Treating the Flu with Western Herbs

Tis’ high-season for the flu right now, and I happen to have a heightened awareness of this particular flu’s nastiness since I got it. Waaaaaaaaaahhhh!

Okay, whining over. Now… what to do?

A couple of days ago, I was doing some research into how to treat the terrible cough (persistent, hacking, unproductive) that I’d developed and  I came across a post on Methow Valley Herbs, and was reminded of the utter awesomeness of Rosalee de la Forȇt. Rosalee is a clinical herbalist and herbal educator who trained under a few reputable herbalists, including another of my favorites – Michael Tierra. Her website is one of my favorite places to visit when I need information on a herb that’s not included in my Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, or when I simply want to read more about the art of herbalism (which I basically always want to read about).

Natural medicine, herbs, mortar

If you’re sick, or someone you love is sick, or you just want to do what you can to support your immunity in order to avoid this nasty bug, here is a thorough 5-part piece on everything you need to know when using herbs to treat/prevent a cold or flu.

More on Rosalee and Methow Valley Herbs:

I fell in love with Rosalee when I came across these couple of introductory paragraphs from her website. A basic tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that there is no “one-size-fits all” in regards to treatment, whether you’re using herbs or acupuncture.  The belief is that every single person who walks through the door will have a unique pattern of signs and symptoms and must be treated accordingly. I was happy to find another herbalist who stressed the importance of this approach.

Here’s a blurb from Rosalee’s website:

Using this one herb for that one disease sometimes works. It most often times doesn’t, especially for chronic disease. There’s no one herb for eczema, or for fibromyalgia or PMS. Instead we want to fully assess a person constitutionally, understand the energetics of their symptoms and use herbs to match the herbs to the person. Whether you study traditional Western Herbalism, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine or the countless other herbal modalities out there each of them has a specialized way of approaching illness. Looking up eczema in an article index and then determining burdock will work (which it sometimes does) is not practicing the art of herbalism. This is more the art of index retrieval. People are complex, diseases are complex. If a solution seems too simple (particularly for chronic disease), it probably is.
She’s my kind of herbalist – part detective, part scholar, 1oo percent respect for the individualized needs of the patient.
Check her out – bet you’ll love her as much as I do. Her herbal monographs are full of information and beautiful photos.
Oh – as for my cough, after an hour or so of muzzy-headed research (it’s not always fun to treat yourself, but sometimes, when you’re stuck at home, you just do what you gotta do), I settled on Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup. It’s suited to my specific set of symptoms, and blended with hot water, makes a tasty sipping tea.