My Top Three Herbs for Cold and flu

Firstly, I Consider the Quality of the Herbs

When you are taking herbs to treat a cold or flu, you need to consider the quality. Especially if in the past you were not entirely happy with the result. Yet, a lot of this comes down to the herb’s quality and the dose. The quality depends on many factors including how the growing conditions, harvesting practices, potency, and manufacturing processes. Check out my post on the quality of herbs “Don’t be Fooled. Not all Herbs are Equal”

Which Herb of Is Right for Your Cold of Flu?

Depending on your circumstances, condition, age and medication. The selection process can be complicated making it difficult to identify what herbs you use. Furthermore, there are other considerations like:

  • What strength of herbs to take
    • Practitioner only (higher strength)
    • Over the counter
  • Side effects:
    • Allergic reactions.
    • Nausea vomiting.
    • Liver and kidney sensitives.
  • When to take the herbs?
    • On an empty stomach.
    • Or with food.

Besides that, if this all seems too overwhelming, you may choose to see me for a personalised professional assessment.

Generally, as a rule, I use these herbs in the clinic for cold and flu.

1. Echinacea angustifolia

Due to, numerous clinical trials have shown echinacea extracts to have the ability to shorten the duration and severity of colds. ref. Echinacea is seen to be a modulator. That means it regulates your immune system to either building immune cells up or down depending on the body’s requirements. ref.

2. Andrographis paniculata

Andrographis is a powerful herb that stimulates the body’s natural immune response. It can be used as a preventive. Also, it is beneficial for acute treatment and reducing the duration of cold symptoms.

3. Astragalus membranous

Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb. On the whole, studies show that Astragalus has both antiviral and immune-enhancing properties, ref. It works by stimulating immune cells, such as.

  • T-helper cells.
  • Monocytes.
  • Neutrophils.
  • Lymphocytes.
  • Phagocytes.
  • Macrophages.

However, to get this result the correct dosage and potency are required for treatment.


Any persistent cough, accompanied by a headache or fever and/or has yellow or green mucus should be evaluated by a healthcare practitioner. One precaution I have read is regarding the honey: do not give honey to children under 1 year of age unless it is pasteurised or boiled for five minutes. I would not give this mixture to a young child. If a child has a persistent cough, they should see a doctor.

Caution with anti-rejection medication

In spite of the great benefits of immune herbs. It would be wise if you’re on any anti-rejection medicines to check with your doctor before you take any herbs that may interfere with your medication.

If you are you inspired and feeling passionate about this article?

Let me know, I would love to hear from you. Furthermore, if you think of a friend or someone special that you would like to read this story… feel free to share it with them. Ultimately, my goal is to provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision on the way to best support your health goals.

If there are any aspects of your diet or health, you would like to discuss or clarify. Contact us through this website or if it is of a more private nature contact me directly.

In wisdom and good health
Phone: 0409 278 320

Written by: Brendon Groves Clinical Naturopathic Practitioner and Founder of Groves Naturopathics


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