Herbal Tea for Decongestion

herbHow is your winter, so far?
How are you? How is your family? I sincerely hope that 2015 has been a healthy year to date!
I feel like I need to scream “touch wood” but my family and I are well.. and enjoying a quiet January with lots of warming soups and stews packed with onions, garlic, cayenne, horseradish and ginger!

I saw friends yesterday, briefly, and both were feeling the effects of the rhinovirus in one form or another. One had a sinus ‘situation’ and the other could hardly breathe with a congested chest.

Do you sit in the ‘camp’ who don’t believe that what we eat and drink affect our day (s)?  If you are, perhaps you are new here, or I’ve not done a very good job of sharing information. If, on the other hand, you are a believer that we can effectively contribute to a healthier week, by making good choices, then we understand each other! TeeHee…

I guess I am bringing this up because, truly, it won’t matter how many teas we drink or concoctions we make, if we don’t support ourselves with a few positive thoughts, some nourishing foods and warming beverages. It’s like a ‘team effort’. Our herbal allies will indeed do their best, but a better outcome can be expected with a ‘protocol’ of good choices!

HERBS?  They are miracle workers for sure.. but they need our help! We need to enjoy our day making choices that support us and allow us to embrace best health possible! Stay tuned for a post about decongesting, Anti-Phlegm food choices.

Winter can be a time when we need to decongest the respiratory tract and restore the mucous membranes. This is a super idea ~ even if we are NOT sick!
The best idea, when sick with a cold?  Stay in bed and slowly sip a pot of herbal tea. If this isn’t possible, then at least, try to plan a day at home and keep bundled up.. and slowly sip a pot of herbal tea.

Decongest with herbal tea.

You can buy the ingredients —five herbs — in small quantities from a health food store, a good herb shop or online if local sources are not available.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This plant helps to restore the mucous membranes and make them less permeable to invasion by bacteria and viruses. It is also a diaphoretic so it should make you sweat — a natural body response, using the skin as an organ of elimination. We use the ‘herb’ which means, we harvest the top 1/3 normally. (Flowers, leaves, stems)

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Elderflowers (Sambuccus nigra/canadensis). A famous 1995 study at the Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, has demonstrated that extracts of Sambucus nigra inhibited several strains of influenza A and B. They also limited symptoms to two days compared to six in the control groups. Elderflowers  have the power to clear away catarrh (thick mucus), reducing the possibility of re-infection.

 

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Peppermint (Mentha piperita). This plant has antibacterial properties and it will also help you breathe more easily.
Most minty mints (wild, Spearmint, Peppermint) offer great support for the respiratory system in general,healing for the  lungs.

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Linden flowers (Tilia species). This is a good fever herb along with yarrow. Studies show that it will also help prevent subsequent inner ear infection for children because of its decongesting activity.

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Lastly:
 Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-grecum). These seeds can be purchased at any Indian food shop, as well as other sources above.  They are very helpful in removing congestion and also provide a soothing mucilaginous coating which is anti-inflammatory for the mucous membranes.

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Combine equal parts of each of the 5 herbs. If you like, this can be made with just a couple of ounces of each to start. I enjoy this blend so make it with whatever I have on hand; sometimes 1/2 cup of each herb. I store the blend in a glass canning jar in a cool cupboard.

To make the tea:
Pour a cup of just boiled water over 2 teaspoons of the tea blend.
Use a cup with a lid or a glass canning jar with a lid.
We want to capture all of the steam.
Let the tea sit, steeping for 10 minutes.
The therapuetic dose = 4-5 cups. (This means that to achieve the desired congestion-removing effect, we need to drink 4-5 cups per day. Continue drinking the blend until 2 days after symptoms have subsided)
For children under 12 years of age, 2-3 cups will work well.

For more ideas re how to relieve congestion, check here. and here.for chest congestion.
Check here to see my post re sinus congestion.

These links above, have lots of ideas to help round out a good protocol for you. I hope you find the info helpful!

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What do you like to do ~ to help yourself and/or your family when challenged with congestion ?

 

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