We take for granted the automatic 23,000 times a day we breath in and out. That is until we become congested. With each inhalation the body invites dust, pollen, viruses, and other pollutants that can leave sinus passages to clog up and swell. Rather than turning to the over the counter drugs, try one of these herbal remedies that offer comfort and ease without the unwanted side effects of typical decongestants.
Just the moist steam that comes from hot herbal tea can be a start to clearing up the stuffiness. Try a pungent herb like peppermint or pine. It can even be helpful to throw some of the herb in a large pot and bring to a boil, remove from the heat and throw a towel over your head and breath in the steam for around 10 minutes. Some herbs can actual help liquefy the mucus, fight germs and open passageways.
Here are a few other herbs that have been known to help:
* Yarrow flower tea
* Mullein leaf tea
* Jengeng root tea
* Rose hip fruit tea
* Tea tree tea
* Thyme tea
* Anise seed tea – this has an expectorant quality as well
* Apricot dried and crushed seed tea
* Astrogalus root tea – seems to cut down the duration of the congestion
* Blood root tea – helps with congestion and other cold/flu symptoms
Biochemical tissue salts can sometimes relieve congestion and all other symptoms in less than four hours time. They work by replacing minerals in the cells which in turn helps the body to naturally fight back.
Inflammation can be reduced with ginger tea. Ginger is rich with zinc. To use ginger finely chop a one quarter inch of the fresh root and add it one cup of water. Boil in a covered pan for ten minutes, strain and add a squeeze of lemon (for flavoring) and drink slowly.
If the congestion has made its way down to your chest, dice two onions and cook in a pan with a bit of oil until they are transparent. Cool and then lay them on your chest and cover with plastic wrap followed by a warm towel. Let it set for about half an hour. The essential oils in the onions stimulates blood flow which helps your body break up the congestion.
Cayenne pepper tincture added to any tea can quickly clear up congestions.
Ayurvedic physicians recommend Bala root extract and Bitter apricot kernel capsules which loosen the mucous and help coughs to become more productive. They also recommend a herbal infusion of Ajwan fruit to help alleviate the congestion.
Mix one part horseradish and one part lemon vinegar for a powerful and effective mucous expectorant. Onion and garlic alike can be added to the lemon vinegar as well.
Aromatherapy can also help in relieving congestion and may work best for children. There are a few different herbs that are recommended to be be used either in a diffuser, vaporizer or in hot water where the stem can rise in the air. Peppermint is a powerful oil for this as are lemon balm, camphor, jasime and Eucalyptus.