Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cold and Flu season

It's that time of the year...germs abound.  Don't forget that as colds and flus are making their rounds this winter that herbs can be some of your best friends.  Today I'm shining the spotlight on thyme. Thyme is an outstanding expectorant. 

When I caught the ever-lingering cold that went around a month or so ago, I drank thyme tea as needed to keep my cough under control, thin out that nasty, thick phlegm and get rid of the cough for good.  Everyone was talking about how the congestion lingered, how gaggy and violent the cough was, and how just when you thought the cough was gone, it would creep back up on you a few days later and you'd have another coughing fit.  It was quite the persistent germ!

I drank thyme tea when my cough first hit and knocked it out quickly.  Then every time I'd feel that phlegm coming back, I'd start up with the thyme tea again--3/4 tsp of dried thyme to 6oz boiling water, 3 times a day.*  I would notice it taking effect about an hour after my first cup of tea--no more fits of coughing. And finally, after that 2nd or 3rd dose, hardly a cough at all.  This was the first time I'd tried thyme to combat a cough, and I was thoroughly impressed!  Simple, natural, cheap and effective.

Thyme is now in my go-to herbal arsenal.  Below are more of my favorite herbal and natural remedies:

+ Thyme, Onion + Mushroom Soup-- a spin-off of classic French Onion that is great for colds
+ Onion packs for chest congestion
+ Ginger tea for colds/the flu
+ Chicken broth-- tips for tots and an easy chicken soup
+ Garlic oil for ear aches/infections
+ Teas-- immmune boosting teas and proper doseage
+ Teas and essential oils for fevers
+ Tips for sore throats
+ Flushing the sinuses to decrease inflamation, irritation
+ Eucalyptus for stuffy noses and nighttime coughing
+ Simple homemade cough syrup

* The 3/4 tsp per 6oz of water is the proper doseage for me by weight.  See the "teas" link above to determine proper doseage for yourself.

As always, please consult with your doctor or other medical personnel before trying any remedies. I am not medically trained. What I share is gathered from my own research and reading and is not intended to be medical advice. One should be especially cautious with pregnant and nursing women, babies and small children.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I've had the persistent cough since....LABOR DAY! I've been through 3 rounds of antibiotics and 2 inhalers...nothing has worked! I'm off today to try some thyme tea! I also briefly took some Manuka honey with my green tea, but even it hasn't worked. And, yes, the phlem is AWFUL!

  2. @trav4adventures -- I'm so sorry!! I'm not claiming the thyme tea to be a magic cure, but it did work surprisingly and powerfully well for me this go around with the germ I had. I really hope it helps bring you some relief! I have found the key to some natural remedies is simply consistency, and sometimes (like finishing a course of antibiotics) continuing on for another day or 2 even after your symptoms are gone to fully knock out those germs.

  3. Would this work with fresh thyme? I found some yesterday and bought a bunch at my local health food store...If not, I'll get some dried thyme today! Thank you for the tip!

  4. Absolutely!! Fresh herbs are very powerful. I just don't know what to tell you for doseage, as I know with cooking you generally use 3x the amount of a dried herb when making a fresh substitution. I don't know how that plays out when using herbs medicinally.

  5. I love your blog and read it often, I just have to say though, that the current font is really hard to read. I almost can't read it without getting a headache. Other than that, thank you for the wonderful tips!!