Our Reception Manager Rachel has been struck down with a nasty cold. So many people have been suffering from colds recently that we thought it might be worth repeating some advice given to us by our friend and colleague Sue Salmon. Sue is a Medical Herbalist and a font of all knowledge when it comes to the healing power of plants. Read her advice on the herbal answer to seasonal colds below or visit her website for more information about her work. http://www.suesalmonmedicalherbalist.co.uk/
Firstly if you are taking any medication from your Doctor, are pregnant or breast feeding – the advice may not be suitable for you and you should consult a qualified herbalist before following any of the suggestions. Also, the doses are for adults. Children and babies need smaller doses, tailored to their age – again, ask a qualified herbalist.
So here are some great herbal answers for knocking that cold on the head. The list is long but try a few and find the remedy that works for you.
Herbal Remedies for Seasonal Colds
- Honey and Cinnamon is a great idea. Even better if it’s a local raw honey and not one from a supermarket, most of which are pasteurised and little different to eating sugar. Have the honey and cinnamon in a drink of hot water and lemon juice. It will really help to sooth your throat and ease your airways.
- Take Vitamin C and Zinc if you have it. Don’t take zinc on an empty stomach, it’s likely to make you feel very sick.
- If you’ve got some Echinacea start taking it. It will help your immune system to fight the virus more effectively.
- If you’ve got any elderberry start taking that in combination with the Echinacea. Elderberry is highly anti- viral.
- Do inhalations of Olbas oil, or Vick mixed with a bowl of hot water, with a towel over your head (keep your eyes closed) to help clear nasal/sinus congestion to help you sleep better.
- Eat Garlic, freely. Have a couple of good sized cloves a day, unless you’re allergic to it, or you suffer from gastritis or acid reflux. Crush the garlic up well and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. This allows the enzymes to activate different naturally occurring chemicals in the garlic cells, making it more potent. Then mix it with a bit of honey, if you like and eat it. Yes, you won’t have many friends for a few days (or you’ll find out who your true friends really are!) – but you’ll fight the infection more.
- You can make your own onion syrup for a cough by slicing up a raw onion and layer it up in a bowl with good quality honey or sugar. Leave to stand overnight and in the morning, the sugar or honey will have drawn out natural chemicals from the onion and you’ve made a lovely soothing cough syrup. Take teaspoons of it through the day.
Teas and soups
- If you’ve got some peppermint tea and any thyme in your kitchen cupboard – combine the two – use a teaspoon of thyme with one peppermint teabag . Thyme helps to thin mucus, is anti-bacterial and will help to stop you getting a secondary bacterial infection. Thyme will also help with coughs where there’s a lot of thick yellow/green catarrh.
- Add ginger to the peppermint and thyme tea too. Either fresh grated or powdered from your herb/spice rack will do. It’s warming and will help with the chills of a cold. It will also help you to sweat it out. Your body raises your temperature because viruses don’t like it. Ginger supports your body in this.
- If you’ve got a sore throat, make a sage infusion from a couple of fresh sage leaves or a teaspoon of dried herb – pour on boiling water, cover the cup and leave to steep for 10-15 Strain the infusion and when it’s cool enough, use it as a gargle. Sage is highly antiseptic and great for sore throats as well as other mouth and gum infections. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily, if you can.
- Keep up your fluids. Eat nourishing, simple foods – soups are great. Obviously not if you’re vegetarian, but if you’re happy to eat chicken – cook a free range organic one and use the carcass to make bone broth, add veggies – nourishing, healing and helps to support the immune system.
Things to Avoid
- Keep dairy produce to a minimum – it makes you produce more mucus.
- Keep sugar and white carbs to a minimum – they suppress your immune system (especially sugar – in all its forms).
Image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05haGS8Rv0c