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Herbs With Nicky Treacy Kohler - Beating Colds & Flu

Thursday, 22 September 2005


It's that time of year once again, sniffles and snotty noses are the norm in homes, schools and offices.  Medical herbalist Nicky Treacy-Kohler stops by to give us some tips to stay healthy and happy through the winter months.

Avena Sativa (Porridge) & Cinnamon
A great tip is to eat porridge with cinnamon for breakfast.  Oats support nervous system and cinnamon is very warming for weather change, as it helps the blood circulate more easily.

This herb has a reputed ability to increase the immune system response and thereby ward off colds, flu and other infectious respiratory problems.  It's a native to North America, and is one of the most popular herbs today in both North America and Europe.

For Kids - Multivitamin Floradix
This is the number one preventative for colds for kids.  We would all like our children to get their necessary daily supply of vitamins, this can be difficult but Floradix is super.  Kids actually like the taste as it's made up from fruit extracts and tastes quite sweet.

Adults - Vitamin C
Vitamin C has varying activity in the body at varying levels of intake.  At low levels of consumption, vitamin C is like a trace nutrient:  You need very little of it to stay alive, but without any at all you die. 

Even a few milligrams a day will suffice to preserve life.  At moderate levels of consumption, say 500 to 1,500 mg per day for an adult, the vitamin works to build health in a positive sense.  Statistically, fewer colds will be reported; incidence, severity and duration of influenza will be less.

Nicky also recommends that we drink herbal teas to help our body's immune system in the winter months.  Use one to two teaspoons of the following natural protectors in a cup of boiling water.

Sage is particularly good for sore throats and mild tonsillitis attacks.  It is recommended that people make a tea and gargle it three times a day.  Use one to two teaspoons of sage per cup of boiling water.

Thyme contains volatile oils that have antiseptic qualities which are ideal for treating infections of the respiratory system.  Thyme also contains antispasmodic properties ideal for relieving chronic coughing, muscle spasms and headaches. 

Both the flower and the berry possess powerful antioxidant properties that help protect your health by attacking harmful free radicals that damage cells.  Elderberries also nourish the circulatory system.  Herbalists praise Elderberry as an invigorating, rejuvenating general tonic.  It's been used in chronic fatigue syndrome with good results.

This is a natural tonic for colds and sore stomachs from flu.  Peppermint promotes healthy digestion by soothing and comforting the stomach.  It's frequently used in herbal teas and capsules.  The essential oil of this plant contains menthol, which also displays healthful powers, and is often found in throat-soothers and topical vapor rubs.

Further Information
Call the National Institute for Medical Herbalists on 0044 1392 426 022 or visit their website to find a Medical Herbalist near you.