Coughs and colds

Best natural Coughs and Colds home remedies

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A cough is a natural reflex reaction to any irritation, inflammation, or blockage in the airways. It often accompanies an infection such as cold bronchitis but may come about through nervousness, with no direct irritation at all. By keeping the bronchial tubes open and clear, coughing can be of vital importance, and treatment should generally be aimed first at making the cough more effective rather than just suppressing it. 


A useful way to help a cough do its job more effectively is by using oils in a steam inhalation; oils can be chosen to soothe the lining of the air passages, fight infection if needed, and loosen mucus to make it easier to be removed. 
Soothing oils include Benzoin and Lavender. Many essential oils are antiseptic, especially Thyme and Eucalyptus; to increase expectoration choose Frankincense or Majoram. All the above oils help tackle coughs. Choose a blend that you like the smell of – and remember that if the cough does not improve within a few days, seek professional help, especially for children. 


 This is an area where herbs are of special benefit; if in doubt get qualified treatment. Choose from one or a mixture of the following, taken as warm infusions.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara): one of the best cough remedies, particularly for irritating, spasmodic coughs. It will soothe, loosen mucus, and reduce the spasm.


Hyssop: a calming and relaxing an expectorant, when the cough is associated with restlessness and irritation. 


Marshmallow: a demulcent remedy, which means it is highly soothing to the inflamed tubes. For a harsh, dry, and painful cough always include Marshmallow in a mixture, to ease the soreness.


Thyme: powerfully antiseptic, this relives a dry cough linked with a respiratory infection. White Horehound: an expectorant, freeing up thick, sticky mucus and helping it to be removed more effectively.

Coughs herbal
Coltsfoot and Marsh mallow


For short-term treatment of a cough, try a few do of one of these remedies 



for a dry short cough which may occur first thing in the morning in the morning, or come on after exposure to cold, dry winds.



for a spasmodic, dry cough which shakes the whole body and is worse with movement or after eating.



for a moist cough, with some wheezing and a feeling of choking, and often much nausea.



for a dry, irritating, and tickly cough, made worse by changes in temperature. 


Initially, coughs are quite dry and painful; taking a little honey from a spoon will help to soothe this. to make the hone much more powerful, try mashing a little chopped raw onion or garlic into it first; it is anti-social but very effective! Cut out all dairy products from the diet, to reduce the catarrh.

Either steam inhalations or a hot compress will encourage expectoration and stimulate them to work better.

Once a cough has been eased, try not to slip back into eating patterns which include a lot of sugar, dairy products, cakes, or pastries, as this can lower resistance to infection and help the cough to linger on or even to return in full force.

honey for cough

For children and for anybody where the cause is unknown when the cough persists it is important to seek medical advice, as professional help may be needed. Similarly, if the mucus is bright green or yellow this indicates the presence of an infection, and advice should be sought. 




Since there are over 200 strains of the cold virus, it is not surprising that a cure has not been found. Prevention is better than treatment by far; once a cold has developed, it generally has to run its course. However, treatments can help to relieve symptoms and also stop the cold from turning into persistent catarrh or a deeper infection.
the cold


two methods are most appropriate for using oils to combat cold symptoms and stop complications; steam inhalations and baths. If in the early stages, the cold is accompanied by a chill, adding 10 drops of Lavender and 5 drops of Cinnamon oil to a warm bath at night will help a lot. More stimulating oils such as Eucalyptus or Tea Tree (10 drops of each) can be used in baths earlier in the day. All the above are valuable in inhalations; a mixture often works better than just one oil.


One of the herbalists most traditional standbys for colds is still one of the best: use an infusion of equal amounts of Peppermint, Elderflower, and Yarrow, Taken hot just before going to bed, this will induce a swear, and if the cold is caught early enough, may stop it altogether. Even if too late for this, it will still be very useful. Other herbs that may be added to the infusion include Cayenne: a favorite North American Indian remedy: use 1.25ml (1/4tsp) of the powder to stimulate the circulation.
Cinnamon: use a cinnamon stick, and break it into the mixture of herbs, for gentle, warming, and sweat-inducing effect. Ginger: grate a small piece of fresh root ginger into the mixture for extra heat. 


Aconite: for early stages of colds, when starting suddenly, perhaps after exposure to cold winds. Gelsemium: for influenza-like symptoms, feeling chilly and trembling but with a flushed face. Nat Mur: when there is a lot of sneezing, the nose is sore and inflamed and producing lots of mucus, either watery or like raw egg-white. 


Immediately increase Vitamin C intake; at the earliest stages very high doses of a Vitamin C supplement up to 2,000mg, may stop the infection alone, but if left too late, this is not needed and may make the bowels too loose. 500mg is an ample dose to take regularly until the remaining symptoms clear up. Another useful supplement is sucking zinc lozenges, with up to 20 mg zinc gluconate in them, every 3-4 hours initially.

Eat lots of fresh fruit for natural Vitamin A, B, and C, and add plenty of raw garlic to food. Cut out sugary, starchy, or milky foods. A short cleansing diet of just fresh fruit and salads, and plenty of liquids such as warm fruit juices or herb teas, will encourage the body to throw off the cold more effectively. 

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