Recipes for Making Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu

Prior to listing out the recipes for making herbal remedies to treat cold and the flu, let me first instruct you on the two basic methods of preparation for making medicinal teas. The two basic methods are by infusion and decoction.

Infusion- Use this method when using the delicate plant parts such as flowers and soft leaves. The herbs are steeped not boiled at all. Bring the herbs and water just to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to steep in a tightly covered container for 10-20 minutes.

Decoction- This method is used to extract the deeper healing properties found in coarser leaves, stems, barks, and roots. The herbs are simmered for 1 hour.

If a formula calls for both roots and barks along with soft leaves and flowers, you would first make a decoction with the coarser herbs, strain them, pour them over the delicate plant parts, and allow to steep for 10-20 minutes in a tightly covered container.

If using fresh herbs you should first bruise them by rubbing between the hands or using a mortar and pestle to break up the tissue structure and release the active principles. The herbs should be prepared in nonmetallic containers such as earthenware, glass, or enamel pots. Stainless steel is acceptable when others are not available. You should also use distilled or spring water as opposed to tap water whenever possible.

Amount to use
The usual proportion in making medicinal teas is one ounce of dried herb per pint(2 cups) of water. If using fresh herbs the amount is doubled to 2 ounces of herb, since much of the weight of the herb is water. The herbs will absorb about one half cup of water leaving you with one and one half cups of the tea. This is enough for one day of treatment as the therapy generally calls for one half cup three times a day. For your convenience you can prepare enough for three days at one time. Keep refrigerated in a tightly closed jar.

Herbal Remedy for Cold and Flu
If the ailment is accompained by weakness, paleness, low fever, clear or white discharge, or if the person has a deficient diet low in protein, use a tea made following the decoction method containing equal parts:

Dandelion Root
Burdock Root
Angelica Root
Chicory Root

Take one half cup of the decoction every two hours.

If you believe your cold or flu to be due to overeating, use of alcohol, exposure to wet, damp, cold, or excessive activity, use sweating therapy. Make an infusion of equal parts:

Elder Flowers

Take one cup of the infusion followed by a hot bath. Then go to bed and cover yourself with several blankets to provoke perspiration.

Making a Syrup
Use two ounces of herbs to a quart of water. Boil down to approximately a pint of water, strain, and while warm add 1-2 ounces of honey or glycerine.

Coughs and Sore Throat
Make a syrup using equal parts:

Wild Cherry Bark
Comfrey Root

Take one tablespoon every hour as needed.

Hoarseness of Voice
Make a throat compress by adding 1 teaspoon each of ginger and cayenne(in powdered form) to a bowl of hot water. Soak a washcloth in the mixture and apply until the cloth cools. For best results follow by applying a cold washcloth dipped in ice water(only-no herbs) until it reaches body temperature. Repeat several times. Alternating hot and cold compresses stimulates nerves and circulation.

Use equal parts of powdered Licorice and calamus. Mix with a little honey and take 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day.

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