Herb therapy for a springtime cold

The capricious weather conditions of late winter and early spring often bring on respiratory problems such as coughs, sore throats, bronchitis and acute sinus and lung infection. This seasons’ fair seems to be sinus infection with headache, sore throat, cough and a nasty long lasting bronchitis. Definitely a tough bug.

Herbal remedies have been proven effective in helping the body maintain good health, and help heal respiratory illnesses when they do occur. Use the following herbal teas at the first sign of any symptoms. These remedies and cough mixtures will be helpful in addition to the medications that may have been prescribed by your doctor.

Elder Flower and Yarrow tea help reduce nasal inflammation, promote perspiration, and reduce the pain and fever that may accompany a cold. Use one teaspoonful of elder and yarrow flowers to each cup of boiling water. Allow mixture to steep for 15 minutes. Sip a Chinese teacup full every three- four hours. Sweeten with honey if desired.

For a tea that will get your stuffy nose going and loosen sinus congestion make an aromatic infusion of one ounce sliced ginger root, a crumbled cinnamon stick, six cloves, one teaspoon of coriander seeds and a half a lemon sliced added to two-three cups of water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and drink hot every two-three hours. The ginger boosts immunity and soothes a sore throat. This one can be sweetened with honey as well.

For sore throat, try an herbal gargle. Choose between these combinations: sage and vinegar or thyme and lemon juice known to soothe sore throats. Add one-teaspoon fresh or dried herb leaves in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for ten minutes. Add one-teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice depending on the herb. Gargle with a little then drink the rest.

For cough and congested sinuses try the following mixture: Simmer one teaspoon lightly crushed aniseed seed and one tablespoon powdered licorice root in three cups of water for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture over two teaspoons thyme leaves, cover and allow to set for ten minutes. Strain and drink one cupful hot three or four times a day.

Use aromatherapy oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, oregano and thyme for cough. If you enjoy a hot tub use one, two or three of these oils in your bath 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.

You can boost your immunity and better allow the herbal therapy to work by eating a lighter diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Go lightly on meats, dairy breads and other heavier foods.

Always use the purest water you can when making teas, preferably bottled. Use only stainless steel or glass pans for boiling and do not heat herb mixtures in the microwave. You may store any remaining teas in the refrigerator for use over the next two-three days.

Till next time, Rebecca