of Echinacea, if used for lengthy periods, may be counter-productive.) A dose of the tincture is one drop for every pound of body weight. I take this several times a week as a preventative; several times daily when there is active infection.
Usnea, a common lichen, is especially rich in a powerful antibacterial bitter called usnic acid (also usinic acid). I use the tincture of Usnea barbata (a dose is 1-2 dropperfuls), but other lichens show similar immune-enhancing and tonifying properties. There are no side effects reported from use of even large amounts of usnea tincture.
Poke root tincture (Phytolacca americana) kicks the immune system into gear incredibly fast. I