Hello there!

Well, we are already in mid-Winter, and if we have done well so far—no colds, no flu, no chest issues, then we are almost out of the worst as far as any of the above conditions are concerned.

However, it is always wise to know how to address and/or prevent any of the above.  February can be tricky, so I thought we could talk a little about what Herbs could be of real help here.

So, to begin with, let’s clarify: the so called “common” cold is really a viral infection, and can get aggravated if we don’t take care of it right away.

And we must be aware of the fact that if we do get colds easily and plentifully throughout the winter, it is not really the fault of the poor virus (it just wants to live!) but of our own weakened and unable to fight back Immune System.

So the very first way to fight back colds/flu/aggravated chest issues/etc, is to:

  • Strengthen our immune system—it will know what to do if we help it a little!
  • My first and most important job in the late summer is to make a tincture that will do the best job of protecting my immune system.
  • A tincture is a preparation made with one or more herbs infused in alcohol, for at least one month if not longer. (more on this subject in a future article).
  • A good tincture for strengthening the immune system should include some of the following herbs: Astragalus, Echinacea, Edlerberry, Reishi Mushroom, Garlic, Licorice, Ginger, and a number of other botanicals.
  • Astragalus is a unique Immune System Defense
  • Echinacea is a strong anti-microbial and anti-viral.

For me Echinacea is a MUST: it has been tested and proven, multiple times, to really prevent AND heal colds. I take Echinacea Tincture (a teaspoon 3-4 times a day) as a prophylactic as soon as the weather starts deteriorating, or the minute I feel like a nose or chest cold is coming on.

  • Some of the above herbs also serve well in healing a bad cold, especially Garlic (yes! I eat LOTS of Garlic all the time, like a good Mediterranean!) and Ginger.
    • Garlic is truly unique in preventing AND fighting back colds and flus. It is seriously Antibiotic/Anti-Microbial etc. Just EAT Garlic—LOTS of it— beginning in October (if not year round!) and you will be more than half way on the road to preventing the flu!
    • Ginger is undoubtedly a second best. It is Heating and Antiviral as well, esp. in fighting Colds and flu viruses.
    • Elderberry—both the flowers and berries.  I keep a jar or two full of it, collected from our own wild Eldeberry bushes, and use it preventatively and if I feel I begin showing signs of colds or flus!

So make teas with the above herbs (one teaspoon to a tablespoon of the mixture per cup of water) and drink several of those at the beginning of the flu/cold season!

You will like the tea, and you will stay healthy throughout the winter!


For questions please email me at:

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner