Staying Well in the Winter: Strengthening Our Immune Defense

Staying Well in the Winter: Strengthening Our Immune Defense

By Jhoane Robinson, Herbalist

With the dry, colder weather of winter and being indoors most of the time, being less physically active, and getting exposed to germs of all kinds that other people are spreading around, our immune systems really get challenged during the cooler months of the year.

So here we are at the edge of winter, and people - especially kids - are already coming down with all kinds of stuff. Sniffles, sore throats, respiratory congestion, fevers, etc., etc. This is the time of year that is commonly known as the “cold and flu season.” We can now add Covid and RSV respiratory virus into the wintery mix and try our best to dodge not just one of these winter woes, but complex combinations that can hit us, as well!


In the midst of it all, how do we keep well?

It’s time to learn more about herbs! Herbs have been used in traditional medicine throughout the world for all time, and the beneficial effects of herbs for your immune health are truly amazing.

Let me introduce you to some true health friends from the herbal world:

Astragalus root, Echinacea Root, Ginger Root, Turmeric Root, Goldenseal Root, Holy Basil, Olive Leaf, Oregano Leaf, Elderberry, Reishi and other medicinal mushrooms, are just some of the wonderful herbs from nature that support or boost immune system health.


At Cedar Bear Naturales, we have been applying our decades of herbal expertise to produce effective herbal supplements to help you keep yourself and your family well in the winter, but before we dive into herbs that can make a huge difference in staying well, here are a few important lifestyle tips that can make a real difference for your health:



  • Drink water – the recommended eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day applies as much during the winter as in the summer. (Put your herbs in the water so it can do double duty.)
  • Eat right – eat whole foods, as organic as possible. After all, the right foods are your best medicine! This is the time of year for wholesome homemade soups. More on this later.
  • Exercise – moving your body is very important for your immune health. The lymphatic system depends on our moving to function at its best.
  • Wash hands frequently ­– we learned a lot during the pandemic about the importance of washing. We just need to keep up with it!
  • Sleep – adequate sleep is very important for staying well.
  • Stress – manage your stress load, as stress suppresses the immune system. There are wonderful stress support herbs called adaptogens. We’ll cover them, as well.



You feel the beginnings of a scratchy throat, cold symptoms, or fever coming on. What do you do?

  1. Drink water! Help your body flush whatever is going on out quickly.
  2. Lighten your food load. Go to broth/soups as quickly as possible. NO JUNK FOODS!
  3. Keep your body warm. You want to help your body burn out the bugs! Hot baths really help.
  4. Rest and take it easy, so your body can focus on staying well.


Recipe for Kicking a Sore Throat:

Lemon & Honey Quick Throat Remedy

1 cup hot water

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon honey (local when possible)

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

Pinch cayenne pepper.

Mix ingredients, and sip slowly.


Garlic – Nature’s Antibiotic

Garlic isn’t just for chasing vampires away. Garlic is Nature’s best antibiotic! Use garlic liberally during the winter. Chop fresh garlic and leave it for several minutes to activate its healing qualities. You can add it to the Lemon & Honey drink to increase its immune supporting action.


Chicken Soup for Winter’s Woes

It’s not just an old wives’ tale - Chicken Soup (or vegetable only, if you choose) really does help you get well faster! This is partly because when you are sick your body needs nutrients in a more absorbable form than more solid foods AND when you pack the soup full of health supporting herbs, spices and vegetables, you are literally feeding your immune system what it needs to do its job!

When making soup, use plenty of chopped fresh or dried herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano - to not only flavor the broth, but to strengthen your respiratory and immune health. Use garlic, onion, carrots, celery, chicken (if using). For added immune system bonus, add turmeric and ginger. Make it from scratch! (You can either use the bones from a store-bought rotisserie chicken or bone-in uncooked chicken.) Simmer in water with chopped onions, carrots, celery, black pepper, chopped garlic, turmeric, etc. for 1 hour. Remove bones and meat, season to taste and enjoy! I like to add yogurt to the bowl, which gives additional digestive system support.


Now let’s dive into the herbs!



Helping your immune system is within your power! Besides following the above health support guidelines, you can strengthen your immune system with herbs! These herbs have been used for centuries in herbal healthcare traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine and India’s Ayurvedic Medicine, European early healthcare, as well as in Native American herbal traditions.


Immune Strengthening – Herbs that help strengthen your immune system:

Astragalus Root


Holy Basil Leaf

Olive Leaf

Reishi Mushroom (and other medicinal mushrooms)

Turmeric Root


Immune Activating – Herbs that help activate the immune system, which includes increasing white blood cell activity:

Echinacea Root

Ginger Root

Goldenseal Root

Oregon Grape Root


Cleaning/Clearing Action – Herbs that help knock out wintertime bugs, dry mucous membranes and clear the respiratory system:







Here is a bit more about these herbs and what they do to help your immune health. Since, as herbalists, we use different parts of plants to support our health, the right herb part is important to know. The Latin binomial name helps make sure you have the correct specific medicinal herb. While these herbs are wonderful and available on their own, I’ve included the Cedar Bear® formulas where they work synergistically with other herbs to benefit your health.


Astragalus Root (Astragalus membranaceus) – Deep Immune, Energy & Stress Support

A deep immune system strengthener that helps shield and protect overall health.


Echinacea Root (Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea) – Activating Immune Support

Stimulates immune system cell production and activates them, increasing general activity of the immune system. (Formulas: Echinacea Super Immune, Immune Blast Off! for Kids, Lymphatic Cleanse, Gut Flora Friend)


Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) – Immune & Health Building Support

Wintertime general health support and for immune or upper respiratory systems challenges. (Formulas: Respir Moisten, Respir Dry, Lymphatic Cleanse, Herbal Detox)


Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale) – Supports Immune Function & Reduces Nausea

Supports the immune system’s response in the respiratory system and helps out during immune system challenges by warming the body from the inside out. (Stomach Settler, Uri-Lixer, Turmeric Golden Drops, Brain Booster, Queasy Ease)


Goldenseal Root (Hydrastis canadensis) – Benefits Immune, Respiratory, & Digestive Health

Stimulates the immune system, and supports digestive, urinary and mucous membranes.

(Formulas: Echinacea Super Immune, Herbal Detox)


Holy Basil Leaf [Tulsi] (Osium tenuiflorum) – Stress Reducing Adaptogen & Health Balancer

An adaptogen herb that benefits all systems in the body, including the respiratory, digestive, and immune systems. (Formula: Blood Sugar Support)


Olive Leaf (Olea europaea) – Antioxidant Protection for Immune & Heart Health

An immune strengthener that helps maintain good health during the winter season.


Oregano Leaf (Origanum vulgare) – Immune, Respiratory, & Gastrointestinal Support

An antioxidant powerhouse that helps clear immune and respiratory systems, and supports gastrointestinal health.


Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) – Enhances Vitality, Overall Wellness, & Immune Health. Strengthens underlying energy, benefits overall health, and supports immune function. (Formulas: Liver Build, Gut Flora Friend, Magnificent Mushrooms)


Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – Mucus Clearing, Antioxidant, Expectorant. Helps clear sinuses and upper respiratory system, especially effective in wintertime. (Formulas: Sinus Thyme, Immune Blastoff! For Kids, Thyro Calm, Lymphatic Cleanse, Gut Flora Friend)


Yarrow Leaf/Flower (Achillea millefolium) – Tones & Clears Tissues Throughout the Body

Helps clear the upper respiratory system, stimulates the immune system, helps with winter season health challenges, and even promotes sweating to help clear toxins. (Formulas: Herbal Minerals, Herbal Detox, Lymphatic Cleanse, Pet’s Daily Needs)


Herbal Formulas

When we put these herbs together, they can truly do wonderful things in the body. Here are some Cedar Bear Herbal Formulas, exclusively formulated by Cedar Bear’s Founder and Clinical Formulary Herbalist, L. Carl Robinson to answer some of our wintertime health needs:


Echinacea Super Immune – Activating Immune Support

Helps stimulate the immune system’s production of immune system cells, activate them, and increase the general activity of the immune system. Supports the respiratory system as well as the entire body. INGREDIENTS: Echinacea Purpurea Root, Echinacea Angustifolia Root, Oregon Grape Root, Goldenseal Root, Astragalus Root, Lomatium Root, Usnea Lichen. 


Immune Blast Off! – Immune System Activator Especially for Kids

An immune response activator that supports the digestive system, the liver, and the lymphatic system. INGREDIENTS: Echinacea Purpurea Root, Oregon Grape Root, Black Walnut Hull, Lemon Peel, Thyme Leaf.


Lymphatic Cleanse – Lymphatic & Immune Function Support

Supports healthy lymphatic system fluid dynamics and immune system function. INGREDIENTS: Red Root Bark, Echinacea Purpurea Root, Elder Berry, Plantain Leaf, Graviola Leaf, Blue Vervain Herb, Yarrow Leaf/Flower, Myrrh Oleo-Gum-Resin, Thyme Leaf. 


Magnificent Mushrooms – Immune Function & Health Strengthener

Strengthens the immune system and supports builds and protects overall health. INGREDIENTS: Agaricus Blazei Mushroom, Maitake Mushroom, Reishi Mushroom, Shiitake Mushroom, Lion's Mane Mushroom, Turkey Tail Mushroom. 


Respir Dry - For Wet Coughs – Dries, Cools & Soothes Respiratory Tissues

Helps soothe the throat, move excess fluid from the respiratory system and helps coughs be more productive. Excellent wintertime health remedy. INGREDIENTS: Wild Black Cherry Bark, White Pine Bark, Spikenard Root, Elecampane Root, Elder Berry, Licorice Root, Cinnamon Bark.


Respir Moisten ­- For Dry Coughs – Soothes & Hydrates Dry, Irritated Respiratory Tissues

Soothes, coats, and hydrates dry, irritated tissues in the throat and respiratory system, including the lungs and helps reduce dry, hacky coughs. INGREDIENTS: Mullein Leaf, Marshmallow Root, Angelica Root, Elder Berry, Orange Peel, Calendula Flower. 


Sinus Thyme – Helps Clear Sinuses Fast!

Helps reduce sinus discomfort, stimulates lymphatic drainage, and supports immune function.

INGREDIENTS: Fenugreek Seed, Astragalus Root, Thyme Leaf, Schisandra Berry, Bayberry Root Bark. 


Turmeric Golden Drops – Antioxidant Spice Herbs to Protect Overall Health

Activates “digestive fire,” clear wastes and toxins from the body, and enhances the assimilation of nutrients from the foods to improve digestion, overall energy levels, and healthy detoxification. INGREDIENTS: Turmeric Root, Black Pepper Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Root, Rosemary Leaf, Sage Leaf.



As you can see, there are quite a few herbs that help our immune systems function better and are especially valuable for our health in the wintertime. When using herbs, you will find you have many health benefits above and beyond wintertime immune support. Herbs are packed full of nutrients and micronutrients that our bodies need. It’s a wonderful world of health that opens up to us when we open up to using herbs!


With Cedar Bear’s groundbreaking alcohol-free liquid herbal supplements, (we were the first to create a concentrated effective, great tasting, long lasting herbal extract without alcohol!), you can be assured that you are using the best of the best!



By being in a liquid form, Cedar Bear® herbs are bio-available and bio-utilizable. That means that your body doesn’t have to digest them and every drop goes right to work doing the job it is supposed to do. And there are only 3 things in every Cedar Bear herbal product – the herbs, water, and glycerin. That’s it! No fillers, no additives, no colors, no flavors. They aren’t needed! Just the herbs in their whole, natural form to help your health.



Cedar Bear® has been a trusted herbal supplement manufacturer and seller for three decades! Founded by L. Carl Robinson, Formulary Clinical Herbalist & Jhoane Robinson, Herbalist and Writer, our focus has always been on supporting your health, kid’s health, and pet’s health through the most natural liquid herbal products made with the highest possible standards. Even before FDA and cGMP standards were put in place, we were the first herbal supplement company to become Kosher Certified. We did so because of the high cleanliness standards Kosher Certification requires.

At Cedar Bear®, we make only natural products that are totally alcohol-free. We use the best herbs from all over the world that we can source for our natural remedies, with only the herb, purified water, and the highest grade of glycerin (Kosher and Halal certified, and GMO-Free) in them. Nothing else!

As a small business with big capabilities, we’ve worked hard to always be true to our core values of Innovation, Integrity, and Inspiring, and to always keep the original small batch quality and effectiveness of our products as our company has grown. 



Spend time getting to know Cedar Bear® and explore the information on our website, including other blogs, and join us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tik Tok. Follow, share, and grow with us!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about strengthening your immune system with the wonderful world of herbs from Cedar Bear® for a natural and healthier approach to benefitting your health!


NOTE: If you are on prescription medications, consult with your healthcare professional before adding herbal supplements into your wellness routine. While herbs don’t create side effects that medications do, they may interact with them.

(These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)