When confronted with specific allergens or cold and flu viruses, the body may produce excess histamine and mucus. This inflammation can cause congestion in the sinuses, backing up the cavities with phlegm which causes pressure in the head. The excess phlegm can even trigger a bronchial spasm, producing a cough and subsequent irritation. In any case, it’s important not to suppress these bodily responses. Instead, one should work with these responses, enhancing their healing nature. By using demulcent and expectorant herbs, one can increase the effectiveness of these bodily responses, using mucus as an advantage while clearing out congestion.
First, the body may be in a state of systemic inflammation that can cause mucus to back up and further infect the sinus cavities. If the inflammation in the sinus cavities and mucous membranes is not reduced, the infection can get worse and congest the sinuses.
To free the airways and relax the tissues, natural anti-inflammatory herbs can be used to work with the body’s natural inflammatory response to infection. I have used this herbal recipe to bring down inflammation in the tissues, to prevent the infection from deepening. Ingest 1 tablespoon of each: schisandra berry powder, turmeric root powder, burdock root powder and nettle leaf powder. Boost the absorption of these herbs using 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water. Drink plenty of water to help thin the mucus. A few foods to avoid at this time would include dairy products, red meat and refined sugars, since these promote inflammation. A few foods to increase would be garlic, onions and peppers.
Natural histamine relief – licorice root
Secondly, assess whether the body needs the assistance of an anti-histamine herb like licorice root. Bring a pint of water to a boil. Place a tablespoon of licorice root, peppermint leaf and eucalyptus leaf in the pan as the water is brought to a steady simmer. Let the herbs infuse for at least 30 minutes. Do not cook the herbs in the water.
Elderberries, Echinacea and raw honey can be added to the teas to boost their antibacterial and antiviral powers. It’s also important to assist the healing process by juicing plenty of citrus fruits or consuming amalaki berry powder in water. The uptake of vitamin C speeds up the immune system response.
If the infection has made its way to the lungs…
If a cough is present, a cayenne tincture can be applied under the tongue (less than a drop) or in a cup of warm water at a rate of one drop per 6 ounces. Schisandra berry is also excellent for the lungs. Use caution when working with the lung herb Lobelia. Start with a quarter teaspoon of this herb when infusing. This herb can free the airways, but in large amounts, it can induce vomiting.
Utilizing expectorant herbs
To expel mucus, use expectorant herbs in your healing formula. Anise, horehound, mullein, licorice, elecampane, wild cherry and peppermint all help the body remove mucus efficiently. These herbs can be combined in a tea. One teaspoon of each herb will suffice. Many of these herbs also help soothe the digestive system and aid the nervous system for greater quality sleep. This is an important, universal quality of many herbs: They help the body remove toxins during the onset of illness while helping the nervous system recuperate, further strengthening the body’s defense mechanisms.
Demulcent herbs for soothing the mucous membranes
Equally important is assisting the mucous membranes during the healing process. Demulcent herbs create a soothing effect in the body, softening the mucous membranes and reducing irritation. Again, these herbs assist the digestive system and the nervous system, ultimately boosting the immune system. Marshmallow root, mullein and slippery elm bark tea are highly effective in the healing process. Just bring a pint of water to a boil and then set to low heat to create a steady simmer. Add the herbs and let infuse for 30 minutes.
Herbal apothecary at home provides ultimate self-sufficiency health insurance
Using different combinations of these herbal formulas increases their effectiveness. Teas can be consumed three or more times a day as needed. The more proactive you are, the easier it will be to clear out congestion and heal from any sickness. Combining the herbs mentioned above is not dangerous. From experience, they all work quite well with the body in synergistic harmony. Having the abovementioned herbs, roots, barks and berries on hand in a home apothecary provides ultimate health insurance during any kind of sickness or unexpected allergy.