Traditionally, the properties of myrrh resin have been highly favored for soothing muscles and wounds. Myrrh nourishes mucuous membranes with its cleansing effects. The extract, when combined with water, is excellent as a comforting gargle for a scratchy throat.
Hyssop has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for afflictions of the respiratory system. It soothes throats and nourishes the lungs.
A mixture of lemon, honey and garlic......one tablespoon each of lemon juice and honey to one crushed clove of garlic. Add boiling water in a cup and infuse till it is cool enough to drink then strain it.
Take a tincture of mullein (a medicinal plant available in health food stores) in warm water three times a day to soothe irritated airways.
Make a garlic tincture by placing three to four peeled buds in brandy. Steep this in a dark closet for 14 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.
Mix 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon honey. Swallow tiny amounts slowly 2-3 times a day.
One cough remedy calls for 6 figs boiled in milk for 10 minutes. A cupful of this liquid was taken several times a day.
Angelica got its name because it was said that an angel revealed the plant to a monk who was praying for a cure for the plague. The American Indians had already been using angelica to help cure bronchial ailments and common colds. Boil or steep a tsp of the dried root or seeds in 1 c. of water and drink as needed. The plant contains pinene, which is an expectorant with antimicrobial properties. The hot infusion also induces sweating and eases colds.
Here's another cough remedy. Roast 6 figs until dry and grind into a powder. The powder can be made into a drink like coffee or tea and taken when required. Grain beverages containing figs can be found in health food stores.
Some herbalists boil the leaves and flowers of hyssop (a shrub plant of the same family as mint, sage, and balm) in water and mix it with honey to ease persistant coughs. Hyssop is an expectorant, good for mucous congestion, and can be used as a gargle for sore throat.
In England, people with coughs and hoarsness get out their blenders and make a healthy, if not appetizing, remedy. Cabbage syrup is made by liquefying a red cabbage in the blender. The juice is strained and weighed, and half its weight in honey is added. The mixture is simmered over a low heat until syrupy. Several doses of 2 tsps each can be taken in quick succession. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, and the honey soothes the throat.
The French treat a cough wih coltsfoot. This small
flower, which grows wild on the sides of cliffs, in
ditches, and in meadows, is boiled and taken as a tea. If a cough is especially stubborn, cayenne pepper is added to the tea. The taste of coltsfoot is similar to that of sweet potatoes. It is a good expectorant and contains mucilage that coats and heals the throat. It also caontains zinc (good for the immune system), calcium, and potassium. Warning: Coltsfoot should not be taken for long periods of time. It contains traces of liver affecting substances, and is potentially toxic in large doses.
The French treat coughs with a homemade syrup made by sprinkling sugar on sliced onions. My cousin used this same method for years. She filled a glass jar with a whole onion (chopped) and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then she sealed the jar and allowed it to sit for 2 or 3 days. Then she strained the liquid and took a couple of spoonfuls a day for coughs and sore throats.
Drink an infusion of honeysuckle leaves and flowers to relieve a cough.
Chest congestion and cronic coughs are treated with food in China. A mixture of steamed, peeled grapefruit, half a cup of rice wine and 1 cup of honey is kept on hand to drink throughout the day to relieve coughs. Rock sugar, steamed with 5 fresh pitted olives for a half an hour, is also eaten to control coughing. Steaming 5 to 10 fresh kumquats with 30 grams of rock sugar for half an hour, or eating a few sugared kumquats twice a day, relieves chest congestion. Or, steam a fresh lemon, peach, or tangerine with rock sugar, and eat it in the morning and evening. Fresh papayas and mangos, including the peel (good sources of vitamins C and A), also help ease chronic cough. A Chinese remedy for coughs and chest congestion that won't stimulate your sweet tooth is a tea made by boiling 5 grams of fried leaf mustard seeds with 10 grams of fried radish seeds, 5 grams dried orange peels, and 5 grams licorice. Drink as needed. The Chinese believe that leaf mustard has a warm energy, and that the pungent taste will promote energy circulation in the lung area, relieving mucous discharge. Mustard powder is also made into a thick paste. Heated, spread on a cloth, and applied to the chest, mustard "plaster" draws the blood to the surface, decreasing congestion in the chest area. Warning: This remedy can be irritating to the skin of sensitive people. Irritation is reduced if the mustard powder is mixed with rye flour.
The Irish, like so many other European and Asian peoples, use garlic syrups to ease coughs. The damp, cold climate in Ireland makes lung infections easy to develop.
In South America, the thick, syrupy sap of the balsam tree is an effective expectorant. Because this sap makes coughs more productive, it also helps shorten the length of illness. This treatment was first popular with the Indians of El Salvador. It was later introduced to Peru, where it remains today.
T'ien men tung, is a vegetable that is made into a soup and is used to treat dry coughs. What? You can't find t'ien men tung? Just look for asparagus in the produce section, by any name, it really works.
The Greeks and Romans also drank infusions of coltsfoot flowers and stems for persistant coughs. A tea made by adding 1 to 3 tbsps of dried coltsfoot leaves and flowers to 1 liter of cold water and boiling for 5 minutes. When cool, a little honey was added for taste.
Another sore throat remedy calls for boiling the rind of pomegranates and gargling with the liquid.
The Chinese have always used ordinary foods to treat illness. Cherries are used to relieve early symptoms of laryngitis. About 9 to 10 cherries are chewed like chewing gum twice a day. Cherry bark tea is used for coughs.
Gargle with a warm infusion of agrimony, sage, rosemary, or with a tincture of purple coneflower.
Make a decoction of turnips, sweeten with honey or sugar, and drink before bedtime. Good for coughs and hoarseness.
The Germans, English, and French share a sore throat remedy that involves boiling sage leaves in water and vinegar. They allow the mixture to cool and then use it to gargle. This recipe can also be used as a natural antiseptic.
In Europe, the agrimony plant is a favorite for inflamed gums and sore throats. It also tones mucous membranes and helps keep mucous secretions fluid. French singers and public speakers use an agrimony gargle. 5 grams of dried leaves, flowers, and stems from the plant are infused in 1/4 liter of boiling water for 20 minutes. The flavor is like apricots, but licorice or honey are often added for taste and to increase the soothing effect. When crushed, the leaves and flowers give off a faint lemony scent.
In Germany, a cool sage tea gargle is used for sore throats.
Violets contain mucilage, which can coat an irritated throat. Gargling violet tea is a great way to relieve a sore throat. It is also slightly sedative and has a mild topical anesthetic effect, along with its mucin coating properties.
For a sore throat, try taking a tsp of honey, place it on your tongue and let it trickle down your throat.
The common Alder or black alder (Alnus glutinosa) is used by American Indians for mouth and throat infections. A gargle is made with 1/2 tsp of alder bark (ground into a powder) and 1 tbsp of dried wild marjoram infused in 1/2 liter of boiling water for 10 minutes. Honey can be added to taste. Warning: Fresh bark will cause vomiting, so dried bark must be used.
Chinese soothe sore throats by keeping pitted olives in their mouths. Repeated several times a day, this probably stimulates the secretion of saliva, whitch dilutes bacteria.
The acacia tree, also called the gum Arabic, or the Egyptian thorn tree, (Acacia Vera, Acacia Sengal) is covered with prickles and thrives in desert regions. The tar exuded from the bark (gum acacia) is chewed to relieve a sore throat. It is also used in powder form, disolved in water and added to other herbal remedies such as thymol. Gum Arabic is a good demulcent - a soothing covering for irritated surfaces.
Here is a Russian remedy for sore throat or laryngitis. Boil 1/2 c. anise seeds in 1 c. water for 50 minutes. Strain, then stir in 1/4 c. raw honey and 1 tbsp cognac. Take 1 tbsp every 30 minutes as symptoms persost. Anise has a relaxing effect on the throat, as - no doubt - does the cognac.
The Seminoles gargled with grapefruit juice to relieve a sore throat.
Colds, Coughs and Sore Throats: wild cherry, licorice root, anise, ginger, horehound leaves and flowers, hyssop leaves, marshmallow root, pennyroyal, sage, slippery elm bark, lavender, mullein, elecampane (used as an expectorant), blue cohosh, flaxseed. The above herbs were used as teas and administered to the sick two or three times per day and not used for more than 1 week.
In Italy, opera singers use honey mixed with lemon juice for a sore throat. This does help, but the effects don't seem to last very long. Honey acts as a hypertonic osmotic, which means that its presence causes fluid to be pulled out of the inflammed tissue, thus shrinking swelling and easing discomfort. But the symptoms return once the honey is gone.
Another old Russian recipe soothes and heals a sore throat. Add 1 tbsp grated fresh horseradish (dried is not effective), 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp ground cloves to a glass of warm water. Stir and sip slowly, or use as a gargle. Warning: Do not take large amounts. Discontinue if diarrhea occurs.
A traditional Chinese remedy used by professional singers and speakers starts with a simple chicken egg in a pot of water. Bring the water just to a boil, and remove the egg. Make a hole in the shell and slowly suck the white through the hole to lubricate the throat, once a day. Warning: As always with uncooked eggs, there is danger of bacterial contamination, particularly salmonella.
A salt water gargle (1 tsp of salt per 8 oz. of warm water) reduces pain and irritation.
Make a syrup of horseradish, lemon juice, and honey to relieve a sore throat and treat laryngitis. Warning: This remedy can be hard on the stomach.
In New Orleans people treat a sore throat as well as hoarseness with cayenne pepper seeds. They soak them in water and gargle with the liquid.
Gently gargle with warm salt water. Also, breathe through your nose, if it's not stuffed up. This keeps air irritants from getting at the throat, according to researchers. Keep your throat as warm as possible.
Ginger, Golden Seal, Licorice, Comfrey with Fenugreek, and Capsicum are all good for sore throats. Also try a glass of warm water and a tablespoon of cider vinegar. Use as a gargle.
Sore throat: Sip pineapple juice during the day; it soothes the sore tissues without giving the gluggy coated feeling your throat gets during bad head colds. Sore throat tea: equal parts of sage and rosemary, with a spoonful of honey. Pennyroyal tea with honey is also good, but do not take during pregnancy.
Louisiana has many folk remedies for a sore throat. One is a gargle made from the roots of the blackberry bush (also an expectorant and remedy for bleeding gums). Another is a gargle made from a mixture of honey, salt, and baking soda dissolved in water.
A German recipe for sore throat is to steep 1 to 2 tsps of dried sage leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Use as a tea or gargle.
MA HAUNG: A stimulant of the adrenal glands; helps increase energy level; aids in healing asthma, bronchitis, lung, coughs & congestive disorders.
LICORICE ROOT: Another of the aphrodisiacs, this herb is excellent for impotency, female problems, endurance, coughing and as a tonic for sex stimulation.
COUGHING? USE RED PEPPERS!! A substance similar to that found in the cough syrups is found in hot red pepper. Use red (cayenne) pepper with caution-it can irritate your tummy.
Coughs: In three pints of boiling water, place peppermint leaves, one cup of rum, one half cup lemon juice, one once cinnamon bark and one ounce comfrey root. After these are well blended, strain and add half a pound of sugar and two ounces of honey, bringing the entire mixture to a rolling boil. Cool and store in an air tight container for use as a cough syrup.
Horehound Cough Drops
Simmer 1 cup of horehound leaves and 1 tablespoon of balm of gilead in 1 pint of water for about 15 minutes. Strain and add 2 cups of sugar. Boil until the mixture spins a thread as it comes off of the spoon. Drop by the teaspoonful into cold water to form the cough drops. remove the cough drops from the water immediately. You can roll the cough drops in powdered sugar after draining off the water. This will keep them from sticking to each other. Place is a tightly sealed container.
CAYENNE: Proclaimed as one of the most useful remedies in the history of herbal medicine. This herb dates beyond biblical records and has been used in every major civilization. It is one of the strongest stimulants known but can be used internally as a relaxant and a healer of ulcerous conditions in the digestive system. Because of its high mineral content of sulphur, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium, it is also used for: diabetes, gas, heart, pancreas, throat disorders, arthritis, bleeding, coughs, etc.
Horehound: Used for centuries as an asthma and cough remedy. Boil 1/4 cup dried horehound with 2 cups water for 10 minutes; cool, strain. Combine one part of the mixture with two parts honey; stir until smooth. For cough drops, use 1 cup of the above infusion with 2 cups sugar and a dash of cream of tartar. Stir well until sugar dissolves and cook mixture over very low heat until a drop forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water. Pour onto well buttered dish and quickly cut into small squares. store drops in refrigerator. Harvest horehound while in bloom and hang upsidedown to dry.
Sore Throat: A gargle made from black tea with a
teaspoon of lavender flowers, a quarter teaspoon salt and a quarter teaspoon vinegar will help reduce pain. An alternative to this is sage tea mixed with honey and lemon.