Monday, December 21, 2009

10 Herbs & Spices for the (Winter Time) Herbal Medicine Chest

This is a list of 10 herbs and spices that are a wonderful addition to your (winter) home remedy medicine chest. I will be posting remedies throughout this week containing these ingredients as well as more useful information about other herbs, spices and essential oils to use during the winter time months.


Astragalus is a popular Chinese herb. It is immune stimulating, an antiviral as well as a general liver strengthener. It is used in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) for treating a person with external factors that are affecting one's ability to stay in balance energetically and pgysically. It is a general tonic herb for promoting vitality and building strength. Astragalus protects the body from stress. Be it emotional, physical or spiritual.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is an often overlooked spice. Yet is it useful for so many different things. It is anti carcinogenic and is also useful in treating stomach ailments. Good for gas and a full tummy. It is also a wonderful remedy for skin ailments believe it or not and can help with tooth pain! Most of all it is a warming herb and can help reduce inflammation from different types of winter ailments.


This is a good spice to get your circulation flowing. It is good for many digestive problems as well as a good immune tonic. My favorite thing to use it for is sinus troubles! Clears you right out! FAST! Tortilla soup is my long held remedy for sinus trouble! (That and fire cider!)


Cinnamon is reminiscent of the winter season for good reason. It is stimulating & warming. Did you know cinnamon has anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal properties? It is an appetite stimulant as well as a good remedy for flatulence and ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also useful in treating colds/flu and urinary tract infections. This spice is my favorite in tea on top of some freshly whipped cream on a cold winter day!

Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seed tea is a favorite for coughs, bronchitis and sinus issues. It is good for breaking up nasty chest and nasal congestion. It is useful in treating asthma and pertussis It is also an antispasmodic and good for relieving stomach cramps and promotes good digestion. I love the taste of fennel!


Of course garlic is the most common cure all of all the herbs and spices out there. Consuming more garlic can help you build immunity and is basically good for strengthening every organ system in your body! It is a good think to consume if you get sick but good to load up on in the winter months. I love it roasted until soft as butter and spread on toast. I can eat several bulbs in one sitting this way.


Ginger is a wonderful root. It is warming in nature and a wonderful addition to your cupboard for the winter season. No herbalists home should be without ginger root! It is good for stomach ailments, respiratory issues as well as a great circulatory and digestive tonic. It can be made into an infusion, compress, infused oil, eaten,etc. A must have!


Horehound is a root that is good for all respiratory ailments. I like it for making cough syrups and pastilles. As well as in tea. It is something I use for chest colds with my children and they love it. It is the best thing for sore throats besides hot tea!


Stimulating and warm, nutmeg promotes calm. It is good for inducing sleep and for digestive issues. It is a good promoter of the circulatory system. (This spice is toxic in high doses so uses sparingly!) Of course who can resist some eggnog at this time of year!?! Nutmeg is sure to make you merry and promotes good spirits.


Rosemary is useful for probably 100 ailments. From colds to flu and arthritis pain as well as skin irritations. It is a good herb to uplift the spirits and for those recovering from illness. I like to use it too soothe nerves and help relieve muscle pain. It can be eaten, infused into oil and drunk as a tea as well as made into oils or salves.

Try experimenting with any one of these herbs & spices and think about adding some of them to your herbal medicine chest for winter time. They are very versatile and can be used in not only seasoning your food but for medicine too!


  1. Fabulous choice of herbs. I look forward to the future remedies you'll be posting!

  2. very, very nice april:) you have inspired me to make ginger infused oil to use in a salve tomorrow! thank you for sharing:)

  3. Great article April. I could probably deal with most things just using the rosemary.