Witches and pagans that have a penchant for herbology might be pleased to know that while there are no herbal solutions that can cure the common cold, there are plenty of natural remedies that can be used to deal with symptoms. According to the website Right Diagnosis, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases indicates that there are 62 million cases of the common cold that occur on a yearly basis. According to the Mayo Clinic website, a cold is a viral infection of the throat, nose, and upper respiratory tract and symptoms include mild fatigue, a low-grade fever, watery eyes, sneezing, mild headaches, body aches, congestion, coughing, a sore or itchy throat and a stuffy or runny nose: A person can experience one, several or all of the latter mentioned symptoms. Eucalyptus, Echinacea, Slippery Elm, Stinging Nettle, and Goldenseal are among the top five herbs you can use to deal with common cold symptoms.
When taking any kind of medications, whether over-the-counter or prescribed, it is best to consult a doctor before making use of herbal treatments; Some herbs can interact with different medications and can either diminish or enhance the efficiency of the medications being used. The treatments mentioned here should not be considered a substitute for treatment from a medical professional.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Eucalyptus, also known as Red Gum, Eucalyptus globulus, Blue Gum, or Australian Fever Tree, is a common herbal ingredient in over-the-counter remedies used for treating coughs and sore throats; Consuming the herb in the tea form or gargling with it can help in dealing with sinusitis, bronchitis, inflammation and sore throat conditions. The UMMC explains that this herb comes from a tree that originates in Australia and was used in Aboriginal treatments for dealing with fungal infections, wounds, and fever reduction; The leaves of the plant contain volatile oils, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
According to AltMD.com, Eucalyptus can be added to steam inhalations and the herb acts as a decongestant, expectorant, antibacterial, and antiseptic treatment; In leaf form, the herb can be brewed into a tea and consumed twice daily for dealing with body aches and pains. To create a neck rub, AltMD.com recommends adding three drops of Eucalyptus oil with two teaspoons of sweet almond, apricot kernel or grapeseed carrier oil and applying the mixture twice daily.
The UMMC explains that Echinacea was at one time used by Native Americans as a cure-all natural remedy, and that some studies have indicated that the use of Echinacea at the onset of cold symptoms can help in reducing the amount of time a person experiences symptoms, while some studies indicate that using Echinacea before any symptoms occur can minimize the likelihood of cold onset by more than 50 percent. AltMD.com identifies Echinacea as an immune stimulant with antiviral and antibacterial properties; The herb can be consumed as a tea four times a day until relief is experienced. AltMD.com also warns users that Echinacea should not be used by individuals with a compromised immune system and that long term use of the herb can lead to immune system weakening in some individuals.
Slippery Elm, also called Ulmus rubra, Ulmus fulva, Sweet Elm or Red Elm, is another all natural herbal remedy used for dealing with the common cold. According to WebMD®, the inner bark from the Slippery Elm can be used for treating sore throat conditions. The UMMC suggests that Slippery Elm is also used for helping in alleviating a cough; You can consume the herb in tea form three times daily until symptoms are alleviated. AltMD.com recommends making a cold infusion by soaking an ounce of the herb in a pint of cold water and consuming the mixture two-three times daily. WebMD® warns that Slippery Elm can diminish the body’s ability to absorb other medications.
Stinging Nettle, also known as Urtica radix, Urtica urens, or Urtica dioica, is a natural antihistamine and can help in diminishing sneezing and nasal decongestion; The herb has natural pain relieving properties so it’s good for dealing with body aches and pains according to UMMC. AltMD.com identifies the herb as one with antiallergenic properties that can be used for dealing with allergies, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, and hay fever. It has expectorant properties and it can help in getting rid of phlegm in the lungs and it also increases the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications; AltMD.com suggests that Stinging Nettle can be consumed as a tea two to three times daily for dealing with common cold conditions.
According to UMMC, Goldenseal, also called Ground Raspberry, Indian Paint, Eye Balm or Hydrastis canadensis, is considered a natural antibiotic and is often used in conjunction with Echinacea in treating common cold conditions; The herb has been found to boost the immune system and is a useful remedy when dealing with the flu and hay fever. AltMD.com explains that Goldenseal has been found to minimize the infection and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract; It can be used as an infusion by combining one teaspoon of the root stock in powder form with a pint of hot water at a dose of one-two teaspoons six times daily for a seven day period.
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