Need relief to get a coughing child in the middle of the night? Sick of your runny nose and stuffy head? You can make homemade herbal teas and herbal infusions to help alleviate the nasty symptoms of coughs, colds and influenza. This report contains a list of cold and flu fighting herbs, their healing properties and clear directions for how to use them.
Natural Healing Herbs
Many herbs lend themselves nicely as the principal ingredients in medicinal teas to fight coughs, colds and flu. The herbs listed below are used in herbal tea recipes meant to improve the healing process.
- Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) – an immunity-enhancer with powerful anti-flu properties, take just for three weeks, then quit taking for two weeks. Don’t give to children under twelve years old or to anyone who has asthma.
- Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) – its leaves have anti inflammatory, anti-flu and a number of other health-enhancing properties.
- French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) – helps calm a cough and contains anti-flu, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic properties.
- Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) – has many anti-flu and antibacterial properties. Can be used to calm down allergy symptoms, such as hay fever and environmental allergies. Marjoram can be used for similar purposes.
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – a stimulant which helps to calm and cause sleep, and also has anti-cold and anti-flu properties.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – soothes stomach issues, helps with pain and has anti-flu and antibacterial properties. Don’t give to children under twelve years old.
- Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) – has many healthy benefits, anti-flu being among them. May be utilized as a tonic.
- Spearmint (Mentha spicata) exactly the same as peppermint. Don’t give to children under twelve years old.
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – has anti-cough and anti-flu properties. Also an anti-inflammatory that helps with pain, digestion and gut issues.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Same as Greek Oregano, but also enables the memory. However, take just for three weeks, then quit taking for 2 weeks.
How to make Homemade Herbal Teas
For the herbs mentioned in the cold and flu-fighting list above, use the leaves of these plants to produce homemade herbal teas. You can make a tea with the herb alone, or add herbs into a foundation tea such as green tea or chamomile tea.
If you desire, you may add lemon juice, honey or other sweetener to taste. However, most herbal teas taste very pleasant as they are. A bit additional honey will make most teas more palatable for kids, but notice that honey isn’t recommended for children younger than two decades old.
If you’re treating a cough, a cold or the flu, it is ideal to drink the liquid when it’s still hot. Obviously teas made for kids need to be cooled to a safe temperature until they could drink it.
You May Need
- clean boiled water, rather springwater, fresh or saltwater
- teapot and/or tea cups or mugs, ideally china, glass, ceramic or enamel
- tea strainer (optional)
- lemon juice, honey or maple syrup (optional)
- a foundation tea such as green tea or chamomile tea (optional)
You can use dried or fresh herbs to your homemade herbal tea. For each cup of tea required, use a tiny handful of large-leaved herbs or 2-3 sprigs of small-leaved herbs. This is about a tablespoon of herbs per cup. Gently tear large-leaved herbs to assist the phytochemicals to dissipate more readily into the water.
Place the herbs into your teapot or tea cup and then pour boiled water on them. Place the teapot lid cover the teacup with a saucer to include the volatile oils indoors. Leave to steep for at least five minutes. If you use a teapot you can strain the herbs as you pour the tea into a teacup. If you have prepared your tea in a teacup then only allow the herbs settle to the bottom. Sweeten to taste if you desire.
Making herbal infusions is extremely much like making tea. The only difference is that the leaves are left to steep for more than herbal teas, typically a minimum of twenty minutes. Steeping the herbs for more brings out their compounds in a greater concentration. Alternatively you may leave the herbs at the teapot to steep indefinitely and pour the strengthening liquid as you need it within the course of the day.