Immune-supporting Recipes for Cold and Flu

A photo of a bottle of cayenne pepper, measuring spoons, ginger root, garlic, and a lemon on a green plaid cloth

Here are four recipes you can try at home using the herbs featured on our Get Well Soon card. All these recipes are paleo friendly and gluten free; the sick day herbal tea and elecampane candy are also vegan friendly.

Read more about these herbs in our The Story Behind the Designs blog post: “Get Well Soon” with Medicinal Herbs for Cold & Flu.

Sick Day Herbal Tea

This recipe makes enough tea for about 12 cups of tea. This recipe is given by weight, so a kitchen scale is recommended. We’ve also included the recipe in parts so you can adapt it to  the tools you do have (for instance, one part could be one cup).


  • 2 ounces (2 parts) elderberries
  • ¾ ounces (¾ parts) echinacea root (or herb and root)
  • ¾ ounces (¾ part) chamomile flowers
  • ¼ ounces (¼ part) elecampane root (can be reduced to ⅛ part if desired)
  • 3 ½ grams (⅛ part) ginger powder
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste
  • ¼ oz (¼ part) licorice root (optional)
  • ¼ oz (¼ part) yarrow herb (optional)


  1. Measure out and combine all herbs in a mixing bowl. Stir or shake the herbs to combine evenly.
  2. Measure out 1-2 tablespoons of the herb mix per 8-12 ounces of tea you would like to make.
  3. Pour boiling water over the desired amount of herbs and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes.
    Optional: For a stronger tea, simmer the herbs on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Do NOT boil!
  4. Strain out the herbs and add honey and lemon to taste.
    Optional: make it a toddy! Add a splash of whiskey for a traditional cold remedy.

Echinacea Wildflower Seed Card

Garlic Infused Honey

This honey is fantastic for cooking, spreading on toast, or mixing into medicinal teas. It can be kept on the counter for several weeks or in the fridge for several months.


  • 1 small to medium head of garlic
  • Raw honey (about ½ cup if using a 4 oz jar)
  • A clean 4 oz glass jar with lid, or other container with a tight sealing lid


  1. Peel the garlic. You can gently crush the cloves to aid in peeling.
  2. Place the peeled cloves in your jar or container.
  3. Pour enough raw honey over the cloves to cover them fully. No cloves should be exposed to the air. For a 4 oz container you will need about ½ cup of honey.
  4. Seal the jar/container and leave in a cool, dark place for at least one week before using. Two  to three weeks is preferable for a stronger flavor.

This honey and the garlic cloves themselves can be used for a variety of purposes, including Garlic Shots!

Garlic Shots

A medicinal dose of garlic that can be taken daily as a preventative and for overall health.


  • 2 tsp of garlic infused honey
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Optional: dash of cayenne pepper for kick!


  1. Add the garlic honey, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (if using) to a small mug or teacup.
  2. Pour no more than 2 oz of hot water over your ingredients.
  3. Stir to dissolve the honey.
  4. Drink up! Be careful that the mixture has cooled before throwing it back.

Elecampane Candy

This recipe is for those who want to delve a little deeper into plant medicines. You’ll need access to fresh elecampane root and a bit of spare time. This recipe will make one batch of candied root that will last for several months stored in a cool, dry place.


  • 1 medium elecampane root, washed and scraped (scrape the skin off with a spoon as you would with Ginger). Weigh the root.
  • Maple syrup: one ounce (by weight) for each ounce of root
  • 2 to 8 tablespoons of water

You will also need: a silicon baking sheet (preferred) or wax paper.


  1. Scrub the root with a vegetable brush to remove dirt.
  2. Scrape the skin off of the root using the side of a spoon. It’s not necessary to scrape every bit off as if peeling, but you want to reduce the amount of overall skin on the root.
  3. Slice the root into dime sized pieces about ¼ inch thick
  4. Add the maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of water, and sliced root to a medium saucepan
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, adding more water as needed. The water helps to soften the roots and prevents the maple syrup from caramelizing too quickly.
  6. Keep the syrup at a low boil, ensuring that it does not burn by stirring regularly. After about ten minutes, it will thicken and the roots will start to clump together.
  7. Once the roots clump together, remove them from the heat and immediately transfer them to a non-stick surface like a silicon baking sheet (wax paper works, but not as well). Spread them out with a spatula and allow them to cool completely.
    Note: If you have extra syrup, pour it off into a heat safe glass container to use as an infused sugar.*
  8. Once the candied roots have cooled, they should appear sugar encrusted. Transfer them to a tight sealing container and store them in the fridge or a cool, dry pantry.

These candied roots can be eaten before meals as a digestive or taken as a cough remedy. It’s recommended to eat no more than 3 to 4 per day during an illness and no more than 2 per day as a digestive.

*If you saved extra syrup, this infused sugar can be added to teas as desired (about 2 teaspoons per cup), limiting use as with the candies.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Peace of Mind for Coronavirus: Herbal Support for Viral Infections, Herbs for Cold Days, Invasive Plant Medicine, The Story Behind the Designs


About the author:

Vincent Frano is an avid student of nature. He is trained as an herbalist with over 10 years of experience in European traditions with knowledge of Ayurvedic and North American herbs. He holds a BS in Sustainable Horticulture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he focused on herbal medicines, native plants, invasive species, and ecosystem restoration. Vincent is the co-founder of Small Victories and is the lead illustrator for Small Victories' products.

This article is copyright 2023 Small Victories.
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Information on this website has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All information is for educational purposes only. The U.S. FDA does not evaluate or test herbs or herbal products. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease. Please consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment.