Best Way to Treat Different Kinds of Respiratory Tract Problems with Herbs

Colds, mild flu, and sinus congestion

While in the past sorrel and yellow dock were used to relieve congestion of the nasal passages arising from infection, today the most popular herbs for tackling colds and flu are echinacea and garlic. Echinacea has been approved by Commission E for both boosting immunity and reducing the severity of symptoms. Commission E also approves infusions of the flowers and leaves of meadowsweet, peppermint leaves, the seeds of anise and the flowers (only) of the European elder. These herbs can also soothe the irritation in nasal passages (rhinitis) caused by hay fever and other allergens. Annual chamomile also receives Commission E’s approval for treating these ailments, though some people who are allergic to related ragwort and chrysanthemums may find that they react to chamomile as well. Raw onion may also bring relief. Eat the onion finely chopped or crushed (scattered over a salad or sandwiched between two slices of bread). Of extract the juice using a mechanical or electric juicer and either drink it or prepare a syrup. You can also try infusions of the leaves of sweet marjoram, sorrel, or oregano.

Respiratory Tract Problems Best Way to Treat Different Kinds of Respiratory Tract Problems with Herbs

Coughs and bronchitis

Mild irritation of the throat of bronchial tubes, and coughs as well, are eased by many of the same herbs that are used for colds and allergies. The most highly recommended of these are onion, meadowsweet, annual chamomile, anise seeds and elderflowers. Various other herbs are also approved by Commission E for coughs and bronchitis. Horseradish can be taken as an infusion of the fresh or dried root: chop the fresh root before steeping, or use cut ot ground dried roots. Or you can simply chop or grate fresh horseradish roots and spread the resulting paste on bread or some other bland food, finely grated horseradish or freshly pressed juice can be drunk if diluted with a liquid such as wine. You can also try an infusion of lime blossom or thyme.

To soothe dry coughs, try an infusion of marshmallow, made using the chopped leaves or the roots. You can also make a soothing syrup out of a marshmallow infusion. Cowslip, liquorice, oregano and thyme can aid the relief of congestion. Oregano and thyme can be taken as infusions, liquorice as a decoction of the root. Or try an infusion of cowslip flowers or a decoction of the roots.

Some herbalists tecommend infusions of oregano for coughs. Garlic, eaten raw, is also thought to be helpful. Other herbs that may help soothe a cough include infusions of vervain leaves, or celery seeds or leaves, or decoctions of elecampane roots.

Sore throats

A number of herbs are recommended to soothe sore of scratchy throats. You can make an infusion of calendula flowers or of rose petals (particularly those of Rosa x coitifolia and R. gallica) or the flowers and leaves of annual chamomile. Other options include infusions made from the leaves of witch hazel, peppermint, sage, or blackberry, or from crushed anise seeds. You can drink these infusions, but they are also very soothing when used as gargles. Onions can be eaten raw or prepared as a syrup. All of the above uses are approved by Commission E.

herbs Best Way to Treat Different Kinds of Respiratory Tract Problems with Herbs

Other infusions you might find soothing are lady’s mantle, perennial chamomile, tormentil, or thyme. Or you can try the traditional combination of ginger, garlic, and lemon. Crush a medium-sized garlic clove, grate a piece of ginget toot of about the same size, and squeeze the juice of a lemon. Mix them all together with 1 teaspoon of honey, add 225 ml (1 cup) of warm water, and stir. You can drink up to three cups a day while the symptoms last.

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