Herbal remedies have proven effective in helping the body maintain good health and help heal respiratory illnesses when they do occur. Of course, if your condition is serious, do not hesitate to seek out the help of your health care practitioner. Some of the following herbal teas, remedies and cough mixtures will be helpful in addition to the medications prescribed by your doctor.
At the first signs of a common cold try some of the following:
Elder-Flower and Yarrow tea. Infuse one teaspoonful each of elder flowers and yarrow flowers in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey if you wish, and drink hot every two or three hours, especially at bedtime. Elder flower reduces nasal inflammation and promotes perspiration while yarrow helps reduce pain and fever.
An aromatic infusion: 1 oz fresh sliced gingeroot, a crumbled cinnamon stick, six cloves, one teaspoon coriander seeds and half a lemon, sliced, in 2-1/2 cups water; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, then drink hot, sweetened with honey if you like, every two or three hours. This tea will get your attention, it tastes good and helps cut phlegm in the throat. The healing properties in ginger are widely used to boost the body's energies and relieve fatigue.
For sore throat, try an herbal gargle:
Choose between the combinations of sage and vinegar or thyme and lemon juice to make a soothing gargle, which is also helpful in cases of laryngitis. Infuse one teaspoon fresh or dried herb leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Add one teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice depending on the herb. Gargle with a little of the infusion and drink the remainder.
For cough and congested sinuses try the following mixture:
Simmer one teaspoon lightly crushed aniseed seeds arid one tablespoon powdered licorice root in 3 cups water for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture over two teaspoons thyme leaves, cover and allow to set for 10 minutes. Strain and drink one cupful, hot, three or four times a day.
Try some essential oils (aromatherapy oils) of herbs such as lavender, eucalyptus, oregano, and thyme for your cough. If you enjoy a hot tub use one, two or three of these oils in the water. A few drops will do, or bring a pan of water to boil, remove from the heat then cover your head with a towel and breathe deeply.
When using herbs for healing it's always best to lighten up the diet using more raw and fresh foods. A pure source of water is a must for healing. If you have a favorite cold remedy and would like to share it, please send it on. Rebecca Huber RN, CMT, 312 Hill Arcade, Galesburg, IL 61401.