First of all, this is my second post today, so make sure to read the post below here too.
Woohoo! My first blog party! Tansy is hosting this month’s herbal blog party, all about the medicinal actions of common kitchen spices; please go check it out tomorrow.
I’m sure this post will pale in comparison to the more experienced herbalists, but I wanted to join in too; and my hope is that by continuing to write and study, my posts will become like theirs.
There are lots of common kitchen herbs that can be used medicinally. My personal favorite is thyme. According to Maude, thyme is antiseptic (kills germs), antispasmodic, and carminative. Which makes it perfect for a respiratory cold. She says,
“The pounded herb, if given fresh, from 1 to 6 OZ. daily, mixed with syrup, has been employed with success as a safe cure for whooping cough. An infusion made from 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, sweetened with sugar or honey, is also used for the same purpose, as well as in cases of catarrh and sore throat, given in doses of 1 or more tablespoonsful, several times daily. The wild plant may be equally well used for this.”
Since high school, when I joined the choir, I have suffered lingering coughs after all my colds. And by lingering, I mean it goes on for weeks, sometimes up to a month. It’s terrible for me, and annoying to those around me. I would go through bags and bags of cough drops. Until I read about thyme tea for coughs. My dad had some lemon thyme in his garden (which by the way, is the best smelling thyme EVER), and I took some to make a tea with (nothing near so strong as Ms. Grieve suggests), and within a day, my cough was gone. And I did it again with the next cold. Then I ran out of thyme, and the lingering cough came back, much to my disappointment. I think I will try to make a thyme syrup for coughs before another cold comes my way.
The way I made my tea was just to take about a tablespoon of the fresh herb, and infuse it in hot water for as long as possible (I never remove my teabags, I just let it continue to infuse while I sip), and continue to drink it until the tickly feeling in my throat subsides. It rarely takes more than a couple cups a day for a couple days. I like the flavor of the lemon thyme, but you can use any thyme you have, dried or fresh, and add honey if you want, to flavor it, and further soothe your throat. Simple, but effective.