Fabulous Friday: Make Your Own Herbal Formula!

So, this week we’ve been talking all about herbs. And, as you can see, there is a lot that goes into perfecting an herbal formula and treating your symptoms or illness! But not all of the herbal treatments are through-your-practitioner-only. This one, for Fabulous Friday, is over the counter—your kitchen counter!

This formula is something you can make if you came down with a cold. Especially because the weather is cold and damp right now, so you need something warm and pungent. It’s also great for if you’re feeling sluggish and need to get going in the morning without drinking coffee.

This formula is more specific to if you have a “Wind-Cold” virus: chills, clear phlegm, and a scratchy throat. If you have a “Wind-Heat” virus—fever, green phlegm, or a sore throat—don’t use this formula. Refer back to our old friend Yin Qiao instead!


Chief herb: Ginger. This warm herb stimulates your immune system, helps you break a sweat, and “releases the exterior.” Use three quarter-sized slices.

Deputy herb: Scallion stalk. This supports the ginger in stimulating your immune system and warming you up. Use two stalks of scallions.

Assistant herb: Fresh mint. Mint is cooling, so it will balance the warming effects of the first two herbs and assist in stimulating your immune system. Use one sprig.

Envoy herb: Licorice root. If you don’t have licorice root, you can also use anise or fennel. Just a pinch. Or, you could use licorice tea. This will harmonize the brew and make it easy for your body to digest (and give it a deliciously sweet aftertaste).

Envoy herb for a really bad head cold: Green tea. If the congestion is all in your head, your other option for an envoy herb would be to use green tea with this formula, because it will bring the remedy it straight to your head.

Put the herbs in a couple of cups of water, put it on the stove, and bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the licorice or green tea bag if you chose those. Cool to a comfortable drinking temperature. Sip this over the course of an hour to stimulate your immune system. If you really want to get after that cold, bundle up in blankets while you drink the tea to sweat it out.

Keep this remedy on hand for the next few months to fight off those spring colds. Be well!