Herbals for Coughs

With proper herbal (and water therapy) treatment, most chest involvements should not go beyond the early stage. Strengthen the total body with daily cold foot splashes or treading. Add seeds of anise, cloves, nutmeg, and licorice sticks to herbal drinks on a preventive level. Use any of the following herbs, depending on the respiratory condition: *

Almond Drink Grind several almonds into powder, and steep that in a pint of cold water. This is a nutritious drink for fever and will help "soften" the cough.

Anise Make an anise tincture by crushing a handful of anise seeds in a pint of inexpensive brandy. Steep this for two weeks, then strain out the seeds. Use a teaspoon of the resulting liquid at a time added to hot water or hot herbal drink (peppermint, for instance). An excellent (but more complex) tincture of anise is available as anisette liqueur. Purchase a bottle in the liquor store, and keep it on hand for emergencies. Use several tablespoons of anisette, and dilute it with a small amount of water to soothe the hacking of chronic bronchitis or to help alleviate an asthmatic attack. This is usually very effective.

One tablespoon of garden radish juice, squeezed from the root and taken three times, is helpful in decreasing coughs and soothing a hoarse voice.

Elecampane was one of the most important herbs to the Romans and Greeks. By the nineteenth century it was widely used for stubborn coughs and congestion, colds, bronchitis, neuralgia, and skin problems.

Benzoin (Tincture): The tears of this resinous tree are an excellent aid for coughs. Buy it in tincture form in a drugstore, and add it to the vaporizer "well," The fumes help alleviate minor chest conditions and also help to clear the skin of impurities.

Camphorated Oil Purchase oil of camphor in the drugstore, and rub it on the chest to bring blood to the surface and ease chest pain.

(Wild) Cherry
Add a teaspoon of wild cherry bark extract to any herbal drink, such as chamomile, linden (lime blossoms), peppermint, horehound, and so on. It will relieve an irritable cough. The extract is available in health food stores, gourmet sections of food stores, and some drugstores.

Coltsfoot Coltsfoot, once such a famous herbal simple that it was the symbol for all apothecaries in France, is now practically unknown. Yet this common weed can also be grown in the garden. Make a tea of the leaves with licorice and honey to alleviate coughs. Coltsfoot leaves may be smoked like tobacco to cure a cough. A well known British herbal tobacco contains half coltsfoot leaves and small amounts of dried leaves and flowers of the herbs eyebright, thyme, lavender, chamomile, buckthorn, and betony. It is smoked in various parts of Europe to alleviate asthma attacks.

Another coltsfoot cough tea includes a half ounce each of coltsfoot leaves, horehound leaves, comfrey root, hyssop, and vervain, with one stick of licorice. Steep the mixture in 3 pints of boiling water, and stand it for half a day. Use this tea in teaspoon doses throughout the day.

Dock (Yellow Curled) A few drops of yellow curled dock tincture in a hot herbal tea will help with a tickling cough.

Elecampane
The root of this stunning yellow flower is the basis of many ancient cough medicines and sweetmeats. It is a powerful antiseptic, delicious and effective in a lozenge, and in tea form is considered a help for old coughs as well as for those patients who have trouble breathing "unless they hold their necks upright." To use elecampane, boil I tablespoon of the root in I pint of water for ten minutes, then strain and cool the liquid. Use this also to help regulate menstruation and (high) blood acidity.

Garlic Make a garlic tincture by placing three to four peeled buds in brandy. Steep this in a dark closet for fourteen days. Use several drops at a time, several times a day, for coughs or asthma. Garlic is an exceptional cleanser for the body and has antimicrobial action similar to other antibiotics.

Ginseng Use 1/8 teaspoon of pure Korean or Siberian ginseng in hot herbal tea or hot water. Ginseng powder tea frequently eliminates a tenacious cough unresponsive to other medicines.

Honey Add honey to any herbal drink, or simmer honey and washed and cut lemons in water to prepare a hot honey lemonade. Keep on reusing the old lemon rinds, and add fresh cut lemons and additional honey. This is an effective, inexpensive cough easing, soothing remedy.

Elecampane for coughs

Horehound The leaves, syrup of the leaves, and candy from the sweet leaves have long been used throughout Europe, especially England, to alleviate coughs.

Tea: Pour 2 cups of boiling water on 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves. Sweeten this with honey. Drink this tea in small amounts (no more than half a cup at a time) several times a day. Large amounts may prove laxative.

Juice: Express juice from the leaves. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons at a time.

Candy: Boil a handful of the fresh plant in 11/2 cups of water. Strain the liquid. Use 4 tablespoons of infusion to 2 pounds of brown sugar. Add I teaspoon of honey. Boil the mixture for half an hour or so. The candy is finished when a teaspoon hardens when it is dropped into cold water. Pour the mixture into a paper mold, tin mold, or onto a marble slab. Cut it into candy squares when it cools. Gerard considered fresh green horehound leaves and sugar a "singular remedy against coughing and wheezing."

Limeflowers
(Linden) Limeflower tea is an old remedy to quiet coughs. The tea is also an effective sleep aid.

Licorice Add licorice root sticks to any herbal tea to lessen cough.

Mullein Use dried leaves of this wayside weed for pipe smoking. This is an old remedy to control a hacking or spasmodic cough.

Mustard Combine mustard seed powder and tepid water to make a mustard plaster or poultice to decongest the chest'. Also use mustard in a hot footbath to draw congestion away from the chest.

Onion Make an onion broth. Cut up a large red onion. Add a pint of cold water, a pinch of salt, and a pat of butter, and simmer until the onion is soft. Place the broth in a hot bowl, and eat it as hot as possible. Minerals from the onion and the mucilaginous properties of the vegetable help soothe the inflamed mucous membranes and also induce perspiration. The perspiration helps to reduce the chest congestion and also causes the release of toxins.

Onion Cherry Bark Horehound Licotice Honey Remedy This is best made as an overnight preparation in a large double boiler. Chop about 2 pounds or 1 quart of onions. Add the onions to the top of a double boiler and cover them with honey. Heat this for a while. Add any, or all, of the following in 1 ounce amounts: cherry bark powder, horehound leaf powder, and licorice powder. After cooking this for at least three to four hours (or overnight), strain out the herbs and press out all juice. Add several ounces of glycerine to the preparation in order to preserve it. Otherwise, store it in the refrigerator. Use

Pine Tree If you have access to a silver pine tree, make a pillow of the yellow shavings, and sleep on the pillow as an asthma aid. a teaspoon at a time to help control cough.

Peppermint Use frequent doses of peppermint tea, or 8 to 10 drops of the essence of peppermint (available in the grocery store) in a cup of boiling water. Use 1 teaspoon of the tea at a time.

Slippery Elm The powder of the bark of the slippery elm is exceptionally soothing for chest complaints. Use a small amount dissolved in water, and add it to any herbal tea. Slippery elm troches (lozenges) are available in health food stores. Suck on them to relieve tightness in the chest.

Wintergreen Use oil of wintergreen salve, or wintergreen liniment, to relieve chest tightness and bring blood to the surface of the congested area. Olbas oil is a European herbal combination that contains many effective and soothing oils, including oils of wintergreen and eucalyptus.