photo of garlic bulb
Garlic is an excellent respiratory antiseptic and anticatarrhal.

Herbal relief: Coughs & colds

2 February, 2015

Early treatment is the key to preventing coughs, colds, and flu from becoming too serious or developing complications.

This chart is not comprehensive, but it does contain key herbs that help to combat a fever, reduce catarrh or inflammation, and boost natural immunity They work best if you take the opportunity to rest and reduce excess stress in your life.

If symptoms become serious or do not clear up in a couple of days, seek medical advice.

Garlic (Allium sativum)     

An excellent respiratory antiseptic and anticatarrhal. Take for all types of chest infections, bronchitis, colds, flu, ear infections, and for excess catarrh. Add to food or take capsules or make a cough syrup.

Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)

A soothing expectorant for irritating coughs, tracheitis, and bronchitis. Helps to dispel excess catarrh. Combine with coltsfoot and take as an infusion. The macerated oil is a traditional remedy for earache: place on cotton wool and position in the outer ear.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Reduces the fever of colds and flu by promoting sweating, and also boosts natural immunity. It can be made into a traditional cold and flu tea when combined with .elderflower and peppermint; drink three times a day. Avoid during pregnancy.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

A natural antibiotic and immune booster, echinacea has been proven to shorten the duration of colds and flu. Best taken as a tincture, and combines well with elderberry. Use for coughs, colds, flu, earache, sore throats, and any infection or viruses.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)

A native Australian tree renowned for its antibacterial, decongestant, and immune-boosting properties. Add the leaves to hot water or use the essential oil and use as a steam inhalation or chest salve for colds, flu, catarrh, sinusitis, coughs, bronchitis, asthma, and throat infections.

Elecampane (Inula helenium)

An important herb for chest complaints, as it clears mucus off the chest and has a warming and tonic effect on the lungs. It is also antibacterial, so is great for lung infections. Use to treat any chest infection, bronchitis, asthma, or chronic cough. Take as a decoction or tincture.

Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

An anti-inflammatory and expectorant herb, liquorice is well loved in Chinese and European medicine. Add liquorice powder or tincture to combinations of other appropriate herbs for coughs, catarrh, respiratory infections, and bronchitis.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

A highly effective respiratory antiseptic and expectorant herb useful for infections that involve coughing. Used to treat throat and chest infections, bronchitis, pleurisy, and whooping cough. Take as an infusion or combine the tincture with other appropriate herbs.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

An astringent and tonic herb that is excellent for the relief of sore throats. Use as an infusion or tincture to drink or gargle for sore throats, tonsillitis, laryngitis, and mouth or gum problems. Avoid during pregnancy.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

A traditional remedy for both adults and children in the prevention and treatment of colds, coughs, and sore throats. Has an antiviral and immune-boosting action and is proven to shorten the duration of colds and flu. Take as a decoction, syrup, or tincture.