In this article we will discuss the most effective natural remedies for coughs , colds and in general for all flu symptoms
The 6 best natural remedies for cough and flu symptoms
Cough is not a disease, but a symptom. It is a physiological reflex that occurs when the respiratory tract (trachea, larynx, pharynx and bronchi) are inflamed, obstructed or come into contact with irritants. To cough is therefore the way in which the organism tries to free the respiratory system from toxins, excess mucus, or foreign bodies.
It is a disorder that manifests itself more easily with the arrival of cold , especially if our immune system is weakened. If the cough is chronic and persistent the advice is to go immediately to the doctor, but if it is a light or occasional cough, we can try to calm it by using some natural remedies , such as the use of infusions and syrups based on medicinal herbs .
Most of these remedies can also be used as a “preventive form” because unlike drugs they have no particular contraindications.
So let’s see what are the most effective cough remedies:
1 – Power supply
Cough, especially if fat and persistent, could be the result of poor diet .
What does coughing hit?
You must know that some foods stimulate the overproduction of mucus, which is in fact one of the main causes of fat cough. Sometimes it is enough to eliminate these foods to get a rapid improvement.
- Attention to dairy products : the food that most of all stimulates the overproduction of mucus and phlegm is milk. To understand if he is the manager, you just need to eliminate milk and derivatives from your diet for a few days. If you notice improvements, it is very likely that those responsible are the dairy products.
- Avoid junk food : good nutrition helps to keep the immune system high. So avoiding eating junk foods, rich in saturated fats, sugars and refined flours, is the basis from which to stay healthy and reduce the risk of getting sick.
- Eat plenty of vegetables : among all foods, the best ally against coughing are mainly vegetables. Especially garlic and onions, which have a strong antiviral and antibacterial action.
- Water and lemon : another good remedy to get rid of the catarrh is lukewarm water with the juice of half a lemon, to drink in the morning when you get up, on an empty stomach, at least half an hour before breakfast. It is also a very simple trick to purify and alkalize our body. If you want you can sweeten this drink with a teaspoon of organic honey, since honey also helps to thin and dissolve the phlegm.
2 – Timo’s herbal tea
The thyme is the officinal herb of choice when it comes to appeasing and coughing , of whatever type it is (dry cough, fat cough, persistent cough, etc.). There are several varieties of thyme, the most used are Thymus vulgaris (which is the most common variety) and Thymus serpillum (known as thyme serpillo).
The virtues of this aromatic plant are linked to the presence of a particular substance: the thymol . It is a phenol with marked antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, expectorant and vermifuge properties .
Since ancient times this plant has been used to combat asthma and all respiratory tract diseases , as well as to drive away intestinal worms and to treat bladder infections (cystitis). In addition, the thyme was also used as a digestive herb and as an antiseptic for sore throats and mouth affections (gingivitis, stomatitis, canker sores, etc.).
Today science has confirmed most of the properties of this plant and we know that the herbal tea is a very effective remedy against coughs, colds, sore throat, bronchitis and in general for all those affections that affect the respiratory system (lungs, brochi , pharynx, larynx, trachea, throat and nose).
How to prepare thyme tea?
For the preparation of the tea you can use both fresh leaves, detached from the seedling, and dried leaves. The amount to use is a teaspoon for a cup of water . Leave the leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then filter and drink hot or cold. At least 2 cups a day are recommended to fight cough.
NB : recommended the association of the thymus with the plantain .
The use of herbal teas or thymus extracts in case of gastritis or peptic ulcer is not recommended. As a precautionary measure, it is not recommended to use the thymus even during pregnancy and lactation.
Where to buy the thyme
3 – Plantain herbal tea
There are several types of plantain, the most used as herbal remedy are the Plantago lanceolata (plantain lanceolata) and the Plantago major (plantain major). These are spontaneous plants and weeds that grow abundantly in the meadows, hedges and woods throughout Italy. Today we forgot about it, but once, when the drugs did not yet exist, these seedlings were regularly used to treat an impressive number of disorders.
Today, thanks to the studies conducted by researchers, we know that plantain leaves contain these active ingredients: iridoid glucosides, flavonoids (luteolin), mucilage, tannins, pectins, salic acid, mineral salts and vitamins. The presence of all these substances gives the plantain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, bechiche and expectorant properties .
So the herbal tea prepared with the plantain leaves can be used effectively to treat inflammation of the throat and mouth (sore throat, stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontitis, etc.) and for all the problems of the respiratory tract, such as cough, bronchial catarrh , chronic bronchitis and sinusitis. It can also be used as an anti-anemic remedy and being astringent it is useful for blocking the bleeding of hemorrhoids.
How to prepare the plantain tea?
The preparation of the plantain infusion is the same as that of the thyme. A teaspoon of fresh leaves, or dried, for about 250 ml of water (one cup). Leave the leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes, then filter and drink immediately the hot herbal tea, or later when it is cold. At least 2 infusions per day are recommended.
NB : recommended association with the thymus.
There are no particular contraindications for the intake of the plantain. It is advisable to avoid its use in case of an established allergy to plants of the Plantago genus.
Where to buy the plantain
3 – Mint tea
Perfumed, refreshing and refreshing, mint is the ideal plant to face the hot summer days …. but it is also a perfect remedy to face the cold of winter! In fact, mint has many virtues that can be useful even in the colder period of the year.
Not everyone knows that the mint tea, in addition to the aromatic and refreshing taste, is able to quell dry cough and relieve sore throat . Moreover, because of its balsamic properties, it is able to calm the cold , freeing the airways and improving breathing. The mint also gives freshness not only to the breath, but also to the mind! It has in fact strong analgesic properties against headaches and migraines, so it is very indicative to appease the headache (symptom that often accompanies cough and cold), as well as an energizing remedy in case of mental fatigue. Finally the mint tea is an excellent digestive remedy to be taken immediately after meals.
Among the various types of mint peppermint is the most effective, because, in relation to other varieties, it is the one that has the highest content of menthol , the most important substance contained in mint and which has antiseptic, analgesic properties, digestive and carminative.
For the preparation of infusions mint can be used alone, or better still in combination with other herbs (for example with thyme and plantain), or added to green tea.
The preparation of the tea is the same sight for the tea of thyme and plantain: infusion of a teaspoon of fresh mint, or dried, for 10 minutes in a cup of boiling water.
Mint should be used with caution by people with gastritis and ulcers. For precautionary purposes, the use of mint is not recommended during pregnancy, lactation.
Where to buy peppermint
4 – Elderberry tea
Ideal in case of fever
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is another plant typical of the Mediterranean scrub, widely used by our ancestors to combat colds and fever in particular. Of this plant are used mainly the flowers, which are first dried and then used for the preparation of teas and syrups.
The elderflower tea has many properties, but is known above all for being a powerful anti-flu . In fact, it has diaphoretic properties, that is, it stimulates the perspiration and the lowering of body temperature. In addition, studies conducted on animals have shown that the elder produces its beneficial activity also through an increase in bronchial secretion.
So the elder is the ideal remedy when, in addition to the classic symptoms of influenza, such as coughs and colds, febrile states are also accused.
The elderberry can also be combined with the plants seen previously (dividing the dosage of each plant into equal parts). The preparation of elderflower tea is the same as for other herbal teas: infusion of a teaspoon of dried elder flowers, for 10 minutes, in a cup of boiling water. 2 infusions per day are recommended.
Elderberry is not recommended for use in case of intolerance to one or more compounds present in the plant. In case of pregnancy or breast-feeding, consult a doctor before use. Pay particular attention to the collection of Elderberry: it can be mistaken for some poisonous plants such as Sambucus ebulus.
Where to buy elderberry
5 – Decoction of Helichrysum
Ideal in case of allergic cough
This plant has in fact strong anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties (cortisonsimile), very useful in all problems related to an intolerance or an allergy, food, respiratory or other.
Moreover, as regards the diseases of the respiratory tract, the helichrysum acts by blocking the formation of the mucus and promoting its removal . Due to the presence of essential oils and other substances with antibiotic action , this plant is very useful in the treatment of pertussis and bronchitis (both acute and chronic).
How to prepare the decoction of helichrysum
As said in this case it is advisable to prepare the decoction and not the herbal tea. The decoction is prepared in this way: pour a teaspoon of dried flowers in a pot with cold water (250 ml or a cup). Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Boil again for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. 2 cups a day of this decoction are recommended.
No contraindications or side effects are known for the use and use of helichrysum.
Where to buy helichrysum
6 – Decoction with ginger
Finally, it is impossible not to mention the ginger (Zingiber officinalis), today one of the most popular Oriental remedies in our country. Ginger is used of the ginger, fresh or dried and reduced to powder. For its sudoriferous and heating powers, the most suitable months to use this spice are precisely the coldest ones, that is the period from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring.
Ginger promotes sweating, the expulsion of waste and toxins and the lowering of body temperature (therefore of fever ), furthermore it favors the dissolution and the elimination of the phlegm and effectively counteracts the cough , eliminating the inflammation of the respiratory tract. The potential and therapeutic properties of ginger do not end there (it is also digestive, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-tumor, etc.), but as far as respiratory diseases are concerned, I would say that we have said everything.
How to prepare the decoction of ginger
Ginger should be used as a decoction, infusing 2 cm of fresh root into a cup of water, or a teaspoon of dried ginger powder. It should be used at the first symptoms of colds and flu, against phlegm and should be drunk at least 2 cups a day until the symptoms disappear.
Be careful not to overdo it with ginger. Massive use may result in intestinal gastritis, ulcers and swelling. If you suffer from these gastrointestinal disorders, it is good to consult your doctor before taking this spice. Avoid the use of ginger in conjunction with anti-inflammatory and hypotensive drugs. Given its fluidizing effect of the blood, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using ginger if you are taking antiplatelet drugs and anticoagulants (Coumadin, Cardioaspirina, etc …).
Where to buy ginger
Natural remedies for colds
Often the cough is also accompanied by the cold. Also for this disorder there are many extremely effective natural remedies.
1 – Nasal washes
Nasal wash with warm water and salt is an ancient and effective remedy. The slightly salty warm water passing through the nasal cavities has an antimicrobial effect and helps to dissolve and get rid of the phlegm.
How to wash the Nose:
- Take the amount of a cup of warm-hot water (about 250 ml) and add about half a teaspoon of cooking salt. It is important to heat the water in the stove and do not use the hot water coming from the tap. If possible, it is even better to use non-chlorinated water, such as bottled water. The temperature must be warm but not to be burned.
- Then put the water in a glass, or earthenware or ceramic cup.
- Dip the nose (not the mouth!) Into the water. With small, consecutive inhalation, you can trace the water back into the nasal cavities.
- Let the water run into the nose into the sink without blowing. If the water ends up in your throat, spit it out.
- Repeat the operation a second time, in the same way and then a third time.
- It blows out the water from the nose in this way: close the left nostril first, crushing it with a finger, blowing strongly with the right and repeat the operation reversing the nostrils.
- Then, if necessary, repeat the inhalations of water until the water runs out, blowing out the water.
This operation can be repeated several times a day and it is an excellent natural remedy for those suffering from sinusitis, rhinitis, otitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and inflamed adenoids , as well as for the perfect functionality of the upper part of the respiratory system.
2 – Massage with balsamic creams or essential oils
Also for the cold, massages at the root of the nose with particular balsamic creams, or with essential oils with balsamic and expectorant properties are very useful.
For example, Dr. Roberto Bianchi advises the essential oil of lavender , or even better the Tea tree oil (Melaleuca Oil). Just two drops are enough to apply to the root and sides of the nose, gently massaging the skin.
More practical can be the use of creams with balsamic action, containing active ingredients such as menthol, eucalyptus and Aloe (see tiger cream with Aloe Vera with balsamic action).