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Herbal Remedies: for Cold and Flu

Updated on May 18, 2015

There is plenty of proof that "Herbals" have been used in many variation to cure every ailment existing, for thousands of years. With the advancement of modern medicine, the matter of fact knowledge of healing herbs has largely been lost in today's society. The revival in recent years has brought the Curious to the old recipe books and many are busy experimenting. Of course, these herbal remedies are not meant to replace but should be considered as an alternate method. Some herbal remedies are usable alongside of modern medicine BUT should not be combined without consulting a physician.

All the recipes, in this article can be made safely at home, using everyday kitchen equipment. Step-by-step instruction of how to make herbal teas are included. NEVER exceed the dosages given. Consult a doctor or herbalist if symptoms persist.

  1. Lets identify the common COLD. The Cold is an infection caused by a virus. Some of the symptoms may include runny nose, trouble breathing through nose, sore throat, headache, cough and fever. Unfortunately there is no cure for it in either herbal or modern medicine. Antibiotics are helpless against the cold-bug. It has to run its course and should be over within the week...Although there is no cure there are a few recipes that give a bit of relief...
  2. 'Flu or better said INFLUENZA has similar symptoms as the Cold but they hit harder and lasts much longer. When trying to self-diagnose and determine which..., the 'Flu also seems to bring on severe aches and pains that throb throughout the whole body, deep into bones and muscles. Again this is caused by a highly infectious virus, there is no cure only ways to ease the misery...


The following recipes can be used for both Cold and 'Flu:

TEA:

  • steep 2 teaspoon Peppermint leaves or tea in 6 ounces of boiling water dissolve 1/2 teaspoons of pure honey...drink often
  • steep 11/2 teaspoon dried Russian Sage and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon thyme in 6 ounces of boiling water, strain, add honey to taste...drink 3 - 6 cups per day
  • steep 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried Hyssop sweeten with honey to taste (decongestant)...up to 4 cups per day
  • steep 2 tablespoons of rose-hip tea(this is a great source of Vitamin C) in 8 ounces of hot water and sweeten to taste...drink often
  • boil 3 tablespoons of grated sassafras root in 18 ounces of water let sit for 6-8 hours, strain, reheat 3 ounces at a time (just hot enough to sooth sore throat) sweeten to taste with honey and add 1 teaspoon of pure lemon juice (sip slowly and let sit at back of throat )...every 2 - 3 hours
  • steep 2 teaspoons dried echinacea in 8 ounces of boiling water, once cool enough to drink add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and sweeten to taste...drink often


My Dad's (according to him, 48 hour cure if followed to a 'T') Stay in bed, drink plenty of fluids [recipes to follow], eat garlic toast, and mustard plaster...this was the way to 'cure' a cold or 'flu, for as long as I can remember. (I hated it and it was always the last resort for me. Each time I regretted not starting it right away because I could have saved myself a lot of misery) True enough after two days you feel better, still tired etc. but well enough not to regret to be amongst the living again...

Here is the total regime:

  • Stay in bed (have 2-3 clean sheets available by bedside) extra blanket the kind that can be washed easily
  • steep very strong rose-hip tea, sweeten to taste with caramelized sugar syrup [technique to follow] add (for adult) 1 ounce of dark rum, for child 1 teaspoon of lemon-juice...drink every hour until fever breaks (3-4 times) then once every 3-4 hours
  • toast 2 slices of bread dark-golden and scrape one clove of fresh garlic on each side, butter lightly...3-4 times per day (eating this is probably one of the reasons you want to stay at home)
  • mix equal parts of mustard powder and flour with a small amount of water to make a non-drippy paste, spread on a cotton cloth and sandwiched between two towels (use old towels, the mustard stains) leave on chest for no more than 15 - 20 minutes (for adult) only 10 minutes for a child. It will burn skin if left too long...only use once every 8 hours if needed on the first day... usually once will do it
  • change sheets and PJs once sweat-wet, do the changing really fast and you need to stay warm...keep drinking peppermint tea in between 'Rose-hip tea' doses as not to dehydrate

Caramelized sugar syrup technique: in large saucepan measure 3 cups of sugar place on stove burner stirring until melted and a dark golden brown, all at once add 2 cups of cold water [careful melted sugar can burn very deeply] sugar will ball around spoon for a couple of minutes but will melt again shortly. Used in any type of tea this syrup will add a delicious flavour, it will last in the fridge for weeks...

STUFFY NOSE:

  • Steam bath additive. Let hot water run in bathroom over a couple of hand-fulls of peppermint leaves, and 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil sit in steamy bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes. Change into dry PJs and jump right into bed with a hot water bottle.
  • Add 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 1 drop of Tea-tree essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Cover head with thick towel and lean over bowl taking deep breaths. With eyes closed because of strong 'fumes'. Keep breathing in steam for 3-4 minutes. Water can be reheated in microwave once. Essential oils are volatile and evaporate fast.

These are some of the simple herbal teas and remedies that can cut down the misery caused by Colds / 'Flu and are just as useful today as they were many decades ago...

The author can not accept liability for any damage or illness arising from the misuse of the herbs and treatments described in this article

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    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 5 years ago from Oregon

      Great tips! Very practical right now, this is for sure a flu and cold season, sharing your hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Dori thank you for coming by to take a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      great recipes, thanks!

      dori

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Sixtyorso thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I haven't had a bad cold in years. I've been following my Dad's cure for years and I usually break the cold after 3 days. You should give it a try I guess.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      I have just had really bad cold. first one for about a year. !4 days with medication or 2 weeks without. I am afraid it just has to run it's course. The symptomatic relief is temporary and until the nose clears, chest is clear of Phlegm and the cough has stopped you got it baby. Great hub though and I have been subject to most of those remedies from my gran and my Mom when they were alive. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and helps when you have a bacterial infection like bronchitis.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Mezo thank you for coming by and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Mezo profile image

      Motaz 8 years ago from Egypt

      thanks for the very informative hub

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Marlen thanks for taking a look and for commenting

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      Marlen 8 years ago

      This page is cool to look at.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      RGraf! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      These are great! I'm always looking for a more natural way to help and to use what is already in the cabinets is a bonus.

      Thanks.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Stacie! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 9 years ago

      Well,I'm all for natural medicines. Good hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      The more info the better I always say. zs

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I have just been considering a similar but somewhat different hub on this topic and am now encouraged to continue, good work.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      JoeFriday! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      joefriday 9 years ago

      I am deffinatly going to try this out this winter, I dont want the flu again this year.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Marisa! I have tried a zinc tablet before, not only did I have a fuzzy tongue, but the burps (sorry can't say it any other way)for two days straight...My cold did get better though...

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 10 years ago from Sydney

      Enjoying your Hubs, Zsuzsy! It's not a herb, but it is from the health food shop - zinc. It doesn't work if you swallow it, you need to find chewable or suckable tablets, or a nasal spray with zinc in it. It's been scientifically proven to shorten the duration of colds. Word of warning - the tablets leave a horrible furry taste in your mouth, but which would you prefer, a cold or a fuzzy tongue?

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image
      Author

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Princessa! I can vouch for the whole treatment to work as at times when I didn't follow the whole method the cold dragged on and on.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Great cures. With the cold season starting I will keep this handy. I am sure I will need it and I 100% prefer to try natural cures rather than chemical ones! Thanks.