Firstly, they don't always work, and secondly, they're usually accompanied by a range of side effects including drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth and nervousness.
Allergy medicines like Claritin tend to make you not feel like yourself, which for most is reason enough to seek an alternative. Incorporating natural herbs into your battle against wintertime head colds and sinus infections can be an invaluable tool.
Fusing natural herbs with hot tea is one of the best remedies for getting relief fast. The hot steam helps open your nasal cavity, allowing it to absorb the herb's natural benefits.
Overexposure to toxins, seasonal allergens and bacteria all contribute to excess mucus, an unsightly and uncomfortable symptom most want to eliminate as soon as possible. This symptom also puts added stress on the body, particularly the respiratory, central nervous and immune systems, forcing them to work harder to keep you in good health.
By detoxing the nasal and bronchial passages, clearing them of bacterial, viral and microbial properties, you can eliminate excess mucus and start the healing process.
Below are some natural herbs that can help you start feeling better soon.
Goldenseal/echinacea: Goldenseal is one of the most popular herbal products in the U.S., and is often accompanied by echinacea when used for treating upper respiratory infections. Most commonly found in the rich woods of the Ohio River valley, goldenseal is a perennial herb with a single, green-white flower that has no petals. It was used by the Native Americans as an insect repellent, a diuretic, a stimulant and a wash for sore and inflamed eyes. Its ability to suppress mucus makes it a popular antidote for treating colds.
Also used by Native Americans, echinacea is a genus of herbaceous flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. It's available over the counter as a tea, liquid extract, dried herb or in a capsule, and is known for boosting the immune system. Echinacea's antimicrobial properties help to both treat and prevent colds. A study conducted by scientists with the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy found that echinacea reduces a person's chance of catching a cold by 58 percent.
Thyme: Used as an oil or in its dried form, thyme helps reduce coughing by clearing your lungs out fast. A member of the mint family, thyme is known for its antibacterial properties, and is packed with vitamin C and vitamin A. The herb works best in tea, and can be made by brewing 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme in a cup of boiling water.
Oregano: Closely related to the herb marjoram, oregano's antibacterial and anti-viral properties make it great for treating sore throats, congestion and fatigue caused by the common cold.
Lavender: This lovely scented herb is perfect for combating coughs and colds, and can relieve headaches and exhaustion. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your vaporizer, or even rub directly on the chest, neck or back.
Marshmallow: Derived from an African plant, marshmallow has short, roundish leaves and small pale flowers, and was originally used by the Egyptians. The leaves and roots of this herb have antitussive, mucilaginous and antibacterial properties, making it beneficial for soothing inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat when ingested. Antitussive properties help reduce coughing and prevent further irritation.
In addition to sore throats, marshmallow can help treat gastrointestinal mucosa, indigestion, heartburn and stomach ulcers. You can make a great marshmallow tea by using two to five teaspoons of either powdered root or dried leaves, and boiling them in about 5 ounces of water.
by: Amy Goodrich