Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HERBAL INFUSIONS FOR COLD AND FLU SEASON



Tis the season for colds and flu and I am still recuperating, as are many of you in the blogosphere, from what has been one of the worst colds I’ve ever had. The doctor reported that it was indeed viral so basically, I had to suffer through and cope..

Of course, it is crucial to drinks lots of fluids when dealing with a cold or flu and I can’t recommend any better natural remedy than hot herbal tea. Many of the herbs used in infusions like, sage, thyme, oregano, and rosemary, are strong antioxidants and contain essential oils that can aid in alleviating cold and flu symptoms.

Perhaps instead of reaching for the Theraflu, you might try one of the recipes below...


Sage


Sage, whose Latin name salvia means to heal, was considered to be one of four sacred plants by Native Americans. For irritations or inflammation of the throat try gargling with a mixture of sage and apple cider vinegar sweetened, if you must, with a little good quality honey or sip a soothing hot infusion.

Recipe for an herbal tea infusion:

Pour a pint of boiling water onto 1oz of dried sage leaves or 1 tbsp of fresh and leave for 5 - 10 minutes. Drink a small glassful of the strained tea throughout the day. Sage can help to restore appetite as well.

Thyme

There are many varieties of thyme but common garden thyme will be effective for helping you fight off sore throats and colds. Try it when you have a cough or to clear mucus from your chest. It was once used on bandages to prevent infection and is even reputed to be a hangover cure and can lift your spirits.

Thymol the active ingredient in thyme is one of the strongest antiseptics known. It has also been used to treat fungal problems such as athletes' foot and is reputed to be a hangover cure.

Thyme herbal infusion recipe:

Use 1 tsp of dried leaves or a couple of sprigs of fresh leaves for each cup of boiling water. The time you leave it to infuse is a matter of personal taste and can be from 5 - 15 minutes. Strain and slowly sip 3 cups a day inhaling the vapors until your symptoms improve. You can also crush some fresh leaves gently in your hands and inhale the vapors.


Oregano


Oregano also known as pot marjoram has a high thymol content too. It is one of Nature's most powerful natural health remedies against bacteria, viruses, yeast and fungi and has been used as a natural herbal remedy since ancient times. It can be used to treat sore throat, coughs and colds as well as loosening phlegm in the bronchial tubes.

Oregano is used extensively in cooking throughout the Mediterranean especially as an ingredient of pizza and combines well with thyme and rosemary.

Oregano herbal infusion recipe:

Infuse 1 tsp dried oregano or 3 tbsp fresh leaves in 8 oz boiling water for 10 minutes, strain and sweeten with a little good quality honey if wanted.

Rosemary

Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is related to the mint family of plants and is one of the oldest Mediterranean aromatic shrubs in cultivation. With its attractive leaves and pretty blue flowers it is a favorite for kitchen gardens.

Rosemary tea can help bring relief for colds, catarrh, wheezing and bronchitis clearing phlegm from the chest. It’s also good as a gargle for a sore throat. Infuse sage with rosemary and use as a gargle for a sore throat.

Rosemary herbal infusion recipe:

Use 2 tsp of dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. The addition of fresh ginger root and lemon peel makes this a delicious healthy herbal drink.

Here is the recipe:

1 small bunch of rosemary, leaves gently bruised with a spoon.
1 inch thumb of ginger, sliced into rounds
The peel of two unwaxed or organic lemons
6-8 cups of boiling water

Place the rosemary, ginger and lemon peel in a large teapot. Add the boiling water and leave to infuse for approximately five minutes. Strain and sip slowly. You can add a little good quality honey or sugar if you wish to sweeten.

While modern medicine is still searching for a cure for a cold the history of healing herbs goes back thousands of years. Give these herbal tea recipes a try next time you are trying to shake off the winter bugs.

Recipes from the Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Community

6 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am so sorry to hear you've been ill with a cold. Just the worst feeling! I have fortunately escaped so far, but will keep this most helpful primer on healthy healing bookmarked!! Feel Better!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Also, I keep forgetting to congratulate you on your new friend, Tara!! She's just lovely, and I know she has enriched your life. Bless you for adopting!!

Betsy said...

Glad you are finally feeling better! The infusions sound great to try!

Mmm said...

Right up your alley, Rebecca although, of course, suffering with such symptoms is no fun at all! Poor you. hope you are feeling up to snuff in no time.

I'm going to go check your other blogs no and see if you've updated them or not.

Janeen said...

I just noticed your new dog adoption, how sweet!

Great post too! Your a well of talent we have barely tapped into! Love it! Hope your feeling better soon! Take care!

ZipZipInkspot said...

Dear Rebecca,

Ooh, I like the idea of the rosemary and lemon infusion...and I happen to have the ingredients on hand, except the ginger. Hmmm, need to give it a try.

Hugs,

Natalie