Even the healthiest of us can still fall ill. This happens a lot more frequently as the weather changes and germs seem to multiply. With antibiotic resistance on the rise, and undesirable side-effects common with most drugs—even the over-the-counter ones—taking a natural approach to healing can be a worthy endeavor.
While most cases of the common cold or even a mild flu will typically run their course in a few days, you can have symptoms that linger for weeks, like a hacking cough. These can develop into more serious conditions such as bronchitis and even pneumonia.
How to treat that cough naturally?
Long before Nyquil, we relied on the forested pharmacy to treat our ailments—and quite successfully, too. If you haven't used any herbal remedies before, there are literally thousands of herbs for thousands of ailments. Some, of course are more tried and true than others, like these 8 herbal cough remedies.
- Mullein: The mullein leaf is incredibly effective at relieving upper respiratory issues like bronchitis due to its ability to reduce inflammation in the mucous membrane, the trachea, and generally inflamed tissues. Take it as a tincture, capsule, or in tea form for best effect.
- Wild Cherry: Incredibly soothing, particularly for nighttime coughing that makes it difficult to sleep, wild cherry bark is a relaxing expectorant and demulcent that can bring quick relief. Best taken as a syrup.
- Elder: With immune boosting properties and antiviral compounds, elderberry can help rid the body of the infectious agents causing the cough, as well as offering soothing relief to a persistent cough. Best as a syrup or tea.
- Belladonna: The leaves and roots of this powerful plant have antispasmodic properties, giving relief to asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. Best taken as a tincture or tea.
- Thyme: Yes, the spice you cook with is also a potent antispasmodic, helping to relax bronchial tubes and reduce coughing fits. It helps to release mucus and also contains powerful antimicrobial properties. Best as an oil, tincture, or tea.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is unique in that it can be used internally and externally to reduce coughing symptoms. Taken internally, as a tea or tincture, it has expectorant properties and can help to pull infections out. Rubbing eucalyptus essential oil on your chest, or just inhaling it directly, can also sooth the airways and speed recovery. Eucalyptus r menthol lozenges are also effective in reducing coughing symptoms.
- Angelica: The angelica root has many medicinal properties, including expectorant effects on bronchial infections. Take as a tincture or tea.
- Fennel: The fennel seed can be used to treat coughs and asthmatic episodes as its antispasmodic properties reduce coughing fits and enhance breathing. Crush the seeds into water and drink several times per day, or use a fennel seed tincture.
*As always, consult with your physician before taking any herbs.