Colds + Flu Fighting Formula

Your Cold Season Solution
Stop it before it starts. 2 eBooks just for you! Choose HEALTH!

As many of you know,  I write a lot about cold and flu prevention and treatment and wrote an eBook too ~ “Cold + Flu Season ~ Are YOU Ready?” More info here. It’s a popular topic these days ~ HOW to stay healthy in our increasingly busy lives. I like to be prepared and having, even a general formula, ready for ‘battle’ is a good plan.  When we feel ill? NOT the time to be figuring this out.
I hope you find this helpful. There are 100s+ of formula ideas. This one has worked well for me ~ and family, friends, clients.. for many years.  Do you have a favourite formula? Please share below, in the comments!!

During the colder months, in addition to getting ample rest and organizing ourselves to enjoy warming, nourishing meals, it is helpful to have an herbal medicine collection which is ready to go in the case of colds and/or flu.

Here’s a herbal tincture formula which can be VERY effective in early stages of cold or flu symptoms:

Please check out the ‘glossary‘ if any terms need explanations here.

Elderflower  30%
Echinacea     30%
Boneset        20%
Plantain        10%
Ginger           10%

 Here are some highlights of the herbs in this formula:

Sambucus Nigra


immune stimulant

As an anti-catarrhal herb, elderflower excels, being extremely effective for runny nose symptoms ~ whether due to allergies, sinus issues, colds or flu. Anti-catarrhal herbs prevent excess mucous formation and aid in removing mucous and reducing inflammation in the body; for example, in the areas of sinus and upper respiratory tract. Elder is helpful clearing chronic congestion, ear infections and is used to help to tone the mucous membranes in the entire respiratory system.

Elder combines well with goldenrod to create a hot infusion that can be very helpful with congestion cases of laryngitis, tonsillitis, colds and flu. The classic combination of elder, peppermint and yarrow hot infusion is a well-known treatment for asthma symptoms, bronchial congestion, bronchial spasms, chest infections and sinusitis.

As an expectorant, elderflower can calm and soothe a cough. As a febrifuge, it has the ability to safely bring down very high fevers. As a lymphatic and immune stimulant, elder supports the immune system and studies indicate that elder medicine does indeed shorten the length of colds and flu.

As a relaxing nervine, elderflower is calming to both children and adults. It has a long history of use in cases of anxiety, “frayed nerves” and excessive stress. Children respond well when given elderflower infusion at the first sign of a cold, flu or infection. Elderflower tea (at room temperature) can soothe a sore throat and bring relief to inflamed/sore eyes. It can alleviate symptoms of Conjunctivitis, when the strained tea is used as an eyewash.


Echinacea needs no introduction as an immune-boosting herb. Often people think that we use the roots of this powerful plant ally, and many do. I use a combination of roots, herb and flowers. Each part of echinacea comes together to create a very healing medicine.

Echinacea spp. (Purple Coneflower)

 immune stimulant

Echinacea is an excellent immune stimulant, antiviral and lymphatic
We can use it for any kind of infectious condition. It is known to increase the number and activity of white blood cells.
Echinacea is a wonderful vulnerary. We use the leaves as they are more astringent.
As a strong lymphatic, it is used for conditions with or without infection. 
Excellent herb to help with detoxification, working mostly through it’s strong lymphatic actions. 
Echinacea can be used in a ‘pulsing’ way to help decrease allergies.

Boneset is one of my favourite herbs for so many reasons. There’s nothing like this special green ally when we have a flu and have that deep ache (‘hit by a Mac truck’) and extreme fatigue.

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset)

immune stimulant

As I mentioned above, Boneset is amazing as a help for colds, flu and fevers. It is a specific to help with chicken pox, measles and other ‘eruptive fever’ illnesses: even malaria and typhoid.
Boneset is excellent in cases of respiratory tract conditions, both for runny noses and stuffy noses. It is an immune system booster.
As a diaphoretic, it improves peripheral blood flow and can temporarily lower blood pressure.
We can use Boneset for its wonderful bitter qualities too, and as such, can help with digestive system conditions. It can help to encourage a poor appetite and is part of a protocol to assist with anorexia.

Toxicity: May contain pyrrolzidine alkaloids so should not be more than 30% of any formula and should be used for only 2 months at a time. Not recommended during pregnancy, lactation, serious liver diseases and for children under 3 and seniors over 70.

 Plantain is THE reason that I became impassioned with our green world. What an amazing healing gift. So often thought of as such a common weed, it’s so MUCH more!

 Plantago lanceolata/major (Plantain)


Plantain is amazing for epithelial conditions, such as cuts, scrapes, rashes, bites etc
It can be very effective as a treatment for ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract. Plantain can be very helpful to eliminate fluids from the body; effective detoxifying herb. Good for lymphatic conditions and inflamed urinary tract issues.  Plantain is a relaxing and mucilaginous expectorant. Can be very helpful in cases of irritated coughs. Excellent for children. May need to be mixed with stronger herbs to ‘kick a persistent adult cough to the curb”.

 Ginger is a welcome companion here at Studio Botanica. 

Zingiber officinale (ginger root/rhizome)

appetite stimulant 
blood pressure normalizer  
cardiac tonic
circulatory stimulant
digestive stimulant 
expectorant (both relaxing and stimulating) 

Ginger is anti-nausea and calms motion ‘sickness’. As a carminative and stomachic, it calms tummy irritation and aids digestion/
Ginger is anti-inflammatory and also somewhat analgesic so it can help with pain relief. As a good antibacterial, it supports other anti-microbials in formulae.
In formula: It is also a sort of ‘booster’ and helps the formula reach the entire body (as a circulatory stimulant) In formula, it is used sparingly (around 5-10%)

 The herbs above ALL have more qualities and these lists are by no means complete. I have shared some of their most important ‘attributes’ with respect to this formula. 

Have you read my eBook? 
It’s FULL of super ideas for you and your family ~ prevention and treatment ideas.
COLD + FLU SEASON ~ Are YOU ready??
It’s here.







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