Did you know there are herbs for respiratory health, that have been used traditionally as natural home remedies?
Herbs are one of our closest allies in maintaining an optimum state of health and well-being.
An increasing number of people are embracing herbs, and they are including herbal remedies in their daily life.
In this article, I will share with you some herbs and herbal remedies that can assist you in overcoming respiratory conditions like coughs and chest infections, sore throat, congestion, sinusitis, colds, and flu.
Coughs and chest infections
Coughs and chest infections often happen as a result of some form of infection or irritation in the respiratory tract. Coughing is the body’s natural reflex for getting rid of mucous and other substances from the airways.
If the infections are not dealt with in a speedy manner, then the can lead to conditions like bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Some coughs can be dry; and are normally caused by allergies or irritation. On the other hand, coughs can be wet and phlegmy, usually resulting from an infection.
For healing dry coughs, it’s best to use mucilaginous(syrupy) and antitussive(suppressant/relieving) herbs. These types of herbs will help to soothe irritation and inflammation and relax the airways.
In order to treat coughs with a lot of mucous/phlegm, using herbs. It’s best to use herbs that are mucolytic, for thinning the mucous, and also herbs that are expectorant for gently encouraging the cough reflex.
Ideally, herbs for coughs are taken in syrups to soothe and coat the respiratory tract.
Some suggested herbs for addressing coughs and chest infections are; garlic, echinacea, elderberry, thyme, elecampane, ginger, and Liquorice.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may ease a dry cough, and also relax the membranes in the airways.
Garlic, echinacea, and elderberry are excellent at fighting infections and boosting the immune system.
Thyme and licorice are expectorant herbs, and elecampane is both mucilaginous and expectorant.
1. Soothing Garlic, Honey, and Ginger Cough Syrup
Ingredients: 1 clove of garlic(or more), a 1″ piece of ginger(or more), and 1/4 cup of honey
How to make: Peel the garlic, and the ginger( or you can use the ginger in the skin, as long as it’s washed properly). Chop them into pieces, and maybe pound them lightly to help extract the juices. Then simply put into a small jar and cover with honey.
Cover it and leave for at least half an hour before using it. It’s better to make it in advance, for whenever you need it.
You can take a spoonful every morning and night before bed.
This cough syrup can last up to 6 months in the fridge.
2. Elderberry, Liquorice, Thyme cough syrup
This is a very effective cough syrup that supports the immune system and while battling infections at the same time.
To make this homemade cough syrup, just follow this elderberry cough syrup recipe, and add 3 tbs of licorice root, and 4-5 sprigs of thyme when boiling the berries.
A sore throat usually indicates the beginning of a cold or flu. If it is neglected and not addressed quickly, it can lead to more serious infections like laryngitis or tonsilitis.
Some suggested herbs for a sore throat are; Sage, Blackberry, Honeysuckle blossoms, Elderflower, Elderberry, and Echinacea.
1. Sage Gargle
Sage has long been used as a traditional remedy for sore throat, because of its ability to kill bacteria and tone irritated tissues.
Ingredients: 1 cup of water, 1 tbs of sage leaves.
How to make: Put the water and sage into a pot and bring to a gentle boil. After it starts boiling then turn the flame down low and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. After this point, you switch it off and let the mixture cool. Once cooled you can use it to gargle your throat.
2. Honeysuckle, and honey infusion
This combination of honeysuckle blossoms and honey has pain-relieving and antiviral properties.
Ingredients: Honeysuckle blossoms, honey.
How to make: In order to make this amazing infusion, you’ll need to fill a quart jar half-way with honeysuckle blossoms. Then you pour enough honey to cover it.
After pouring the honey, cover it with a lid and place it by a sunny windowsill. Try to flip the jar at least once a day.
Allow the mixture to infuse for at least a week before using it. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will be.
Once the honey has infused to your liking, strain out the honeysuckle blossoms. Then store it in a cool, dark place.
3. Echinacea sore throat spray
The echinacea in this spray stimulates the immune system while giving a fresh tingling pain relief.
Ingredients: 15 ml elderberry infusion, 10 ml of honey, 20 ml Echinacea tincture, 5 ml sage tincture.
How to make: Mix all the ingredients and pour into a sterilized 50 ml spray bottle. Put the label and date on the bottle so you’ll know what’s in it and when it was made.
the spray can last up to 1 year in a cool, and dry place.
Congestion and sinusitis
Whenever there is a build-up of mucous in the cavities of the upper airways, it causes congestion. Extreme congestion can lead to blocked sinus passages, causing discomfort and pain in the face and eye area.
Sinusitis is closely linked with a sensitivity to dairy, or fungal infection.
Some of the suggested herbs for treating congestion and sinusitis are; Ground Ivy, Plantain, Elderflower, Elderberry, Echinacea, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Sage, Basil
1. Eucalyptus steam inhalation
Ingredients: Eucalyptus essential oil, 2 cups of water.
How to make: To make this remedy, just boil some water and then pour it into a bowl. Then you add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into it.
Once this is done, just cover your head with a towel and hang it over the bowl. Then slowly inhale the steam until you feel much better and feel less stuffy.
2. Plantain, Ground Ivy, and Ginger tea
Ingredients: Plantain leaves, Ground Ivy, Ginger root, water.
How to make: To make the tea, you put all the ingredients into a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Then you turn off the flame and let it steep for five to ten minutes to extract the powerful antioxidants and nutrients they contain.
Pour into a cup and enjoy. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar(preferably brown), the choice is yours.
Cold and flu
Stress and lack of rest make us more susceptible to catching cold and flu. This is often a sign from our body that we need to slow down for a bit and nourish ourselves.
Many of us tend to go for store-bought medication at the first sign of a cold or flu. However, there are many herbs that offer similar results.
Fevers and weakened immune systems are two of the most common symptoms of the flu.
There are some very powerful herbs to restore ourselves to an optimum balance.
The two types of herbs that help to counteract cold and flu are diaphoretic herbs and herbs that support the immune system.
Diaphoretic herbs normalize the body temperature, by opening the pores and encouraging sweating. While Immune-boosting herbs help to neutralize viral infections and bacteria.
Some of the suggested herbs that help us to overcome the cold and flu are; Elderflower, Peppermint, Elderberry, Yarrow, Linden blossoms, Echinacea, and Selfheal.
Soothing cold and flu tea
This tea uses a combination of; peppermint which is soothing, lemongrass which is diaphoretic, and elderflower which has astringent properties. This recipe is really helpful for reducing fever, and decongest the airways.
Ingredients: 1 tsp dried peppermint, 1 tsp dried elderflowers, 1 tsp dried lemongrass, and 500ml of boiling water.
How to make: Place the herbs into a pot, and pour boiling water onto them, then cover the mixture and leave it to infuse for about 15 minutes.
Nature provides all the wonderful things we need to stay healthy and live in harmony with the planet.
It’s empowering to know about various kinds of herbs and how they interact with our bodies and help with the healing process.
As we shift into a more natural way of living, our herbal companions will help us along the journey.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the content. Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.
Have an awesome day.