There is that time of the year when the cold and flu season is at its peak. While prevention from the start is one of the best possible defenses, what is the right thing to do when the symptoms hit?

Some people use herbs to treat, alleviate and shorten their cold and flu symptoms. If these herbs are taken on a regular basis, it is possible to prevent illness from worsening or turning into more detrimental forms such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Some of the herbs to look out for include thyme, ginger, garlic, lemon, honey and sage. Here are the recipes for herbal remedies to get you started:

Cold and Flu Tea

The tea can be pretty effective but do take note that garlic can irritate the stomach, so you may need to adjust the amount or even eliminate it when you are planning to drink this often. The ingredients you will need are fresh ginger slices with their skin on, chopped garlic, cayenne powder, honey, tea of choice (herbal, oolong, green or black) and milk (optional).

• Bring the chopped garlic and fresh ginger to a boil then let it simmer for about 20 minutes

• Steep the tea with the ginger water

• Add cayenne powder that should be enough to induce perspiration

• Add honey taste

• Add milk or other dairy alternatives such as soy or almond

• Drink up to 4 cups of tea per day

• Try to drink it before bed and keep yourself warm to perspire eventually

Garlic Lemonade

This recipe that is suitable for consumption through the duration of illness. You will need up to 4 chopped garlic cloves, 4 slices of fresh ginger, water, raw honey and up to 3 lemons. Here’s what you need to do:

• Combine the fresh ginger slices and chopped garlic in a 1 quarter mason jar

• Cover and allow the contents to steep for 20 minutes

• Add lemon juice and honey to taste (most likely 1/4 cup will suffice)

• Either strain or leave the herbs in the mixture

• Best to consume when warm or room temperature, and not chilled

Herbal Honey

For this recipe, you will need ingredients such as a sterilized and dry jar with lid, 1/4 cup of dried powdered herb and a full cup of raw honey. To prepare the drink, just follow these instructions:

• Put herbs and honey into the jar and place it in a double boiler over low heat

• Let it heat up for 20 minutes. Take note not to let the honey scorch or boil

• Stir the mixture, remove it from the heat source and let it cool

• Proceed to seal and store when it is completely cooled

This honey can be used in your tea too. If you want a stronger version, leave the plant material in the honey for two weeks before using.