Healing Herbs Are Great for These Winter Health Woes

It’s winter. You’re cooped up inside more often, and you might be feeling the effects! But rather than settling for seasonal depression, a worsening mood, and other things that can take a toll on your immune system–add these herbs to your winter routine! The best herbs for women during the winter months help you get a better night’s sleep, relieve stress, and boost the immune system, among many other health benefits. In this article we will explore healing herbs that have been used in Ayurvedic medicine as well as traditional Chinese medicine to relieve symptoms and improve women’s health during the winter months.

Best Herbs for Cold + Flu

Cold and flu symptoms can be harsh–and there’s usually no way around that, but you’re not as out of luck as you think if you happen to come down with one of the viral infections floating around. In addition to getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated, herbal remedies can play a role in preventing severe symptoms and help you get on the mend a little quicker.


Astragalus is best known for its traditional use as a tonic to support your body’s “qi” or energy. It’s also been used to promote healthy defense systems and overall vitality (1). Astragalus is one among several foundational medicinal herbs used in Ayurveda and TCM. The active constituents in astragalus have also been used to keep the immune system healthy, and may shorten the duration of cold symptoms.

Some smaller studies also show it can also reduce the frequency and severity of upper respiratory tract infections (2).

Where can you find astragalus? The Defender makes it easy to get a daily dose of astragalus, as well as immune supportive vitamin C and zinc.


Echinacea is great for battling a cold, and makes a beautiful addition to you garden.

Echinacea is an herbal remedy traditionally used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes, such as sinus infections, skin problems, allergies, the common cold, and other infections.

In one study, researchers found all strains of flu virus tests were “very sensitive” to the prepared echinacea tincture, leading to the conclusion that this herb have potent antiviral properties–especially against the common cold and flu (3). Echinacea was also found to shorten the duration of flu symptoms like a sore throat, and the number of sick days compared to conventional care. This dried herb is popular in tea and immune supportive supplements. Echinacea is also an easy-to-grow (and beautiful) addition to your garden.

Related: The 4 Best Things to Drink When You’re Sick with the Flu

Holy Basil, or Tulsi

In Ayurveda, Tulsi is known as “The Queen of Herbs” for its many health benefits. The leaves of the Tulsi plant have anti-inflammatory properties, a wide range of antimicrobial properties, and have even been studied for their use against the effects of stress. Tulsi may also improve congested airways, an upset stomach, and protect against upper respiratory infections, and the common cold (4).

If you’re looking for an Ayurvedic herb that does it all, Tulsi is one of the best herbs for women.

Get more: 7 Wellness Tonics for Women’s Health


Herbs are easy to find in most health food stores.

Garlic has similar health benefits and maintains powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties which support the immune system and help ward off cold symptoms. Fun fact: Garlic was fed to both Greek and Roman soldiers as an aid to “strength and endurance”(5). They might not have known it at the time, but it likely helped keep harmful pathogens at bay.

Its active ingredient, called allicin, is released when garlic is crushed, though some of these beneficial properties are reduced during cooking.

Thankfully, you don’t have to chew on raw garlic to get it’s benefits–garlic supplements are easy to find in most health food stores.

Herbal Remedies for a Mood Boost

Siberian Ginseng

Got the winter blues? Adaptogens are here to make these colder winter months a little brighter. Siberian ginseng can help mediate the effects of stress, giving you a gentle boost in mood. Also called eleuthero, this herb is frequently used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine remedies to increase energy and the body’s overall vitality.

It may also increase the liver’s ability to metabolize toxins, as well as stimulating endurance and alleviating fatigue (6). We’re often more susceptible to getting sick when we’re feeling tired and worn out. Adaptogens give us greater resilience to stressors that might slow the immune system.

Bacopa monnieri has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help the body adapt to stress and resist disease. It has been used for centuries as a nerve tonic, memory enhancer, anti-anxiety aid, antidepressant supplement, and brain tonic, among other things.

It can boost growth of new neurons in our hippocampus which is an area deeply involved with learning and forming memories. Bacopa also increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which is important for the growth of neurons and neurotransmitters. It can reduce anxiety without causing drowsiness or affecting cognitive abilities (7).

Read more: The Nutrients All Moms Need for a Better Mood

Herbs for Better Sleep


Chamomile is a flower native to Western Europe, India and western Asia. It has become widely used in the Western world to promote sleep and calm. Chamomile has a long history of use in folk medicine to alleviate stress, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and restlessness. More recent research supports the benefits of chamomile’s medicinal properties.

A cup of chamomile tea before bed will not only make you feel better it can also improve your immune health as well as balance mood swings during PMS (8).

Magnolia Bark Extract

If you have trouble relaxing a busy brain at night, magnolia bark can help you get to sleep without the side effects of over-the-counter drugs or other habit-forming sleep aids–which makes it one of the best herbs for women’s sleep. A recent study showed that the extract can improve sleep quality and duration. Magnolia bark has also been used traditionally used as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety remedy (9).

Get magnolia bark, along with calming magnesium, in Sleep Savior.

Best Herbs for Women and Hormone Balance

In the winter, hormone imbalance symptoms like difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and sugar cravings can get even worse. Medicinal herbs are a helpful option for anyone experiencing symptoms of estrogen dominance, or other health conditions that worsen hormone health.

I often recommend clary sage–especially if you’re nearing perimenopause. Clary sage can help balance estrogen levels by decreasing cortisol and improving thyroid hormone levels. One particular study examined 22 post-menopausal women and concluded that clary sage oil was effective for improving mood and hormonal balance (10).


Geranium can also support healthy hormone balance. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and may reduce PMS symptoms like menstrual cramps. Geranium is one of the best herbs for women, and is easily found as an essential oil.

Dandelion Root

Much of a healthy hormone balance has to do with a healthy liver. And to help your liver play its part in hormone health, dandelion root is a simple herbal remedy. Dandelion root supports healthy liver detox, and can facilitate the elimination of toxins via the liver and digestion. You can add dandelion root to a

cup of boiling water, steep for 5 minutes, and enjoy plain or sweeten with a little raw honey.

Although herbs can be helpful in regulating hormones, they are not a replacement for hormone therapy. Please consult with a qualified integrative doctor before taking any herbs or supplements if you take synthetic prescription drugs like birth control pills and HRT.

Watch: The 5 Best Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

Natural Remedies for Sore Throat

Honey and lemon

Lemon and honey are two ingredients you’ll want to have

on hand all winter, especially to battle the effects of a common cold. I know–these aren’t considered herbs–but both of these ingredients can help you alleviate a sore throat, and they make it super easy to brew your favorite herbs into a tea–like ginger, echinacea, or astragalus.

Honey also serves to coat the throat, and may help to relieve some of the discomfort associated with the common cold. Raw honey also has a variety of immune-boosting constituents in it that may help you get over your sore throat a little quicker. Research also shows that Manuka honey can reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections (11). Plus, it’s now easy to find in most grocery stores.

I like to add honey and lemon juice to warm water, and then steep any herbal remedies I have and enjoy it as a soothing drink.

Get my recipe for soothing golden milk here.

Herbs to Alleviate Stress

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang is a powerful relaxing remedy because it helps mediate the effects of high stress. This healing flower can lower cortisol, and as a result, this promotes healthy progesterone production as well. You can find ylang ylang in most lines of essential oils.


Valerian root is helpful for reducing anxiety associated with PMS and menopause. It can also improves the quality of sleep. Steep in a tea or find it in capsules or tincture form at most health food stores.

The Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bloat Fast


Ginger is one of a few natural remedies to soothe digestive troubles and help improve slow digestion that may lead to bloating and gas. This root facilitates the movement of food through the digestive tract and stomach.

Fennel is also a digestive tract savior. The seeds have a compound that relaxes GI spasms, which allows gas to pass and relieve bloating. You can find fennel and fennel seeds as dried herbs and in certain dishes. You can also chew on the seeds directly or sip on a fennel tea at the end of a meal.

Is bloating a regular thing for you? Balance digestion and get rid of bloating with one easy scoop of Belly Fix>>>

Using Herbal Remedies During the Winter

The winter season poses many challenges for women, and it can also be a time when we need to take extra care of ourselves. The best herbs for women help alleviate some common ailments such as bloating or gas pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping due to stress or anxiety, hormone imbalance related symptoms like depression or cramps (perimenopause), and common cold symptoms. We recommend looking into Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for ideas on which herbal remedies might work best for you this winter!

Want to learn how to use more traditional remedies for digestion, hormone balance, and so much more? Add your name to this list!


  1. Ping Liu, et al. Anti-Aging Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus (Huangqi): A Well-Known Chinese Tonic. Aging and Disease 2017 Dec; 8(6): 868–886.
  2. Block KI, Mead MN, Immune system effects of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus: a review. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2003 Sep;2(3):247-67.
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058675/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
  5. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/3/951S/4687053
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/173297/
  7. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-80045-2
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590161321000144
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365644/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24802524/
  11. https://ebm.bmj.com/content/26/2/57