1. Echinacea increases levels of properdin, a chemical that activates the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Take before the onset of a cold or flu to speed recovery.
2. Garlic contains allicin, a potent antibiotic, and other compounds that boost the immune system and help fight infection. It works well with echinacea.
3. Onion has antiviral chemicals and properties similar to garlic.
4. Ginger comprises about a dozen antiviral compounds as well as antioxidants. It is an antiseptic, relieves pain, reduces inflammation of mucus membranes, lowers fever and has a mild sedative effect.
5. Goldenseal contains berberine, an antiseptic that activates special white blood cells in the spleen that are responsible for killing bacteria, fungi, viruses and tumor cells.
6. Licorice contains interferon, which causes the body to release antivirals. It also is an expectorant, which helps coughs, and an anti-inflammatory, which soothes sore throats and lung infections. (If you take a lot of it, it acts as a laxative.)
7. Sage has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is used for soothing sore throats and hoarseness as well as cooling high fever.
8. Peppermint reduces fever by making the body sweat. It is an expectorant and a decongestant and can be inhaled to clear sinuses. It also can reduce the pain of headaches and some migraines.
9. Lemon balm tea makes you sweat so you can eliminate toxins.
10. Catnip is a muscle relaxer and mild sedative that induces sleep.
11. Vitamin C helps relieve cold symptoms and fights infection.