How to Make Tea for the Sniffles---Get Rid of That Stuffy, Runny Nose Naturally with Herbs!
Winter colds and flus are upon us, and with those come stuffy and runny noses....Pretty much misery in the sinus area. I recently wrote about how to make a great natural decongestant, and here is another idea: an herbal tea that really works and tastes delicious on top of it! Of course, with a tea, you need to take time to brew it up, then enjoy it....but it's sure is wonderful for relaxing while your nose clears up like magic!
Here is the herbal ingredient rundown:
Herbs to Make a Decongestant Tea That's Also Delicious!
**I use all organic herbs, and I purchase them exclusively from Starwest Botanicals (unless I grow or wild-craft them myself).
NOTE: If you don't want to bother blending your own teas, Starwest also has some GREAT blends for a variety of different pleasures and conditions. So...you have a nice choice between buying bulk herbs to blend OR just buying a ready made tea blend from Starwest Botanicals. I have never been disappointed!
Now, on to the herbs in this excellent tea!
Peppermint Leaves (Mentha piperata):
We are all familiar with the decongestant and sinus properties of peppermint! It really works wonders to open those nasal passages. In addition, peppermint is wonderfully soothing for the digestion and helps with mental clarity!
Elder Flowers & Berries (Sambucus nigra):
This is a large shrub native to Europe. It has thankfully naturalized throughout much of North America, and is loved by two-legged creatures as well as four-leggeds such as deer and elk. Elder contains bioflavonoids, flavonoids, phenolic constituents, potassium, beta-carotene, and tons of Vitamin C. It's super useful for strengthening and enhancing the immune system and fighting off viruses, including the dreaded cold sore. It's an excellent medicinal herb for upper respiratory infections, which is what most folks use it for. The berries should not be eaten raw. The flowers do have a diaphoretic properties, which means they help cause sweating and therefore speed healing from fevers. They are fine to take in the quantity in this tea in terms of safe use.
Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus):
This powerful herb contains a ton of Vitamin C! In fact the berries contain 1-2% acids, of which 90% of that happens to be citric acid! Raspberry is probably best known for how it helps women during pregnancy, childbirth, with painful menses, etc. However, it's also wonderful for helping treat respiratory infections.
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale):
Ginger is an absolute miracle herb, and most of us have it right in our kitchens! Ginger works wonders for inflammation throughout the body. Ginger is also a warming herb with decongestant properties. The fact that it is a "warm" herb means that it is stimulating and will help increase the healing properties of the other herbs.
Yarrow (Achillea millifolium):
Yarrow is an antiseptic herb, and it is also an amphoteric--this means it moves to where it is needed in the body as an anti-inflammatory and mild sedative. It is a great complement to stronger decongestant herbs, as it helps with the inflammation caused by swollen sinuses. As an aside: Yarrow is traditionally known as the "battle field" herb, due to its styptic properties. This means it helps clot blood and stop bleeding in case of wounds---just a little fun fact! (Should be avoided during pregnancy.)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsis):
I LOVE mullein. I generally wild-craft mine from the mountains around our home, and have even begun cultivating it in our yard. I believe it's seriously a wonder plant when it comes to anything to do with the upper respiratory system. I use it freely during allergy season as well as when I have that good old stuffy/runny nose going on. It's an expectorant, which means it helps break up mucous, as well as having antiseptic properties. It also contains mucilage, which means it's great for helping to relieve inflammation. It's soothing and safe.
Except for the Yarrow, which should be avoided during pregnancy, these plants are all considered safe to use.
Recipe for Tea for Sniffles:
4 parts Peppermint Leaves
3 parts Mullein Leaves
3 parts Elder Flowers
2 parts Raspberry Leaves
1 to 2 parts Elder Berries
1 to 2 parts Ginger Root
Place all dried herbs in a large bowl to blend. Mix together with your hands.
For one cup, use about 2 tsp. per 6 ounces of boiling water. Allow to steep for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make a larger amount in a quart Mason jar and drink throughout the day as needed. Fill about an inch worth in the Mason jar. Cover to within 1 inch of the top with boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes. You can steep longer if you like strong tea, but you may experience some bitterness. I don't mind this, and I like my tea strong---it works extra well! But if you are more into the taste, then go with a shorter steep time. Strain out the herbs, and enjoy!
Here is an article with more detail about how to make herbal tea infusions.
Where Do I Get My Medicinal Herbs?
I actually grow or forage for many of the herbs I use quite a bit. Otherwise, I can't grow everything, so I go to Starwest Botanicals for quality fresh dried herbs, quick shipping, and great customer service. Also, if you want to buy your blended tea and not hassle with making it yourself, you can also get blended teas there too!
Hugs & Self-Reliance!
P.S. If you are interested in becoming an herbalist and learning all about how to use herbs, please click through on the Herbal Academy Link in the sidebar for more information. It's a terrific school, with lots of support, and you can learn at your own pace!
Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.
Tierra, Michael. The Way of Herbs.
Cech, Richo. Making Plant Medicine.
Affiliate Disclosure: There are affiliate links sprinkled throughout the text of this post. Please know that should you click through and make a purchase, I will make a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I only endorse companies and items I personally use and love. I thank you for helping to support my blogging habit! I appreciate you!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, and in no manner are the statements in this article or elsewhere on my website or shop meant to imply any cure, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any illness. These are simply my personal opinions based on study and experience. Please see a medical professional for concerns.