Flu-busting natural remedies to help banish colds and coughs

Discover the herbs that double up as decongestants

If you find yourself reaching for the antihistamines or nasal spray, then your body could be crying out for some respiratory support.

Even if you’re a wellbeing fiend that relishes healthy eating and exercise, you could find yourself in a spot of bother if pollutants that live in the air find their way into your system.

Fortunately, with Mother Nature’s offerings, you can get your hands on some toxin-busting herbs.

By getting green-fingered, you use the earth as medicine which is not only kind on the wallet but also keeps lungs in tip-top condition without having to depend on drugs.

[Credit: Annie Spratt]

There are plenty of natural remedies, from peppermint to oregano we sprinkle on pizzas, that have the ability to sooth irritated airways and break down chest congestion.

Just like their fruit and veggie comrades, herbs are also brimming with antioxidants which provide a further wellness boost to reduce oxidative damage inside the body.

Our pals over at Nexus have helped compile a hero list of respiratory breakthroughs to keep any difficulties with breathing at bay – check them out below.

[Credit: Diana Polekhina]

1) Eucalyptus

The name might already sound familiar with eucalyptus being a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups due to a compound called cineole that boasts benefits aplenty.

In addition to its superpowers easing coughs and congestion, it soothes irritated sinus passages and contains antioxidants to support the immune system during colds or flu.

Native to Australia, it is believed the aborigines first used these tree leaves for gastrointestinal concerns, healing wounds, curing fevers, and regular respiratory issues.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

2) Lungwort

While the name might not sound so cutesy, don’t disregard lungwort as your friend.

This little guy smacks harmful organisms with its compounds that are capable of tackling breathing conditions and treating lung diseases such as tuberculosis.

Believe it or not, this herb also looks the part as it resembles lung tissue in appearance.  

[Credit: Dayana Brooke]

3) Oregano

As a species of a flowering plant in the mint family, oregano works a dream in recipes. Though when you’re not flavouring your pasta sauces, you can take it as a decongestant.  

Packed with vitamins and nutrients that the immune system cries out for, its primary benefits help stuffy noses and reduces swelling with its antihistamine strength.

[Credit: Photoholgic]

4) Plantain Leaf

This anti-inflammatory king works wonders on mosquito bites, bee strings, and minor cuts.

It’s also been used for hundreds of years to ease coughs and soothe irritated mucus. In particular, it helps relieve a dry cough by triggering mucus production in the lungs.

[Credit: Mae Mu]

5) Peppermint

While you’ll have to get your hands on the fresh stuff rather than just chew some more Extra gum, it will be worth adding to the shopping list.

The ultimate decongestant, our peppermint pal contains menthol which is an uber soothing ingredient known to relax the muscles of the respiratory tract to encourage free breathing.

If you’ve ever used a chest balm and other inhalants that contains menthol from the herb, you’ll know just how calming the effect can be on blocked noses.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

6) Osha Root

Perhaps the least well-known, but certainly just as powerful, the brown roots of osha put on the boxing gloves when it comes to fighting colds.

The herb, native to the Rocky Mountains and Mexico, is considered an immune booster and can beat coughs, pneumonia, bronchitis, and indigestion into submission.

Remember, so many of the medicines that we buy often contain extracts of these very herbs, but going straight to the source, you get the purest form.  

To check out the full article, click here: Respiratory Support.

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